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Spiritual Unrest  

"Spiritual Unrest # 1" © Michael Gambino 2013It is tempting to try and explain the pervasive, uneasy feeling that many of us sense as simply a function of general economic, political, or global conditions just because such conditions have always plagued humankind. While these may be contributing factors, the unrest of our time that I refer to flows like an invisible undercurrent, settling low like a heavy vapor that does not dissipate. Our deep, internal awareness knows it exists, and that is why, even though we might rationalize our feeling or attribute it to various known causes, this spiritual unrest does not go away. 

There is some force at work behind the increase in both quantity and frequency of murder-suicides, the random acts of violence committed just for the thrill of it, the hostage-taking, the mass murder of school children, terrorist acts like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, and just today the deadly mass-shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. There are many more horrors taking place that don’t make it to the evening news or the front page. It is easy to label such actions as simply crazy, random events by twisted individuals, or that it has always been the way of the world that bad things happen. War, pestilence, atrocities, starvation, disease, and disasters have been part of mankind’s story since ancient times. Historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and others condense many thousands of years into stories of dark ages, civil wars, political folly, conquest of nations, civilizations collapsing and their populations vanishing. So it is easy to disregard what is happening in our present day as sort of “business as usual”. It is also easy to become unfazed by such horrors (especially as they increase in frequency), slowly growing apathetic to the reality.

This shadow presence that I sense spreading in the world manifests in small, rural communities as well as large cities and war-torn countries. It is the dark side and it hungrily moves about, sniffing for opportunities to infect the hearts and minds, and indeed the souls of susceptible individuals that it can use as tools and weapons to destroy life anywhere it can. Pop-culture has often expressed dark threats and undercurrents through books and movies such as psychotic, sadistic villains like Batman’s enemy the Joker, multi-national terrorists, Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort, and of course the zombie apocalypse theme. I believe that the reason for the success and proliferation of these stories and this pop-culture fascination with darkness and evil is that we all sense this spiritual unrest of which I speak. These stories are the manner in which society brings itself to cautiously look at the darkness. They are a way to explore our place in the story as well.

There. . . you see what I mean? This is why I have not published much lately. Who really wants to read this sort of thing? I certainly have resisted writing about it. We prefer the colorful butterflies of spring, and the lovely wildflowers, beautiful landscapes, tranquil ponds, and the sweet awkwardness of baby animals to brighten our day, and steer our minds away from the uneasy feeling many of us have, but prefer not to speak of. We need those beautiful scenes of nature, and of life’s simple goodness to remind us what is at stake if we do nothing to counter the darkness. We cannot ignore the dangers that are growing daily, or shrug off the horrors of the world as someone else’s problem. Things are happening closer and closer to home, and we need to remain very aware each day. Most people choose to focus on the light and the positive life-affirming qualities since that is what we desire to grow in our world. This is how it should be, yet this does not mean that the dark side does not exist.

So what I write about at the moment may be a dark, uneasy topic, but I feel there is a risk in being unwilling to take a good hard look at it. Yes, this requires a certain amount of courage to do. Throughout history the world has seen dark ages, but not the likes of which we see today. Something is different this time. The world is so far out of balance, and the earth so abused that it is overdue for a game-changing correction. It is in fact already occurring and the pace accelerating. In truth, what concerns me most are not natural disasters, which are terrifying in their own right, but rather those people infected by the dark side who carry out unspeakable, random acts of death and destruction with no known motive. No pattern to track, no place completely safe.

With this in mind, please stay very aware of your surroundings wherever you go, and pay attention to the non-entertainment variety of news, and look deeper than the cursory treatment that many news items get. No, it is not a pleasant pursuit. Remember to trust your gut feelings and observe them closely. People depend on you, so be actively aware for their sake as well as your own.

Despite our crazy schedules, do not be too distracted or busy to take care of one another. In whatever way you do so, please pray every day for each other, the earth, and for those suffering across the country or across the globe. Your love makes all the difference in the world.

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