Apocalypse Porn and The New Earth

First of all, I owe the scintillating concept of Apocalypse Porn to David at Lorian. He wrote an article about the thrills of waiting for the end of the earth, and it really caught my attention.

What is Apocalypse Porn? The belly-thrill that comes from thinking of horrible disasters (that happen to someone else) from which you (and/or your group) will be saved, because you either believe the right thing, have the right relationship with the right savior, or your vibes are completely in tune. Lucky you.

I am a recovering Apocalypse Porn addict. Back in the day, before even the Harmonic Convergence, I had a small and strange group of friends who talked about survivalism, hiding barrels of dried food, and learning to weave our own cloth in preparation for the days without Target. This was the 80s, now. It’s a good thing we didn’t overstock on those food barrels. In those days we talked about the Rapture. Then there was Y2K, and now we’ve got 2012 to look forward to.

As the spirituality movement heated up I was right there with it, and it has always seemed like at least a few cards in the New Age deck have been devoted to planetary destruction. It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see that humankind is doing a number on Gaia, and if we don’t make some serious changes, the end does not look pretty. Thus, all the excitement about Judgement Day.

But Judgement Day has been around a lot longer than the holes in the ozone layer, and this points to the longing for rescue. We seem to think that nothing will smack humanity into shape like a couple of first-class tsunamis, a plague, and widespread famine, not to mention other post-modern disasters like terrorism and nuclear war. When things get really, really bad (we think), our savior will come.

But here’s the rub. We are the saviors. We are responsible for cleaning up the mess that we’ve made socially, economically, environmentally and politically. I don’t know what God-Allah-The-Universe has in store, but I find it hard to believe that any intelligent force would let us get this far, only to deprive us of the opportunity to grow.

Further, I don’t know anyone who has ever found healing through trauma, tragedy and horror. If humanity is going to get through this, it will be with love. Only love will remind us that all of us–Arab, American, criminal, tea party member, hippie–all of us are in this together. We’re co-existing with the conscious planet, Earth. We’re meant to discover the truth that the universe is constructed out of compassion, and that anything else is only forgetting who we are.

There’s no doubt about it: we are living in dangerous times. I don’t know if the outcome is certain. But I do know that each and every one of us is connected to a powerful, beautiful, generous Source, and that’s the place from which we can work our way through this tricky age.

No Apocalypse required.

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The Five Monkeys

Today I was listening to the audiobook version of Chris Guillebeau’s excellent book, The Art of Non-Conformity.  He reminded me of a story I’ve heard before but think of often: the five monkeys and the bananas.

It seems there were five monkeys in a cage, who were provided the basics of survival but were also tempted with a gorgeous bunch of bananas at the top of a ladder. Trouble was, whenever one of those enterprising monkeys went for the bananas, they were blasted off the ladder with a fire hose. (Lord, I hope this story isn’t true.) Monkeys being smart, it didn’t take long for them to gaze wistfully at the bananas, but leave them alone. Then the monkeys began to be replaced with new monkeys, and one by one the noobs were schooled to leave those bananas alone. Eventually there were no monkeys left who had ever experienced the fire hose, but none of them went for the bananas, because in that monkey world, it simply wasn’t done.

Of course, people are monkeys too.

There have been a few pinnacle moments in my own life when I went for the bananas, only to have my fellow monkeys grabbing at my ankles and shrieking. When I moved across the country to live in a cabin off the grid for a while, the monkeys hopped and hooted. When I quit my Very Secure Job to try to grow our cleaning micro-business, the monkeys didn’t like that either. When I gave up yet another chance at paid health insurance and a 401(k) to go to massage school, the monkeys were very predictable. But each and every time, I did it. And man, are these bananas awesome.

I’ve been able to shape a life that includes satisfying work, lots of creative endeavors, time in nature, and many cuddly family moments. I feel connected to God and to my purpose. The radishes are coming up in my garden and we have tickets to the Mariners next Friday night. I couldn’t ask for more.

I’m passionate about pursuing my gut and seeing where life takes me, and though I try to limit being obnoxious about it, I’d like to see everyone else living from the heart, too. I believe that six billion heart-centered humans could shift the planet in a jiffy. One of the great joys of my BodyTalk practice is helping the people I work with to melt away the old beliefs about bananas, so they can climb up and get a big ol fistful of the kind of living that really satisfies.

How about you? Are you ready to go bananas?

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