2016 in Perspective

Neglect
8" x 10" mixed media on canvas
It happened the first week in November. 

Something shifted in that span of days. It wasn't seen, but felt. The best way I can describe it is to say it was as if a great light somewhere in our universe winked off. None of us recognized it while it was shining. We only noticed the absence of warmth. 

That week in November touched off the most disturbing spiritual climate I have seen in some time. Counseling clients began calling me in droves. Nightmares. Anxiety attacks. Depression issues. More than one required psychiatric hospitalization.

Since then, I have seen collective panic on a scale that surpasses any other experience in recent memory. Irrespective of political or religious view, I believe like Jung that these feelings come from our connected consciousness as humans, the awareness that binds us as a species. And it had been building up for a long time before this.

We like to think we are above the animal kingdom. Equipped with our modern science and extraordinary intellect, we've gone so far as to attempt to remove ourselves from the food chain. But we are not outside of the interwoven events taking place on this globe. Far from it. And neither are we blameless in the events unfolding around us. 

For a long time, our great thinkers influenced from the Age of Reason envisioned that our greatest threat would come from the stars. None of us ever seriously asked the question of what is frozen in the ice at the North and South poles currently melting at alarming rates. Better yet, we often don't questioned the historic record that we have been taught as children. Much of our history is still within the realm of supposition. And though we can envision a multiverse with our science, we arrogantly assume this enormous shifting planet has no consciousness merely because it is convenient to our human drama.

To my mind, the year 2016 should have been our wakeup call. It bears the glaring mark of ongoing Resource Wars that our leaders continue to paint with political and religious rhetoric. We keep choosing industrial greed, material consumption and environmental pollution instead of ethical cooperation, conscientious consumerism and green sustainability. The time of reckoning is at hand, yet some of us are still denying we are on the brink of catastrophe. 

In an age where information is so freely given, too many of our people are willfully choosing to be ignorant of our impact on this planet. And we do this because we tell ourselves that we own this globe by God-given mandate. Like toddlers, we feel justified to do whatever we like and not reap the consequences. In the end, these attitudes may cost us our lives and that of our future generations. 

Earth will live on. This is a guarantee. But us? Our presence here is optional. In recent years, we have seen a multitude of species vanish from our planet. We can as well. The choice is up to us.

Respectfully, 
O.M.

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