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.”
Knowledge is a Rumor Unless it is Embodied
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.
Then, read this article on the demise of everything of earth except, seemingly the “human being”:
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
(Anasazi Kiva, Bandalier National Monument, near Santa Fe, NM)
Earth Creates Herself
In the last installment, I made this comment:
“The separateness of Earth began codification with the astronomer Kepler — who only ‘scientised’ what had already emerged for “educated” humans.
He brought about the calculations that created the movements of the earth as separate from the other planets — he showed how to plot her ways
as if she were separate from the Wholeness of the cosmos……..”
There was, however, a tradition in Europe that did continue an inner, contemplative connection with Earth. Noticing such a tradition becomes an important
thread within our weaving, for also in the last installment I pondered the necessity of being fully, wholly, Earth-present while somehow bringing such depth
of consciousness into intimate relation with present intellectualized consciousness if the later is to change. I want to begin to approach such a new
wholeness. For one thing, all the speaking done thus far remains within intellectual consciousness, though the attempt certainly intends to bend that
mode out of shape as much as possible. Now, though, it becomes necessary to, at the same time, open imaginal consciousness.
I am pretty sure that in spite of speaking of ‘spiritual earth’ and stretching into life as ceremony, as well as coming to realize we live within a certain
contrived belief system of causal (cause-effect) consciousness, readers still sense, experience, and imagine “Earth” from within intellectualized sensing and
perceiving. Hopefully, you feel differently, and now we want to begin to activate that inchoate feeling into particularized ‘feeling-knowing’.
The contemplative tradition that remained and practiced ‘spiritual-earth’ presence was Hermetic alchemy. Robert Fludd was a significant
leader and researcher into this alchemy. Here is what Robert Fludd said
It is for the vulgar mathematicians to concern themselves with quantitative shadows: the alchemists and Hermetic philosophers,
however, comprehend the true core of natural bodies.
By the select mathematicians who have been schooled in formal mathematics nature is measured and revealed in the nude;
for the spurious and blundering ones, however, she remains invisible and hidden……
But here lies the whole difficulty, because Kepler excogitates the exterior movements of the created thing whereas I
contemplate the internal and essential impulses that issue from nature herself; he has hold of the tail, I grasp the head;
I perceive the first cause, he its effects.
Robert Fludd’s retort to Johannes Kepler’s book Harmonices Mundi.
Here is one of Hermetic Alchemy’s imaginations of Earth:
In this alchemical emblem, we see earth-as-completed – the trees, mountains, hills, ground,sky, town, and at the same time Earth nurtures her child as the
children of earth are nourished by the animals. Spiritual Earth remains an imaginal figure, that is, invisible, that is, remains unnoticed and unknown
by those who see the earth as separate from soul and soul as separate from Earth. Earth nutures and nourishes —- herself. That is, Earth — spirit/soul
Earth continues as act of self-creation! This “Earth” does not operate within the laws of causality (cause-effect) — there is nothing outside of Earth that continues
or can continue to create Earth. The self-creation of Earth by Earth occurs spontaneously and magically. We can ‘see’ her in action if we ‘see’
through imaginal presence. But, we, as we Americans’ have eyes only for seeing what is already done and follows the laws of causality — while
we may believe in a separated ‘spiritual’ realm somewhere and a separated soul realm within. The InDios spoke with Father Sky, Mother Earth, tree
spirits, spirit birds, spirit animals, spirit sun, spirit moon, spirit stones, spirit wind, spirit rain………..all who are inseparable from Earth, visible only
through the heart.
Here is a work of art and an attachment to a really quite remarkable artist, Rafael Trenor, who is working through imaginal vision to make creations
of the creating Soul of the World. The image here strongly resonates with Robert Fludd’s. The opening picture of the Kiva at Bandalier National
Monument can also be seen as Earth creating Herself.
Link to Rafael Trenor’s Art – The Soul of the World
Turning Abstract Earth Concepts toward Earth Consciousness
An Orientation To the Practical Work; Getting through the Crisis of All Crises
It has been a long time since the last post. Sometimes nothing comes. The truly astounding contemplative artist, Agnes
Martin, would never paint unless something arrived in imagination, fully formed. One time she waited three years without
painting anything. I began to feel it might be that long or longer before writing another post. It is time for a turn.
It is time to begin work with the very large concern — what to do, following upon the endeavor of finding the inner sense
of the soul of this land of America lived by those who were/are the land.
The difficulties with this endeavor — as it heads toward action, are many. The most apparent difficulty is that of our collective
consciousness. The kind of mental/intellectual consciousness we now live, without awareness, produces only more of itself.
As will become apparent once I start posting some of the new forms of ‘spiritual-earth’ contemplation, these contemplations
also have their own difficulty — that of being unable to ‘meld’ with the world of usual consciousness, producing a radical alteration
of consciousness. These contemplations are inspired by the way of life of the InDios, and produce astounding change, but
leave one living even more uncomfortably — while seeing more clearly.
