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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Letter from the Publisher: A New World Emerging?

Apr 01, 2020 09:00AM ● By Paul Chen
I sit here, three days since a declaration of a national emergency that is truly global, when every human being cannot escape a new and frightening reality. And I find it impossible not to remember the astrological predictions I heard last year.

Never did I imagine that I would write anything having to do with astrology; I believed it was bunk for most of my life. But the events of the past week are historical in nature: Beyond-dramatic, first-ever phenomena are occurring not day by day, but hour by hour.

So, the predictions I read last year ring in my ears. I know nothing about astrology and cannot vouch for those I quote below, but they all appeared at the top of my Google search.

“The 2020 horoscope is truly apocalyptic,” wrote Benjamin Adamah. “2020 will be the most crucial year for (what used to be called) ‘Western civilization’ since 1945.” He also suggested a potential “outbreak of a disease similar to...the swine flu.”

“What’s apparent at this time is we’re on the cusp of a major redistribution of power,” said Grace K. Morris in her May 2019 article.

“The year 2020 will be a defining year for humanity,” wrote Tatiana Borsch on December 30, 2019. “Old economic and political systems will continue to break down.”

My cursory search on astrological predictions also revealed no consensus around the start of the Age of Aquarius, or, for that matter, what that Age represents. But my bias favors the optimistic—that we are on the cusp of massive positive change, that humanity is approaching an age of revealed truths, greater consciousness and enlightenment, and idealism and freedom.

I will say “Good Riddance” to the current world order. It clearly and absolutely fails to lift the health, fortune and spirits of the vast majority of humanity.

We need to get to the fundamentals. First, let’s acknowledge that the economic system in use—how we generate and distribute wealth—is the fundamental system, the one with the most profound impact on most human beings. It is economic systems—and not family systems, shared cultural heritages or religious systems—that do more to create most of our everyday realities.

And what is the fundamental ethic of the predominant economic system? That of maximizing individual freedom. We believe we are happiest when we’re allowed to do anything we want, short of murder, without considering others.

The opposite of that ethic is maximizing social welfare or, in the words of Star Trek’s Dr. Spock, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

This is not only pure logic, it is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist practice. Indeed, when you are ill, one Buddhist practice that can improve how you feel is imagining all the people in the world who are suffering from what ails you and focusing on their suffering, individually and collectively. By doing so, you realize that your own suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of countless others. And, somehow, you feel better. I know this is true because it has worked for me. When we focus on others, we feel better and we operate at a higher vibration. Period.

The fundamental disconnect is disconnection. Most humans incorrectly perceive themselves as separate from others. Our economic philosophies and systems reinforce that misperception, as do many dualistic religions. Many see God as separate from themselves, as elevated and superior, and worse, as wrathful and vengeful. No wonder fear often prevails over love and compassion.

But logic can help us here. If an all-powerful God is indeed the starting point of all that we see and know, then God only had “god stuff” from which to create all else. That means that God is inherent in us, and we are inherently God.

If 2020 truly marks a turning point in the history of humanity, and we wish to evolve rather than devolve, then we all will continue to do our work to free ourselves. We will continually heal wounds so that we can love more; we will engage in practices that enable us to perceive and strengthen our connection to All That Is. By doing so, we will cultivate true compassion, the desire that others are free from suffering. 

Do not be discouraged by the appearance of being overwhelmed by the forces of ego, greed and negativity. These are just appearances to impure minds. Do not be discouraged by the seemingly small number of us who are doing the work, for there is such a thing as the tipping point; the “hundredth monkey” is out there. To wit, just yesterday, even Donald Trump admitted the coronavirus was “bad.”

And, for the love of God, quit hoarding toilet paper.

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