Editor's Introduction: This article is part two of a three part series by Jeff Imbach, a founding member of Soulstream. Soulstream is a dispersed contemplative community that offers training in spiritual direction and 'living from the heart.'
CONTEMPLATIVE RESPONSES TO OUR WORLD
How Do We Integrate Our Contemplative Action Both At The Level Of Interpersonal Relationship And At The Level Of The Larger Institutions of Society?
Thank you so much for your wonderful responses (both to me separately and to all the partners). They have been very honest and so true to our real experience. Many expressed fear that facing into the systemic and structural evil of our world will destroy us. Steve put it well in his response, “I tend to feel overwhelmed with the vastness and impossibility and will rationalize my way out of involvement. I easily excuse myself from involvement and getting caught in the heaviness of burdens that seem beyond my reach of attentiveness and action”
When we move toward attending to our responses to the world of systemic power we need to look at ourselves with a deep compassion. This journey is not easy. It is like looking at our false selves for the first time. We would rather look somewhere else, maybe anywhere else! It is important to allow the Spirit to lead us and care for us in this journey and not get down on ourselves.
1. Fear of Being Overwhelmed
First of all anybody, with any kind of heart at all, has to feel like they are being torn apart by the kind of evil in things such as human trafficking. The magnitude of the scope and the horror of such evil would easily crush anyone. We are very sensitized to the helplessness of children, and that kind of evil fills us with crushing horror that makes us wonder if we can survive.