Thursday, November 01, 2012

Riding Out Sandy with Thought
A Speculation

            Jala and I stayed pretty close to home during the five days of Hurricane Sandy’s sojourn in Hampton Roads, VA. We correctly intuited that our immediate neighborhood would not flood, though nearby areas definitely did.
            As we waited out the beast, which howled through the pines surrounding us and drenched the absorbent swamps, I had the opportunity to ponder a question I’ve often asked myself before.
            Do storms have consciousness? Or are they purely physical, random acts of Nature?
* * * * * * *
            In the late 1960s Jane Roberts, a writer, and Robert Butts, her painter husband, began producing what would become a series of fascinating books on the meaning of life according to Seth.
            Seth describes himself as a disembodied point of conscious energy existing primarily in a timeless dimension. He spoke through Jane, who entered a self-induced trance to receive his messages while Robert took dictation. His last communications were from the hospital where she lay dying.
            According to Seth-Jane, we all create our own realities, including our shared reality, with our conscious and subconscious thoughts, and we can always change unsatisfactory conditions into something more ideal if we work at altering our core beliefs.
            That’s the theory in a few words. It’s fundamental New Age philosophy, building on American mediumistic traditions like Spiritualism, Theosophy, and the life of Edgar Cayce, among others. How it works takes a lot of explaining, but not here.
            The point here is one Seth made about weather, especially weather events like hurricanes. He said that the collective mood of any given population is reflected in its weather. When that weather is violent, it releases collective negativity.
           I began to play with the notion that Sandy’s hit on the U.S. was co-existent with the fury of our national conversation, which threatens to rip us apart. I noticed the places in the U.S. where Sandy tore things up—the Outer Banks, Hampton Roads, Maryland, Delaware, and then, with total devastation, the New Jersey coast and New York City. Not to mention places nearby and in between all the way from Florida to New England to the Great Lakes.
            So it seems Sandy punished many of the significant centers of U.S. wealth and finance, including its military support and the central government in Washington, D.C. From these centers millions of people participate in a common political and social network where disputes over government and public policy have become increasingly intensified and ugly.
            That’s the way Sandy felt—like the last word delivered in a relentless discharge of fury as Mother Nature responded to the rising discord among us.
            I can’t say that our political fury caused the storm. I don’t dismiss the idea, but I don’t know. I only note that in some way the nasty and corrupt politics of our social contract is mirrored in the coincidence of this fierce, pre-election storm. We’ve generated persistent, strident volts of electro-magnetic energy around this election and the issues it raises—or fails to raise. Why are we surprised if there’s a response reaction from the energetic world? Remember what the issues are we’re arguing about. Jobs. Vital resources. Energy. Sex and morality. Inequality of wealth. Climate Change. War.
            These are emotional issues, touching on age-old beliefs and superstitions that stand like pillars of our private and personal temples. We feel the deep impulse to defend these ancestral codes to the death, if necessary.
            Then came Sandy—Mother Nature releasing a fury on us. Is there a connection?
            I can only answer concerning what happened to me. When Sandy moved in, time stopped. It was like 9-11. Or the killing of Kennedy. The election—funded by untold billions, turning friends into enemies and enemies into devils—faded like a charm, eclipsed by the spectacle of the storm.
            It leaves a number of symbols in its wake. Cleaning up Wall Street is the clearest, as the floods poured into lower Manhattan like Mother Nature’s power hose. The reality of climate change also registers, as big engines failed and popular resort beaches disappeared.
            Meanwhile, lessons were given. Neighbors became friends instead of rivals. A government that takes care of all of us isn’t such a bad idea. Each of us has an obligation to contribute something in return.
            There is plain good reason to reset our social relations and policy priorities. Maybe now, after the storm, we can create a consensus for making better weather together.
            That’s what I think Seth was talking about in Jane Roberts’ Seth books, and it’s what occurred to me as I sat glued to reports of the storm, pondering why these things that cause such terrible suffering have to happen in the first place and whether their happening could be avoided.
            And to tell the truth, I don’t really know. It’s just tempting to draw parallels between Sandy’s extended fury and the contentious, even hateful polarization in our national discourse. It’s a reminder, at the least, to be careful—more kind and compassionate—in the way we think. Otherwise, we might be helping to create the next nasty storm.


At 8:12 PM , Blogger Tom Ellis said...

An insightful post, Delaney. I've been thinking in similar terms myself of late: Sandy as Mother Gaia's wake-up call. Now all of a sudden, the pundits and politicians are talking about climate change again, after a whole electoral cycle in which they acted as if it did not exist. Similar to the way that the Occupy movement disrupted the prevailing media blather about "the deficit" and awoke the public to the reality of gross maldistribution of wealth in our country.

I would like to fancy that Mother Gaia just cast a vote for Obama...

At 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEA Delaney!!!! I am always so thrileed to read what you write because it is typically what I think - you just do a better job at experessing my thoughts! Plusyou do express. I, and many others, do not make the effort. I always applaud you. And I always pass your words along. They are important words based on clear insight and understanding. Big Love.


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