Of late, serious concerns have been expressed by psychotherapists in TT as well as internationally about mental health issues as suicide rates have risen alarmingly.
Perhaps it is only now that statistics are being collected accurately as medical and human rights activists are bringing them to our attention.
People’s Lives Matter slogans are awakening the consciousness of ordinary people and citizens are protesting en masse as never before in history. They are marching in Paris over pensions; in Alabama about racial injustice; in India over the dismissive sentencing given to the gang of men that raped a girl to death. They are rioting in three African countries, and in Russia of all places demanding democratic elections and the removal of corruption.
The tide even seems to be turning against Trump. And the Hollywood “couch caster” has been jailed, probably for life.
And, curiously, it is working.
Heads of state are being removed. The rapists have been sentenced to death, perhaps the first time the rape of a mere female has been so punished in India. In the US, a mighty movie mogul and billionaire has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually abusing dozens of women. Black Power removed racial profiling in Trinidad banks.
For decades those valiant voices that “spoke the truth to power” steadfastly refused to keep silent despite derision, picong, financial and social pressure, their careers devalued, their spirits stomped upon. And still they kept on. Amazing!
“Slowly, slowly catchee monkey,” our long-suffering grandparents used to say. And changes happened.
What is called an axial shift effects change. We are in the midst of one of those axial changes now.
It happened before when the Black Plague decimated a third of the European population. It happened with the two world wars which threw populations and cultures together in a way not experienced since the Crusades.
This time the discomfort was first noticed with the massive movement of refugees from the Far East, the Middle East and Africa into Europe and from South and Central America into the USA. Simultaneously, new epidemics started: Ebola, SARS, dengue, Zika, Chikungunya. They kept coming and wars spotted the globe.Wars and pandemics always herald axial shifts or speed them up.
This one will alter world civilisation for ever. They always do.
Religion once again becomes an individual thing, a relationship between humans and their god as temples, mandirs and churches forcibly close and we have to relate with God directly, not through a mediator. Changes in the use of language becomes a focus for people’s thoughts and communication as social isolation is broken other than through face-to-face. Congregating that produces a persuasive critical mass effect a methodology generating the synchronization of brain patterns long known to religions and politicians that that hitherto was a determinant has to be replaced.
Jesuit Fr Pierre De Chardin, the famous anthropologist, theorised a kind of Van Allen Belt he called a noosphere, made up of such energies that envelop the earth that could be responsible. Technology and its innovations contribute to that belt and build up a force of energy directed at us that changes everything in our lives from education to medicine to culture to art.
These shifts are massive and massively uncomfortable. Decades of mixtures of diverse ethnicities, races languages and cultures change whole civilisations inside and out, one meme at a time, until suddenly what was heretofore unimaginable becomes commonplace. And those left on the other side of the divide are bewildered and lost, resentfully trying to stop the tide from coming in while King Canute smiles and lets them try.
It is as though the earth’s energies are shifting and life as we know it is shifting along with it.
In TT, as we face a crisis which we had no role in creating, but which threatens to destroy us, the government straightened up and flew right.
The Prime Minister and his Cabinet addressed the many aspects of this particular crisis. There was simple, stern and direct policy presented designed to help the people. All of the people, not just the political elite in the trade unions, the business community, academia, the professions – not even just to gain political “brownie points” by appealing to the lowest one per cent.
All of the national community faced with the enemy will affect 70 per cent of us individually, the algorithms tell us, and kill perhaps 3.4 per cent, but by the time our habits, organisations, minds and communities come through the other side – which of course we will – it will have made us different in ways that we cannot even envisage at the moment.
I suspect it will change not just the ways we approach work and communications. As much activity goes on through the air, not over roads it clears pollution. Communicating technologically sharpens our minds and forces logic back into bargaining stances.
Planning the way in which we deal with human organisations and interactions is now necessary. Charisma depends on body language and energies. Few can project that electronically.
The discomfort we are forced to endure now is going to change the way we solve problems. The movement towards computer usage in education has already started. Am I imagining it, or has anyone else noticed that infants seem to have been born with computer abilities already implanted in their DNA that their grandparents do not yet comprehend?
That is what axial shifts do. They change the energies with which brains (not just ours, either) think, intuit and perceive.