If I live in California, why should I care if someone blows up a mountain in New York, just to mine it? It shouldn’t bother me, right?
I was watching a tv show, many moons ago, and wondered how the person being interviewed was going to answer this very question. The show was focused on following the day of a land caretaker. She was in some part of North America, watching over a watershed and once a week she would be flown over hundreds of acres of mountainous land to check on its state of health. She had been doing it for years. And so here, in this intimate moment on her front porch, the interviewer asked the big question… “why should I care?”
In other words… how does it affect me?
I held my breath, wondering if it would be possible for her to put into words what I felt I knew innately. And, although her answer was encouraging, somehow it felt inadequate for the hugeness of why we shouldn’t be blowing up mountains. And I wasn’t sure I could do any better a job of explaining… because it was a felt sense of knowing, not easily articulated and yet deeply, deeply felt.
I have been watching humans ‘not quite get’ what they are, what we are. Because we are human, the mistaken thinking can often be that we are ‘just’ human, as opposed to that we are a human aspect of planet experiencing itself, experiencing myself, experiencing yourself (you as me, me as you, us as it). Quite literally.
I am the planet. You are the planet. Think about that.
The planet (I) is (am) aware of itself (myself) as us, also. There is KNOWING going on. Deep, deep knowing. If I blow up a part of a mountain in another part of the world, just like if I allow myself to build oil pipes on the Northern Gateways Pipeline, I am self-cutting, self-harming. What’s up with that? I am also reducing the amount of intelligence available to both me, and to my family – and when I say my family, I am referring to the family of LIFE. The family that IS life. Within that intelligence, is also where my self-awareness resides, my ability for deep relationship and the truth of my existence and – as Satish Kumar would say – my interdependence. In other words… I am (you are) the Living System and I (you) need your (my) help to co-exist. Is this making sense yet? Again, it’s a big one.
You are the planet. I am the planet. That means not only am I the planet, but I am you at the same time.
There is no amount of perceived separation that can possibly be experienced as ACTUAL separation. My breathing, my thinking, my feeling, my fighting, my defending, my passion – all comes from myself AS PLANET.
Let’s try this again… I AM THE PLANET … hello:). And if I harm myself, I am in need of some intervention, because it means “I know not, what I am doing” (sound familiar? Yes, he was an activist too – forget all the theology that came after him, look at his life, the things that truly motivated his outrage, as well MLK, Nelson Mandela… and so many named and un-named revolutionaries that are being born every day – yes, you.. me) and, in habitual living, I have somehow fallen deeply asleep to myself.
I think that’s why we have community; simply to help us wake each other up. Maybe that’s why humans are here? Why? Well, I suspect we might have something to do with the planet (since we are the planet) evolving itself, evolving its consciousness. It’s (I am – each reader say it out loud) relying on us to wake up to who and what we (I) actually are (am). God(dess) I get goosebumps just thinking about it. This is what Marianne Williamson meant when she talked about us being afraid of how big we are.
This is how big we are. We are everything. Absolutely everything, looking through the perception of a human at any given moment, but not limited to that perception – that’s the bit where we fall asleep – as if being here is in any way normal! How could this possibly be normal! We are the stars, the rivers, the mud, the blessed bacteria. I’m everything I like and don’t like. And so are you.
Now, I’m not allowed to be an evangelist because I have faults – for instance, I drive a car which means I use gas (petrol). That sucks. I suck for doing that. So, what am I doing that for? Can’t excuse it, like I can’t excuse eating foods that are bad for me, which I do rarely, or getting irritated with important situations that are going badly (which I do often). So what can I do more of, to lose this ever present cognitive dissonance? This sense of earned shame? And before anyone gets all shirty with me and shouts “stop driving!”, please look at what you know you do that you know you shouldn’t – let’s all start there.
Well… I can write, I can sing and I can petition for the intelligence of political debate to increase to a point of sanity. I can speak from ‘first person’, I can honour my dreaming, I can honour yours. I can propose that we forget the government and forget the police and form our own communities of self-sustaining co-habiting. Live local. Oh yes, and I can call to arms the fact that WE ARE THE PLANET. YOU are the Planet. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being so huge and so generous. Thank you me, for being you. Now enough self-congratulating… we’ve got people to assist in waking up from the deep sleep. The Matrix is not just a film… and it’s not literal either. But it helps to have pro-active metaphors, especially now.
When our eyes aren’t working and our hearts aren’t being acted on, then stories call to our souls and bring us back to life, one syllable at a time – especially with good storytellers like Tim McCartney (Embercombe.co.uk), for instance, or Martin Shaw (schoolofmyth.com). They know how to grab our attention. Or Polly Higgins, who’s trying to get us to wake up to protecting ourselves as Planet – the only intelligent thing to do really, with self limiting, positively directed behaviour (EradicatingEcocide.com).
Right now I’m hoping that one day I and my fellow human(s) self(ves) will succumb to the truth of the story of the tree that kept on giving. It can only go on so long.
I guess being kind is not only a good first step, it’s also a good next step. That, and believing in ourselves, understanding that we still have a lot to learn. Humility gets a big thumbs up from me. I’m all for it.
So is it arrogant to write at all then, if humility is so key? I guess it depends what I write about, doesn’t it… and why.
But still, the question about mountains – why isn’t it ok to blow them up? Probably for the same reason it’s not ok to steal cows milk and then sell it without asking them or sharing the rewards with them. Slavery is simply enforced stealing. For them it is ongoing – bit rude really, don’t you think? We were always taught not to steal. Hmm. It has something to do with taking something that we haven’t genuinely been offered (and, no, passivity is not the same as acquiescence – sorry!).
And, just because we can’t see a mountain move, doesn’t mean it isn’t moving (no, not a zen koan)… trees move, just very slowly. So do plants (and not just the bit above ground). And, by the way, they talk and sing too, and they feel emotions – all trackable, whether with electronic data technology or, for those of us still in touch with our own innate intelligence, we have good, old fashioned, bio-antennae… aka ‘sensitivity’.
So, let’s show a little respect to other ways of being here and other beings that are here. And ask yourself, “I wonder how I look to that plant?” And that whale, slowly trolling its gaze over you as it passes you by, in the great waves, do we have any relevance to them at all, being as small as we are next to these great giants of the sea?
We are so used to our sight, that some of us have lost touch with our feeling selves that know – our deep intuition that knows and yearns to be recognized as a loyal, essential part of who I am, who you are, essential because it leads us to good health and sustainability (yes that word again – the most overused, over-needed word of 21st Century).
If I blow up a mountain, I am disrespecting myself, I am disrespecting the mountain, I am disrespecting intelligence (and that’s a big one) and I am disrespecting life. Then, I am no longer really human; I have lost the one part of me that made me unique (not compared to other life elements but to myself).
And, oh yes, it’s just plain wrong. I think that’s a good enough reason…
Thanks for reading ~ always a pleasure:)