Contemplation/meditation forges ways into fuller forms of consciousness. Contemplation/meditation alone cannot
alter anything in the world. To paraphrase James Hillman, who said of psychology, “We have had a hundred years of psychology and
the world is getting worse” — we have had thousands of years of contemplation and meditation and the world is decidedly getting worse.
Contemplative/meditative consciousness is vastly different than our usual, everyday consciousness. Contemplative experience
has to ‘translate’ into usual consciousness, which it cannot do as there is no language-bridging deep awareness into usual consciousness.
in the instance of ‘spiritual-earth’ awareness, we become awake with earth as spirit-presence and find ourselves painfully noticing more
and more deeply that America lives believing earth does not matter, while those who still know in their heart that earth/matter does matter
have no adequate tools of consciousness to do anything.
We speak of contemplation/meditation as if it were non-verbal, which it is not — we just don’t recognize the language and cannot hear it once
we return from the worlds of contemplation. We cannot remember in sufficient detail what happened because its ‘language’ does not translate
into ego-language. Further, in our time, meditation/contemplation is captured by usual consciousness, for one looks for the ways in which
practices can serve oneself. Attempts to orient contemplation/meditation to the world, as was tried, for example with TM meditation are
not effective. The David Lynch Foundation (that master of dark cinema who is also a primary advocate of changing the world through transcendental
meditation) took on the project of training one million young people in TM, and also supported setting up large group meditations in
the two enormous domed halls at Maharishi University in Iowa, holding 1500 people each ….. and the world is getting worse.
What made the founding invaders of this land violent and destructive, genocidal rather than friendly? This concern has kept me quiet these many weeks.
The invaders had already entered intellectual/mind consciousness which, when spiritually unrefined, as it was, turns quickly into ego-centered-consciousness
— trying to make everything ‘better’ for oneself. We are now at the apex of this invader genocidal-violent consciousness. This kind of destructive
consciousness develops through education and reading and thinking-about in the absence of coordinating outer and inner life through
earth-oriented contemplation. Individualized consciousness replaced communal earth-awareness — a moment in time where it becomes
utterly necessary to continue earth-awareness through contemplative means — but that did not happen.
So, think of the invaders as ‘educated’, not necessarily formally, but they came to know through the head, even way back then, while the original
people of this land were not educated — they were earth-initiated.
There was a time when Earth was not at all considered to be a separate planet. Earth was an aspect of the presence, movement, beauty, of ALL
the planets the sky, the stars, the sun and the moon –together with the presence of the human, together with the presence of nature and all her
creatures, a whole, in conjunction with the whole of the universe. And people experienced themselves as aspects of wholeness. The indigenous soul
never leaves this wholeness, life as initiation. Education without the accompanying earth-initiation severs this kind of awareness.
The separateness of Earth began codification with the astronomer Kepler — who only ‘scientized’ what had already emerged for “educated” humans.
He brought about the calculations that created the movements of the earth as separate from the other planets — he showed how to plot her ways
as if she were separate from the Wholeness of the cosmos. If you follow this mode out until now, we see it is the same attitude that originates our belief
that we are separate from each other, separate from the earth, separate from the cosmos. Kepler calculatively creates the greedy earth. And following upon this
separateness comes causal thinking. This kind of thinking follows the greedy-ing of earth, epitomized by natural science and gradually invading all
consciousness with causal thinking, made completely practical as technology. Not that this kind of consciousness should not exist — it should not
exist without earth-presence consciousness, both melded into one form, a new form of consciousness – neither contemplative per se nor
calculative causal thinking consciousness per se.
The original people of this land did not live according to causal consciousness!! They were very aware of change and being agents of change in the world
through ceremonially tending Earth creating and re-creating herself. We will reveal how such change can occur — white magic rather than the black magic
of ego-centered greed consciousness. We think we see the earth and the world and we are only looking at greed.
The Iroquois, Hiawatha, and the Way of Grief
The Legend of Dekanawida
The Iroquois are intimately linked with the roots of peace. The path of peace ( peace is not the opposite of war – think of it as the path of harmony) connects with the legend of Dekanawida (The name means “two river currents flowing together.” – we will see that these are the rivers of life and death.)
When Dekanawida grew to manhood he built his canoe of white stone (this is an image of going to the world of the dead — this is where we got to in the last two blogs — Coatlique). His intent was to stop the shedding of blood among human beings.
He crossed Lake Ontario in his canoe of white stone and approached the land of the Iroquois. The five Iroquois tribes were at war with one another. When they saw Dekanawida’s boat of white stone, they were filled with wonder.
Dekanawida brought the message of peace to the tribes. The message has three parts: Righteousness – justice between men and nations; Health – soundness of mind and body; Power – the authority of law and custom. (In the U.S. Constitution, which was modeled on these three principles – they became Life (Health), Liberty (Righteousness), and the Pursuit of Happiness (Power) ). These principles were to be worked out among the tribes in the Longhouse (This became Congress) – where there are many fires. The five nations live as one household – under one chief mother; the women have the power to name the chiefs. The Mother of Nations is called “New Face.”
