A Lament (and a Hope) in this Era of Empire
Empire is crumbling. It appears to be gaining in strength. And it is. For now.
But I must believe, it is doing so as part of its death knell.
These dangerous — literally life-threatening — reactions are of a system of power that is on the verge of collapse. Tragically, it will do so by harming those most vulnerable and hollowing out some of our most cherished values — forcing each of us to confront within ourselves what we are willing to risk — what comforts, what privileges, what illusions of security. As has been true these past few years, it will only continue to intensify: what will it take to live out our values of mutuality, of compassion, of surrender into the interdependent web, not just give these lip service?
Friends, I am worried. I am afraid. I see my own limitations, my own clinging to the familiar, to the comfortable. I see in myself how easy it is to seek refuge in the privileges I have been afforded.
What is being asked of us is a very hard thing. I’m not even sure I can, from my current perspective, see the whole shape and texture of this hard thing.
Dear Ones, not only are our creature comforts being stripped stripped stripped away, but so are our basic human rights and our civilized obligations to one another. It is only in rising up together and being present for one another, in retaining and cultivating our humanity in the midst of this systemic inhumanity — this continued rise of authoritarianism — that we stand any chance of deservable survival.
Beloveds, I do not know what will happen if we are, indeed, able to do this hard thing. But I do know what will happen if we do not make the attempt.
Sometimes it is an act of spiritual survival to live into uncertainty. Now it is our literal survival.