“Crisis is an Evolutionary Driver”
These past weeks, the words “Crisis is an evolutionary driver,” from the late Barbara Marx Hubbard, have been in my mind, like a mantra. I still can see the spark in her eyes when she’d tell us that. As Marc Gafni often says about her, “Barbara was excited about life, she knew how to find her way back to joy.” Coming from a Master in the art, that’s quite a compliment.
In today’s world gone mad, the capacity to be in joy denotes an ability to hold the paradox of life’s inherent goodness and beauty, at the same time that we’re witnessing the world’s outrageous pain. The image Marc sometimes gives to describe that state of being is that of “Crying with one corner of the mouth and laughing with the other corner”.
Sometimes and particularly lately, I’m tempted to give up on the world. It’s just too much to feel. I’d just like to withdraw into myself. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way.
Have you ever been tempted to shut down once and for all?
How then do I manage to keep my eyes and heart open?
Reminding myself of Barbara’s words has helped. But what’s allowed me to re-align in these moments of despair is not just her words. It’s the spark in her eyes. It’s the aliveness in her calling that inspired me to follow my calling. And so, the practice I keep returning to is to “find my way back to Joy.”
I return to Eros.
I access my heart’s deepest desire, and I ask it to guide my next step. Not my whole life. Just the next little step.
And remember, Marc’s definition of Eros is “the experience of radical aliveness, moving towards creating greater wholeness and deeper intimacy.” “To return to Eros” means that we re-align with a way of being, living, acting in the world of which Pleasure and joy are a by-product.
And this is how I manage to slowly, reweave the dharma** principles into the fabric of my life and let them guide my next little step into the greater whole.
And how that might look like in your life will be different than what it’s like in mine. Every one of us has unique ways through which Life wants to express itself. What’s universal, however, is that we’re learning to align with the Erotic way of Life. We recognize that the only answer to the outrageous pain of the world is to respond with outrageous love, within our circle of influence. We are asking that intelligence to reveal its ways to us. In doing so, wholeness is restored. Wholes connect with other wholes, unique selves become symphonies, and we create more virtuous circles. In that process, we start “changing the mood of Reality,” as Marc often describes it.
We start generating more and more pleasure.
“We must reweave the fabric. The full pleasure of living, the joy of fullness and creativity, can come only when we re-eroticize our lives. Until then, human beings will turn to the shadows of Eros – rage, abuse, violence—to remind themselves, through the intensity of those experiences, that they exist”. “ A return to Eros” p.19: Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.
We must learn to reclaim Pleasure in all the areas of our life, as a response to this world’s outrageous pain. It’s an audacious claim. A subversive claim. We’re staking our lives on it.
*In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with the order that makes Reality possible, and points to a “right way of living.” In Buddhism, dharma means “cosmic law and order”, and is also applied to the teachings of Buddha. In Cosmo-Erotic Humanism, we use the word Dharma to describe the best take we have on Reality at this point in time, as we include and transcend all that we know today, from both the interior and exterior sciences.