Personal perspectives are paramount in how we respond to what we witness in the world –
In Japan, the people who have experienced and survived the dev astation from the recent earthquake and tsunami will each have their own personal story to tell on what it is like to be in that place, at that time. The stories that filter through from the press to people all around the world are just a minimal and generalised description of that experience. For many, especially outside observers, the great wave of the tsunami will have the most impact because it was very visible. For others the shocks and tremors of the earthquake will be a lasting horror. And for others the nightmare of six atomic reactors going critical will prevail.
One story lingers in my memory. It told of how a seventy-year-old woman was found alive (but suffering from hypothermia) in her house, which had been swept away from its foundations on the great wave, across several kilometers, but had remained relatively intact. It reminded me of Dorothy’s nightmare in the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. One image also lingers in my memory – of a child casually walking down a cleared road through a landscape of complete devastation. And one personal memory of mine was brought to the surface listening to the scientists talking about the radiation problem. My first employment after leaving school (many years ago!) was at the UKAEA – an Atomic Energy Establishment in Dorset, where my father worked most of his life. It was not the establishment or atomic energy, but remembering the sudden loss of my father in 1988. The suddenness of his death ‘hit me for six’, as they say, and my grief was long and deep. Through my own perspective I could imagine the grief of the Japanese people who had so suddenly lost their loved ones. I also wondered at the bizarre selective process of this great wave, which had taken so many thousands of lives and miraculously spared the odd one, here and there.
And at the same time, in this historical moment, there is another great wave sweeping across the Middle East.
This wave started in Tunisia. Like the tsunami, it went out in all directions – to Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon, Oman, Gaza and Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And in Israel people were holding their breath.
The long-entrenched ‘defenses’ in Iran and Saudi Arabia were too strong for the revolutionary wave to penetrate deeply, and Gaza, Morocco and Syria may have only felt the after-waves, but the effects of the wave were almost instant, and very effective, in Tunisia and Egypt. It came in the form of millions of ordinary people protesting, to sweep away the old corrupt regimes. The great wave has come up against more resistance in Libya and Bahrain, and is causing much chaos and loss of life. This great wave moving through the Middle East is one that has been held back for decades and could be contained no longer – a wave born of frustration and anger at the suppression and poverty caused by corrupt and restrictive regimes… and fed by the hope and determination of the people to change a strangled society and life-draining situation into new growth, more freedom and a better future.
Resistance and resilience seem to be two very different ways of dealing with a sudden inundation. I heard many times, in the commentaries, that the Japanese people were more prepared for such an event than other nationals may have been because they had an expectancy that such a thing could happen, previous experience, and structural safety measures in place. Are they psychologically more resilient? A massive amount of energy is spent in resisting such a force, as Libya’s president – who is both in denial of what is crashing on his shore and reluctant to take any steps to help his people, will find out. And his people are sacrificing their lives in an attempt to hold their ground. But resilience lessens the impact of such a force. Those leaders who were quick to make at least some of the changes the protesters were asking for, found that things stabilised again and they retained their positions.
A few years ago I had a dream about a great wave.
In this dream a massive, dark blue-green wave was rearing up to many meters in height, dragging and sucking the shingle and sand underneath itself. There was a strong, wooden break-water running along the length of the beach and I decided to step behind it. There, people were lazing in the sun and picnicking peacefully. Two days after having this dream (which I had not spoken about) I was given a book called ‘The Great Wave’.
The essence of this book demonstrates a wave-like motion which can be seen as increase and decline in ordinary Earth events like economies, harvests and pro-creation. It also demonstrates that bigger things – like the rise and fall of monarchies and empires, periods of good health and epidemics, war and peace, and seismic calm or activity – were also implicated in this wave, or cycle. And the trigger to all this out-pouring of energy, or the disappearance of it, simply coincided with the 11-year cycle of sun-spot and solar flare activity on the sun.
The juxtaposition between all things appears to be a co-operation – a ‘dance of the spheres’ – and the cyclic great wave can have either destructive or regenerative effects. But according to whether we exercise a resistance or a resilience to its forces, our experience of it differs greatly.
There is another ‘great wave’ that is in everything. It is called ‘living energy’ or ‘life force’. It is a vibration that operates on uncountable wave-lengths and incorporates sound, light and matter, both seen and unseen. We can’t see an individual atom, but we can see a mountain. We can’t hear cosmic sound but we can hear a thunder storm. We can see the ocean waves move but we can’t see this great wave of living energy in its finer forms, which exist outside this ‘dimension’. Physical Earth is manifest in a range of vibrations that is minute, compared to the range of possible vibrations in existence. Our dimension is but one small range within another greater range. We are but one dimension within innumerable other dimensions. The great wave of life here, on Earth, is what we see and hear and feel. There are others.