Spiritual Earth? What does this mean? The Beginning of a Manifesto
The Drought of Earth
Linda Rael – Albuquerque Fiber Artist
Spiritual Earth does not exist for us, for the kind of consciousness that inhabits us. We cannot return to the view of Earth lived by the Original people who were inseparable from Earth. We have separated, as has each part of the world separated from their indigenous (Earth-Spirit) people.
I have not been orienting you, dear readers, toward a return, though it is terribly necessary to know and to deeply feel what happened and what continues to happen to indigenous people here and its result, for there is a concerted effort to erase all memory, first, of a Spiritual Earth, and second, to enact a world that completely forgets earth; we all see it happening, so this is not a new revelation.
The strange part is our seeming powerlessness to do anything significant about it. Ecology and climate initiatives, as well as all forms of ‘helping’ earth, while important, will not stop what seems to be a kind of suicide, for destroying physical earth certainly kill us, first eradicating the fullness of awareness and consciousness, and then physically. We are already in advanced stages of deterioration.
The various forms of ‘helping earth’ could actually be transformative ideas – IF THEY WOULD SEE THAT WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO CAN ONLY BE DONE THROUGH THE TRANSFORMATION OF PHYSICAL ENERGY INTO SPIRITUAL FORCE – THAT IS, IF THEY WOULD ONLY CONCEIVE WHAT THEY ARE DOING AS A SPIRITUAL PATH — THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF THIS TIME!
The mass genocide of ourselves through earth destruction reveals that now is the time for a new idea with power. Ideas do have power, for such large ideas are not the product of ordinary consciousness. Think of the power of Buddhism, or Christianity or Islam, or Judaism. They had power to really change the world; that is the way they all started. Now, for most, they have become massive self-interest movements. Movements that started as world-changing ideas are being captured at the level of their organizations and also at the level of individual participation. The social organization of religions have far outstripped the original spiritual intents, and have forgotten that ideas with power require sacrifice and suffering to be world-transformative. All spiritual paths demonstrate that this is true.
The prime indication of the degeneration of ideas that have the power to change the world is the prevalence with which they have been masticated, eaten, and digested by the now all-pervasive Western idea – the idea that the ‘me’ is first, that everything is about the illusion we call ‘me’.
A new idea that could have power – we are not here for ourselves, we are here, though, and what does ‘here’ mean – here means ‘earthly’, that is something so apparent. We cannot see the spiritual importance of what is right beneath our feet.
The Original people definitely recognized the “Great Spirit”, and that was, for them, cosmic. But, they also were bodily present in such a way that all of their energy did not go toward the satisfaction of their needs, wants, desires, and fantasies. It went toward honoring Who they come from, and they knew that this Who was right beneath their feet. This recognition required continual sacrifice and suffering — they are the primary tools for transforming physical energy into spiritual presence.
Sacrifice and suffering have to do with the remarkable way in which we can utilize the energy of our physical bodies to transform ourselves and the world. Energy belongs to matter, there is nothing whatsoever spiritual about energy, in spite of ‘energy’ being a ”New Age” idiom for folks trying to do spiritual things materialistically and for the benefit of ‘oneself’.
Sacrifice and suffering as I am speaking of them have absolutely no connection with the degraded sense that we have to seek it out, as a Christian view often fall into. No, it is here, always, and can be our primary alchemical tool of transformation.
Energy is a physical function of matter, all the way from the atom to the human body; and with earth, it is clear it is a function of Earth-as-matter – oil, gas, water, electricity, atomic energy. And as physical function, energy is wholly mechanistic and belongs solely to the cause-effect world.
Energy itself, including human energy, can do absolutely nothing of a spiritual nature. But, we humans, who are subject to the cause-effect laws of energy, have something within us that can orient that energy, or certainly the surplus of it within the body, toward awakening something that does not belong to the order of mechanism at all. For example, the eight-fold path of Buddhism is a way of re-orienting suffering that utilizes body energy to develop capacities of being here, being in the moment.
For our energy to be the agent of transformation into our spiritual nature, it has to be oriented in an unnatural direction. Fasting, for example, awakens another pathway for natural energy than maintaining the body, which now has deteriorated into the useless energy of sugar added to nearly every food. – the ‘me-me’ food. (When you go shopping, look at the label of everything you buy and notice how much sugar is added; if it has more than 1 gram of sugar, put it back – that is a little sacrifice, but already an indication of an idea with power.) Think small when imagining sacrifice.
