Refuse a Return to Normal

Now is the time for you to refuse a return to normal.

You possess an innate desire for stability. You want the pattern of your life to stay the same. You strive to keep uncertainty confined. You attempt to force the unexpected into submission. You hide yourself from change. Most of all, you avoid contemplation of your impermanence.

This is how you become ensnared inside the harsh confines of an unlived life.

Change, especially when it is unexpected, is unwelcome in your world. And this is what places you into conflict with the infallible forces of life.

You have lived nearly sixty years only now to discover what “normal” is the problem. Your routines shimmer with the fragile illusion of consistency. Schedules bind you and offer false assurance that time can be managed. Goals imprison you and prevent you from leaning into a deeper sense of your purpose. Education forced upon you imposed assimilation into the status quo. Religion that you hoped would provide guidance is fiction under the pleasant guise of faith. Economic progress that you participated in is nothing more than the patho-adolescent whine of material want. Success culminates in the exhaustion of your spirit. And it turns out that the pursuit of wealth is bereft of meaning.

Now is the time to extricate yourself from “normal.”

The end result of “normal” is the Anthropocene and the collective insanity of destroying that which makes life possible.

The end result of “normal” is the proliferation of racism and the refusal to extricate ourselves from the continuing atrocities of the colonialist nightmare.

The end result of “normal” are political systems fuelled by the malignance of narcissism, outrageous greed, and virulent deception at the hands of the decrepit elite.

The end result of “normal” is the toxicity of wealth inequity and the disgusting contrast between the excesses of a small minority over the basic needs of the many.

The end result of “normal” is the toxic wasteland of the capitalist economy fuelled by the endemic malevolence of “the corporation.”

The end result of “normal” is the Covid-19 pandemic and its catastrophic impact on human life.

Of course, there is good in the world, but it is difficult to locate an abundance of good inside “normal.” What good we find is isolated and local, not systemic; that is, good seems to thrive outside of “normal.” When we speak of the good in the world we speak about an individual, an event, a local initiative, or an organization striving to combat the disease of “normal.” Good, it seems, thrives in smaller settings and because it offers no real threat of chance, it is tolerated by “normal.”

Many have already said this: “The last thing we should be trying to do now is to return to normal.” Many of us talk about using the Covid-19 pandemic as a means to conjure a new normal. Many speak about an approaching “spiritual transformation” of the human condition, a new consciousness, and a new system of living together on the planet. But these are mere visions of what might be that stimulate the imagination but lack practical ground. The last thing you need is yet another guru.

First you must extricate yourself from the catastrophe called “normal.” And it is a difficult task supported by a vast array of intellectual machinery and habit.

So start with yourself. Take even one small step toward our liberation and then another. It does not matter how far you travel. Just take one step.

Now is the time for you to refuse a return to normal.