Acu-Psychiatry Rotating Header Image


The World has changed for me. I see shutters where windows used to be.

What’s going on?

A generation ago, Mt. St Helen’s eruption or Bhopal chemical explosion defined a decade.  But in 2010, if we were fortunate, we only made screen-contact with a string of catastrophes.  On some days, you take this in by pretending the news is a miniseries disaster- flick. Who needs Hollywood? But Detachment is a short-acting drug. Then you are back to that visceral void space when your stomach drops and your feet find no sure footing.

Many don’t experience this current life as chaotic and unraveling.  There are those who appraise rather than experience reality. For them, statistics is truth.  They reduce these events in this time period to “same-old-same-old,” given the ups and downs of millenniums. From that point of view, the “only” change has been our awareness.

Others see these events as a grand culmination to the Big One, the All-Time Shift in Consciousness, as in biblical proportions or tectonic plates.  The sun will flip its North-South polarity and we’ll endure some necessary but constructive pain. Those folks got the pain part right.  I envy their faith about the outcome.

For me, there is ever widening gap between what I read and what I see.  Authorities keep sounding the drumbeat of American Ideals.  The same words are repeated, by everyone, no matter the political party, ethnic group, or economic class. But the words have lost the magic, no longer rouse up passions and commitments   The rhythm is easily recognizable but are out of synch with the confusion and suspicion of today’s citizens.

To read the newspaper or listen to authorities, the most salient feature of these events is about Money.   Not enough or attempts to get more caused them.  How much to fix them and from whose pocket.   Recall the Iceland volcanic ash cloud. After a few days, airport authorities would not “tolerate” the flight schedule being further interrupted.  We humans are hard to impress. We behave as if our collective planner is the ultimate last word. What has to happen before we forget the schedule and calculators and wonder whether there’s more to life than what we decide?

Likewise, the analysis of what’s wrong with “Life Now” is referenced to the Economy. While I don’t  “short-change” the need for money for others, or myself we are more than Homo Economics.  You wouldn’t think that from how the media portrays us. Today, citizens have been renamed “consumers,” as if that word defines us.

How we experience our lives is implied by our behaviors. We aren’t “behaving” the best, either

Our civility standards seem to have slipped. Given the conventional reverence for numbers and the authority they bring to any statement, we could invent a Stranger Rudeness Indicator to confirm what we already observe. People do not seem to feel accountable for their actions to those they don’t know.  Today drivers rarely signal except for the finger gesture.

We don’t have to be trapped in war-torn country to feel trapped and act a war mentality.  When enough of us wake up and “cowboy-up” each morning, our collective vigilance becomes our Bhopal.  Instead of toxic chemicals, we breathe in an atmosphere of adversity that fuel us. We become both the explosions and victims. Strangers become the enemy.

What are the choices? We have to look beyond the conventional (media) reflections of ourselves.  Those are fun-house distortions, not guides.  In fact, I try to tune them out and listen as carefully to myself as I would another.  (While we may be too preoccupied to listen to others much, I am certain we listen to ourselves less.) We may live in a free society, but we are only as free as we dare differ from what’s expected.  I can’t see freedom in a society that demands conformity. Stereotypes have no material reality, but they are alive and well in our consciousness, along side the more inspired arc types.  Which internal guides do we listen to? Is it the best of who we want to be?

For myself, whatever is going on is extraordinary. Hanging onto our hats means holding onto our individual souls in the face of fear and hostility. If enough of us do it, our Collective Souls may get off the Sick List.  And maybe the sun will flip, too.