Earth, our Sacred Home

"The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows. When we emerge from our offices, rooms and houses, we enter our natural element. We are children of the earth: people to whom the outdoors is home. Nothing can separate us from the vigor and vibrancy of this inheritance. In contrast to our frenetic, saturated lives, the earth offers a calming stillness. Movement and growth in nature takes its time. The patience of nature enjoys the ease of trust and hope. There is something in our clay nature that needs to continually experience this ancient, outer ease of the world. It helps us remember who we are and why we are here."
                                                                                                                           --
John O'Donohue

“We may be the first generations in history to whom the future was seen so dispensable because we are using up everything we can, it seems, as fast as possible, every last bit of the oil, every last bit of fossil fuels, every last bit of the top soil, as if there were going to be no tomorrow, and that becomes, of course, a self-fulfilling prophesy.”
  
                                                                                                         --Joanna Macy

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"We Need to End the Fossil Fuel Age": Music Legend Neil Young Protests Keystone XL Oil Pipeline 042814

Arif Gamal - Morning in Serra Mattu: A Nubian Ode 042014
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Mayor of Town That Hosted Fukushima Nuclear Plant Says
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Nature Connection Will Be the Next Big Human Trend 082214

Research: California’s Drought Situation More Dire Than We Realize 072514

In Latest Step In Its ‘War On Smog’ Effort, China Says It Will Triple Solar Capacity By 2017 051714

Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy 051314

 

 

"What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
If holy water--the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being."

               --Ganga White

 

 

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Winter Solstice 2013 - Tat Erick, Earth Peoples United

Tinamit Junan Uleu - Earth Peoples United

Indigenous Groups Win Right to Seize Chevron’s Canadian Assets over $18 Billion in Amazon Pollution 122013

Arctic 30 Members Welcome Russian Amnesty, But Refuse to Apologize for Trying to Stop Oil Drilling 122013

Fritjof Capra on Civilization, Sustainability, and Learning
from Michelangelo
120413

Best Earth Footage (1080p HD) Enigma - Indian Chanting.
Yeha Noha - Sacred Spirits

Fukushima at our Shore 111213

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013: Vandana Shiva - Growth = Poverty Nov 2-4, 2013 Sydney

Josh Fox on Gasland Part 2, the Fracking-Earthquake Link & the Natural Gas Industry’s Use of PSYOPs 071213

Living Rainbow: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Most Beautiful
Tree Bark on Earth

Earth my Body
The Earth Is Our Mother

The Elder Brothers Warning (Kogi Tribe)

Teachings of the Tree People - Bruce Miller, Skokomish Tribal Leader

 

 

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“Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. ... The air is precious to the redman. For all things share the same breath – the beasts, the trees, and the man. ... All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.”
  
                                                                                                 --Chief Seattle, 1854

 

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Victor Menotti, Intl Forum on Globalization, and Michelle Chan, Friends of the Earth - the TPP and the pivot to Asia 052913

Climate Tipping Point? Concentration of Carbon Dioxide Tops 400 ppm for First Time in Human History 051313

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!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Bill McKibben: Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses 020613

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

San Francisco on Track to Become Zero Waste City 012513


 

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”
  
                                                                                                                            --Rachel Carson

 

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"The Awakening" (2011 Final Version, Full Length Documentary)

Pledge of Allegiance to the Family of Earth

 

 

“Zapata didn't fight for 'the little lands' --as Villa used to say-- but for Mother Earth, and from Her.  His struggle takes roots because his struggle is roots. This is why none of his alliances remains.  Zapata doesn't want to go anywhere: he wants to remain. His purpose is not to open the doors of progress... but to close them: to reconstruct the mythical map of a human ecological system where each tree and each hill were there with a purpose; a world alien to any dynamism that is not the vital dialog with the earth.”
  
                                 --Alfredo Krauze ,"Biografia del Poder: Emiliano Zapata" (Mexico, FCE, 1987)

 

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8 Great Environmental Charities to Support on Earth Day

Awakening the Skeena DVD

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To raise awareness Ali Howard swam the entire 610km length of the Skeena river in northwest BC in 26 days
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From Jasper T. Woodsman
- Navigating by the Stars: Finding True North by the Big Dipper
- Navigating by the Stars II: The Sun and Moon
- Navigating by the Stars III: The Constellations

 

 

"No longer a dead rock we live upon, the Earth is a living process in which we participate."
                                                                                                              --Joanna Macy
"Treat the earth well.  It was not given to you by your parents.   It was lent to you by your children."
  
