Earth is our Home, and human beings have forgotten to honor Her. The long-term results of colonization and industrialization that led to climate change and changing of weather patterns are easy to foresee – population dispersal due to loss of human habitat and disruption of food provision systems. Earth has survived numerous changes and will again, but will our species?
It is useless to place blame for problems which began long before our generation. It is useless to take up guilt and shame. It is useful to face the problems squarely and ask my self, “What is my function through these changing times I am in? That we as the human collective are in?” It is useful to work together and to develop local communities that are supportive of each other and of the changes that humans are facing globally, yet affect us on a local level. I believe that deepening our reverence for the Earth and tolerating our mutual differences while honoring the strengths we each contribute are key to the process.
We are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Taoists, Hindus, Heathens, Pagans, polytheists, monotheists, and diverse others. We are loyal to our countries, causes, and families. Reverence and loyalty are to be respected. None of these are mutually exclusive except insofar as we separate them in our own minds from a personal need to be right.
But if we can transcend that need to be right, we can step into a larger understanding. Two things connecting all of us, whether we agree or disagree, are our Humanity and the fact that our mutual Home is Earth.
Again, I ask myself the question: “What is my function through these changing times I am in? That we as the human collective are in?” My answer is to deepen my reverence for Earth, and to encourage others to do the same.
My reverence for Earth makes Earth relevant to a devotional and mindfulness practice that includes my religious process and meeting the daily demands of life. Mindfulness and devotion are practices common to all religions, including science, as are meditation and prayer. “Religiousness” arises from human emotion, providing a deep feeling for one’s life and one’s purpose. It does not exclude my belief in science. This too can be common to humanity.
Recently I sat outdoors with the fire at night. I was just beginning to feel the changes to the season, although the Solstice had happened a few weeks prior. I had to rake the leaves away from my fire pit thrice that day, and even as I was meditating with the fire, I could hear the whisper of falling leaves all around me. That night’s experience deepened my relationship with the fire element (which our Ancestors relied upon for their survival) and my awareness of the changing tides of Earth time, season in and season out. The Earth I sat upon has sustained the footsteps of generations of humanity for about 200,000 years, according to the fossil record. I placed my hands palm downward upon the Earth where I sat and marveled as I considered each individual life, each individual species, the shapes and forms and multitudinous ways that life – this wonderful life – has manifest throughout the generations. Species rise and fall, but here I sit today with gratitude.
Shamans have long practiced gratitude for the Elements. It is a way that we walk upon the Earth, acknowledging the human need for water, fire, the fruits and meats that Earth provides for the sustaining of our physical bodies, the air we breath, the shelter Earth provides. In their own way, Shamans were the early Scientists, observing from the natural elements and gaining the knowledge necessary to survival. Shamans were working with energy fields long before Faraday, Maxwell, or Planck formulated their theories of electromagnetism.
Connection to Earth was the foundation for all primeval religion, and the Overworlds and the Underworlds as known by the Shamans became the foundation for the stories of Heaven and Hell. What modern science knows as the Biosphere links all Life through the winds, the water currents, and the seasonal cycles. Human instinctual awareness of these connecting linkages became severed as humans moved into cultures that valued intellectualism over intuitive knowing of Earth. Yet Earth remains the Garden of Eden, have we but eyes to see and ears to hear. As humanity regains an understanding that Earth is a living, self-regulating Being from whose Life we all partake, our attitudes and life practices will change.
I believe that humanity can regain these connecting linkages without sacrificing the intellectual innovations we have achieved, but we need to discipline ourselves to avoid the excesses that make toxic the environment for all beings. One example, the interconnected work of many species (bees) contributes to the provision of foodstuffs of which all partake, yet that we all depend upon for sustenance is stupidly killed off by human ignorance. “Neonicotinoids are especially likely to cause cumulative effects on bees due to their mechanism of function as this pesticide group works by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brains of the insects, and such receptors are particularly abundant in bees”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees). To sacrifice ignorance is to begin to educate our selves and change life practices to be more congruent with the welfare of all beings.
The beginning point is to change our point of awareness. To change our point of awareness, we need to educate ourselves and become more informed than we are. An important consideration to this information is the question, “How well do I know myself?” To inform yourself of how you truly think – and feel – about any given topic, situation, reality is vital to your well being and existence on the Earth. The work you do, the work I do – all has validity and contributes to the Uplifting of all beings. If it is true, as I believe, that humanity was created to carry the process of conscious transformation forward on Earth, then it follows that becoming more “Conscious,” or more Enlightened, is quite important, and I will say more on this in my next post.