21 February 2018

Time Circles


"Left to our own devices, we would be constantly driven. Even when we stop, we are still thinking of what must be done next. Especially now, in this age of devastating environmental and social collapse, there are those of us who feel an unrelenting urgency to attend to the world "before it’s too late." But the great paradox is that it’s this condition of rushing anxiously ahead that got us into trouble in the first place.
As many aboriginal cultures view it, time is more circular in pattern; not like the Western linear comprehension of time as past-present-future, but flexible to the individual at the centre of that “time-circle.” In the Australian Aboriginal Dreaming, the past and future are embedded in the present. One’s embodiment is the ground into which all continuity flows, so the past can be just as influenced as the future by one’s way of going in the here and now.
If we are going to come back into the rhythm of nature, we have to slow down. If we imagine the world as our own body, speaking to us in loud, desperate pleas, the first thing we have to do is listen. We must acknowledge the limitations that have brought us to this terrifying precipice. We don’t know what we don’t know, and instead of pushing through our injury and confusion, we need to surrender the rush and show up instead with our heartbreak to encounter what is becoming. Be hospitable to what stillness has to offer. Cherish the opportunity to sink into the eternal, which is available to be bathed in at any given moment." - Toko-pa Turner, "Belonging" (www.belongingbook.com)


20 February 2018

The Sixth Mass Extinction


“The one that I will say impacts me most directly is the fact that we’re in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, that we are losing species at a rate that’s unprecedented since the dinosaurs disappeared.
It means we’re losing all of the intelligences they have and their power to inform us about the truth of reality.
And, of course, it also means we’re losing biodiversity. The biologist E. O. Wilson says that this is the most damaging thing that’s occurring, the loss of biodiversity, because the loss of any particular species in any particular ecosphere sends ripples across the entire ecosphere and shrinks the way that the entire ecosphere works. So for me there is a constant awareness of the death of long-term life-forms on this planet that is devastating to me.
There’s a kind of constant funeral – I don’t mean to say that I’m depressed and demoralized all the time – but I do tune into this on a regular basis, and the parade of death that’s going on in the natural world is very sad to me.
I think people don’t realize that they’re experiencing the same thing that I am.
They don’t understand that the sadness in their life has to do with these extinctions.
They think it’s something more personal.
It helps to know that there’s this collective grief that we’re not fully tuned into that’s interfering with our ability to enjoy life.
To return to the issue of mass extinction: I’m interested in a hypothesis articulated Jonathan Zap and Daniel Pinchbeck.
They propose that being on the verge of an ecocidal catastrophe may be a disguised opportunity for the human race to expedite the evolution of consciousness in ways that would not otherwise happen. With the possibility of doom hanging over us, we must get smarter faster in order to ensure our collective survival.
Zap and Pinchbeck invoke the ancient Roman legend of the Sword of Damocles, which they interpret to mean that when we are in great danger, and therefore our motivation to solve our predicament is heightened, as is our power to outgrow the habits that got us into this pickle.”
Rob Brezsny ❤️