                                                                                                                --Kenyan proverb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Sacred Earth

Chief Seattle

In 1854, the "Great White Chief" in Washington made an offer for a large area
of Indian land and promised a "reservation" for the Native American people.
Chief Seattle's reply, published here in full, has been described as the most
beautiful and profound statement ever made on the environment.


How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.

If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man - all belong to the same family.

So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asked much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us.

This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people, the water’s murmur the voice of my father’s father.

The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst, the rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours; and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave behind, and he does not care. His father’s grave and his children’s birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads, his appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways, the sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings. But perhaps it is because I am savage and do not understand. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented with the pinon pine.

The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath - the beast, the tree the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports, the wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.

So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition: the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.

I am savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground they spit upon themselves.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth, this we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, the does to himself.

Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny.... We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover - our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white, this earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The white too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the god who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man, that destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone, is the eagle? Gone the end of living and the beginning of survival.

Controversy exists as to the precise words, given in a speech, and several versions exist online. Chief Seattle
(more correctly known as Seathl) was chief of the Susquamish who lived on the islands of the Puget Sound.

 

 

 

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Naomi Klein on Environmental Victory: Obama Delays Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Decision Until 2013 111111

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Sustainability in 7: William McDonough 032811

Because We Deserve Safe, Clean Energy

Penguins -- This is magical!

A Land Out of Time - Oil & gas leases consuming public lands

The Magnificent Universe - Gas drilling in the Rockies

Human Planet

Sharkwater - Full-length documentary - MUST SEE!
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Yorgos Kazantzis "Tide"

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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2010 - Click on photo...

Rachel Becker, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility - 1st hour
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Philip Maldari, KPFA Sunday Show
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Naomi Klein: Tim DeChristopher Guilty Verdict Exposes "Double Standard" of How "Oil and Gas Companies Privatize Profits...Externalize the Cost" 030911

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq - Melt the Ice in Your Hearts! 020211

Angaangaq in conversation w/ Doug Parks - The Conscious Activist

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Kiesha Crowther - A New World is Dawning 011111

 

 

 

DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE -- Strategy to Save the Planet 050511

Leaf Mimicking Catalyst Inventor Signs Huge Contract with Tata Group for Hydrogen from Water Device 032811

Ecuadorian Court Issues $8 Billion Judgment Against Chevron 021511

 

 

"The world is not a collection of objects but a communion of subjects."
                                                                                                              --Thomas Berry

 

 

 

At Blackwater Pond
the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.

I dip my cupped hands.
I drink a long time.
It tastes like stone, leaves, fire.
It falls cold into my body, waking the bones.
I hear them deep inside me,
whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened

~ Mary Oliver

 

 

“The countries with large and influential indigenous populations are well in the lead in seeking to preserve the planet. The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing toward destruction.”
  
                                                                                                                          --Noam Chomsky

 

 

Perspectiva

Creation Magnificent

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6 Months Since BP Oil Spill, Writer and Environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams Asks "Where Is Our Outrage?" 102110

Bioneers Radio Series 4-Revolution from the Heart of Nature
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The Gulf Between Us - Terry Tempest Williams Nov/Dec 2010

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Carolyn Baker: When Facing Reality is not 'Negative Thinking'  

Sandra Steingraber - In the Footsteps of Rachel Carson

 

 

"It's all alive.  It's all connected.  It's all intelligent.  It's all relatives."
                                                                                                              --Bioneers

 

The Almond and the Bee 101207

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"The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

 

 


Messages from the Grandmothers and Chief Looking Horse

May 12, 2010


"You Are Desperately Needed"

"We ask you to cast, anchor, and hold the Net of Light steady for the Gulf of Mexico," the Grandmothers said. "This crisis is affecting the entire world, and humanity is asleep. Wake up!" they cried. "Animals are dying, plants are dying, and your Mother is writhing in agony. If you hold the Net of Light steady at this time you will help stave off further catastrophe.

"You have been lulled into a false sleep," they said, "told that others (B.P.) will take care of this problem. This is not so," they said. "And this is not the time for you to fall into oblivion. Determine now to stay awake, and once you have made that commitment, think of, cast, and hold the Net of Light. Hold it deep and hold it wide. Amplify its reach to penetrate the waters of the Gulf and dive deep beneath the crust of Mother Earth. Anchor it at the earth's core and as you hold it there, ask it to unify with the mineral kingdom of this planet. It will do this and will harmonize with all the solid and liquid mineral states on earth-including oil and gas. The Net of Light will call these minerals back into harmony.

