(First of the Seven Sisters — Morro Bay, California)
Earth’s Dreaming: The Higher Earth
These writings concerning America, the Original People, and Earth, now continue to unfold more toward Earth-Presence — for the great mysteries of the Original People definitely concern their being as the ongoing uniting with Earth. However, the way we presently experience Earth is much more earth than Earth. I fear, because of my inadequacies, that whenever these writings speak of Earth, it is heard quite literally as what is before and all around us and beneath our feet, the place on which we live. But, this is what I mean by “earth”, a kind of narrowed and formed experience of the presence of unformed but highly alive Earth. Earth is not imprisoned earth, and earth is the view from our imprisonment.
Satprem, the author of “Mother or Mutation of Death”, provides a detailed and profoundly moving reflection on the work of Mother, the partner of Sri Aurobindo. Aurobindo had developed the imagination of the ‘Supramental’ – that is, what is “beyond” the mental, and the Mother, from within matter, where she finally arrived after many, many years of excruciatingly painful/joyful meditative experimentation, found the Reality. She did this by diving down into the cells of the body, discovering that Body is Matter is Spirit is Love is Earth.
There is no place of “viewpoint” there, nothing “transcendent” or, we might say it is all-transcendent there, becoming the cells. Free of conceptualizing and thus also in a suspension of language, Mother later found very, very few words to even approach saying what happened. She spoke of matter as far “denser” and “harder” than the earth we know — like a diamond, she said, but it is also malleable, plastic, everywhere at once, and there is no longer a within/without; it is pure freedom from the ‘prison’ of the “crust” of the dying-away body that surrounds the true fluidity and plasticity of the cells, the core of bodily being and where earth ceases and Earth begins.
The true body and Earth can be imagined as somewhat like a tree, whose center of sap is movable, the very matter of the tree, while, that malleability becomes the dying bark of a world and of an earth that does not yet know Her true being as Earth, though certainly lives it deep within. We take the ‘bark’ of the body as body, and even insert that way of thinking into the very Life of body, unable to see that our dead thinking has transformed Life into something dead. When, for example, body cells are looked at under the microscope. Here, an unconscious and profound contradiction take place: we see something living being treated as an “object over there” to be observed, not unlike we treat Earth as earth, an object over there to inspire us, to be used by us without offering the needed return of reverence. Matter is all-giving.
Bringing Mother to our conversing perhaps helps to open a beginning imagining and experiencing Earth as She truly exists as a spiritual being rather than our concepts of earth as if separate from anything of spirit.
Matter understood by physics, the study of the physical realm, and a word which means ‘being born’, clearly misses the mark by misusing the word and hearing it as “already here, done and finished”, ready now for our probing. We probe by installing a theory of matter that substitutes explanation for immediacy and intimacy. This substitute for presence with the mystery of matter results in the destructiveness of the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the supercollider, and quantum theory, Chernoble, Fukushima, further removing us from Earth.
Then, another, more available imagination of the true. Satprem, almost in passing, speaks of the “Higher Earth.” What could he be alluding to? Something like Earth reaching for the Heavens, as the Heavens reach toward Earth, the very essence of the act of Divine Desire, both, out of which ongoing creating happens always. This way of speaking is “mythical” description in the true meaning of Myth as “something that never happened but is always happening” – and thus we can perhaps begin, not to utter about Earth, but hear Her speaking. Here, then is another imagination of Earth as always receptively creating.
Ongoing creating expresses as Earth’s dreaming – an imagination of what happens in the mythical embrace of Heaven with Earth and Earth with Heaven, perhaps even something like the Divine kiss where the two Unite in dreaming.
Here is an instance of being bodily present and noticing such a dreaming embrace always happening. A couple of days ago, I drove with a friend from Atascadero, California, over to Morro Bay, about a thirty-five-minute drive. Almost the moment we left the place of Earth’s dream we were unknowingly with, the dream where the place of Atascadero now stands, the presence of The Silence, became tangible, an actual substance, thick, permeable, mobile, immediately bodily sensed, and only then coming to recognition. If the recognition can be held off, the immediate body-sensing expands and expands, something like a spiraling sphere, not straight-lined. We shall have to begin speaking of ‘the body’, rather than ‘my body’ – and, not as a concept. Have you ever experienced, even for a second, noticing you as body, without the interference of “my”? The enfolding Silence quietly here, permeated, surrounded and embraced body.
We had not crossed into some new territory, there was no boundary. Rather, it is more like suddenly folding into and being enfolded by a different creating of Earth’s dream than the dream we were not conscious within when in Atascadero, a different dream place than here. This dream of Earth as thick, heart-opening Silence lasted all the way to the ocean.
Right at the shore, there is a huge, huge, huge stone – said to be the “plug” of an ancient volcano. One side of the stone sinks into the water’s deep waves of rhythmic back and forth, one-two, one-two, one-two musical movement. The Silence, the rhythmic unheard vibrations of the waves, the totality of the ocean, could be felt as vibrating as Silence through the stone, creating the continuance of the whole of the ocean, tangibly, for that distance where first felt and intangibly forever on. To speak of this presence as a stone, however, bespeaks a forgetfulness of what was said above. To look at the ‘rock’ ‘over there’, is not unlike objectifying the cells of the body under the microscope. The mind conceptualizes ‘stone’, but the heart bodily resonances the Silence.
The volcanic “plug” as it is geologically named, the very core of the ancient volcano, is not unlike the flow of the sap at the core of the tree spoken of earlier. Not having developed the capacities to enter matter as Earth dreaming, the subtle trailing of this dream-place nonetheless spread palpably and infinitely as the rhythmic Silence dream occurring, as if, matter, here, all Ocean water-rhythm and volcano makes the vast dream of this Silence, a dream space that can be felt until another Earth dream enfolds us.
We are folding into and out of Earth dreaming all the time. All of Nature is Earth’s multiple, really infinite, dreaming. Dreaming here does not indicate something downward and unconscious as we take dreams to be, upon which Jung establishes a whole interpretive discipline. Earth dreaming is her ever-emerging Beauty, creating landscapes, seas mountains plains, lakes, nature, plants, creatures. To attack one of them attacks them all in a murderous act focused on some pathological hatred of Earth. To be with them, even to carefully take something needed in reverence and returning a heart-prayer – then, this taking becomes a taking-in, an inexplicable sharing of Her dreaming.