A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

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    May hailstorm
    May hailstorm

    I grew up on the Great Lakes in the American Mid-west, and recall some tremendous thunderstorms. But the unprecedented late-May deluge here in northern California was the strangest storm I’ve ever seen.

    People were so freaked out by the sustained cloudburst that the joke around town the next day was that the end of the world rapture came a few days after the May 21st prediction by Christian fundamentalists.

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    It wasn’t just the lightening and thunder and tornado warnings that preceded an intense downpour. That would have been extraordinary enough a few weeks after the beginning of the dry season, with temperatures that often top 100 (nearing 40 C) by Memorial Day at the end of May.

    No, it was the hail that made everyone ask, ‘what the hell is going on?!’ And it wasn’t just a few minutes of pellets either. It was a half hour of unrelenting ice crystals falling in such quantity that heaps accumulated around the house where they slid off the roof.

    Rivers of water and ice flowed down the sidewalks and streets; but as abruptly as the tempest started, it stopped. The skies cleared, the sun came out, and the wind became a gentle breeze. Other than the innumerable rivulets and the small piles of snow, the only sign of the storm was a spectacular rainbow over the rooftops to the east.

    Some of the neighbors came out, the ones with children, or enough of the child left in them to feel wonder. We stood in our driveways, at once transfixed, exhilarated, and perplexed. One found oneself asking, from depth: What does it mean?

    An old friend in another part of the north state, which didn’t get the deluge cum hail but did have tornado warnings, said that when he was working outside he observed the oddest and most ominous clouds he’d ever seen. Terrible tornados have claimed hundreds of lives in the Mid-West. Apparently, God isn’t happy with humanity.

    All joking aside, most people do have the feeling that change is in the air, for better or worse. On one hand dyed-in-the-wool secularists refer vaguely to climate change, though with scientism’s rejoinder that ‘we can’t attribute any storm or season, however unprecedented, to it.’

    On the other hand, dyed-in-the-wool religionists rejoice at the coming apocalypse, and speak of being ‘raptured’ into heaven. My oldest sister’s birthday fell on the latest predicted day for the end of the world. I sent her a picture of a billboard announcing it, and printed ‘REPENT!’ next to it. But here we are, in the same old rotten, roiling world.

    The real question to my mind is: Can the ‘dark matter’ in human consciousness (which IS consciousness as we know it) ignite now, at this point in human history?

    For years I’ve been searching for a third movement, besides the movement of darkness, and the movement of negation of darkness. I’ve been looking for a movement of intelligence in human consciousness. Now I realize that there is only one movement, that of darkness, and the negation of darkness.

    Ultimately for each of us, and for humankind as a whole, there is only one movement. We either continue in this direction and drown in darkness, or meet and dispel the darkness within ourselves by awakening the light of insight.

    By searching for a third movement, I’ve been sustaining a duality, even a triality within myself. Meditation is the effortless movement of negation, initiated and ignited by gathering all one’s energy through intense but passive observation.

    Speaking personally, even though meditative (negative) states occur on a daily basis through sittings in nature, the movement of negation has been temporary. One soon slides back into the movement of darkness, which is content-consciousness.

    The world will not end in fire and ice. Rather, another will be forged from the fires of insight, which melt the ice of the dark matter of consciousness. Can that fire, which brings about a transmutation in sentient species, begin to burn within human consciousness as a whole now?

    My hypothesis, which science may confirm or refute in our lifetimes, is that whenever sentient species reach a point of global crisis like Homo sap has now, they either make the leap to sapience, or go into a period of long and possibly irreversible decline.

    We are all responsible for which way humanity goes. Each of us has to question and study the darkness within harder than we study for any university degree.

    Martin LeFevre


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