"Whatever human beings have damaged, human beings must correct," the Grandmothers said. "This is the law. We repeat: This is the law.You cannot sit back and ask God to fix the mess humanity has created. Each of you must throw your shoulders to the wheel and work. We are asking for your help. Several years ago we gave you the Net of Light so you would be able to help the earth at times like this. Step forward now. This is the Net of Light that will hold the earth during the times of change that are upon you," they said.

"First move into your heart and call on us. We will meet you there. The Net of Light is lit by the jewel of your heart," they said, "so move into this lighted place within you and open to the Net of which you are a part. Bask in its calming presence. It holds you at the same time that you hold it.

"Now think of magnifying your union with us. We, the Great Council of the Grandmothers, are with you now, and all those who work with the Net of Light are also with you. There are thousands, even millions now connected in light," they said. "Along with this union, call forth the power of the sacred places on earth. These will amplify the potency of our joint effort. Then call on the sacred beings that have come to prevent the catastrophe that threatens to overwhelm your planet. We will work together," they said, nodding slowly.

"Think of, cast and magnify the presence of the Net of Light in the Gulf of Mexico. See, imagine or think of it holding the waters, holding the land, the plants, the sea life, and the people. Holding them all!" they said. "The Net of Light is holding them steady; it is returning them to balance. Let the love within your lighted heart keep pouring into the Net of Light and hold, hold, hold. Calmly and reverently watch as the light from your heart flows along the strands of the Net. It will follow your command and continuously move forth. As soon as you think of it, it will happen. We ask you to practice this for only a few minutes at a time, but to repeat it throughout the day and night.

"We promise that this work with the Net of Light will do untold good," the Grandmothers said. "We are calling you to service now. You are needed. Do not miss this opportunity. We thank you and bless you."

This message is from the Peace Chief of the
Lakota Oyate, Arvol Looking Horse:

Chief Looking Horse

 

May 12, 2010

A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.

As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
http://www.Wolakota .org


Since the early 90's, Chief Looking Horse has been on the Board of the Society of Peace of Prayer that plants Peace Poles around the world, carrying the inscription "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in four different languages. His biography can be found at http://arvollooking horse.homestead. com/chief_ arvol_bio_ 2001.html

 

 

 

 

"There are no passengers on spaceship Earth...we're all crew."
   
                                                                                               --Marshall McLuhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping in the Forest

by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth
remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me,
the insects and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Center for Global Environmental Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing prayer of Dr. Emoto

Dr. Masaru Emoto is the Japanese scientist who has done the research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research revealed that water physically responds to emotions.

Most of us are angry when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. We may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr. Emoto has proposed. Our united energy can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening.

Healing prayer of Dr. Emoto

"I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings.  To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, planktons, corals, algae and all living creatures... I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you."

Masaru Emoto      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Facing Reality is not 'Negative Thinking'

by Carolyn Baker


Recently a friend told me that she had been talking up my book Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse and suggesting to friends who are aware of collapse that they read it. On several occasions the response was, "Well, I don't want to engage in ‘negative thinking'. I'd rather keep a positive attitude and stay hopeful in the face of what's going in on the world." When I heard this, I smiled inside because this perspective in particular prompted me to write the book. One of my intentions in doing so was to help heal the false assumption that looking honestly at the end of the world as we have known it is synonymous with wallowing in negativity.

First, let me begin by assuring the reader that I do not recommend staring down collapse 24-7. Initially, admitting the reality of collapse is frightening and disheartening. People at first tend to become overwhelmed with fear or hopelessness or both. At that point, we can do one of two things: We can back off and process the facts in bits and pieces, interspersing doing so with living our everyday lives, doing things we enjoy with people we love, and savoring everything in life that nourishes us. Or, we can immediately engage one or more defense mechanisms in order to assuage our fear and cognitive dissonance. The defense mechanism most frequently employed is denial, and unfortunately, some forms of spirituality are particularly useful in fostering denial because inherent in them is the assumption that accepting the demise of industrial civilization will drag one down into permanent depression, anger, hopelessness, or despair. While it is true that when first acknowledging collapse, one might experience such feelings, this does not guarantee that one must choose to take up residence in dark feelings, redecorate, change one's address, and permanently reside there.

