On Thursay 17th October 2019, I was a Red Rebel, supporting the XR action at BAE systems, arms dealers in London. This is what they say about themselves: “At BAE Systems, we help our customers to stay a step ahead when protecting people and national security…” In other words, “We make sure, if you pay us a lot of money, you can kill other people before they kill you.” So the strange turned into the absurd when we Red Rebels needed a bit of protection from a downpour and found ourselves, completely by accident, sheltering in a glass roofed area, the threshold at the back of the same BAE building. There were a dozen or so people inside, all looking worried and outraged that fifteen red, soggily costumed people were huddled on their threshold. They locked their (probably bullet proof) glass doors and pulled across a heavy metal, indoor gate from where they viewed us with outrage and disgust. They even refused to open the door to their own staff. We sheltered for about 15 deeply uncomfortable moments, then I noticed a well groomed man in his 60’s stride into the defended reception. He got out his phone and began berating somebody at the other end. A minute or two later, the rained eased off and we began to move on. As we reassembled in the street, we were almost run over by a battalion of police offices who were clearly responding to an order to remove us from BAE’s back door. The message couldn’t be plainer. The (possible) Chairman of BAE had called his mate in the Met Police (?) and told him/her to get officers to the back door and remove us. (The most dangerous thing we could have done was drip on them.)
This story beautifully illustrates the threshold that we are on as a human species. The mythologist, Micheal Meade, talks about thresholds as the space between one place and another, between on state and another, or one consciousness and another. In order to go from one place to another we have to cross a threshold of change. Heraclitus says it is while we are trying to change that we find purpose. Instead of heavily defending ourselves against inevitable change, if we can allow ourselves to participate in the change then we will find meaningful purpose. This doesn’t mean finding an activity to do in the world, but it is something that awakens in the heart. When we act from this place of authenticity, we move into the realm of what St Teresa of Avila meant when she said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” Meade goes on to talk about how institutions and cultures are collapsing. At the same time, our political climate and the natural climate are in a state of upheaval and this is what we are experiencing every moment. The threshold we are on is a new understanding, where we are coming to realise that we are connected and dependent on all other beings of the world. Most of us are on that threshold between letting go of the old world view and entering into the new world view. A new creation is waiting to emerge from the deep disorder and chaos we find ourselves in, and it is waiting to be found by us, because we are the souls who are alive at this time. The time to reconnect human nature to great nature is upon us, but here we are on this threshold, a place of anxiety, suffering and sometimes despair. But we are not alone. The oceans and seas need us, the forests need us, indeed all of creation is waiting in joyful hope to be reborn. We also have each other, and all across the world people and nature are joining hands as we humans finally, painfully wake up.
At the depths of the disorder is a new The myth of chaos and creation in the beginning.. then there was light… Once creation begins, a shadow also forms. We are falling out of the creation and into the shadow. We are seeing the shadow acted out at the centres of power, the breaking of biodiversity and loss of species. Myth says the re-emergence of life at a greater meaning is found in the depths of chaos and disorder. When we find ourselves facing this huge uncertainty we often fall into fear or despair, but by entering the chaos and descending into the disorder, we find a new creation waiting to awaken, and on this occasion it is waiting to be found by us because we are the souls who are alive at this time. The re-emergence of life and a deeper meaning is found at the depths of the disorder. All the creation stories start with chaos.