Comfort & Destruction

By Amanda Moreno

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about comfort. It’s a theme that has been implicated in many ways as I deal with living in a city with a rapidly rising cost of living, while trying to build a practice in the ‘healing arts’.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

My general go-to emotional state at this point is one of either apathy or depression — depression in the sense of being out of touch with my heart and soul as I get stuck in the inertia of making ends meet.

Sometimes I just get cranky and annoyed, especially as I realize I’m living the cliché of, “oh yeah, youth are idealistic, but once you get to a certain age you have to give up your dreams and just realize that the 9-5 job is what pays the bills and allows you to be comfortable.”

At the collective level, I’m seeing the comfort theme rise up in a multitude of ways. Didn’t spirituality and religion used to fill the role of providing people with comfort? Wasn’t there comfort to be found in finding big-picture meaning, or just solace that some mysterious ‘other’ was listening and supporting?

Now that belief in the mysterious other has been deemed largely infantile, we find comfort in swaddling ourselves in the glow of huge screens; and perhaps, if we’re ‘progressive’, some $80 yoga pants as well. That’s not the comfort I’m looking for at this point at all. I’d just like to be able to afford to live where I work, eat fresh food, keep good walking shoes on my feet, and retreat to the mountains or ocean occasionally.

It seems that in many ways, at the same time as our vital mechanisms for meaning-making have been eradicated from mainstream culture, our souls are waking up; which can be a scary thing when there is no reference point. As we stumble into our futures we are still accompanied by salvation mentality, in which we are waiting for some thing out there to come save us rather than actively co-creating our futures.

At the same time, my understanding is that we have all of these deep soul memories of cataclysm, natural disaster, war and chaos that are being triggered. As these memories awaken, we no longer have the constructs to deal with them in any way but the superficial, or perhaps medical. I’m somehow suddenly surrounded by people facing medical crises and sudden physical symptoms that then often seem to just ‘magically disappear’, after blood tests or x-rays show abnormalities. Underneath it all seems to be this rippling fear, sometimes speaking of loss of control, loss of comfort, loss of mortality.

As the earth shakes, which I’m told is happening with increasing frequency, it’s triggering those big fears of suffering and loss experienced after eruptions and quakes or hurricanes. Or perhaps it’s the trauma of being in a village suddenly attacked by outsiders. It’s my belief that we all hold these memories within us, and as events on the outside trigger the trauma held in our energetic or genetic fields, our emotional and physical bodies can respond as if the core trauma is happening all over again.

I’ve been thinking about the ways in which landscapes hold the memories of the events that have occurred within them. Craig Chalquist has done some work with Terrapsychology, and the energy held by the land that then sculpts the human-made landscapes and experiences. It’s fascinating stuff. On the surface, we can rebuild after cataclysm, but the land and the space hold the energy, which affects the populations that inhabit the land moving forward.

I look around at what is going on in my fair city, with its 75 active cranes in the city’s core and skyrocketing rents, and I marvel at how quickly entire sections of the city’s culture are being bulldozed. I’m reminded of something I once read in a book by James Hillman. He was overdramatizing a bit, as we all tend to do, and speaking of the function that capitalism thrives on–– creative destruction.

Hillman pointed towards the WWII era and the destruction of cities, many of which were entirely leveled, as the prototype for our current development trends. The landscapes in WWII Europe held the trauma of sudden air raids, but at least the people had a reference point for understanding what was happening. The images they were seeing of rubble and chaos could be attributed to the war, senseless as it might be.

Then the war stopped, but the destruction of the cityscapes continued, as signs of ‘progress’ this time: the leveling of the old to make way for the new; heaps of rubble, holes in the ground all erasing history and memories. We’ve internalized an acceptance that destruction is necessary to make way for creation.

I type that and realize that that transition is something I discuss regularly as a positive thing, at least at the psychic level. But that’s the difference — it IS at the psychic level, and is seen as a facilitator to positive change. Our cultural tendency towards concretizing and literalizing psychic and emotional processes without understanding the links between the inner and the outer is disconcerting at best — and absolutely perilously destructive at worst. The capitalistic premise of creative destruction spirals outward without limit, with the reference point being that ‘progress’ is good and that newer is better.

There are certainly comforts of the modern world that are beneficial, and many that are frivolous that I wouldn’t want to do without. It seems like we might be able to maintain ways of living with our desired quality of life, with all of our creature comforts, if we could resurrect a worldview that values imagination and critical thinking. If we brought meaning back into life using those old spiritual systems as a springboard, and combined that with our scientific knowledge, might we start heading towards comfort at all levels?

Basic trauma theory, or at least my semi-professional synopsis of it, says that trauma is held in the body and in impulses that were not able to be completed at the time of the trauma. This leaves the individual in a state of constantly magnetizing similar situations so that the body, mind and soul have the opportunity to complete the impulse and resolve the trauma.

Ours is a culture that seems to compulsively create destruction while at the same time being compulsively drawn to comfort — the lure of which is pretty strong when we’re considering a population with so much collective experience with PTSD. It’s time to stare that compulsion in the face, dig deep to face it, and work together to get through destructive phases. Then, perhaps, we can get on over it already.

