Our Collective Initiation
As I sit while this historic election approaches in just a few hours, I am moved by the magnitude of this event. I notice the fear in my body, prompting me to do three things, first is to talk to friends and family, secondly, to write, and thirdly, to use a larger story to hold this unprecedented election with it's emotional tension tearing at the seams of our unitedness.
I use the initiatory process , such as the Odyssey to frame what I suggest is our collective initiation- that which brings us home / closer to true ourselves. The first stage is separation. Over the past four years we as a nation have separated from our cultural and political norms. We are clearly outside the paradigm of norms that have governed our country since the writing and adopting of our Constitution.
We are now in stage two-the ordeals. Perhaps greater than the; Sirens, Symplegades, whirlpool, and cyclops put together, we as a people are being initiated. What we truly value, honor, and agree upon are being threatened. Now in every initiation story a mentor shows up to guide the initiate through the ordeals. In the Odysea, it was a fisherman named Mentor, who was channelling, Athena ( his inner wisdom) who showed up to guide Telemachus, Odysseus's son. Odysseus had several mentors along his journey.
In my understanding, ordeals are to humble and provide the initiate with a break from their ego. I fear that we as a people are not humble enough and too arrogant to seek mentoring- internal and external. Like the old saying, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Without wisdom, we may just burn the village down.
The last stage is the Return to the community to be welcomed home and honored for the initiate's successful journey and to hear what they learned.
My prayer is that we learn about ourselves individually and as a collective nation so that we recommit to the ideals and vision that our wise forefathers declared.
Regardless of tonight's outcome, there is much work to do. May we as a nation have the courage to seek unity, to be humble, and call in wisdom to guide us to be the nation we all love and respect.