I am sure most of you are aware of The Grief Process presented via Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s work on Death and Dying. It is a five step process that begins with DENIAL and ends with ACCEPTANCE. In between there are three stages often listed in the order of first, ANGER, then BARGAINING, , then DEPRESSION.
I have been contemplating this process in light of the current paradigm shift we are all experiencing, whether we know it or not. Some call it “A New Normal.” Some say we are going to experience a “Great Reset.” And others say it is going to be “The Great Awakening.” Some theologically inclined people would call it, “The End Times, The Great Tribulation, The Rise of The Anti-Christ, The Return of Jesus Christ, The Age of The Maschiach.
What ever you call it, I believe, all of us are going through The Grief Process as we transition from the old to the new. The paradox is that we learn in our Vipassana inquiry that the dominant truth of our existence is ‘The Nature of Impermanence; Annica.” And even though we know that things are going to change we go through this emotional process of grief. The strength of the emotion is different with different people. I guess the level of grief experienced correlates with the strength of the attachment to that which is changing.
Just one more thought on this subject. I have found that the three middle stages appear in different order of sequence depending on the person. I know some that get angry first and then depressed after which they enter into bargaining before reaching acceptance. I know some that start with bargaining – get angry – get depressed, then, maybe, enter into acceptance. I know others who’s first reaction is to go into depression then start bargaining then get angry before reaching acceptance. What is your process?
It is how we are wired that determines the order of our process, the intensity of the process and the sustainability of the process. A great Zen Master said, “It’s like we are all traveling around a big circle. Does not matter much where you are at. The important thing is to keep moving; don’t get stuck.”
Personally, I am experiencing this process intensely at this time. For me, it’s not so much the grief of losing the past but rather the uncertainty of the future. I am finding myself more reactive than normal. I am not depressed and I am not bargaining. I am certainly not in acceptance. I probably have one foot in denial and one foot in anger.
I have often talked about “the battle.” Perhaps this is one way to understand that the battle is within. Things are going to change. It may be hard. All indications are that it is going to be difficult. And perhaps this is the point at which GOD comes into play and one’s relationship to GOD. And whether you choose to use another word for GOD it matters not.
The great wisdom is to experience the rapidly changing impermanent nature of all that is all the time. It is like a big pulse every second. Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom……..On-Off-On-Off…..Here-There-Here-There…Empty-Full…..Yang-Yin-Yang-Yin.