The Uncertainty of Being & Shraddha: Knowing, Not Knowing, & Saving Our Planet

network earth

In the spiritual and socio-cultural experiments that matter most in today’s fast-changing world, among the most important is the exploration of consciousness that will either guide us to deep and abiding change or into the mouth of the global-heating beast.

Every time we sit down for meditation, take a silent walk in the woods, or step on our yoga mat for asana practice, we are engaging in the sacred conversation that leads us to reconnecting to the web of life. In that connected state, we attune to a new level of feeling, knowing, and intuiting certain things about ourselves and the world we live in.

When we feel connected with ourselves, each other, and the world, we gather sensory data on how it feels to be healthier and happier. Neurochemicals and warm feelings of love permeate our presence. We can relate easily to our internal worlds and to others.

Today’s climate crisis is in large part a problem with our capacity for relating. The levels of multi-generational trauma, suffering, and fear and stress over planetary changes have broken up families, cultures, and institutional ideals like democracy. So much has been broken in our world today. It’s imperative that we do the inner and outer work to restore our deeply connected and feeling bodies, to repair relationships with the world, and to re-integrate into the wholeness that is our true state.

By simply intending to reconnect and reweave the healthiest web of life, we are already changing the neurons in our own brains! Researchers are finding that the brain’s electrical capacity is increased by doing mind-body practices like Yoga, but more incredibly, our connectivity and life force are amplified at the moment we choose to do them. Our brain and mind’s multi-dimensional harmony and computing capacity are so elegant and sensitive, that the trace of a thought, a color, a mantra, or a vision engages the Healing Matrix with all its vital energy, wisdom, and spirit worlds.

How does this happen? How do we reconnect with Nature’s energy fields, the Healing Matrix? We become present. We become aware. We embody our harmonious vision and we sustain clear intention. We listen. We cultivate the qualities our highest consciousness would choose.

In Yoga, it is said that of all the qualities we might cultivate, none is as important as Shraddha, conviction at the core, an unwavering trust that a higher consciousness is unfolding. A Sanskrit word, Shraddha was described by T.K.V. Desikachar as an unshakable conviction in our journey. This knowledge empowers us to be immaculate warriors on the peaceful path, as peacemakers or Devas, the radiant beings who weave the Net of Indra linking Heaven, Humans, and Earth.

Shraddha is the deep inner conviction that our aspirations in Yoga — to be healthy and happy, to relieve suffering, to help relieve the suffering of others, and to use creativity wisely — will ignite the internal energy and strength to manifest these intentions. It’s not about external success. It’s about the certainty at the core, the conviction that the Soul will lead us to victory, whatever happens.

THE HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE

Many of the issues that we are dealing with as a planetary community — how to reduce violence, raise environmental awareness, and heal social fractures – mirror the personal issues many of us also face: personal bad habits, consumption tendencies from childhood conditioning, and trauma-based fear, depression, and isolation.

The common denominator in these parallels is that they stem from disconnection and they lead to more disconnection. They all deal with the disruption of a sense of belonging on the human level but also on the environmental, economic, and cosmic levels. One cause is the pressing need to change so much so fast if we are to save ecosystems, animal species, and the quality of air, water, and soil.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics states that it is impossible to know simultaneously the exact position and the momentum of a particle. Thus, the more we know the position of the Climate Unrest that’s heading for us, the less we know the momentum. Heisenberg’s principle concludes that there is a fundamental limit to what one can know about a quantum system. Oddly, the more precisely one knows a particle’s – or climate change’s — position, the less one can know. This increases the sense of uncertainty and anxiety.

Anxiety especially among the young is epidemic. Childhood disease and mental illness are on the rise, in part due to the anxieties they pick up from their parents and caretakers through their mirror neurons. Teen suicide rates have risen in the last decade – it’s now the second leading cause of death among 12-18-year-olds.

Dealing with uncertainty is an unavoidable part of daily life, but coping with the existential threat of Climate Catastrophe has caused enough trauma and anxiety to basically shut down the higher brains of many people. That’s what trauma does. It’s imperative that we frame the situation exactly and with a whole-brained wisdom that either/or thinking won’t provide. It’s not that humans will become extinct. It’s that we just might if present trends continue. It’s not certain that global warming will destroy Earth’s systems of support, but it’s certain that if we can make changes to support planetary health, we can improve the outcomes.

The key is reconnecting, inside and out. Connect with our bodies, our brains, our minds, our hearts, our spirits, and our souls. Connect with Nature, the water, the trees, the sky, and each other. And the greatest key is reconnecting with Shraddha, is our conviction at the core that doing our very best will have a positive impact.

Because we can’t see the future, we can never be certain about what exactly is going to happen day to day. But we must restore the faith that we will make the changes, and that the uncertainty of our being is not cause for alarm, but for celebration, because we are the generation that can make the biggest difference in averting planetary catastrophe of any generation in our 300,000-year homo sapiens history.

Research has found that people vary in their ability to tolerate uncertainty. The fact is we can all draw on the uncertainty of being to shift the electrons into the orbits we choose, toward goals we want to reach. For instance, we can intend to limit the increase in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-Industrial levels, because we know that any more heat can risk hitting a tipping point where the impact becomes irreversible.

THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE

Between Knowing and Not Knowing is the dance. Alternating our perceptual frame from the Shraddha of Yoga to the Uncertainty of Quantum Physics gives us the opportunity to balance in the center and be prepared for adapting and negotiating with change.

As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact. But we can calm our limbic systems, soothe our hearts, and transform our negative thinking, which overrides this over-reactive mechanism and shifts us into a more loving and rational direction. This requires emotional intelligence.

How we change doesn’t have to come from a place of despair and “Oh my god!” What’s more helpful is that change can come as attitude of “Wow, we are so ready for change!”

We can replace fear of the unknown and intolerance of uncertainty with the reminder that humans have risen to the challenges of life and environmental hazard before, but it takes focus, commitment, and a worldwide effort.

Our protective ozone was damaged so badly by the late 1990s that a gaping Antarctic ozone hole exposed our vulnerability to aerosols and coolants. A massive global effort reduced the size of the ozone hole over the South Pole by 16%, and that hole is expected to be completely eradicated in our liftimes, by 2060. Earth’s ozone layer is finally healing. All the other problems we face can be solved as well.

Imagine that in ten years, even five years, we are saying, “The Earth’s global warming problem is finally healing.” Thank the heavens — and thank you! — for making the change.”

So fear not! There are proven strategies that we can use to improve the quality of our decisions when emotions are clouding our judgment and we can reverse some of the worst effects of the climate crisis. Don’t forget we are in an existential crisis and each of has a role to play in facing the challenge and changing the outcome.

Next time in the Brave New Viewsletter, we’ll explore Emotions and Manifestation: How Emotional Intelligence is one of the best strategies that successful people use in moments of crisis, and that we can use to heal our beloved planet.

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I love to hear your thoughts! Please write to me with your responses, comments, and suggestions. We’re all in this together! Let me know if we can use your comments or a quote in the next BNV. Write to me here: http://www.maryamann.com/contact-us/
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