This was the plan. But, it was not easy. The tribes practiced cannibalism at that time. Dekanawida went to the house of the ‘man who eats humans’. He climbed to the roof of this man’s dwelling and looked straight down the smoke hole. The man below was looking into the water of a kettle – he was about to cook a man. He saw Dekanawida’s face reflected in the water and he thought that it was his own face. He had never seen such wisdom and righteousness. He thought –“now I will no longer kill humans and eat their flesh”. He then asks if there is anyone who can tell him how to make amends. Dekanawida came down from the roof and sat with him. “The New Mind” has come to you – to heal the memories by working to make justice prevail and bringing peace to those places where you have brought pain.”
Dekanawida names this man Hiawatha (He who combs).
Dekanawida sent Hiawatha to visit Atotarho – a great and evil wizard. Hiawatha combs the snakes out of Atotarho’s hair… there is much more to the legend – this is the part we need to work with.
Dekanawida was an initiate who tries to introduce new spiritual principles – by going through the depths of soul (that is, one has to go inward and down – down to the region of Coatlique, for example –remember, her head is a vicious snake and she wears a skirt of snakes) – in fact, the Iroquois are related to the Mayans).
Hiawatha is a soul-being between two initiates – Dekanawida – good, and Atotarho – evil. He is an imagination of how we are to work with evil. Evil cannot be fought against because to do so requires using the means of evil to do so.
The clue to the beginning of the healing of greed: feeling the sorrow of Earth and her people; and an unending meeting of our ‘failures’ – shortcomings – not simply knowing about them, but meeting them in soul.
Hiawatha goes through extreme sorrow in seeking the transformation of Atotarho – that is, the transformation of evil. His three daughters and a fourth were killed.
He establishes the ritual of Condolence —- The ritual of Grieving
Hiawatha combing the Snakes out of one who is possessed by Otatarho
Wampum Beads with the White Tree of Peace
He invented wampum – we take that word to mean a form of money – initially it was not (later, in another blog, we will see what happened, how wampum became “money.. Wampum beads were a way of marking sorrowful stories. After the death of his family, he was wandering and came to Tully Lakes, where he walked in desolation, picking up shells. He threaded them onto three strings. Hiawatha says:
“If I found anyone burdened with grief even as I am, I would console them for they would be covered with the night and wrapped in the darkness. This would lift with words of condolence and these strings of beads would become words with which I would address them –
Presenting the first string of wampum beads to one grieving, he would say:“With these words, I wipe away the tears of your eyes so that you may see clearly”.
Presenting the second string, he would say: “With these words, I wipe away the obstruction from your ears so that you may once again have perfect hearing.”
Presenting the third string, he would say: “ With these words, I remove the obstruction from your throat so that you may once again have perfect speaking.
These are the basic three words of the Condolence Ceremony, calling people to the three principles of righteousness in conduct, health of body and mind, and equality among people.
You may know that the Iroquois influenced the forming of the American Constitution – it was modeled on their ways of the Longhouse and the way of Condolence. — this is long lost on us.The story just told contains within it the qualities of the Spiritual Way of America – which we have been getting to, which we have been touching into all along.
Cannibalism still goes on – eating one’s neighbor – cannibalism is a far better word that greed!
In this midst of the cannibalism of greed, the spiritual path of America is the spiritual path of life/death – and condolence.We do not see, do we – that the constant violence – bombings, school shootings, the lying, corporate cannibalism, are the pathology of the spiritual way of death, the spiritual way through death — if you do not die, you are killed! That is the pathology – killing – because the cannibalism of greed has not been seen as killing and killing as a way to avoid coming to terms, within oneself, with the great mystery of dying, that is, the dying of ego and the entering of soul. A mystery that needs to be met daily as a way of entering the deepest depth of soul. As a nation, and even as individuals, we no longer go through the mystery of dying, the mystery of soul; and we do not experience condolence (when 17 children are slaughtered, there is, at best, a moment of Silence – that passes as condolence, or a few political words); we cannot even phantom the three ways of condolence.
We either enter the way of death (do not take death here literally or you wind up right back where we are – killing) – or we are killed. Think of 9/11! It is a large picture of what is happening to us all. When greed takes over, we no longer go through dying. We are killed – by terrorism, tornadoes, floods, fires, hurricanes, Ebola, criminals. – these ways of being killed are a necessity in the absence of living the mystery of life/death happening each moment. ( It is important to deeply contemplate this – yes, we are the cause of earthquakes, volcanoes…and all the rest).
The choice is not one of living or dying – it is how we live with our dying. Greed denies death, chooses not to live with our dying – pretending that having everything we desire can kill consciousness of dying – and It does — it necessarily then means we meet our dying through violent means. It is a matter, for each of us – is death an angel or an executioner?