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Dancing with Denial and Despair

If you’ve been on OGM calls with me, you’ve heard me mention Joanna Macy - a highly influential teacher for me back in the 1990s. I recently came across this interview with her conducted by Krista Tippet. This short excerpt encapsulates for me an important aspect of how to be effective in the world:

“…The kind of apathy and closed-down denial, our difficulty in looking at what we’re doing to our world stems not from callous indifference or ignorance so much as it stems from fear of pain. That was a big learning for me as I was organizing around nuclear power and around at the time of Three Mile Island catastrophe and around Chernobyl.

It relates to everything. It relates to what’s in our food, and it relates to the clear-cuts of our forests. It relates to the contamination of our rivers and oceans. So that became, actually, perhaps the most pivotal point in — I don’t know — the landscape of my life: that dance with despair, to see how we are called to not run from the discomfort and not run from the grief or the feelings of outrage or even fear — and that, if we can be fearless, to be with our pain, it turns. It doesn’t stay static. It only doesn’t change if we refuse to look at it. But when we look at it, when we take it in our hands, when we can just be with it and keep breathing, then it turns. It turns to reveal its other face, and the other face of our pain for the world is our love for the world, our absolutely inseparable connectedness with all life.”

Here’s the full interview:


As we enter the second year of the Covid pandemic, I invite anyone who is interested, to look within to see what pain and grief you might be denying when you look at the world and consider how to hold that pain and grief and dance out of denial so that the face of your love for the world is revealed.

If there is interest, I’d be happy to convene a zoom call to talk about this.


I went to several Joanna Macy workshops in the 1990’s. One was the despair and empowerment in the nuclear age topic. The other one I cannot remember the name of but I can recollect the exercises and my experiences. I think it was focused on inter-dependence.

I appreciate JM’s work. I am interested in a call, but a bit wary of the despair.

Thanks for posting.

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I found this post as I was looking for discussions on the forum related to Covid. A good place to bear the good news of one possible way out.

I found this interview deeply resonating

It is in the tradition of Spiritual Re parenting

the same message

I would jump at the chance of a call.

Now for the good news.

Press conference on the 4th and a Senate Hearing on the 8th
Riveting and giving hope

A Team of doctors with academic credentials self started a Quest for an early treatment.
scouring the literature experimenting
Doing what should have been done, researching and experimenting with
effective treatment trying existing remedies.
Looks like other parts of the world has gone done that route and succeeding.

My Hungarian friends learned about the FLCCC news conference from watching the last rump of
independent media in Hungary
at 10 minutes talking about it the day before the Senate hearing scheduled for the following day,

I found the Senate hearing video on Youtube today,

Prevention and early treatment of Covid is possible

The Title is an outright Spin.

People looking for and offering bridge solutions.

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Thanks Bill - I can certainly relate to being varying about despair…

Thanks Gyuri!

Glad to know that someone is up for a call… Let’s see if anyone else steps up. Also, happy that you found the interview resonant. She is a most amazing person. I also knew her husband, who died a few years ago, they were quite the pair!

Thanks also for referencing Hannah Arendt (someone I wish more people were familiar with!) I often point people to this post of hers about the roots of totalitarianism

I haven’t had a chance to look at the FLCCC info yet.

Stay well!