Posted by: Michael George Daniel | December 14, 2008

Earth Brain

Sitting on the front porch at six am, there was a gentle rain falling. It filled the air with patterns of sound, a white, spraying sound made up of thousands of tiny patters and pits. I sat under the porch roof facing west. The morning light was filling in behind the house and me. Through my closed eyelids, I perceived a waxing and waning of the light that seemed to correspond with the intensity of the rain that came in waves. I listened to the gift of the water being delivered. When I opened my eyes, it seemed darker than I remembered. The shape of the trees and bushes were attractive. Each plant seemed to standout as an individual being. I felt more able to see each as a unique living entity.  Throughout the process, thoughts came and went. At one point, I noticed my thoughts had become more empathic and compassionate. I thought of an elderly neighbor who longs to return to the activity of sailing. I thought about bringing him out for a sail some day – about the challenge that it might entail given his advancing age; at the possibility of his joy and gratitude as well.

The ubiquitous gift of air is all encompassing yet perhaps for this reason we loose touch with the blessing of it. It is always there, and, therefore do we take it for granted and sever the most basic connection with the natural world. I am grateful and attracted to being reminded of this gift with the additional hope that I might move through the ‘thought’ of air and into the experience of it; the joy and pleasant sensation of receiving the oxygen I need with each inhalation, and too, the satisfaction of offering back to the earth the product of my carbon dioxide.

I am attracted to the idea of sunshine-clean, rain-washed air. I long for the nurturing feeling of this freshness. I feel that my offering back to the earth is even purer, more useful and sustaining when it is built upon pure, clean air. I realize that my living can offer a certain amount of revitalization of the depleted air resulting from our technological society. Thus, even in our disconnected state, we have the opportunity for greater connection by realizing our role in replenishing, as always, that part of nature for which we have carved this niche of interplay.

I’m reminded of the spiritual basis of these simple life-giving qualities; inhalation, exhalation, atmosphere, psyche, psychological. I am both a human being and a spiritual, energetic being not separate but attached infinitely to the universe, yet differentiated. Being all powerful is  boring, so boring that even God has given it away to the rocks, insects, plants and animals.

Yes, I trust the natural attraction for air. There is simply no room not to trust it. It is only for the briefest seconds that I am able and willing to deprive myself of oxygen. Then the attraction simply overwhelms me and I give in to the flow of this attraction and the give and take of the interaction.

I am attracted to the idea that air loves me. It is a sensory experience to breath air. My life is more satisfying, more complete when I can experience the sensory nature of my most common breath in a flowing, give and take cycle of inspiration/exhalation. This feeling informs me and can be useful in creating a deep understanding of my role in sustaining the natural environment. This wisdom might guide me in every action and decision I take and make, if only it is kept in my consciousness through thought, but also by an openness to feeling and an attitude of being through feeling.

I both celebrate and trust feeling communication and connection with all of life. It is an ancient relationship that is worthy of my attention, respect, gratitude and trust. The concept that it is reasonable for us and the environment to cooperatively connect is attractive and meaningful for me. It is a distinct paradigm shift that holds the seeds of a new way of being (a human) in the world, where our experience is a filled with abundant connections to the natural world that reflect who we are in the cosmos, gives us meaning, purpose and satisfaction in our life. This is nutritious satisfaction unlike the unsatisfying reward of consumption that we are taught will someday complete us and make us happy. This is living a felt existence in the moment in a dialectic relationship with all that is other than our selves.

It is powerful to realize words have the ability to convince us to disconnect us from our natural attractions. It is equally important to realize the information needed to guide us back to connection is immediately available in our felt presence. It is easy to imagine that on some level I am afraid of the intelligence of my natural attraction to breath because it points out how uncomfortable I am. I am of course thankful for it rationally, in hindsight, but in the moment, it seems possible, and illuminating to realize there may be reluctance to connecting with this natural intelligence because it necessarily must bring to light my current misery as a contrast to the comforting, life-sustaining alternative it offers.

Thoughts become things. So says a leading New Age guru. If things are natural attractions manifesting themselves, then the saying might be expanded. True, it is energy coalescing that is the heart of the concept of relational density among all-that-is – thoughts, attractions, energies all manifest as things and then dissolve, only to remanifest again as something else. Thoughts become things is just fine as a saying because it illustrates the power of our rationality. But it is balanced and complemented by the ideas that life happens and all is one. This is the story of cosmic evolution, everything turning itself inside out, each time revealing a more complex pattern, more abundant connections. We are just in one part of the cycle of destruction now that will ultimately lead to our own existence turning itself inside out into a different reality, once again integrated and connected fully with the earth and the universe. Our natural attraction is to go with this flow. This is the unspeakable Tao, to which words can not be given; this process of unfolding, differentiating, reintegrating. We are but etchings on a great stone of existence washed by wind and waves, carved by the slimmest powers heaving together in great rhythm with the Way of life.