7 February 2018



Photo Credit: Descubridor de cascadas, 2000, Tomas Sanchez

We might wonder: Why do we humans need to go through an initiatory process to discover our destined place in the more-than-human world when, as far as we can tell, other species do not? This question brings us right to the heart of the matter, touched on earlier: We humans possess a power that other species -- again, as far as we know -- do not possess, or at least not in the way or to a degree that we do. This power is our form or mode of consciousness, our capacity for conscious self-awareness, our outlandish ability to be aware that we are aware. This ability is both our greatest strength and our greatest liability, and is perhaps the best candidate for what makes us distinctively human. It enables us, for example, to imagine possible futures to a degree or in a way that other species cannot and to manifest those possibilities, for good or for ill.[1] On the other hand, it renders us distinctively liable to suffer identity crises. And it creates a special zone of self-consciousness, the ego, that takes control of our waking lives so that we end up choosing and acting way more from this limited zone than from our larger psyche -- until, that is, we've been initiated into our soul lives, "the one life that waits beyond all the others."
The existence of the ego is what makes us human but it also can be a catastrophic problem for us and for the rest of the Earth community if the ego is not carefully developed and matured. This is one of the most essential services a healthy culture provides: assuring that their children develop healthy, effective, life-enhancing egos. When this is done well by a human community, their youth, by their mid-teens, are psychospiritually prepared to embark upon the journey of soul initiation; they are ready to remember why they were born, the singular gift they possess for the web of life. Other species don't require this because they don't have egos that can get in the way of their full participation in the world. From day one, they're able to act and live in accordance with the place they were born to take.
We, on the other hand, have this exceptional capacity to become
consciously aware of our unique place in the world, an egoic capacity that bestows us with an immense power of creativity. This is nothing less than the power to consciously cooperate with evolution. But, if we don't undergo the initiatory process and uncover our soul's purpose -- distinct from our adolescent ego's purpose -- then this special human capacity gives us, instead, the power to destroy the world, whether we intend to or not. Creation or Mystery has taken a great risk by sparking our species into being, perhaps an ultimate gamble. As of the early twenty-first century, there's no telling which way it will go. Again, Diane di Prima (echoing John Keats):
... the war of the worlds hangs here, right now, in the balance
it is a war for this world, to keep it
a vale of soul-making ...[2]
We can see, then, that there is so much at stake within this topic of purpose, within this underworld realm of soul. A human with no purpose at all is a tragedy, a wasted life. A human with only an ego-level, psychologically adolescent purpose might realize some happiness and fulfillment, might in a variety of invaluable ways serve his or her community and the greater web of life, but could also end up being the worst kind of affliction: If he or she operates from a damaged ego and also "rises" to a position of significant economic, political, or military power, there's no limit to how much havoc s/he can wreak -- as we've seen throughout history and especially in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But an initiated person, a true adult, whose ego is in service to soul, not to itself, whose conscious purpose is fully aligned with his or her soul's purpose, with his or her ecological niche in the web of life, this person possesses the power to enhance life in never-before-seen ways, to cooperate creatively with evolution, to participate -- wildly and imaginatively -- in the great work of our time.
Over the past few hundred years, Western culture has rediscovered and extended the possibilities of individual human development -- an invaluable achievement -- but so far this has been limited to the middleworld and upperworld realms of development. If we can now add the rediscovery and re-embracing of the underworld of soul, the West could accomplish something unprecedented in human history -- something that might be necessary, as well, if we are to survive: the creation of a widespread, soul-infused culture in which full human development is culturally supported and prioritized, a resilient culture with a built-in, effective resistance to the more destructive potentials of the human species
- Bill Plotkins 

5 February 2018

Psychological Authenticity and Social Belonging



Psychological early adolescence is a life stage reached by most everyone at puberty, but in the contemporary world only a small minority, perhaps ten to fifteen percent, ever mature beyond this stage due to the difficulties of completing its developmental task. That task is to fashion a social presence that is authentic and at the same time accepted by one's peer group. For an early adolescent (of any age), "purpose" is whatever might achieve that dual goal. But that goal, as simple as it might sound, is extraordinarily elusive in the egocentric and pathological environment of contemporary Western culture.
The challenges of reaching that goal are largely due to the all-too-common failures with the tasks of the two stages of childhood, especially with the nature-oriented tasks of childhood.[1] For example, it's hard to be authentic when you have trouble being present to yourself and others. Cultivating the capacity for sustained presence is the nature-oriented task of early childhood (a task that must be addressed by the parents and other family members of the young child). But it's never too late in life to cultivate this essential capacity, which can be done through meditation or mindfulness practice, other contemplative arts such as tai chi or nature solos, expressive arts, presence-cultivating psychotherapies, and other practices.[2] Presence is a prerequisite for true empathy and compassion -- including self-compassion. Empathy for others and compassion for oneself have become rare achievements, and they are both essential for achieving authenticity.
Authenticity is also much more difficult when you don't feel at home in the more-than-human world (that is, the more extensive and differentiated world that includes our human world as a subset). Learning the enchantment of the larger world that enables the human village to exist at all is the nature-oriented developmental task of middle childhood. Nature connection is the evolutionary and psychological foundation for feeling at home in any other context, including your peer group.
All challenges in human development stem from the cultural disconnect from the greater Earth community. Conversely, our single greatest collective need now is for what I call eco-awakening -- the somatic experience of being fully at home in the more-than-human world. Our second greatest need is the cultivation of personal authenticity and heartfelt social belonging.
Because psychological authenticity and social belonging have become so rare, they are perhaps the greatest and most pervasive longings in the Western world today. Witness the explosive growth and addictive qualities of social media such as Facebook. Being liked (or even "liked") and being authentic is what most people mean when they say they yearn for greater meaning and purpose in their lives or for the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the world. These are core middleworld desires and purposes. People want to feel more real and more a part of a real world, in greater communion with the web of life. They want their lives to make a difference. This, indeed, is the ultimate goal of the journey of soul initiation, but the necessary foundation for the soul journey is an achieved middleworld experience of psychological belonging (to yourself), social belonging (to a peer group), and ecological belonging (to the more-than-human world), the latter being eco-awakening. The eventual achievement of a soul-infused belonging to the world is built upon this prior three-legged middleworld foundation of belonging.
It seems what most people mean when they say they want more "soul" in their lives is actually this sense of psychological and social belonging. A smaller group also means greater ecological belonging. A group smaller yet mean the kind of mystical, underworld belonging to the world implied by the way I use the word soul in these pages. For yet others, "to experience soul" means to merge with the upperworld realm of Spirit or the divine.