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About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

12 thoughts on “Comfort & Destruction

  1. Cowboyiam

    Amanda – there were so many places that you connected with my experience and I found myself copying paragraph after paragraph – until I realized you were on a role and everything was source inspired.

    All I really want to say to you is – is it not beautiful when inspiration flows so easily again? Last week you did the work and this week you are just flowing in the stream. Your words are beautiful. Your words are instructive to the tormented mind searching for relief. You are a healer, and as all, you are healing.

  2. pam

    or maybe a ‘working comfort’, rather than just comfort, if life throws up stuff to see how we are doing, and or we learn through experience (rather than comfort).

    Big things on a collective level (like wars) demand more courage (pluck) and grit (endurance) than ‘comfort’ to make a difference? unless you go to a whole other level and work small scale with big effect – lots of repetitive effort to get to that level of competence.

    Amanda there are areas in my life where I feel like you do, and reading you I wonder how much I want these things where I feel that way (ie no matter what?) or if it would be just nice: whether it is just enough to meet each day.

    And then there is ST’s tarot for this week – the tension between authenticity (which may or may not include comfort) and the 10 of cups – darkest hour befroe dawn then….

    (cowboyiam how are your numbnesses?)


  3. Aiyana

    Amanda, thank you so much for this article, it states a lot of what I have been feeling in life right now. Being an artist in this world is not an easy thing and I definitely have been oscillating between feeling discouraged, which can also translate to a sense of depression, and at other times, thinking I just want to give up. This last mercury retrograde was a doozy, I moved into an apartment on my own again, for the first time in about 5 years, had a security breach with my online banking, a piece of one tooth chipped off while I was eating some food and the two days later I sprained a toe. Being an emotional artist and feeling unmotivated as of late, I think due to the many changes that life has brought, makes it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Overall I enjoy my current job that pays my bills and allows me the comforts of my current home setting, but the service industry is not something I want to do forever. I love helping people so I enjoy certain aspects of bartending and serving, but it does take a toll on my spirit after a while, especially when some guests are demanding and seem relentlessly unhappy. What am I trying to say, exactly, as I ramble with some disjointed thoughts? Well, I’m not quite sure. What I do know, is this article spoke to me and made me feel not so alone with what I have been experiencing emotionally in the world as of late. Thank you.

    1. Cowboyiam

      Aiyana – being an artist is to challenge the plantation system we have in place. I think of it like walking on water and sometimes I am up to my neck – expecting to drown – but suddenly I will seem to have a moment of total clarity where I demand help. Every time that happens things shift for the better.

      I don’t know what the answer is except for this one jewel that I have learned; as long as I am happy today with no need to feel safe about tomorrow, things just keep working out.

      I would feel safer with thousands of dollars in the bank, but I think I asked for something vastly greater, which must be a complete trust in something greater. Yet I do still sweat during every downward spiral. But I am becoming aware of the cycle so I take my fears less seriously every year.

      After all – if I wanted what others have – I would have just done what they do – but I find it to be a horror. Sweating out the hard times seems a easy price to pay when I truly compare my life to so many of theirs. If it was easy to be free we would have long ago freed ourselves. It’s an important journey we are embarked on. Stay on track and life unfolds. Let live it!

    2. Amanda Moreno Post author

      Thanks for sharing!
      Kind of amazing how life is can be full of those little pockets of challenges, seemingly swarming together all at once.

      Ok, sometimes it’s not “amazing,” sometimes it’s painful or funny or fascinating or just really sucky. In any case, I highly recommend deep breaths when all else fails. And so glad the article helped with the feeling of aloneness. Cuz you’re not! Alone, that is. 🙂

  4. Heather

    Amanda, stuck in the inertia of making ends meet, gee I know that well.
    As for comfort, “That’s not the comfort I’m looking for at this point at all. I’d just like to be able to afford to live where I work, eat fresh food, keep good walking shoes on my feet, and retreat to the mountains or ocean occasionally” ditto, may I introduce you to Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ Lyrics:
    Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me.
    Is there anyone home?
    Come on, Come on, Come on, now,
    I hear you’re feeling down.
    Well, I can ease your pain
    Get you on your feet again.
    I’ll need some information first.
    Just the basic facts.
    Can you show me where it hurts?

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
    When I was a child I had a FEVER My hands felt just like two balloons.
    Now I’ve got that feeling once again
    I can’t explain, you would not understand
    This is not how I am.

    I have become comfortably numb.
    I have become comfortably numb.

    Just a little pin prick.
    There’ll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
    But you may feel a little sick.
    Can you stand up?
    I do believe it’s working, good.
    That’ll keep you going through the show
    Come on it’s time to go.

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
    When I was a child
    I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye.
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown,
    The dream is gone.
    but I have become comfortably numb.
    From the Album ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, released in 1979.

    Working on getting that little job that keeps things flowing, it’s down to a trickle right now, but hey, I am getting happier by the day.
    Judgementalism we don’t need, we only have to look around to see that.

  5. Heather

    Yes indeed, Amanda, got down and dirty this afternoon (Oz time)!

    Lots of documents that have been left in the backwash now being revitalised! I have a mind map on the study wall to help me navigate my way.

    Enjoy your weekend Amanda, and look forward to your post.

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