Updated: Jun 18, 2022
(This post was originally posted on July 22, 2017)
I have lived through some turbulent times since my birth in the 50‘s -- the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war with Russia, Viet Nam, Watergate and more recently 9/11, wars in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, but I do not remember anytime that I felt more uncertain. Everyday we are bombarded with more unsettling news, sifting sands, a house of cards ready to topple at any moment. We are living in very turbulent times, with little to hold onto that leaves us with a sense of assurance, a clear direction. Our “united we stand” as a nation has become obscured in the face of divisiveness, lack of clarity and a respect for our fellow man. I don’t know about you, but these chaotic times we are living in have become my greatest teacher. They are forcing me to do my daily practice, to return to Center, to trust in that place where we are all connected that runs underneath the rumbling white water on the surface.
I recently ran across a story Jung liked to tell. It spoke to me and reminded me of what is true. It goes like this:
There was a great drought where the missionary Richard Wilhelm lived in China. There had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said: We will fetch the rain maker. And from another province, a dried up old man appeared. The only thing he asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day clouds gathered and there was a great snowstorm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rain maker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it.
In true European fashion he said: "They call you the rain maker, will you tell me how you made the snow?" And the little Chinaman said: "I did not make the snow, I am not responsible." "But what have you done these three days?" "Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I am also not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao, and then naturally the rain came."
--- From The Nature Writings of C. G. Jung
©2002, North Atlantic Books
The story reminds me that our safety and our peace are not sourced by current politics or the state of the union. Problems are corrected at the level of the problem, not the level of the symptom. Things are made right with the world through our personal alignment with Wholeness, Itself. And thank God, we carry It around with us, our own little quiet huts. All we have to do is to go in, leave the chaos for a while and re-connect with the larger Order. Then we can trust needed rains will come, the snow will fall and make it all clean again. We just have to be careful not to predict what the rains and the snow will look like.
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