If our thinking is our destiny, thoughts become things. Gaining fulfillment is the first order and if done through the natural attraction process, it is aligned with the Tao, the Way of life – it offers a higher purpose while offering simple fulfillment. This is the meaning of not striving, but choosing that which serves our own personal life force as it is expressed through our unique journey through and connection with all-that-is. This is why our economized, capitalized, monetized, consumerized world is the ultimate false God, because it offers only a substitute for the true journey of meaning creation and experiential interaction with that which is other than our self. Thus we can serve our selves, our personal relationships, our communities, societies, cultures and the natural world through our work with natural attractions.

The great fallacy of our technological age is that we could replace, with our human intelligence, the super intelligence, attraction, love that is the global, cosmic, earth brain.

So simply might we reconnect with this intelligence by following our joy, love and satisfaction. Yet we are caught in a system that must convince us satisfaction exists in the future as a result of progress and that we can satisfy ourselves only through the consumption of the products of this progress. It is most definitely not reasonable that we should dominate nature, subdue earth and convert it into anthropomorphic objects. It is not reasonable, and even the source of great anger, grief and frustration. Thus the Bible would have God telling us to claim dominion over the earth. This example is probably the clearest evidence of the depth of the roots of our conditioning to disconnect and thus serve a viscous cycle of striving for satisfaction through the consumption of our mother. We can compassionately see this as a necessary step in creating the polarity that is the potential from which we will be catapulted over the evolutionary chasm between our super-developed frontal lobes and a state of integrated beingness with all of our sensory, natural attractions. While we might find this compassion, we must, too, allow for the energy of that anger and grief to move us forward. Yet we are afraid of that energy. Thus we are afraid of our natural attractions for what they will tell us, for what they will have us feel. Instead we live in a state of denergized-ness, desensitized-ness, numbness, dumbness and flatness; a capitalistic prison for which we toil to carve a great key to a door that leads nowhere.

Our culture and society is a ship that moves through the ocean of the universe with the power of ancient momentum; 6,000 years of imperialistic, male oriented, nature dominating energy. But even on the largest ships, there is a small device attached to the rudder, the steering mechanism of the boat. Our culture is out-of-control, moving in the wrong direction. It is so big and so powerful that turning it is virtually out of the question. The device attached to the rudder of the ship is called a trim tab. It is a tiny rudder on the rudder, used to initiate the movement of the rudder itself that would otherwise be nearly impossible to move because of the great mass and momentum of the ship. Such is the challenge of turning the course of our society today. Our natural connections are a trim tab with which we begin to turn the course of events, the course of history. As elements of that trim tab, we respond to a natural cycle of evolution that is helping us awaken to our role and power initiating this great new era, a different direction for mankind and the earth. It is important that we celebrate the trim tab capacity of our burgeoning understanding of ecopsychology, natural attractions and organic psychology. We should not shrink from the challenge of deeply knowing why our current state will never work because it substitutes the plastic goods of our economic philosophy for a reality made from felt interactions with each other, other beings, things and the cosmos. Instead, we embrace this new understanding as we exercise and develop our inherent, natural connections with the global community of life. Thus, we move into a state of consensus living.

It is, indeed, polluted thinking to prejudicially value material facts while devaluing sensory facts. Although it is only words that I have, to reach out with this felt understanding, I try to write from the deepest level of this experience, allowing the words to form as they will in response to bodily felt ideas that could never, otherwise, be articulated through my currently, fiercely rational, linear brain. The result is a mixture of insight and half-finished thoughts, pregnant with possibility, yet still just a flag of knowing for me that I am here, now in this current state of partial integration.

I am reminded to trust the experience, to continue to seek greater connection with all the natural sensory connections we have including not only sight, sound, smell, taste and feel, but urge, intuition and instinct. Perhaps it is a facet of evolution that we have the ability to increase our natural connections. In fact, the great regret of our current culture is that it serves to reduce, eradicate, eliminate, hide and repress our natural connections, a direct contradiction of serving life in which the life experience is defined as our ever increasing sphere of  interdependence. I do not agree that we should justify our work in this area for economic benefit. That is an approach that only keeps us in the sinking ship frame of our current systems. I happily conspire with all humans, animals, plants and things to try to guide my life to support the life process and experience of increasing my ability to access the quality and perhaps even the number of natural attractions available as I move through life. Indeed, this is truly living and as such, I am able to release myself from a fear of death, release myself from the idea of
future satisfaction and return to the present where I can be even more effective as a trim tab for mother earth.

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