Burnout – at last. Old fires can burn no more

Often, only after many years and inner wars and crises, do we understand what fortune lay, indeed always lies, in presumed misfortunes: The old burns out, dies, returns to earth - and the new can develop.

Burnout – at last. Old fires can burn no more

In the depths of winter I finally learnt,
that within me lies an invincible summer.
(Albert Camus)

1 A short story

One of my friends, who is middle-aged and the children are out of the house, told me about his life, the one that was so successful, and of the great collapse. As a technician, he has always been fascinated by the potential of technology, by measuring instruments and calculations. He travelled a lot abroad, knows different cultures, is technically creative and always asked himself what can be improved here and there, being also imaginative as to increasing sales figures. Yet  for years he had been suffering from headaches. But there are tablets for that. “The pain has to go away, I have to work, yes, of course it’s a struggle, staying dynamic, performance is required”. Those around him always confirmed how well he did everything and how capable he was.

And then suddenly there was joylessness, emptiness and a huge burning pain in the soul, like in a pizza oven where the wood is burning around the meal, that was then … oh how pointless everything became, despair, panic, what will happen if … fear, existential fear; and suddenly the certainty that he doesn’t want to do anything any more that doesn’t fit in some way with his inner being, no, his innermost being. Then a new life began, because the old fires could no longer burn. It was like death in a furnace. It was not easy at first, but finally something new started to happen. How true it is, this sentence about dying and becoming! Dying in the fire.

2 Delusion and a pile of ashes

Don’t we all know this delusion of grandeur, we, the artists, experts; what great ideas we have! At some point what we are used to doing turns out to be an illusion, a delusion, a crackpot idea, even a serious soul disease that must result in countless nervous and other physical ailments. And then, when the old fires can no longer burn, when deep, desolate emptiness reigns and heaps of ashes lie like burial mounds over the weak souls of the living dead, only then do we begin to question, begin to investigate.

3 Only ONE disease – resistance.

We are driven from one doubt to another,
hardly anyone free of this.
And it is good that it is so.
Doubts make fear grow –
worries and fears –
they are the experiences of hell.
And it is good that it is so.

Yes, it is good!
This is how we keep moving,
it’s how we painfully experience the ineptitude of our will-o’-the-wisps;
until we are burnt out.

Burnout – one of the booming diagnoses of our days,
and it’s a good thing it exists.

The only illness, the cause of all our grievances, is not knowing about the course of things, about the laws of life, and therefore fearing and resisting.

The times we are currently living are challenging, complicated for many; but weren’t the days 50, 60 or 70 years ago experienced the same way back then? In the past, in our latitudes, it was above all external need that drove people to survive – and it is internal need, homesickness, an old longing that make us rush today, make us run in circles, not infrequently to the point of burnout …

4 Aquarius

Our world is about to enter further and further into the constellation of Aquarius. Aquarius: freedom, unbounded freedom of the soul and huge chaos, out of which the phoenix, the firebird, aspires to rise continuously, yes, which will rise – as the perfectly healthy soul which also has a corresponding body. But before that happens, we have to experience chaos, disintegration, we have to go through many changes which are no more than periods of maturation.

That which is no longer fit must be allowed to leave so that something new can become (there it is again: this constant dying and becoming). And after the inner wars and crises, often only many years later, we understand what fortune lay, indeed always lies, in the presumed misfortune: The old burns out, dies, returns to earth – and the new can develop. This is like the caterpillar and the butterfly: the death of the caterpillar is called the birth of the butterfly by the rest of the world.

5 Sacrifice or Non-sacrifice

That is the question here! As long as we like to remain victims – of the collective and our own madness – and we like to blame others for our grievances and disparities, the horizons of life’s fulfilment and joy will remain in the dark, and, with them, our whole being.

Only then when we live completely out of our own responsibility, only then does the path of metamorphosis begins, the transformation of the old, moving in shadows towards the new, towards light. Then we ignite the fires of life, the source of which lies in the innermost. Then fear and excessive demands, weakness and death dissolve in conscious presence. The way for this is paved as long as the heart remains open to the inspirations of the spiritual essence from the innermost.

So surely we can speak of good fortune when we no longer have the strength to wander in the labyrinths of the world. Hasn’t each of us already had the experience of how superficial mishaps can turn into joy if we are prepared to understand and then to accept them? That is, not to become hardened in our old habitual resistances. I, too, would not be writing about these things if slight or severe dissonances had not repeatedly forced a halt to the course of the usual, and so made room for the new.

6 Healing

Whenever real healing is mentioned, it always means self-healing, nothing else. For this, however, a quality is needed that is not always and everywhere self-evident: courage, but not arrogance, for that would be the courage of the madman who, intoxicated by various shadows and illusions, lives in ignorance of the natural interdependencies. To become aware of such correlations and also to realise them, is one of the great tasks that the universe places upon us, so that we may become what we are meant and ennobled to be: immortal Soul, conscious co-creator, a being of Eternity.

It is true, many of us doubt the reality, the truth of an immortal life, although all of life is full of symbols and signs to remind us of the deathless, of the infinite Self within us, indicated by the sages of all cultures, as well as testified to by nature, since time immemorial. Let us just explore the core of all spirituality, the legends, myths and fairy tales of peoples which point to this, allow us to consider the constant processes of change in natural life. Everything earthly is only a parable for the becoming, for the kindling of the True Man.

Let us think about ourselves for a quiet minute.

How strange, how alien does the idea of being mortal seem to us? In our deepest being we feel that we are immortal. Einstein put it in a nutshell: ‘death is an optical illusion’. As long as it is unclear to us what and who we actually are, we are subject to illusion, the optical illusion. And then we can’t be any different from the poor billiard ball that is bumped back and forth and bumps others back and forth, more or less accidentally reaching the place where it is supposed to go at that moment, only to be replaced back on the table after a brief pause of recovery, to be then bumped around again. Oh, how tragic, this arbitrariness, this indeterminacy, this blindness. But in fact, this billiard ball, is our very life. Of course, we function to some extent, we act righteously in the treadmills of social madness, until, burnt out, we are disposed of by time as useless empty shells.

This is what we experience, know, when the old fires can no longer burn. When we speak of old fires, there must also be new ones. And to let such a new fire come alive, that is our real, our only task – it is the invincible „summer” that has left the depths of „winter“ behind.

Slightly revised text from the book Wendezeit der Medizin (Turning Point for Medicine), Part 3, Zur Kunst des Einfachen (On the Art of Simplicity), Verlag Zeitenwende, 2013

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Date: October 31, 2023
Author: Klaus Bielau (Österreich)
Photo: butterfly-serge Leterrier auf Pixabay CCO

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