The Great Surfacing

The Great Surfacing

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We live in strange times. Times when the collective noise in the news and online can be quite overwhelming.

Fear, anger, rage and pain are appearing everywhere we look – and there seems to be no end to the rising tide.

As individuals and in our communities, in ourselves and in the world, the darkness of what lies beneath is coming to the surface. The invisible is laid out for all to see. Things previously unsaid are now being said. And it is creating a form of mass hysteria.

Yet, I am actually quite positive about what I see in the world. I see it as a great ‘surfacing’ bringing up what lies in our collective subconscious, and making us conscious of it.

Yes, it feels ugly. And yes, it can be scary to see all this vitriol and hate appear in the world. The good thing is that now it is out there, consequently, it can now be dealt with.

What’s interesting is how much light the darkness brings out.

For example, when Donald Trump was elected, I was most interested to observe the great number of people in my network who moved from apathy to outrage; from passivity to action. And in that awakening of new people and that wave of new activity, there are new approaches, solutions and narratives being developed. These will result in a fundamentally different society. A better one. The light as a result of the darkness.

There is currently an uprising of the manipulated, the disconnected and the unheard. They are justifiably fearful angry and enraged. Such events and movements are not best confronted by more fear, anger and rage. They are best met by listening and understanding. Although their feelings, views and opinions can be hard to hear, it isn’t really about what is being said. It is about what lies beneath the words.

From the billionaires who continually consume, with their wealth and their power; to the racists spreading hate and intolerance, we are living in a world of extremes – and those extremes need to be understood in a far deeper way.

Owing to our strong, emotional reactions to this surfacing of extremes, we can often miss something. We lack the presence to understand what is really going on. In order to listen, we have to let go of our own feelings, like disgust and desire for retribution. We need to trust that there is a deeper collective process going on – and that human beings have more in common than whatever divides us. We just need to observe and listen, to find creative ways to help people see that commonality in each other.

What can we do in these times? For me, it is quite simple. It comes down to two things:

  1. We can allow our own tensions to surface. Become aware of what lies beneath, within oneself. Then, look to make peace with it – either by reframing your relationship with it, of by simply surfacing it and expressing it.
  2. We can hold the space for others to bring to the surface what lies beneath, for them – in order for them to go through their own process of self discovery.


  • How else can we collectively release what lies beneath?
  • How can we hold our discomfort and tension – long enough to really hear what people are saying?

To surfacing tensions.


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  1. Great post Marc.

    I strongly agree with your statement that “there is a deeper collective process going on – and that human beings have more in common than whatever divides us.”

    I really hope more people can find the time to go through their own process of self discovery because once you know yourself, including all those sides of your personality you have tried to quash or hide you can then go back into the World confidently and effect change with those unique skills, experiencs and traits to aid the collective process.

  2. Lovely Marc. Beautifully put.

    Rich T

  3. Hello Marc – This really rings true and brings to mind a couple of really insightful & inspiring items I have listened to recently:

    1. Russell Brand’s interview with the amazing Deeyah Khan Listen to #052 How Loving Extremists Will Defeat Hate (with Deeyah Khan) from Under The Skin with Russell Brand in Podcasts.

    2. And the Channel 4 interview with Tom Walker AKA Jonathan Pie

  4. Mo Charbonneau says

    Thanks for a good article, Marc. Yes, it’s only when we own something that we can let go of it. Exactly one year ago, a minor accident happened where I was the recipient. One year later, another minor accident, where I was on the other side. How each was handled was a huge lesson for me. #karma. Everything counts and nothing is too small to be counted.

    We are all one and I continue to work on that belief within myself, to not exclude anyone. There is no escape, no easier way. It’s painful to see how much hatred is being exposed, but I agree that getting it out in the open is the first step to change. I, too, am hopeful. Always.

  5. Hi Marc

    Thank you, your post resonated with me.

    For me, this shift is causing a simplifying of my life, what do I really need? Less materialism, less consumerism, and a re-connection with my self, others and to the planet.

    This has been shown in a film I have seen a few times, Down to Earth, see for the trailer.



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