We can suffer an identity crisis at any time in this troubled world, where no one can be certain of what comes next. The pandemic is a painful example of the instability of contemporary life. The variants that create the surge of new cases and illnesses also cause surges of confusion, anxiety, and fear. On a psychological level, the rising intensity of uncertainty and raw emotions threaten to overwhelm the ego or “little-self.” Meanwhile, the deeper self within us imagines that each crisis can also become a life-changing event in which we become wiser, more creative and meaningful.
As uncertainty deepens and crises multiply, the sense that there is a deeper, more knowing self or soul in each person becomes more important. At the same time, we have to have a greater tolerance for the insecurity, the fears, and anxieties of the little-self. Michael Meade uses an old tale of a wise fish, a half-wise fish and an unwise one to show how we must forgive ourselves for getting caught in the nets of fear and anxiety and reconnect to the deep self and soul which has the exact knowledge and wisdom we need, both to survive and to truly grow wise.
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