Pandora’s Box and the Audacity of Hope

The myth of Pandora and her box is as relevant today as ever before. Pandora and her mate Epimethius lived in a world of bliss. There was only happiness and ease. No disease, no trouble. The archetype of Adam and Eve in the garden before they ate from the tree of knowledge. Life was rich and plentiful, full of wine, women and song. Just like it has been for the last 10 years. Buying stuff, bigger houses, TV’s, toys, dining out…drunk with the ease of it.

When Jupiter’s messenger, Mercury, was spotted one day, carrying a large box, Pandora could not contain her curiosity. What was inside was not a question, but an insane desire that could not be sated. She wanted to know and she wanted to know now! Instant gratification. No patience, no reward for effort. Just reward for wanting. “I deserve to know!” (As if deserving was a supreme right.) So she opened the box, without a second thought to any consequence. After all, we can worry about what happens later, after we get what we want and have a good time.

Knowing it was wrong, she took a quick peak. Out flew all the vile and nasty creatures and thoughts that had not lived on earth until this time. The plague, the crash in the economy, greed, strife, corruption, pain, death. Pandora was horrified. What had she done? What had her thoughtless and callous actions unleashed on the world? It was the first time she had to really suffer the effects of her actions – and the first time she got to taste consequence that really hurt.

In agony and despair, she and all the people suffered as if for the very first time.

Yet all of the time, calling from the box, was a small and musical voice–begging to be released. Wild with grief and pain, at first Pandora did not hear this voice. The world was being consumed by nastiness. Finally, at the depths of her despair, Pandora sat in front of the box, the place of her crime, seeking some relief from the guilt that racked her. Finally, when her sobs had exhausted her and it was quiet, she heard the whisper. “Let me out, let me out!” Terrified, least it be more trouble, but wondering if it were possible that there could be anything worse than was already unleashed, Pandora considered carefully the consequences. She decided that there was no where deeper or darker to go, so she opened the box.

In a rush of light and music, out flew a tiny silver winged creature called Hope. Hope was the antithesis to all of the other evil and nasty creatures that had inhabited the box. She was beauty and light, laughter and song. And in her presence, the world was restored – with beauty and love, time with family and friends, music, poetry, laughter and song finding a place to dance amongst the shadows. Hope is the counter to the evils of the world. Hope is not some bland sentiment, but alights within us the question of possibility. Hope opens our minds and our creativity, has us ask questions, seek answers, challenge assumptions.

Is it strange that in this time we have elected a President who wrote a book called the Audacity of Hope? Or is it, from the level of Universe, no coincidence at all? I think the latter.  (I write we, for although I am Australian and could not vote, the real truth is that Obama is a leader for the world.) Indeed, now more than ever, we need to look at the world from the place of UNIVERSE. We need to take the highest altitude perspective possible. For the story we are living is clearly written on the walls. Everything is perfect. From the ashes will rise the phoenix.

In my own life, the last few months have been emotionally fraught. My only child graduated from high school. For 18 years I have felt the burden to raise a child as a single parent, to do this while building my own career, self employed. At times, it has been very challenging. Fortunately my daughter is an angel in every way, so the challenge has been the juggling, and the burden of responsibility. I know I am not alone in this. I know also that many men feel this burden to provide as part of their role. Knowing that my life was to change, I have been focused on the creation of my life without this feeling of burden, which includes learning about how to use the internet to build a web site that attracts people interested in my work. Attraction based on high integrity, offering quality material, and being of service.

However, my business has suffered very badly. I took my eye off the ball, something I know better not to do. And then, with the recession, clients lost their jobs, business expenses were cut…and here I am…holding it all together with a piece of string.

However, if I look at what we have each contributed to in the world that we see now, I too have been asleep at the wheel. I too got caught in the spending frenzy. Credit card debt. Low savings. “I’ll worry about that tomorrow!” the mantra on our lips.

Internally, I knew that I needed to make some major changes. I needed to create a new operating system. A new set of beliefs, and new disciplines.

My journal entries for the last few months has been absent of hope. Having spent the last two years leaning all I could about the global economy, money systems, banking, finance-because I discovered that I was almost completely ignorant of exactly how it works-now with my educated lens, I could only see more trouble, more despair. I knew that the economic breakdown was good in the higher scheme of things. I knew that it was the wake up call I needed- we needed. I knew that the outcome would create more thoughtfulness, awareness, more positive action to support eternally regenerative Universe, and LESS greed, blind spending, obscene salary packets, and flagrant disregard to our environment, and all living things. I just couldn’t see my way out, given all of this. I had lost hope. And I was lost.

However, even while working on my inner world almost daily, I couldn’t find the key. It evaded me. I had moments of terror, interspersed with high activity.

Timing is everything. It stuns me how immaculate is timing. There are no accidents, there is a connection to a field of all creation. I had forgotten that.

I had shut my door to possibility. I could see possibility for the world. I simply couldn’t see if for myself. I had reduced my world to simple cause and effect. I had removed the possibility of the miraculous and mysterious. I had denied myself any access to a world where anything is possible. Where a perfect stranger walks up to you in the street and smiles – at the very time you most need it.

Pandora’s box is wide open. The world is being tormented by the shadow of our excess. It always was unsustainable. We know now that we have to find better ways. We have to tackle the issues we have been avoiding. The ones we have tried to keep in the box. Not just the environment, or peak oil, or the economy, but population growth, our money systems, education, creating peace, our own integrity…

However, at the bottom of the box lies Hope. Ever present, ready to be released. Hope lives in the world of the non linear, non rational. The miraculous. She defies explanation.

Hope asks us to follow our inner whisper, the truth inside that speaks with aeons of wisdom, way beyond our mortal selves. Hope is the connection to that very field-the source of all creation. Hope knows that it will be touch and go, because that is the nature of man. Yet Hope asks of us to make the changes in our inner and outer world because Hope knows everything is possible.

In my world today, having rediscovered Hope, my new beliefs are that the world is a wonderful, miraculous place, where anything and everything is possible. That if I take on as my partner, God, or in another language, the connection to Universal truth that is always available to me, I enter the world of the mysterious and miraculous. That Grace is the biggest force operating in the world. And that I have never been alone, and never will be.

That is my prayer for you for Christmas. May you find Hope in the darkness and may she bring you and your loved ones Grace.


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