Lighten Up With A ‘Deathpresso’

She pointed to a place across the main road. I registered an immediate aversion, but was carried forward by a strategy I tend to employ with her: Go wherever she goes. (Not in a subservient way, but because she so often appears fearless, and it really is a joy to behold.) We were looking for somewhere to have an iced coffee on a hot day in Hamburg, and she was intent on crossing the road. My reluctance stemmed from the name of the establishment: Deathpresso. And just in case that were not enough, peering down onto the pavement tables was the logo: a smiling, mischievous-looking skull, hollowed out and filled with coffee.

Deathpresso logoWe were in the St Pauli district where depictions of a skull and crossbones are commonplace. (Among other reasons, it is also the unofficial emblem of St Pauli football fans.) I was, therefore, not so surprised to see such a logo, but the name triggered a conditioned response; a remnant from my training which helps to restrict my exposure to negative situations. ‘Why drink coffee under the banner of death’, I thought to myself, ‘when there are plenty of other places if we keep walking?

Nevertheless, I followed her across the road, and as we approached the café my thoughts turned to a documentary I had watched the previous evening. Tuning In interviewed six people acting as channels for other beings who spoke independently on various topics relating to consciousness and the evolution of our species. One theme they addressed was the presence of light and darkness on our planet; and the message from each person was the same: in order to know the light, we must also know the darkness.

They explained that although we may prefer to see ourselves only as creatures of light, and want to distance ourselves from darkness, being human necessarily includes both. To fully experience anything within the realms of our earthly existence, we must also have intimate knowledge of its opposite. This is nothing new. After all, every one of us has experienced how much better the good times are because of the bad times. Encouragingly, it seems that humanity has experienced enough darkness in its history to have learnt what it needs to learn, and that now is the time to enter the light fully.

Looking at our world, one might feel concerned that we are moving closer towards darkness, and that we have not yet exhausted our capacity for negativity. However, I prefer to think that humanity is preparing to let go of an old, self-serving pattern in a familiar way: one final indulgence (or act of desperation) before the new way of life begins. For the first time since I started hearing, over 20 years ago, that this is an exciting time to be incarnated on our planet, I am beginning to feel it.

As it turned out, Deathpresso was a lovely place and became my favourite spot to sit and write. I went there five times in four days during our long weekend. Each visit confronted me with my own conditioning and preconceptions, and reminded me that the human race is on the verge of something beautiful. As if to emphasise this point, on the wall of the café was this quote from Mark Twain:

Give every day the chance to become
the most beautiful day of your life.’

And on the chalkboard menu behind the counter, barely noticeable among the multitude of coffee choices, were the words, ‘Das Leben ist schön’. (‘Life is beautiful’)

Related post: Acknowledging Our Nature

Das Leben ist schön

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