I wrote Sacred Demise from the perspective of exactly the opposite experience. Did I feel negative feelings when first learning about collapse and its implications? Of course. Do I still have moments when negative feelings return and cloud what was an-otherwise normal day? Absolutely. But for me, acknowledging and preparing for collapse has been a sea-change in every aspect of my life which includes a full palette of emotional and spiritual colors and hues. It has indeed made me more fully human and alive.

Rather than dragging me down into depression and despair, my acceptance of what is, has liberated me both emotionally and spiritually. As I have released false hopes of "fixing" civilization cosmetically or creating a mass consciousness change that might engender mass movements, I have gained much more energy for my work and for preparation for the daunting days ahead. In other words, I have gained a visceral understanding of "crisis as opportunity"-a cliché which I bandied about earlier in my life could not fully appreciate until I allowed myself to deeply understand collapse and its ramifications.

Last month, Oregon Peak Oil researcher and blogger, Jan Lundberg, put out a call to his readers to respond on three questions regarding collapse:

  • What we are acting toward? What main outcome might we be looking forward to?
  • What do we relish leaving behind, as collapse begins or as it will be intensified?
  • What do we not want to leave behind unresolved; or, what needs to be done before it's too late to accomplish it?

This week, Culture Change published the results of the survey which I strongly encourage everyone to read. Here are a few responses:

•· I look forward to the world breaking up "into small colonies of the saved" (Robert Bly). I look forward to a simpler, less neurotic life for me and my children. I would like to think that my children, while their chances of survival may be lower, their chances of happiness will be higher.

•· The central change I would like to see is abandonment of the addictive, frenzied, exploitative American way of life in favor of a tribal, cooperative, relaxed way of life that puts responsibility toward other species and the Earth, as well as other human beings, first.

•· An authentic life that is centered around people and not things. Revival of things spiritual and not material.

•· Learning how to live with each other and within the larger community of our bioregions and ecosystems in a way that is intimate, honest, humble, and humanly and ecologically sustainable. That includes restoring viable community life, economic and ecological relationships and systems - living systems.

While none of us knows exactly how the collapse of civilization will unfold and while it is a process--sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant whose beginning, middle, and end are and will be difficult to discern, the responses to Lundberg's questions are encouraging. First, they let me know that I'm not alone and that there are many more individuals than I could have imagined who are looking at collapse with the same optimism-and fear-that I feel when I contemplate it. Moreover, what I hear in these responses is not "negativity" but a deep longing for the possibility of living lives in harmony with all of the earth community and thereby experiencing the fullness of our humanity.

In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Sigmund Freud cultivated a very dark perception of humanity as he assessed the baser instincts largely repressed in the human unconscious. His pupil who became the famous Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, acknowledged the dark side of humanity which drove Freud to utter despair but unlike Freud, Jung came to believe that the dark side was a necessary ally in transforming human consciousness. He spent decades studying myriad spiritual teachers, mythologies, and archetypes of the unconscious, and championed the sacred in nature and in the human psyche; however, Jung insisted that, "We must beware of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites. The criterion of ethical action can no longer consist in the simple view that good has the force of a categorical imperative, while so-called evil can resolutely be shunned. Recognition of the reality of evil necessarily relativizes the good, and the evil likewise, converting both into halves of a paradoxical whole."

In other words, according to Jung, what we call "good" and "evil" need each other and in our binary thinking are opposite poles which in reality comprise the whole of the human experience; one needs the other for completion, and particularly for the transformation of consciousness. This is why Jung adamantly declared that "Mental illness is the avoidance of suffering." He was not referring to meaningless anguish but suffering which we endeavor to make sense of so that our genuine human purpose may be revealed to us.

In Sacred Demise, I repeatedly return to the question: Who do we want to be in the face of collapse? My friend Joanna Gabriel in a wonderful 2007 interview with Peak Moment TV beautifully articulates the question "Who Am I In A Post-Petroleum World". We both concur that these are the ultimate questions that collapse is inviting us to address in our individual lives and in our communities. I believe that it is futile to attempt to do so unless we are willing to struggle with all of the human emotions that emerge as we choose to stop avoiding the issue of collapse and with the support of trusted others, look at it honestly, welcoming it as a wise teacher and ally.

Sacred Demise painstakingly guides the reader in opening to the process of initiation that collapse is foisting upon us. The ancients and all traditional peoples know that without initiations, humans will not develop into mature, whole beings. In such cultures, it would be almost unheard of for anyone to speak of "wanting to avoid negativity" because all experiences and feelings are honored as necessary aspects of the human condition, without which humans cannot become fully conscious.

