hold space, in a frightening world

Today we ask that you not give up on the world, and other people.

Sometimes this is very difficult for sensitive individuals.  The world, and other people, may at times seem so crazy and degraded that there is a desire to withdraw from it altogether.  There is also a deep fear of the world, and other people.

Since many of you are not going to retreat to a secluded monastery, it is essential to find ways to be okay with the world and other people, and not fear them.

It is true that most people in the world are insane, to one degree or another.  It is important to make this distinction.  They are not bad, evil, or defective.  They are insane.  

Insanity is a disease.  This is literally true.  Humans can “catch” insanity, like the common cold.  This is what happens in places like Nazi Germany, when otherwise ordinary people do unspeakably horrible things, because they are sick with mass insanity.  

Most people these days are not insane like Nazis, but there are other forms of insanity.  In many places, consumerism has become the commonplace insanity, with people believing that “more stuff” will make them happy.  This is, of course, utter nonsense; yet many intelligent people believe it.  

Also, even as people become more interconnected through social media, many people are having great difficulty forming real human connections.  There is a superficiality to much in the modern world, a lack of depth, that goes hand in hand with consumerism.  People cannot sit still, people cannot get to know each other on a deep level.  As a result, even well-educated, sophisticated, urbane people have a habit of not treating others with kindness or compassion, because they have a superficial understanding of other people.  And this is actually a form of insanity.  

This is all very challenging for spiritually sensitive people to cope with, since such people feel things very intensely.  Such people have a strong sense that most “normal behavior” is actually not healthy at all — and they’re right about that.  

There is no easy, quick fix solution to this issue.  But it is very important that spiritually awake beings not give up on the world and other people.

It is important not to blame, judge, or attack other people for insane behavior.  By and large, they are doing what they have been conditioned to do.  They truly don’t know what they’re doing.  This doesn’t mean they’re evil.  It just means they are terribly confused and incapable of seeing things clearly.  

When you blame, judge, and attack people who are just blindly acting out conditioned behavior, you’re not helping.  In a way, you’re just perpetuating the craziness.  You are sinking into the craziness yourself.  

The only way out is to break the cycle.  Please do your best to cultivate patience and compassion for those people whose vision is occluded, no matter how tempting it is to feel anger or disgust for them.  

Can you hold space for other people, and the world?

Can you sit with what happens, without judging, attacking, or rejecting it?

This is really the great work for all spiritually awake beings.  Not to give up on people, but to hold space for them.  

Every time you choose to “hold space” rather than “judge and attack,” you are actually making the world much more livable — and, as a positive consequence, it will appear less frightening to you.