August 5, 2009

Stages of Grief Presage Disaster?

As I observed the present state of the world and the ever-increasing craziness, and read some related commentary, the question came to me-- could the whole race be exhibiting the classic emotions associated with grieving?
It may sound bizarre, but some researchers believe that the world’s population is aware, at a level of ‘universal consciousness,’ of the spiritual sickness in society, and of the unavoidable doom toward which the global populace is hurtling (in terms of e.g. pollution, climate chaos, plagues, famine, etc.). In unconscious response, many individuals are going thru the various emotions of the grief cycle, and there’s an eruption of persons acting out these feelings in an extreme manner... as almost any news-cast will attest.

Let’s consider the typical stages in the grieving process and a few examples of how people are expressing them verbally.

1. Denial:
Example - "Everything’s fine; the world is just going as it always has." "There’s nothing happening that can’t be completely explained by science." “We’ve always had disasters-- we’re just better at recording them now.”

2. Anger:
Example - "Why are you dwelling on the negative? It's not helpful!" "How can this outrageous nonsense be true?" "Why don’t they do something?" “It’s the lunatic fringe always stirring things up, looking for conspiracies!”

3. Bargaining:
Example - "I just want to live a full life; I don’t care about politics." "I'll keep doing my own thing until I can’t ignore it any longer." “I’ll give up living here and move elsewhere if it gives me some extra time.” “If things were so bad, they would tell us about it.”

4. Depression:
Example - "I'm so scared to look at the facts, it freaks me out." "We’re all going to die some day, so what's the point?" "All is lost, there’s no future; why go on?" “The government is too big and powerful; we’re doomed.”

5. Acceptance:
Example - "It's going to be glorious, once we get thru this." "We can't fight it, but we can prepare for it." “The world is going to be renewed-- after the crisis is over.” “The Bible tells us who wins in the end, so keep the faith.” "We can handle it with God’s help."

Counsellors tell us that most persons go through these five general stages or emotions when experiencing grief over a significant loss. Altho the stages are listed in the order commonly observed, people may switch from one emotion to another at any time during the grieving process, and even feel several at once. As my examples demonstrate, we can easily find people experiencing any of the states in connection with a postulated grieving over impending racial doom.

It’s no secret that we are seeing unprecedented levels of depression and the use of prescribed anti-depressant products and of mind-numbing, illicit substances. We are also witnessing widespread anger expressed as anything from ‘road rage,’ to horrific mass murders. Moreover, it is very common for the perpetrators of these outbursts of violence to kill themselves as the culmination of their murderous frenzies, making futile the frantic calls of the frightened conservatives for capital punishment for murder.

Most significantly, the vast majority of people are in deep denial, clinging desperately-- often angrily-- to the illusion of normalcy. A few of these realize that the normal world is a fantasy, but they can’t accept this reality, so they resort to a kind of bargaining-- ‘Maybe nothing will happen for many years, so I’ll ignore the prospect of doom and enjoy life.’ Perhaps this subliminal foreboding explains the popularity of ‘extreme sports’ among the younger generation-- they have reasoned (unconsciously) that they might as well go for broke, since there may not be a world to retire into. Occasional stories from the scientific community that life on Earth could be annihilated by a collision with an asteroid or comet do nothing to assuage the fears of an already edgy modern society.

A very few have reached acceptance of the reality that the time to ‘pay the piper’ is finally at hand, and the world is about to encounter its greatest crisis of the age. As someone enquired on another website ( ‘Should we be preparing for the worst?’ I think everyone should be preparing for ‘the worst.’ But-- by preparing, I don’t mean stockpiling food, water, weapons, or whatever, and heading for the hills. What I recommend is to deal with the grief! First, you have to get out of denial, and start to face the reality that the worst forecasts may be optimistic, and as the Bible warns: When men are proclaiming ‘peace and security, sudden destruction befalls them.’ Move yourself thru the feelings of anger, and depression; push beyond the bargaining, and get on to the serenity of acceptance. In the face of the kind of crisis to confront this generation in the near future, this is the only preparation a wise person can make. Turn to God; be open to His Spirit; and learn to trust in Jesus and his words.

1 comment:

  1. Hi John, A fine piece of writing. Very poignan actually.

    Learn to trust in Jesus exactly.

    Thanks for this,