The Mandala as Portal to Healing

Jeff Kiehl

Living in Chaos

We find ourselves immersed in chaos. The current pandemic due to the appearance of the COVID-19 virus is causing major disruptions to people’s lives with a tragic number of deaths. The disintegration of everyday life under lockdown and sheltering-in policies has led to massive unemployment and collapses in local and global economies. People feel helpless in the midst of an invisible invader that rode into our lives like the apocalyptic horsemen of pestilence and death. Yet, these are not the only horsemen riding during these times. Climate chaos with all of its associated disruptions remaining ever present. This horseman, who has been riding for decades, is not going away until we turn and face it directly. We are tasked with being amidst immense chaos and working with it [Kiehl, 2016a].

Spirit of the Times

The threat of the climate horseman began with the Industrial Revolution and burning fossil fuels. It is a threat that has been understood and forecast for many decades. Our reliance on fossil fuels has created an imbalance between the flow of the Sun’s energy available to Earth and the energy our planet emits out to space. Burning fossil fuels causes continual increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which increases Earth’s greenhouse effect and causes the planet to warm. As long as we burn fossil fuels, we will continue to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and inhibit the planet’s ability to stay cool. The end result of 150 years of this is a warmer planet and acidification of our oceans. This massive warming has led to additional problems, including melting of polar sea-ice and of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets with an associated rise of sea level, intensification of storms with associated flood damages and coastal storm surges, intensification of hurricanes and heat waves, and shifts in global wind patterns leading to unusual weather phenomena.

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