Becoming children of the earth again

(This post was produced through automatic writing. My personal belief is that the source of this lies outside of me, but obviously I have no way to check this, so feel free to read this as me giving my opinion on things in a somewhat unusual format, speaking from the perspective of the gods. What matters ultimately is whether the contents of this resonates with you or not. )

I want to tell you a story.

There used to be a time when humanity did not yet pretend that they were the rulers of the universe. When you were still small children who had just learned to play with tools.

It was during that time that you became self-aware of yourself in a way that many other creatures are not: you started to see the world around you as something you could master, a puzzle you could try to figure out in order to improve your living conditions.

At first this was just an innocent little game: try to seed some seeds and come back the next year to see if it had made a difference. But quickly enough, you began to see that it indeed made a difference, and you increased your experimenting and became more pro-active, no longer seeing this as a game, but as a serious business.

It is at this point that the gods began to take note. For we became aware of the potential consequences this would have, as your relationship to the world around you began to change.

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And so we reached out to you. We sent some messengers to communicate with you. Both to help you on your way, but also as a precaution to make sure that you would not disturb the balance too much. And we taught you to work in accordance with nature, honoring the plants that gave you food. It is no coincidence that many of the early creation myths speak precisely of this: of how the gods had created the people by teaching them how to feed themselves. For that is indeed the moment when you became humanity, and not just a type of animal that happens to celebrate very elaborate rituals and wears clothes.

Let me make clear what I mean when I use the word animal here. I use it in the sense of a living being that has a place within the web of life, and has a body that can move of its own accord. Under that definition, you are animals. This is not something that distinguishes you in a positive or a negative way.

Except that you began to think of yourself as different. Even with our guidance, you began to see the world around you as something that was there mostly for your benefit. And that worried us.

For even among peoples who celebrated the earth as a sacred place, and animals as brothers and sisters, there was this sense that your species was different. Maybe not better, but still different. And this had the risk that it could develop in a way of thinking where you would consider yourself as so different that you would stop your efforts of communicating with the world around you, and start to rely only on the resources of your own intellect, and no longer come to us for guidance. And thereby, think that you no longer needed us and that the world around you was there especially for you, and was there to feed you and be subservient to your kind.

Our fears came true. The worst happened: as you began to understand the world in which you live in a more and more mechanical way, the thought of it as sentient and capable of deep thought and emotion became more and more alien to you. And so a group among you stopped your communication altogether. And you all know where that has brought you, for that group of people is the one that eventually birthed you.

And so we worry. For your current way of living has the potential to destroy the earth, if you do not start changing your ways real fast.

But we are still here, and we still want to help. For we still believe that it is not yet too late, and the mess you have made can still be cleaned up.

And so I have a question to each of you. On whose side are you? What is more important to you: Your own personal comfort and survival, or the survival of your kind and of this planet?

I hope you have given the second answer. If so, I have an invitation for you. I am the Earth. I am your mother. I am the one who feeds you. Will you work with me? Will you allow me to teach you ways of seeing differently, of respecting your fellow creatures? Will you allow me to help you to become just an animal again, and to regain the connectedness that you have lost?

Exploring the meaning of freedom

What does it mean to be free? Does it depend at all on our material circumstances, or is it rather something that exists in our mind?

I recently wrote some posts from the perspective of a tree, over on the other blog I am contributing to, Anima Monday. These posts were based on a communication with a tree, and this was a challenge that this tree-being posed to me. ‘I have no body that I can move around with, but does that make me less free than you? Probably you are just bound by other kinds of restrictions…’

The more I think about this, the more I realize just how very true this is. We are part of the narrative of our society, and that narrative binds the way in which we behave in many, many way. We are given a mould which we grow into, and are told that the meaning of ‘growing up’ is accepting that mould. ‘Leaving our childhood behind’ means stopping to be a free spirit and instead accepting the rules imposed on us by others.

Is this a bad thing? It isn’t, until it is. There are certain things a child indeed has to learn, like thinking further than its own personal instincts, and also taking into account the rights of others. There is also the inevitable fact that in order to become something, it may be necessary to give up on other things. In order to grow, some sacrifices will always need to be made and instead boundaries accepted. So that, by becoming less, we become more at the same time. Because by restricting the world we choose to explore, we get to spend more time there, and we get to know it on a much more intimate level. In other words, the seed that once danced in the wind accepts the limitations that come with becoming tree.

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So far the healthy. Giving up freedom can be an essential part of life.

Let us now turn to the other side of things. Freedom lies in accepting a restrictive situation if that helps us to become the person we need to be, both in our own interest and the interest of our society. But this is a state of restriction that is in constant flux, one that still includes an openness to change, and an acceptance of the value that lies in the unknown, the unexplored, the other-than-self.

Stagnation threatens if we try to impose the boundaries that have served us personally onto others. If we can no longer see the seed but rather a potential copy of ourselves. Or worse, as a new chance to become the things we failed to become ourselves.