Suffering can also be oriented toward the awakening of something tangible but unphysical, but, we are completely oriented toward, not exactly stopping suffering, but drowning it in medication or looking at suffering that is not of a physical nature, so-called ‘mental illness’ in terms of the laws of cause and effect, the laws of energy. A wholly new imagination of suffering, one that does not fall into self-mutilation, is needed.
Sacrifice and suffering are the primary modes of Earth presence, Wisdom, and has nothing whatsoever to do with self-effacing. Sacrifice and suffering are primary gestures of beauty.
Spiritual Earth, then, is not given – it is a spiritual path, not unlike any other great spiritual paths at their inception. It may, however, be the path of this time, a path, unlike any other spiritual path.
No one, though, is watching out for or looking and longing for someone to sacrifice, that is, to dedicate his or her very being to the “path of Earth”. No one is watching out for or looking and longing for someone to undergo any suffering necessary to develop the capacities necessary to ‘see’ the Spiritual Earth. And no one will come along and declare the new path. The new and unusual nature of this path is that human beings have to come to it on their own. There will be no “New Church of the Earth.”
Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I
Flocks of birds fly high and vanish;
A single cloud, alone, calmly drifts on.
Never tired of looking at each other—
Only the Jingting Mountain and me.
Unlike the InDios, we fear the Earth, and as well, we fear animals. We fear them because they are spirit
presences! As long as they are around, we are continually reminded that Earthly presences
are more than we are — more animated, more alive, more spirit-filled, more soul-filled…. and embodied, and thus
more HERE. A landslide or a mudslide can kill us in an instant, as can a lion, a bear, a wolf. Who then is the real power?
The dulled response is to pretend that mountains and nature and plants and animals are ‘over there’ and are ‘less’ than
us, but there is no ‘us’ but only a concept “us”, just as there is no ‘over there’ when we meet the mountain or meet the
animals within the soul place where we are already together but don’t know it since our lives are disembodied.
A performance artist, that is, someone who meets the world in the way just described, re-members the one-ness place.
Marina Abramovic is such an artist, and if we enter into her meeting the soul of another and open that same way to meet
Earth, that, is through divine body encountering divine body, then we are truly HERE, embodied and human.
Spend time with this remarkable performance artist, and after doing so go outside and meet an Earth presence.
The creatures left — during and after the demise of Earth — are not human, no hu-mus, no ongoing experience of
embodiment, for embodiment only happens when body meets body. One way, perhaps the only way to meet this
situation, provided it is still possible to detect one’s humanness, is to meet Earth as Marina Abramovic meets a person.
In 2010, more than 75,000 people stood in line at Marina Abramović’s MoMA retrospective for the chance to sit
across from her and communicate with her nonverbally in an unprecedented durational performance that lasted more
than 700 hours.
Mariana Abramovic speaks of how she sat and met, really met, literally thousands of people when
she practiced her art at the Museum of Modern Art. That such an event took place there — at a museum —
already suggests that she is visiting something, enacting something going or gone extinct — the Earth-Us.
She says that one very simple thing is necessary to meet another as One: Breathe! I suggest she means ‘belly-breathe’,
that is, breathe deeply, not as we do, shallowly, which is head-breathing. Remember, in an earlier blog, it was
mentioned that the Original people noticed that babies belly-breathe, so they helped them continue
doing so all through life.
Perhaps enter into a ‘breathing-practice’, where it is possible to meet ‘breathing’. For breathing is one of those
“more than us” moments that we have usurped and have made into us, that is, something we do. That is, breathing is
spirit/soul presence accompanying us and not an act that is “ours” alone. Such a practice is awfully easy; close your eyes,
sit in the Silence, start extending the belly and letting air enter, noticing as you look at the inward darkness within,
it comes closer and closer.
In breathing, we are visited by “Holy Breath”. When She comes, it is a moment of coming alive — not
unlike someone who seems to have drowned and is suddenly visited by “Holy Breath”. We would
feel something like the person awakened from drowning, at least a sense of awe at the presence of
Holy Breath, and we would also recognize our response of love as the soul/spirit being we are
breathes out to meet Her.
(Photo by Geraint Smith)
Taos Mountain, The Sacred Mountain of the Pueblo Indians — at Sunset
It is sacred because they met and continue to meet it in sacred embodiment