• Eric "Aspen" Marley

The 'Vid, Our Prayers and What's Next: A Few Thoughts

Confession time.

Like many of you, I prayed for a transformation for humanity and for the protection of the Earth Herself. I begged for it. Pierced up for it. Fasted for it for days on end. Like many of you, I just really put it out there. I love humanity and the Earth and I see so much unnecessary suffering. From my work with homeless youth to the blessing of praying with my Native brothers and sisters, I’ve seen so much pain. I just wanted a shift, you know? I didn’t specify anything around how it should happen, I just wanted it to.

I know that for the transformation of consciousness to occur… I mean, if I am going to lay that heavy prayer at the “feet” of the Governing Force of the Universe, I certainly didn’t know enough to be specific about HOW I wanted it to be done. How is a mortal mind going to dictate something like that? How would a soul have the words to even describe such a request to a mortal mind?

No, it had to be general. A feeling more than words could express.

“Change us. Protect Her.” This was the prayer. Mostly for other people though, because, you know, I’m good. I got all this stuff I do, all these paths and that tired old “I left the Church” story, and…

Yeah. “Other people.” Pfft.

So, the first couple weeks of “lockdown” were like… my dad used to say at the end of a long workday, “I feel like I got dragged through a knot-hole, backward.” That was the first couple of weeks for me. Every day, beat with a soulful rubber hose. Another dad-ism: “I didn’t know whether to poop or go blind.”

Good ol’ Dad, nailin’ my initial Covid reaction from the pulpit of my own memory.

But now these days, a few weeks in… I feel like I, and a lot of others, are starting to settle in. We’re starting to find our feet. We’re becoming more comfortable with periods of what once seemed like boredom. Or periods of depression. Or periods of simple stillness. And I think… I think I’m getting the impression that all those prayers that I and you and a lot of people like us were saying, this situation is more of the answer than I originally thought it was, those first couple weeks.

For instance, the Earth is less polluted - *snap* - that fast. That’s one good thing. But here are a few more areas that appear to be part of the answers (with credit to friends who are also processing their experiences with me, in long and beautiful conversations that no one had time for before).

We are not as clock-driven as we were. I still get up most days somewhere before 5 am because I like to see the sunrise and start the day with hot coffee, feeding the birds and a fairly involved ceremony that involves the Directions, meditation, etc. This all takes a minute or sixty. But after that… hell. I go deliver groceries at my own humor to make a few duckets. I come home when I want. I make dinner when I want. I go to bed when I want. I don’t have appointments because hardly anyone does. Appointments are SO pre-‘Vid.

Our linear way of seeing time, well, we know that’s an illusion. We've known that for years. I even wrote about it in my NY Times Worst-Selling book, “Sand: A Conversation About the Enormity of Life.” But it served the kind of cultural agreements we had before this all hit, right? Now, we live a bit more as our ancestors did. There are still things that we do at certain times of the day, but it’s less, “dinner at 5” than it is, “dinner at where 5 used to be.” It’s all a little more… circadian.

We didn’t agree with colonialism before, but we used it anyway. This is a realization that lit on me yesterday. There’s a part of my favorite book, “Steppenwolf” where the lead character, Harry Haller, is having an introspective moment. He realizes that he’s always fancied himself quite advanced, yet he admits that he has used the culture as he pleased even as he denigrated it. Similarly, I’m a big critic of the way the US has treated its “marginalized” citizens. The genocide, the slavery, even Vietnam… yet, here I am, making money, starting businesses, selling businesses, driving all over tarnation, enjoying not only freedom but “white modern US male freedom.” It’s kind of hypocritical, isn’t it? I still can't help but expose at every opportunity the history that the US wants to keep quiet, that contradicts the idea that the US is about freedom, Capitalism, or even Democracy. Because it consistently isn’t. Yet I’m standing on the shoulders of all the good and evil that's been done in those names - as if I agreed with all of it.

Maybe part of this awakening is realizing that we don’t need the government as much as we thought we did. Maybe it’s becoming time to walk a little more aligned with our principles, comfort be damned. Taking this into the realm of conspiracy theories (plentiful, beware), what if this is all a prelude for some slimy, darker, control-based purpose where we either get “the mark of the Beast” (chip, vaccine, whatever), or we’re blocked from banking, shopping, travel, etc.? I, for one, am more comfortable now than I ever have been saying that I could disappear into the hills with a few friends (or a lot of them), and stay there.

Easy? Oh, HELL no. Freer? Oh, hell YES.

So what is it, Marley? What do you value? In a nutshell, “The ‘Vid” is chunking me down toward the tacks that are brass.

Politics are passe’. There, I said it. Look, in my not-so-humble opinion, if we consider ourselves “woke” or even “a-woke-ning” we don’t have time for politics. I’ll say it again.

We. Do not. Have time. For politics.

Trump? Come on. Of COURSE he’s a train wreck of a leader. OF COURSE he’s a wanna-be dictator. OF COURSE he hates the environment – unless it’s producing something that makes money. But only slightly less fingernails-on-chalkboard than his gangster-nasal voice tellin’ folks how it is (when it’s seldom how it actually is) are the Biden fans that think the Dem appointee is going to save America. You know what? The whole thing is broken. If you can’t see that, if you really think this upcoming Presidential election is some kind of serious pivot, I got news for you.

It ain’t.

The same level of consciousness that elected Slimy Donnie Trump into the White House is alive, and it is well. And it exists within all kinds of legislation. The Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch, is the greater problem. Now, the Executive appoints the Judicial, which is the best reason to hope for a more reasonable mind in the White House.

But truly, if we are energy workers, why do we concentrate so much effort on what our sludgy past energy has manifested? Why are we not taking that concentration to our sacred spaces, and “campaigning” from there – not specifically against anything or anyone, but for the world we want to live in? There is a difference between the two actions. One brings another flavor of the same problem in a flawed, combative, masculine-centric way: the way we do elections. The other aligns mortal Intention with immortal Soul. In what realm do we wish to play?

Play. I’ve long felt that adults are just big kids. Maybe “play” is what we need, these days.

Maybe the Earth got together with the Universe and said, “Mommy needs a break, and the kids have been praying I'd get one. What can we do about this?” Did my prayers and yours bring about a situation that was so serious that people would pass from this life, the government would do its predictable power grabby thing, and the upshot is a general Awakening? Did we pray this thing here? Is this the equivalent of being sent to our rooms with snacks and movies, so Mom can have some time to Herself?

I’m beginning to think this is the case.

I prayed for a transformation for humanity, and for the protection of the Earth Herself. And now at our doorsteps is a possibility.

How will we use it? When we emerge, forget what will be the same. Who really cares?

Instead, what will we make sure is different?

(artwork by the CDC)(and if THAT'S not a sign of our times...)

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