Each seed is unique, and needs to be given the chance to develop according to its own individual strengths. That is how we create a strong and diverse society as well: if all kinds of skills and strengths are equally welcomed, the collective will thrive as well.

Now think of this for yourself. How often have you abstained of doing something because of a fear of ‘what will others think if I do that?’ Whose interest did that serve? Society, or simply someone else’s fear of the unknown? Or maybe it was actually just a projection of your own fear of becoming and being seen for what you truly are? Now, what will you do next time? Which fight is more worth fighting? That of fighting for the right to become whole, or that of helping to sustain fear as a force of oppression in the world? Choose to fight for what is right. It will make a more worthwhile effort, even if it is not necessarily the easier path.

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Also think of your own task as nourisher of other people’s seeds. Will you accept their truths, their individual beauties even if they are far different from your own? Can you let go of fear and opt for love instead?

Together, let us strive to become forest. Becoming free by turning into strong, mature trees. So we can start seeding a better future.

A new year’s message from the Earth.

To my children.

I dearly love you and I would like to wish you all the best for the coming year. May you find joy and love and happiness, and may all your wishes be fulfilled.

With that out of the way, there are a few other things I would like to remind you of as well.

Firstly, that you are my children. I am the one who has given you life, and I am the one who feeds you every day. I do this because I love you. But I would like to remind you that you are not my only children. It is not fair if you claim all of my gifts for yourself, and leave next to nothing for your non-human siblings.

Second, you are my children, and so it is my responsibility to help you grow up to become responsible adults. And this I do because I love you. And I will continue to do so even when you continue to ignore my many calls to you. Why have you stopped listening when I speak to you? As your mother, I am concerned for your well-being. It is your own needs that you ignore if you do not pay attention to what I have to say.

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And also, you are my children. Can we celebrate this new year together, as a family? I invite you to have a party that you will never forget.

Go outside and call out to the world. Tell it that you love it. Allow it to share in your happiness or even in your sorrow. Stop limiting yourself by living in a purely human world. You are so much more than that. This year, if you make a new years resolution, let that be it: promise yourself that you will learn to listen, and that you will love your brothers and sisters. All of them. That includes yourself, but also the weeds on your front porch. They are part of me. They are part of you. Step into the new year together.

And for those among you for who this is not a happy time, know this: you are loved. My love for you is unconditional. If the human world sometimes turns their back on you, then come to me. Hug a tree, or roll through the grass. Feel the gentle caresses of a stream or lake or sea. Look at the birds flying overhead, and listen to their song. They sing for you. Sing back, and join the chorus.

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Child of the earth, I love you. May the coming year be a good one for you. May you prosper.

Blessings from your mother.

Life through the eyes of a tree: leaves

(This is the third and final part of ‘life through the eyes of a tree. The previous parts, the heart and roots can be reached by clicking on the respective links.)

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Imagine freedom, dancing in the wind, a life spent as pure breath, lived on the wings of song.

What do you see when you look at the sky? Is it what science tells you – a place where nothing happens, just some molecules spread out thinly, or is it a place of wonder? Even with human senses, you can perceive some of its miracles: just think of the wonders of sound. And your cell-phone may have convinced you of just how much information that ’empty’ sky can carry.

Now, imagine that you could be just that, that your life could be spent simply as an antenna listening to these songs, helping them get carried along, shouting out and adding your own voice to the concerto. Imagine, being a leaf of a tree.

Who ever told you that trees do not have ears, that they do not have eyes? They do, they just do not see in the same way as us.. Every leaf is a living organism on its own. It breathes, it has a heartbeat. And it hears the whispers of the wind, because it dances along with it. It hears the subtle vibrations of birdsong, and responds to them with tears of joy.

Imagine having not one, but thousands of these little ears at your disposal. Like pixels on a screen, they form a reflection of the vibrations of the sky. Then this picture is enriched by the rays of the sun and the way they hit the leaves.

But how can the tree even use this information if it does not have a central nervous system, if it does not have a brain? The mistake you are making here is thinking that the tree is operating as a separate organism. The tree is forest, and its brain is the entire forest. The tree is just the tentacle that speaks with the sky.

The tree is the dancer, that performs a ballet with the wind every day. The audience is the entire forest. Connected by underground fungi, the earth itself becomes aware of the love song high above.

And then, at some point, the coming of winter is announced, and the theatre closes for its winter recess. But not just like that. One final show will take place. And this time the leaves are not merely listening. This time, they are the messenger. They shout out their appreciation with a dazzling display of colour. Going out with a bang, they call that.

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I repeat my suggestion. Imagine being a leaf. Imagine living a life that consists of nothing but dancing with your surroundings, of being part of the most magnificent painting of the planet. Pure expression.

To then end your life in the womb of mother earth, dreaming of another year, of a rebirth where you yourself will be the foundation for the next generation. Alive through others. Listening to the concertos that you used to be a part of yourself. Rejoicing in the memories of song.