Among other things, collapse is asking us to grow up, to become initiated elders and thereby guide humanity in a revolutionary new direction. Near the end of Sacred Demise, I include an excerpt from a comment a reader of my website, Truth to Power, emailed me last year. He wrote:

"I, for one, would find much more meaning from putting food on the table that is truly needed and sustaining rather than taken for granted. Food that I raised or killed myself, or we ourselves, or my neighbor did, and I bartered with him for it. Much more so than the meaning Empire tells me what I am supposed to get from sitting here in my cubicle (my penultimate day today!) rearranging little electronic blips in exchange for money, which I am then supposed to exchange not only for my sustenance, but also for all sorts of diversions, to make me forget how meaningless it all is. I, for one, will find consolation in knowing my neighbors - and in knowing that they are there for me as I am for them, rather than living amidst strangers, as most all of us do now. I will find consolation in knowing that my ecological footprint does not extend beyond my gaze. That the things I consume do not cause death and destruction beyond my ability to see and internalize, rather than out of sight and mind as now, and so much larger than any being could ever have a ‘right' to. I, for one, will find purpose in working closely and cooperatively and communally with those around me to provide our own sustenance, comforts such as they may be, and entertainments as time allows.I have no illusions that life post-collapse will be idyllic, nor that the transition will be anything but ugly. But neither shall I miss that which is dying - the dizzying complexity of our oil-drenched lifestyles, a thousand channels of nothing worth watching, mega-malls, motor sports (how many kinds of insane are those!?!), celebrities, glitter, growth, more, faster, bigger, keep up with the Joneses but ignore the sweatshops and the dying ecosystems, consume, medicate, live large... then die. Where is one to find a sense of purpose in all of that?"

Whether one considers oneself "spiritual", atheist, agnostic, religious, or eternally skeptical, the task of accepting collapse and seizing the myriad opportunities it presents, is sacred work. As for me, nothing in my life has proven more positive or powerful.

Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., is the author of Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse (2009 IUniverse). She manages the Truth to Power website at and has also authored U.S. History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear a real story about an artificial tail
Japanese sculptor to speak in San Francisco of labor of love

Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Coming to San Francisco from Japan tonight is a touching tale about a tail.

A bottlenose dolphin named Fuji caught a mysterious disease that cost her 75 percent of her tailfin, a tragedy akin to a boat losing most of its propeller.

The Okinawa aquarium where she lives cured the disease but couldn't replace her tail. So it called upon the world's biggest rubber and tire firm, Bridgestone, to make an artificial one.

Bridgestone's tires may be very good, but the fake tail didn't work.

The Okinawa Chiraumi Aquarium then turned to an Osaka sculptor who crafts acrylic dolphins. Could he help make a tail for the dolphin named after Japan's most famous mountain?

Kazuhiko Yakushiji felt he owed his happiness to dolphins. He said yes and worked three years. This past July, the new tail was done.

Fuji could not only swim again, she could jump out of the water.

"Fuji couldn't swim," the artist said in an interview Monday as he recalled meeting the dolphin for the first time. "She seemed really depressed. I thought Fuji might die if nothing was done."

The problem was that Bridgestone had made a generic dolphin tail, said Yakushiji, who at age 38 is one year older than Fuji.

"Each dolphin is different," said Yakushiji, who will give a talk with illustrations tonight in San Francisco, the first time he's told his story outside Japan.

"I found out that Fuji and her family have a special curve in their tail," said Yakushiji, who had studied dolphins at Florida's Dolphin Research Center. Together, he and Bridgestone crafted a rubber-composite prosthetic fin with the proper curve for Fuji.

Yakushiji's devotion to dolphins began a decade ago, when he was running a small energy firm inherited from his father.

"My heart and soul were exhausted," he said. He went away for a swim-with-dolphins excursion at Ogasawara islands.

"I met a wild dolphin, and that changed my entire life," he said.

At first, he had been too tired to jump in with the other swimmers, but he finally took the plunge alone on the other side of the boat. The life-altering dolphin swam up and played with him.

"That dolphin completely healed me," he said. The encounter moved him to quit his job and realize his life's wish to become an artist.

Dolphins became a dominant theme. "I wanted to show my gratitude," he said.

San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~Pledge of Allegiance to the Family of Earth~~~

I pledge allegiance to the Earth,
and to the flora, fauna
and human life that it supports,
one planet, indivisible,
with safe air, water and soil,
economic justice, equal rights
and peace for all.

— Women's Environment and Development
Organization of the Women's Foreign Policy Council

 

 

 

 

 

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