Postcards from the Edge

Bob Stilger

Sometimes an event happens that disturbs the whole system so profoundly that, like a gunshot wound in a key organ, the life of the body is threatened. And, if you survive it, you’ll never be the same. Japan is like that, having been hit by a perfect storm of multiple synchronous systems collapse at once brought on by both natural and human disasters.

Japan gives us a preview of things to come. Whatever we are going through, who or whatever we think is causing it, the planetary disruptions are more powerful and closer together than normal. We are in the Shift, the Great Turning, the time right before the migration. We all feel it, like the build-up of energy before something big happens. We’re not in our ordinary “weather” at any level–physically, psychically, culturally or spiritually.

How are the people of Japan weathering these changes? How to they cope and find their way through? What old beliefs are dying in their culture, what values are emerging that will define a new national character?

And how does an individual from afar, a sacred outsider who is also soul-linked to the culture, come to help? What does help look like in situations of upheaval and chaos and rapid change where the way ahead is not some linear line but emerging like lava from a volcano?

Once described as someone who can “listen people into their greatness” and “one who walks the interstitial spaces,” Bob Stilger shows up as one whose love and appreciation of the Japanese culture is obvious and who understands enough of the culture to speak from that background. He brings with him his skill and wisdom from a forty year relationship with Japan – which began when he was a student at Waseda University in Tokyo – and ten years of working with resilient communities around the world to bear witness on what is emerging now, day by day, as Japan copes with its cascading disasters. It will survive, but not as what it was. What is it becoming? What can it become if it is welcomed with love and presence?

Sometimes we have the rare opportunity to witness a birthing as it is happening and can even help midwife it. A child, a kitten, a project. A culture. These entries are Bob’s witnessing and participating at the source of cultural transformation. I call them Postcards from the Edge.

Read Bob’s most recent notes here.

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