Humanity in Labor Pains
Clearly, we’re headed for an unusual year. We’re headed for an unusual year in America, an unusual year in Israel, an unusual year in Russia, an unusual year all over the world. We’re headed for a year of labor pains. A new world is emerging, and we are seeing its efforts to be born. For our part, we must help it materialize sooner rather than later, quicker rather than slower, and easier rather than harder.
There is pressure from all sides to be born, so let’s be born together; let’s shift from the state of division and alienation to the first state of connection in the quickest, smoothest way we can.
First, we must understand that the forces pressing on us from all sides are necessary. Otherwise, we won’t be born into the new world. Second, we must help the baby slide out of the birth canal more easily. The birth we’re going through right now is very special. We are not only emerging from one reality into another, from slavery to freedom. Our ego is being reborn in a new way; it is being inverted.
On the other side of the birth canal lies a new humanity, a new understanding, new feeling, the union of the power of connection that will be born between us. Within the ego, the quality of giving will be born; this is the embryo! The midwife is Nature, and we must help her deliver the newborn into the world by explaining the integral, interconnected reality being formed within us and among us.
We must understand, and help others understand the idea of connection. It is not the same type of connection that you see in sports teams or in companies in the corporate world, where teams team up against other teams and fight each other to the (metaphoric) death. We are talking about understanding that connection is a value in and of itself, not a means for another purpose, but the goal itself.
It is not only the goal, it is the highest possible value, the zenith of man’s achievements, when one can unite with others in a way that the individual senses the collective as though they are part of the individual, as if my body has spread across the globe and all of humanity and all of nature are cells and organs in my body. Rav Kook had some beautiful phrases about this inclusiveness. In his book Orot [Lights], he wrote, “Our soul will spread in everyone, embrace everyone, sustain and encourage everyone, and will bring everyone back to the place of our house of life.”
2020 was the first year when everything fell apart all over the world simultaneously. However, the surprising thing is that it didn’t destroy humanity; it simply stopped us in our tracks; things stopped working. Covid-19 stopped the global economy and the destruction of Nature, and the presidential election shattered what little faith people had in the government or in each other.
The bottom line is that we have neither a government we can trust nor an economy we can rely on, and we feel insecure about our health, wealth (if we had any), and mainly our future. This is a crisis. However, a crisis is also the birthplace of newborn babies. In Hebrew, by the way, the word mashber means both “crisis” and the chair on which women in labor were placed in antiquity to help them deliver. Today, all of humanity is sitting on that mashber.
We, people who are aware of the shift humanity is going through, who understand that only connection above all our many differences will lift us to a new reality of peace and friendship, must help the rest of the world process the message. We need to help humanity go through the delivery with the least amount of blood being spilled.
Every birth is painful. However, since we are already in the labor, we might as well go through it with the least amount of pain. Mother Nature is already pushing us out, demanding that we understand where we are, grow up, and we, too, do not want to stay ignorant of our position and role in the universe. There is pressure from all sides to be born, so let’s be born together; let’s shift from the state of division and alienation to the first state of connection in the quickest, smoothest way we can.