Ever suffered from jet-lag? I have. It leaves me depleted, disoriented and out of synch. The older I get, the longer it seems to take to get over it. My late friend and correspondent, Fr Ed Hays once wrote that we moved so constantly and fast that we suffered “Soul-Lag”. He was right. As a result I have made an effort, only sometimes successfully, to simply slow down and be still when I could.
Likewise, Nietzsche wrote in “Schopenhauer as Educator” (1873) that “it is something to be able to raise our heads but for a moment and see the stream in which we are sunk so deep. We cannot gain even this transitory moment of awakening by our own strength; we must be lifted up”.
These ideas of “Soul-Lag” and “raising our heads for a moment to see” lie at the heart of my formation work with so many good people who go about doing a very good job planting seeds and shaping the future. These perspectives also explain the phenomenon of the moment we find ourselves in.
Raising our heads, we see some things that we have become, we don’t like. We also see acts of kindness, generosity, self-giving and humour.
As the wave that is moving across the world is giving us time and space to slow down and be still, it offers us the chance for the soul to catch up with us and shed its light on what we see and what we can be.
I’m backing kindness, generosity, self-giving, humour and community.
Dr Michael Downey is an Author, Teacher, Consultant, Retreat Leader & Workshop Facilitator. ,