Turn off all of your electronic devices and gaze out the window for a few minutes. Reflect on the changes taking place on the earth.
What do you see? What do you experience?
Spring in Northern Italy
As you look out the window, do you see you see anything of nature? What do you see of nature in her wholeness? Is there, by chance, an entire ecosystem laid out before you? If so, you are one of the fortunate souls who is viewing the earth as native cultures around the world once did. Native peoples experienced exhilaration, joy, peace, harmony and a sense of fullness—the fullness of being deeply connected and in tune with the earth and her rhythms. This is the sense of being completely in touch with oneself, one’s tribe and all living things, including the stars and the cosmos. Now be honest. How often do you feel this way?
It’s also quite possible you are witnessing a portion of nature—or possibly none at all. Perhaps a tree; perhaps some flowers; perhaps some grass. Perhaps all three living elements exist—perhaps more. Perhaps there are even birds building a nest in a nearby tree. Nature presents us with her wholeness in myriad form. A tree, with its deeply connected root system, is in touch with a world that is invisible to us under the earth, yet vibrantly, dynamically alive. It is the human being of western civilization who sees trees as decorations, accents, something to be used, separate from self.
Sharing the Eternal
Whatever your observation may be, there is an eternal vitality and dynamic peace that nature silently imparts through her existence 24/7. This feeling of intimacy with oneself through the presence of nature imparts a calling to the entire civilized world—to reconnect with and sustain—a simpler, more authentic mode of being. It is most subtle, and requires attunement of multiple sense organs.
As we develop our connection with the earth—in particular, as we experience nature as a whole unbroken ecosystem—we recover our authentic presence with the earth community. There is an inner sense of wholeness as we step into the wilderness community of earth. Something happens inside. A spaciousness opens up in psychic congruence with galactic spaciousness. A kind of ‘fecund emptiness’ that permeates us, dispelling the noise and chaos of 21st century civilizations. And it is vital to our existence. Stargazing—what my mother used to do on our back porch in the evening—is a delightful way to evoke this primal inner experience with you, the earth and universe. When was the last time you—or you and your family—spent your twilight time watching stars emerge into visibility?
Another Inconvenient Truth
There are still about 9 million species alive on the earth.
It is understood across most of the world today that humanity is in fact responsible for global species extinction at, yes, an alarming rate.
Imagine a United Species Conference, where each species had one vote. Put this question to the group: “Should the human species be allowed to remain within the Earth’s system of life?" Imagine being humanity’s single representative, attempting to persuade 8,999,999 other species that the human species is indeed worth keeping. What would you highlight? Poetry? Music? Religious or artistic creations? The very material that is systematically being removed from our children’s education system in favor of other content deemed ‘more valuable.’ Imagine the other species weighing these contributions in light of humanity’s other accomplishments—agricultural pesticides, warfare, air and water pollution, strip mining, rainforest deforestation, toxic and chemical runoff, plastic garbage littering the oceans, nuclear waste and species extinction? When they ask “Why?,” what would you say? That we didn’t know?
- What is it to share the truth of our unconsciousness with our children?
- What is it to recognize the mutual presence of a web of life in which the human being is an integral part?
- What is it to discover that the human is that being in whom the universe comes to itself in a special mode of conscious reflection?
- What is it to discover that the entire planet earth is a living, numinous organism?
- What is it to discover cooperative understanding within the forces of nature as the unfolding of a living process?
In the spirit of inspired connection, may you experience the richness of the earth's aliveness within you and share this with your children.
If you plan for a year, plant rice.
If you plan for ten years, plants trees.
If you plan for 100 years, teach people.
~ Asian proverb
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- Wave of the Future