Some Samhain-inspired thoughts on creating a more just and sustainable world:
Perhaps we can start by looking and dreaming. Through entering the cave and facing the demons.
The first demon is called Death. In seeking to avert catastrophe, to ‘save the world’, we are confronted with our greatest fear: the fear of death – of ourselves, of other species, of humanity. This demon strikes at the heart of one of our two greatest dreams: The Dream of Eternity.
The second demon is called Chaos. In seeking to create a world that is fair and beautiful, a Utopia, we are confronted with our fear of its opposite: Dystopia, Destruction, Ugliness, Disorder, Chaos. This demon strikes at the heart of the other of our two greatest dreams: The Dream of Paradise.
We are beings in Time and Space. In Time we dream of Eternity, the Ever-Present Now. In Space we dream of Paradise. But here is the rub: our dreams are haunted by demons who threaten everything: the enjoyment of Time is disrupted by Death, the delight of Space by Chaos.
Psychology reveals that what is hidden and unrecognized controls us. Confront the demons and they dissolve in the light of awareness. This understanding suggests that our desire to create Paradise on Earth, to cease the death and destruction of life on the planet, is disturbed, and in fact controlled by the demons: the fear of Death and Chaos. Our very fear of them is running us and our behaviour – unconsciously.
This is why the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. This is why Utopian dreams have historically led to violence and bloodshed – just think of Fascism, Communism, the French Revolution, all propelled by the noblest ideals. Look at the history of religion!
So where does this leave us? Should we stop dreaming and trying to create a better world? No of course not, but to do this we need to understand what we’re doing.
To dream and to act to create a more just, sustainable world we need to come to face our fears: of death, annihilation, of the Moment, of Chaos, of Dirt. When they are accepted, not denied or bargained with, then perhaps we can be inspired to act not out of the unmet needs of these demonic (ie neurotic and unconscious) drivers but from a real sense of compassion and connection with all of life.