(Above: photo by the author)

Our neighbour and I were speaking, quietly, looking through the spring buds at the rising of the full moon last night.

“I’ll be glad when this is over,” he mused.

I nodded my agreement, but privately held other thoughts…

What exactly is ‘this’ I wondered? Have we really thought through what we are all going through?

Many things have come to a ‘harvest’ over the past few years, among them are:

The state of world politics has grown bleak. Particularly in the USA and the UK – which, not surprisingly, seem to be linked by far more than a common language and historic genes. So much that we took for granted as ‘the normal state of civilisation’ has been swept aside by the force, abuse of information and the power of the super-rich. We all seemed to take a breath and wait for the natural intervention of hidden guardians who would keep the faith with kindness and the kind of liberal values many of us thought were the established bedrock of our societies.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, that ‘old order’ seemed weak at the level of power. Stronger, perhaps in the home and communities that watched with horror as so much that had been hard-won was torn apart, as a wild dog might destroy a fine meal.

The general concern about ecology and looking after the Earth seemed subsumed by the single focus on a gas – carbon dioxide – now generally dubbed ‘evil’ despite being an utterly essential molecule of life. The complex relationships being modelled as ‘climate change’ are now so polarised that no alternative viewpoints are possible without being pilloried. I’m content to let the experts agree that their simulations, plus ‘much faster than ever before’ warming is taking place. But I’m not going to declare war on a gas that, until the start of the industrial revolution (1760 – 1840) had declined to such an extent that oxygen-breathing life on Earth was about to be threatened with extinction. Global warming may well be happening, but our concern for the planet should be on a wider front…

Ironically, this is happening despite politics. Electricity generated from renewables (especially wind power) has now developed – despite politics – to such an extent that nuclear power is generally reckoned to have no future at all. I can only see this as an example of a much more potent ‘will of the people’ than the manipulation of political opinion during a once-in-five-years election that supposedly represents democracy. The alternatives to democracy are terrible, but are we really sure we have democracy in the first place?

And, now we have Covid-19. It’s a deadly ‘novel’ virus believed to emanate from bats via pigs in the ‘wet-markets’ of China. It has cut through the world’s societies without regard to any kind of status, wealth or privilege. As I write this, the British Prime Minister is in intensive care in one of London’s top NHS hospitals, suffering from the deadly virus… in a country which has yet to begin to face the difficulties of ‘Brexit’ that lie ahead in our severed world.

And, it was this more that any other thing that has happened that made me think of a different level of meaning to what is changing all our lives.

My neighbour was staring at a beautiful full moon that had just emerged from behind the trees. It was so clear you could see its features with the naked eye. Quietly, he said, “It’s like someone has drawn a line across the moon… no-one can take their mind off it.”

In that moment, I saw a new meaning to the Covid virus and its world-wide epidemic of misery and death. It was forcing us all, young and old, rich and poor, to think differently and as a single life-form.

The most potent part of this new thinking is the fragility of our world; not ‘world’ in the sense of nature – that will go on regardless of man’s waste, greed and folly – but ‘world’ as the way we live our daily lives.

The shock we are all feeling is a result of our previous way of life coming to an end, and of all of us staring into this face of the unknown ‘land’ where almost everything we took as inviolate is gone or dramatically changed… No longer will any British politician – regardless of ‘left’ or ‘right’ affiliation – be able to say that state money on a vast scale should not be spent from the country’s reserves to help people in need. That is already happening under the Conservative government’s own plan; recognising that those needy people are the very molecules of the economic system, itself – its life-blood.

All it took was a threat bigger than politics and more immediate than ‘climate change’.

That state of ‘gone’ may be temporary…or it may not. For the first time, nature has looked us in the face and dared us to survive. The scientific bits of how this happened are not irrelevant. I’m not looking for some action of ‘God’ in this catastrophe. But, collectively, we are awakening in a world changed beyond belief in the shortest of time. The power of this change makes politics look irrelevant. But perhaps the politics that replaces the stagnation of our present systems of government will find its birth in what the philosopher Gurdjieff would have called a ‘necessary shock’ to the system of regular rotation of events.

The archetypal ‘bully’ is on the floor, struck by a chance blow as we fell. But we are first on our feet, and a changed and dramatic future may await those who can ride this energy of the new as the spectre of the world-virus fades from sight…but not from memory.

A ‘line across the moon’ indeed. Here’s to the sunrise…

©Stephen Tanham 2020

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

15 Comments on “Line across the Moon

  1. An insightful and thought-provoking piece as always, Steve. It is striking how the whole world has been pulled up sharp, and we’re all thinking of the same thing. It’s probably the first time since the 1919 pandemic, which has some curious parallels.

    I imagine us all lamenting the negative aspects like the freedoms we’ve lost, while finding it hard to see the positive aspects like this time to reflect, the lack of traffic, the clearing of smog from the cities. The sudden reversal of austerity economics is most striking, and the vast amounts of money that have suddenly appeared from nowhere when before even the most basic of necessities were denied because of an ideological aversion to the cost.

    I do hope you’re right, and we can ride the energy of the new, and things don’t just settle back exactly as they were before. While wishing everyone safe, the crisis does present us with some real opportunities for cementing the collective good.

    Keep well.



    Liked by 2 people

    • Wise words, Michael. I am fascinated by how fast ‘life’ has changed. I think that the mortal powers that be will want things back in the box, but I don’t think that will be easy…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder what the ancients would say about the things happening today, or if they suffered some same things over time that would look different than those today but be representative of what we are dealing with today. Perhaps the times and the Gods have been too good to us. I think of how everything seems to point to a time of reckoning.

    It has been a good life and world, what there has been of it. In its worst moments, there was beauty and something beyond, deeper than any of us could express. We have begun to think of our lives as eternal, and yet we spin faster and faster, our communications with others becoming shorter and shorter until some barely speak words any longer. And now we are at the point of boarding the proverbial ark to escape into another place of symbolic meaning we cannot understand fully. And we wonder if this is a beginning or an end . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many of the great philosophers viewed mankind as locked into a cycle of light and darkness – and unable to help himself at the nadir of that. Saviours were sent at that point to refresh the light of understanding. It was not that each person could not see that light, rather, collectively, we were incapable of acting on it across society… Happy Easter, Anne 😎

      Liked by 1 person

    • The ancients of many cultures have spoken and written and carved in stone about these times, from the Maya to the Hopi. They pretty much all say the same thing: that this time of upheaval will be followed by the most beautiful of sunrises.

      Liked by 1 person

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