Dancing Shadows
Film societies bring movie magic beyond the Hollywood blockbusters

The Wildness of the West
Find truth and inspiration in the paradoxes of the Wild West.

Contest Winners

The Christmas Donkey
Memoir: Sometimes border crossers have four feet.

Prelude to Enchantment
Fiction: An unexpected change in the weather

Leading Up to the Gila Wilderness
Award-winning poetry.

Loss of Innocence
Memoir: Two sisters' trip, before it all changed.

You Can Learn a Lot of Things from the Flowers
Essay: Sometimes spring comes just in time.

Columns & Departments
Editor's Note
Desert Diary

Over the Hump
Winds of War
Top 10

Business Exposure
Into the Future
Celestial Cycles
Kitchen Gardener
The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
People's Law
40 Days & 40 Nights
Taste of Downtown Silver City
Whole Enchilada Fiesta
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure
Linda Boatwright
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Beating the Trickster
Rediscovering Touch
Tips for Roommate Harmony

Red or Green? Restaurant Guide


About the cover

What is Desert Exposure?

Who We Are

What Desert Exposure Can Do For Your Business

Advertising Rates

Contact Us

Desert Exposure
website by

Into the Future banner

Endings Lead to New Beginnings

Coming full-circle from despair over the chaos the world is in... to the remembrance of who we really are and why we're here.


Armageddon is here. . . finally! What else could this chaos possibly be but the End Times? Global warming, peak oil consequences, environmental eruptions. . . the sun is hot, the wind ferocious, the flooding all-pervasive, and the mud? We are drowning in a sea of mud.

Wars, corruption, torture and terror. . . fear itself will kill us if nothing else does.

Usually I am upbeat, positive and hopeful, in an attempt to build trust that all is unfolding in divine order and is exactly the way it is suppose to be. But the aggressive massacre of Lebanese civilians by Israel—in the name of self-defense—ripped my heart open. The massive profits claimed this past quarter by major oil companies—and then paid out to their executives—appalls me. (Was BP Oil too busy counting money to notice that its pipeline from Alaska to the rest of the US proper was corroding?) Using children as the pawns in our wars sickens me. And Halliburton's profiteering on those children at the war front brings tears to my eyes.

Daily I ponder the concept of detachment. Not in any in-depth, Buddhist way but simply in terms of keeping sane as the world descends, moment by moment, into utter madness.

I have meditated consistently for months to neutralize my wrath about the pursuit of global domination by the powers-that-be. Some days it works; some days it doesn't.

It dawned on me recently that there really is no qualitative difference between the present and any other time in our known history. From the ethnic cleansing of the Crusades to the degradation that is Darfur, mass slaughter is alive and well. Even legitimate, when viewed as stamped with God's approval. Through the ages the clarion call of those who believe themselves better, purer, righter never lacked people to participate in various acts of terror. This world has tolerated and participated in many holocausts. It seems we love to go around and around the same old horror stories. That's how we brought ourselves to Armageddon.

Death, destruction and mayhem. The Earth uses devastation to regularly shake herself up, shrugging off the dross—possibly in an attempt to get us human parasites off her back. Droughts, floods and volcanic eruptions have been a consistent fact through time. I'm thinking the only difference today is that we humans have produced so much waste in the pursuit of happiness and comfortable lives, maybe Mother Earth asked Armageddon to come help her clean house.

People ask why God allows the seemingly unnecessary suffering of innocents during atrocities—in the Mideast, Indonesia, New Orleans, hell, just about everywhere. I say "seemingly" because on a soul level the beings involved in these atrocities have made a choice to experience it. No soul is destroyed by the horror it has chosen. On a physical being level, we have a very hard time accepting that we are souls who never die. Fact is, we go in and out of incarnated lives. We choose where we will go, what we will do and when we will leave. Earth, apparently, is a place beings love to visit to experience life through all the senses.

On this Earth, it's natural to mourn the seemingly sad loss of human life. I do, and won't stop doing so. But it's time to accept that there is far more going on, far more breadth and depth and height to our reality than we can conceive. All the people who pass on from here are OK. And maybe the devastating loss of human life we are witnessing in our planetary affairs has a purpose. Maybe instead of mourning our losses, it's time to turn around and look at what they left. There is a great need for us to open our eyes to the more of who and what we are about—the real story of our lives here on Earth. We created the conditions we find ourselves in. We created the wars; we allow the corruption; we are greedy for our air-conditioning and Hummers.

I believe that all the events whirling devastation in our world have to be looked at. If we ignore them, then we are complicit. But we can't let them fill us with fear, pain and sadness.


And so I come full circle. From the deeply disturbing feeling that we have invited Armageddon to destroy this planet (yet again), through the sorrow and pain of seeing how we mutilate and torture each other and ourselves, to the remembrance of who we really are and why we're here: Souls visiting a planet, housed in a body, for a lifetime of experience.

During this recent dive into the sadness of the state of the world, it wasn't only my meditations that brought me peace; it was people. Specifically, Elizabeth Baum of Bayard, Levi Hill from Silver City and G from Gila posted thoughts in early August on John Fridinger's email list (see box on page B12 for subscription information) that brought me hope and re-inspiration. Thank you!

Elizabeth reminded me we don't have to "do" to affect or help the world. It is how we "be," how we think, feel and serve in the world. Sometimes all you can do is adapt. Accept where you are and offer back the best of yourself. Between the reality of our lives, as G in Gila so succinctly described, and the hypocrisy and madness of the "powers that be"—religious, political, social leadership—there is no place to go but inside.

I had forgotten for a moment during the destruction of Lebanon about the very simple, steady steps that make a difference. A radiant smile alone can heal, calm and restore sanity. A kind word can work miracles.

We are the creators of our world and we will bring each other through these times. Interdependent, not co-dependent. Accepting the wide diversity of beings, serving each other so we all succeed. Wouldn't it be a great cosmic joke if, instead of destroying us, Armageddon actually serves to teach us how to work and live together in harmony and in peace?


Into the Future columnist Siri Dharma lives in Silver City.

Return to top of page

Desert Exposure