Are you holding out hope? Damn right you are! If you’re a human being, and you’re honest with yourself, I can almost guarantee it, at least for something, say for your own improbable success or perhaps for humanity’s continued survival. As much as this may sound strange, holding out hope or being hopeful, is a bit of a problem if you’re goal is to grow as a human being. I say this because hope, as it most often manifests, is really a very sneaky sort of defense mechanism of your own limited worldview, of the this-is-how-it-has-to-be reality of your little ego-logical self, a self that, to be frank, wants what is hoped for without having to change very much, if at all. Hope is therefore not progressive or metamorphic, but rather projective, in that it projects what your little ego wants onto a future “what will be,” without regard for a more inclusive, diverse, transpersonal, and therefore, healthier “what could be,” which is to say that in hope’s conversation with the future, it does all of the talking and none of the listening. Of course, despair doesn’t help either because it is more or less the nihilistic twin of hope stuck in the same narrative, or what I moments earlier called worldview. In the language of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” our hope and despair never take us outside the world of shadows; it takes hopelessness to do that.
So if your looking for a future of reiterations of your own narrow image that satisfy like selfies, hope is for you; however, if you want moral and ethical breakthroughs and imaginative apocalypses that lead to beautiful, painful, and necessary realities that you never would have expected, hopelessness is where it’s at. Often we hold on to hope because we are afraid to suffer the dissolution of our dreams, but I say, let the dreams dissolve. At these moments, have the courage to admit to yourself that you don’t know what to do and the old way doesn’t work. Let yourself be humbled. What you will discover is that you are bigger than your hopes and dreams, so big that you can include all that your hopes and dreams have excluded, mostly because of their blindness and unconscious prejudice. More than ever, the world demands, invites, yearns for, such a moral awakening.