Ukraine, Tyranny and a Past the West Cannot Avoid.


The darkened clouds evoke the expected flurry of voices in the West, the same anguished appeals to reason, the same prognostication.
But something new stirs in the rubble of war and the scattered words of those of us here in the West.

A different kind of dread, a leaden fear that this will not be contained, it does not seem a distant dilemma; sun-blanched walls billowing smoke under a cloudless Near Eastern sky.
A vista so unfamiliar that it seems mystical almost, like some escapist medieval series that the West watches from a far, Titian-hued apocalypse playing out in the weekly installments.

The dissociative mental torquing that Western minds twist into to evade the reality of an interconnected sphere of activity we are all on.
A seething hothouse of life hurdling through unknown inky blackness studded with lights that are cold, distant and inhospitable.

The darkness stares back, stone-studded storms and carnivorous maws of ravenous emptiness.
The burning surfaces of Venus and storms of diamonds that pelt Neptune’s surreal surrounds shimmer unknowably.

The iron in our blood hums with the music of the spheres, but we are now earthbound, terrestrial and time-tamed, no longer fearless, immortal components of the universe; timid, we cling to our wheel of life.

As warm-blooded creatures in the vast cosmos, that spinning history of selfless ancestry we’ve forgotten, we are alone.

Alone on a rock, here nothing can happen in isolation: we are alone together.

War anywhere on this rock is a war everywhere on this closed circle of life, it is a war that is omnipresent for us. Like a fever in the body, it pervades.

The scenes coming from Ukraine evoke the past in ways that the minds of the West cannot evade with the vistas of exotic distraction coming from the Near East.

With the surrounds both familiar in their modernity and having architecture from generations before, we are placed both in our present culture and in a sensation harkening back to a bloodstained past that quietly sleeps in every stone in Europe.

“World War Three” is already being whispered, or said outright, bravely shouting into the air with an apotropaic howl.

Could this be the beginning of something that will sweep the world as the other World Wars did?

Already the US is bolstering the defenses of NATO allies in Europe, and while the Ukraine exists outside this bubble of protection, the sympathies of the current Western leaders are clearly defined.

Russia is seen as the aggressor, to the horror of the voices reverberating within many media spheres.

However, there are other spaces, spaces that many of us have forgotten, spaces we’ve allowed to slip into our periphery, but like any ailment of a body, where there is malaise and fever in one place, it is in the entire being.

We have allowed a vat of depraved thought to dip below the horizon of our conscious mind, it bubbles like a primordial pool beneath the surface, but like magma it can again transgress the mantle and spew forth its heated ooze.

The delight of these spaces, in animal domination, rule by blood-letting and fang and claw, our last “leader” in the US giddily approving the move that claimed the lives of hundreds already in the Ukraine on the first day of the carnage.

This is a fever in the blood, this malady exists in our political body.

We cannot sleep through this infection, we cannot slumber through this danger that poisons us.

This warped thinking will infiltrate the realms of ideas in the West that some have myopically and naïvely thought were crushed, quelled, annexed into oblivion as if consumed by a black hole gasping brutally, blankly, from the depths of space.

Whatever will happen in Europe will affect us all in the West, not merely lighting up our amygdala with disturbing images as the deaths in the Middle East have done in our solipsistic delusion of separation and safety, but in an overt way.

This will travel through us, it will make us feel the closeness of the circle of precious life we inhabit, and the contractions of one part will be felt throughout.

I believe the earth is a sentience of which we are all a part, and unlike our galactic history as alchemical particulates carried on comets, we will feel this connection in our bodies.

The endorphins pumping through us with each new update, the fight-or-flight responses that will seize us like glinting storms, this will be embodied by each of us in our own ways.

This is too close to deny, no palm tree fronds whipped by jets to give it that dystopian distance.

Recognition is easier, it seems, when the tear-streaked faces are a hue closer to you.

We must witness the convulsions in the Ukraine, and try to assuage the pain as we can, with donations and words, as we have done with the Middle Eastern Conflict.

But we must also heed the warning of our own fate, so intwined with all others, we must look at the portents; from Russia, from Turkey, and in its hibernating growls, from the US, and we must understand that tyranny anywhere is a poison that insidiously infiltrates every part of our living circle.

“It’s terrible to lie in chains,
To rot in dungeon deep,
But it’s still worse, when you are free
To sleep, and sleep, and sleep.” ~ Taras Shevchenko


Maren Zweifler enjoys teaching Yoga with a focus on free movement and intrinsic shapes, emphasizing spinal fluidity and innate, primal posture. Deeply inspired by movement systems that embrace nature like Sridaiva and Continuum Movement. He completed a 500-hour certification in SF and has taught both there and in Austin where he honed his skills teaching private classes tailored to the individual needs of his clients. He created a wellness/yoga program at a non-profit. These experiences allowed him to explore both the unique individuation of the physical experience in one-on-one sessions, and the commonalities of the human form that can be witnessed in large groups. You could connect with Maren on Instagram.


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