Been There, Done That

August 1st, 2020

According to author Alison Weir, King Henry VIII was said to be terrified of the Sweat and he demanded to be moved around England in a bid to escape the spread of the disease.  English sweating sickness, also known as the Sweats, was a mysterious and contagious disease that struck England and later continental Europe in a series of epidemics with the beginning of the reign of Henry VII, in 1485.  The last outbreak occurred in 1551, after which the disease apparently vanished.  The onset of symptoms was sudden, with death often occurring within hours.  Its cause remains unknown, although it has been suggested that an unknown species of hantavirus or anthrax might have been responsible.  What I find interesting is the protocol to deal with the disease was wearing masks, social distancing and total lock-down—homes and businesses.  We have come a long way since 1485.

I’m not a medical doctor, researcher or an advocate for any views or actions with epidemics or whatever they are labeling that which is presently taking lives.  I’m also not a historian but I do know that this process is not unusual in the chronicle of humankind.  My background is in developmental psychology and my present interest is in assisting folks to distinguish between their personal developmental change and that of their cultural change, or what Robert Kegan called the evolutionary mandate.  In personal growth we pursue a vision that holds value for us.  Yes, the vision does change and so does the path but our story that we generate supports this process.  In evolutionary change the very nature of value changes and most of us mystically change our story and vision to adapt; but it is not congruent with the original tale. This comes at a cost to us, often not conscious but real.  I get that our government, or its authorized privately funded organizations, are attempting to reduce the perception of threat.  Is that working for you?  When our story breaks down we breakdown.  Henry VIII could shuffle and not defend that maneuver but in the information age we need to defend.  Enough said or I could be censored.   

At one time I did teach karate and a hard concept to sell to students was to defend from the center of a room and not along a wall or in a corner.  It may feel safer not needing to watch your back but movement is what is important in any form of decision-making.  I have been on this planet for over three-quarters of a century and the markers I recognize as the evolutionary mandate are an increase in homelessness and intense polarization.  Have you noticed the homeless population?  Is there any question about the intense level of polarization?  The popular ethic today is profit, truth is a well supported bias and integrity is not a performance but a marketing campaign.  Government or powerful folks have attempted to produce some form of balance in the past and have now apparently surrendered that effort to control via deception.  The tools of the evolutionary mandate are plagues and war.  Disease and poverty did its job to manage population but progress, financial and medical have offset that balance.  I have no solution to offer and I pray that our youth will be innovated.  Will they discover that innovation in a field of fear and deception?  How may I be of service?


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