- Bill Plotkin 

26 January 2018

Survival Day



I no longer judge anyone who chooses to celebrate Australia day.

we don't feel what we don't feel.

AND we can't heal what we don't feel.

I won't be shaming anyone who chooses to celebrate, each to their own.

Perhaps the nausea I feel about all those Australian flags is my own undigested grief.


It's been a longtime on this song-line.

I yearn for resilience and solidarity - I'm tired of the division and polarities. 

This is an epic country. I just can't stomach the nationalism thing...

#integration #healing #unity #diversity

If we look at humanity and the planet as a collective whole, then we've got some serious internal conflict that needs tending..

within each of us, individually.

together, collectively.

I'm learning to own and face my pain - and call home my projections. 

cleaning up my own river, my own songlines.

no more blame. no more judgement. no more victims.

LEST WE FORGET.

Let's just Forget?

Rest and Reset.

In truth, I really want to celebrate Australia day - I want to feel that feeling, a sense of pride. proudness. togetherness. solidarity.

To be proud of my country, many diverse cultures interwoven, I want in on that. I want my children's children in on that. 

I do feel a connection to country (land) - and I'm grateful for this gift and it's my wish that everyone felt it.

looking up at the southern cross, the milky way, people been doing that on these old lands for 60,000 years plus 

I know it in my bones that my celtic ancestors were also traumatically colonised - their Earth connection was severed by a monotheistic desert religion. 

Whether we feel it or not, there is widespread inter-generational trauma within all of our interwoven lineages.

26th of January 1788 was the day that Captain Cook landed in Australia and claimed this land for the British Empire.

An unlawful occupation on the false basis of 'Terra Nulias' meaning "nobody's land" 

It has become known by many as invasion day and others as survival day.

This date not only marks the beginning of widespread genocide and cultural devastation, but also  massive ecological destruction, with the highest mammalian extinction rate on the planet.

An extractive ideology, and a worldview that saw humanity as above and beyond natural lore.

It was not uncommon for men to gather after Church service on Sunday to go out and shoot Aboriginals.

Massacre sites are dotted across the country.

Some of the stories are horrific. 

The intergenerational trauma is real.

For me the 26th of January is no day to celebrate Australia.

For many the 26th of January is a day of deep grief. 

And of resilience, culture resurgence and re-integration.

And now there is a campaign to change the date which is gaining traction.

May we move forward together in solidarity and togetherness, in collective healing.

Listen more than we speak. 

Two ears. 

One mouth. 

A Third Eye.

Our hearts.

True listening. Curiosity. 

Deep listening.

Dadirri. 

Inner, quiet, still awareness.

Forgiveness and compassion in liberal doses please.

Just keep applying. just keep tending.

keep crying. keep mending.

keep sending.

Love.

Openness. receiving. grieving.

re-weaving. 

believing. 

this is 

the Dreaming.