Life. Death. Life.
That's how it works.
It seems that many, many people are suffering in the world right now.
For reasons as varied as there are people.
And I can't help but wonder if, mythologically speaking, we have forgotten the basics.
Life - death - life.
Not understanding this important dynamic can lead to even more suffering.
A departure from the transient–perhaps wild–nature of our existence.
Getting stuck in the middle phase and never making it to the second birth.
...remember, we're not talking here about being dead.
We're talking about death in a rather more poetic sense.
Death as it pertains to renewal.
Death as it pertains to building capacity.
Death as it pertains to seeing what is.
The "old" making way for the "new".
The "weak" making way for the "strong" (dare I say it).
The "illusion" making way for the "truth".
In that, darkness, blackness, is inevitable.
'Black is a promise that you will soon know something you did not know before', writes Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her famed book 'Women Who Run With the Wolves.
If you find Pinkola Estés' style a little too esoteric, or think I am a bit mad to refer to a "second birth", perhaps we can chat with our Christian friends and see what they think.
They might make reference to a certain conversation nestled inside of John: 3, where we will find a religious scholar asking the same question that may be on your mind:
'“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”' (4)
To which he receives in response:
'"...Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit...
You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’..."' (6, 7)
Now, let's join spirituality with science to make sense of all this...
Author Michael Dowd wrote of his examination of the work of Lutheran bible scholar Rudolf Karl Bultmann 'God is not a person; God is a mythic personification of reality. If we miss this we miss everything.'
So with that, might our first life be one of illusion, while our second one–post being "born again"–be one of right relationship with reality? Truth (as pointed to above when understanding the poetic nature of death)?
As I do some intellectual backflips to transform these ideas into something useful for you, you are invited to consider my new hypothesis (at your discretion).
My hypothesis is this - the reason so many of us are so tired is not because we are run down by life, but because we are wanting to be born again without ever having truly faced the darkness. We try to move like this:
Life - life.
The mythological evidence is compelling.
If it's uncomfortable for you to consider the implications of this in your own life, let's externalise this to an external entity for a moment.
How does this mythology fit Silicon Valley Bank, who collapsed just last week... bursting the illusory bubble for many?
If we "get" this, can we anticipate what is to come?
Perhaps this time we can learn (perhaps!), and rather than trying to patch up that which is dying, instead engage with a more wholesome process:
1) Grieve what is no more.
2) Invest our intent on what is being born.
Simple. Not always easy. Definitely possible. Hold these reflections lightly, and remember the human is experience is inherently messy. It's an ongoing grappling match with reality. Don't be too afraid of the mess, for it may hold the key to the second birth.