The Rehearsal is Over: “It is the moment of truth over consequences.” | Charles Eisenstein

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“Tank Man” is the nickname of an unidentified Chinese man who stood in front of a column of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 5, 1989, the day after the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on the Tiananmen protests. This image endures as a potent example of courage and bravery. (Photograph by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press)

By Charles Eisenstein

A friend wrote me about her dilemma. She owns a company employing hundreds of people and is a staunch critic of that-which-shall-not-be-named. She said she has been trying to fly under the radar until sanity is restored, but with looming mandates for large employers, the radar will soon turn on her. What will she do?

I will share with you the inner monologue that her note provoked in me.

* * *

A return to sanity? Sanity will not be restored for us by others. We are the ones that must restore it. We cannot wait for others to be brave on our behalf. We are here in this initiatory moment to choose who we are. The choice of whether to capitulate or to act is a declaration: Who am I to be? What is the world to be? Am I serious enough about my vision for the world to risk my security for it? That is not a challenge meant to goad myself into action. It is simply true. Through my choice, I will know myself as I am. I will become as I choose. The rehearsal is over.

* * *

Many people trust the authorities and willingly comply with their rules. They face no dilemma, no initiatory moment, no self-defining world-creating choice point, not yet.

But as the authorities’ narratives devolve into absurdity and their rules devolve into oppression, more and more of us face this choice:

To live your truth out loud, or
To live by a lie, consoling yourself with secret protest.

To do what you know is right, or
To cave in to the pressure, consoling yourself with words you don’t believe. “I had no choice.”

Yes, for many of us it has come to such a choice. The rehearsal is over.

* * *

Maybe, I think, maybe now is not the time to be brave. Maybe now is not the time to speak out. I’ll wait until it is a little safer.

But it will never be safe to be brave. Never.

If not now, when? If not I, who?

Shall I wait for others to do what I dare not do? We are ready. We’ve been preparing and being prepared for a long time. The rehearsal is over.

* * *

The message is not “Act now.” Do not accept pressure, coercion, bribes or threats. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you what to do or when to do it. We are fighting for the end of the time of dictating each other’s choices, thinking I know better than you what you should be doing.

I trust you to know the right choice. Being trusted is an invitation to be trustworthy. Trusting you to be brave, you become brave, just as I become brave when people see me as brave. Bravery is not a personal achievement; it is a community function. It is a contagion. It is a mutual awakening.

Bravery means acting when you know it is time to act. It isn’t the convenient time. It is simply the time. It is the moment of, “Enough!” It is the moment of, “It is time to do something about it.” It is the moment of truth over consequences.

In that moment you act not because it is brave, but because it is necessary. You recognize that the moment has come. Why now? Because it is time. No other reason is needed.

Bravery means doing what is yours to do, when it is time to do it. Denying that knowing locks your heart in a box. Life becomes a chore. Despair descends like a fog, turning everything gray. Hope withers, leaving behind the dry empty husk called wishful thinking. And you face the dread of living the rest of life knowing, “I did not do what I was here to do, when the moment came and it counted.”

The rehearsal is over.

* * *

If I am not brave, what reason have I to hope others will be? Courage and cowardice both are contagious. My choice establishes a principle of human nature. It declares not only who I am, but what a human being is. and what the world shall be. Each choice is therefore a prayer. Our choices scaffold divine creation.

That is why synchronicity so often congeals around bravery. Synchronicity is the snapping of the laws of probability as reality shifts to align with brave choices.

Seeing that creative power, one knows the despair was based on false premises. The ego’s cautious logic is reversed. The ego says, “Give me a guarantee that it will work and I’ll be OK, then I’ll do it.” The ego says, “Promise me that enough other people will resist, and then I’ll resist too. Prove to me it won’t be in vain. Guarantee that others will join in.” God says, “Show me that you want a more beautiful world enough to actually risk something with no guarantee. Then you will see results beyond all reckoning.”

Is it your time for choosing here? You will recognize when it is. No one can escape that feeling of recognition when the moment comes. If you have read this far, that time is close. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

The rehearsal is over.

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