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  • lacysaunders

1.22.22 - Well, that was heavy.

I thought I was coming apart a couple of weeks ago. Meltdown. Maybe I was. January and February have such effects on me. I may be crawling up the walls in another 20 days, but right now I'm over the heavy depressive feelings and fatigue that were gripping me last I wrote here.

Some of it was beginning to listen to Rob Bell's "Robcast" on Spotify. The first was "Me, We, Everybody", a 4-episode series where Rob & son Trace Bell went through the "spiral dynamics" evolutionary-development theory. By the time they got into the thick of it, I was engrossed - but even more so by their zoomed-out perspective, and when they spoke about how the higher (2nd?) tiers of consciousness (yellow, turquoise) could perceive and later integrate each of the lower/first-tiers, I was hooked.

I'm the kind of person who needs there to be meaning in just about everything. I need to see how the pieces fit together and the basic framework of the structure of things. I need reasons, even and esp when they're shitty (cuz then we might have to change things up).

Even if the doing of something is pure silliness, absurdity, a celebration of good things in the face of the helplessly temporal - sometimes the reason/meaning for that absurdity is to temper the madness/sadness/futility of engaging in/working for anything in this life where every pursuit is ultimately a sandcastle doomed to wash away with the next high tide.

When Rob and Trace started talking about beige (archaic human/consciousness), purple (magical-thinking), red (personal power; often assertive - "we can do/change things"), blue (go team family/nation/kingdom!), orange (questioning; dissection; taking apart everything under the hood and laying it out to see the hows & whys), green ("how do you feel about it?", "we need to allow space for the conversation, so each can show up as they are"), I saw all these colors as thought-groups in the society I live in now AND as phases I've gone (am going) thru personally. Interesting, but aside from viewing them each as a progression beyond the former (bc of the settings/circumstances that a mind or generation had developed within), it didn't really spark anything in me.

Then they got to yellow ("flexflow - systemic" - really, go Wiki it) and also briefly touched on turquoise, which are "second-tier" consciousness levels. When they spoke about how these higher levels could identify each of the previous levels within groups/individuals (organisms) as evidenced by their words and behavior, and that those at these higher levels also recognized the previous as stages/phases of naturally-progressing development within each organism - the light bulb (bombilla en español) flicked on for me.

No one of these thought-categories is right or wrong - they're stages in natural development. Ahhh....of course.

And for them all to function smoothly within one organism (tribe, society, collective) requires a command center, leader, who recognizes this and is able & willing to connect with each category at their bottom-level Why? and inspire & motivate them to work together for the wellbeing and evolution of the whole.

"Seeing" this, I imagined all these groups, and even my own thought and desire patterns, all in a gladiator arena together, fighting to see which model would win and rule all the others. That's how I've functioned for a very long time - wondering which was "right", and how I "ought" to behave. Wondering who had The Rulebook To End All Rulebooks. And living in a lot of confusion. I realized that none of these structures was the end-all; that each had its purpose during specific phases of development - in society, in the world as we know it now, and within me, a complex organism made up of lots of interconnected biological and chemical systems, each at different stages of development. (Hello, brain stem and prefrontal cortex living in such close proximity to each other within the cubic foot of my skull cavity.)

POINT: Here was one thing that made sense. In a time when everything I was & wasn't doing felt meaningless (it was dark, cold, and I was getting over being sick - either covid or the flu) and I was having some dark thoughts of not being here (which I wasn't going to act on), here was some light shed on the reasons behind some of the seemingly absurd conflict going on constantly both inside me and everywhere I looked outside of me. Like, "Oh...this is what we do. This is what humans do, individually and within groups. This is what organisms do." This conflict, these lows & highs included, are normal parts of development.

And the fact that Rob & Trace laughed so often at the absurdity (I'm using that word a lot bc it feels like a good word for all of this when zoomed-in) of it, of us - the way they seemed to both examine and weigh it thoroughly and still grip it very lightly - helped pry something loose in me as well. I should say, pry something open.

Since that four-part series, I've listened to episode after episode of the Robcast, back-to-back. It's healing balm. Rob is speaking to things deep inside me, and also to things further toward the surface. He's talking to both my flesh and my soul, and to this spirit uniting the two somehow. It's been golden. It's still helping.

I also started feeling good enough to get back into the gym earlier this week, and pushing iron & sweating & inhabiting my body have been pure gold as well. Work is better. I get stressed and low-tolerance, but in truth I probably need a break from serving people in that capacity. I'm doing it only for the money right now, and while that is very necessary, it can't stay my only link to/motivation for something for very long without a break or a refreshment of some kind.

Things are better. Life's worth living. Things are worth doing. And everything is development.

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