This is...a strange post to write, considering I'm never publicly writing anything I used to publicly write again, but it needs to be said. I grew up believing in a collective conscious, and held out hope that as it grew it would become more intelligent, resilient, generous and work in more concrete and tangible ways for the greater good as time went on.
Then 2016 happened. But I never thought what role the collective conscious might or might not play in it.
Then the election happened. But I still never thought of the collective conscious. Instead I spent the next few weeks pretty much emotionally teetering between life and death. Deciding, I guess, whether or not to see this hell on earth through.
After half a month - which brings us up to around Thanksgiving, I guess, the only holiday I give a crap about (and only for its "be grateful for what you've got" aspects, not the actual story, which is quite horrible) - I looked around and made a decision. That I don't have the luxury of dismissing myself. If you count the cats, there are seven of us, so if I give up, that instantly ruins six more lives.
It got better from there, and has been ever since. But those things so many of us went through after the election - that many of us still might be going through now and well into the future - I realized with the dawn of the New Year, are not for nothing. The depression, the hopelessness, the people who took or who take their own lives...not for nothing.
It's not "just" fear of the future, nor hopelessness at Republican-everything (thanks mostly to gerrymandering, the "should be illegal" legal practice that it is), nor just that Democrats are powerless to stop the other side from doing whatever they want for the next 2-4 years depending on exactly how far to bumfuck Egypt everything gets, nor just fear of losing our rights, health insurance or other essentials, all to the Grand Old Party of No.
It's not just any of that.
Nor is it just shock, surprise, disappointment, confusion, disbelief, sadness, grief, mourning nor anger. It's all of that and more.
It's the collective soul groaning at the weight it must now bear that is the worst pain of all. It's not something one can get over because, after all, our conscious is collective; it's something we feel and carry and deal with. We pass it on to the next generation and the ones after that. It's eternal; it will live forever, along with and well beyond us.
That this hideous year let an inept, inexperienced, unintelligent, treasonous loose cannonball ruin an entire campaign season - mostly through his mouth - and let him ruin the rest of many lives with a dumbfounding electoral win, are not facts that can sit well with a collective conscious that exists for the greater good. If it's there to guide us to ever-greater well-being through increasing acts of altruism and kindness, then what just happened? And why?
In the title, I came up with one possible answer: two collective consciousnesses. In hindsight, this is too close to the creation story, with its black-and-white, good-or-evil axises, so I'm not favoring it. It's pretty clear everyone doesn't belong to any consciousness, which leaves only one answer that doesn't follow good-or-evil lines, and that that's some people simply aren't part of one.
And this time they got us, good.
Obama recently said, "[...] progress follows a winding path — sometimes forward, sometimes back" and it's not that he's wrong, it's that whatever the next four years bring might make WWII Germany look sort of good before this administration gets to being over (if it's ever over) and that's if not so much damage is done that we never function as a normal world again. We've lost a sense of stability, the hope that we won't go out in a big cloud of radiated dust sooner than later. There's no history Obama can draw in parallel to rival that now ever-present fear.
Maybe there are more, the world over, who belong to the collective conscious than not, but it won't matter if we don't take what time we have left, put our more patiently hopeful ways aside for the time-being, and fight for whatever rights, freedoms, progress and good in the world that we can possibly hope to preserve.