The Greening of the World
There are several ways a modern city-dweller may restore his or her relationship with nature. First of all, you may realize how in the past our closeness to life has been ruthlessly suppressed. During more than two millennia patriarchal religion - especially "JuChrisLam" - tried to eradicate everything that tied us to the beliefs e.g. practices of the era preceding them: that of the Great Mother. Reality - the original oneness - became divided in two opposing spheres: Light and darkness, God and the world, culture and nature, men and women, spirit and body. The whole effort was to put the emphasis on the former at the expense of the latter. The common denominator was "ratio" or the dominance of "reason". It caused a deeply rooted schizophrenia on all levels of society. Actually, the entire culture became alienated from life.
The first step could be to FEEL this alienation. To become painfully aware of this split within yourself, and between yourself and your environment. The more you allow this pain to enter your innermost core, the more intense your longing for wholeness. Like my experiences as a young boy. Often, while on the bicycle I passed a beautiful lonely tree, situated a hundred yards in the green. I had seen this tree many times already. And for sure, I had not closed myself for its unique appearance, at all. One morning, however, while again passing him I suddenly realized, that I never ever had FELT the tree. This came to me as a shock. The tree and me, despite our frequent encounters, had never really met each other! During that entire period we had remained strangers. The cause was my identification with my mind. My thinking - "what a beautiful tree" - made direct contact with the tree impossible. This realization gave me insight about the nature of the mind at a very early age, in a way that would shape my whole future life.
So, what could help here is to actually going back to all those memories of your childhood, in which you experienced initimate relationship with the nature around you. Inevitably, some will be more priviledged than others in this regard. I again was lucky, since my parents owned a house with a (very) small piece of forest as a garden. This forest was my true home. Whenever I could I retreated there, becoming part of its magic. The plants and animals, without exception were my kins, brothers and sisters, living together in the same little universe. As a child your senses are (still) wide open. So, I was totally absorbed by the silence, the greenness of shrubs and trees, the fragrances, the rustling of the wind, the softness of the soil and the songs of the birds....I tried to make my experiences even more realistic by digging my own hole under the ground, roof, table and candle light included, or constructing a hut in the tree, from where I had a fascinating view on the world around me. The interferences of my mother - calling me for dinner - were always a brutal end to these my pleasures of paradise.
The current environmental degradation could be the drop that makes your cup run over. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with nature itself. What we see around us is a mirror to our own behaviour. It is the above mentioned alienation, combined with our lack of inner fulfillment, that is the cause of the craving for more (and more), that is rapidly destroying our natural environment. It could lead to a "vow" to really and truly changing your life. Supported by (strong) early memories and emotions you may try to re-connect to nature, here and now. This could start with restoring contact with your own body, as your closest part of nature. "Normally" your body is something strange to you. You only feel it, when being harmed or inflicted by something, f.i. the pain of your first rheumatic attack. It never occurred to you, that the body is a source of regeneration. The body as a source of energy and joy is something many still have to discover. Not to speak of the body as the dimension, through which you establish direct contact with your immediate environment. I call this "feeling awareness".
Becoming aware and feeling the body are two sides of the same coin. Consciously feeling your foot soles while walking, your behind while sitting in the chair or your back while laying down, is where it is all about. Its effects are manifold. First, you discover a feedback between inner clarity and the intensity of energy. The more open I am for the sensations of my knee, the more intense these sensations become, which in their turn stimulate the clarity of observation. This self-observation is very fundamental. It reflects a basic law of the universe, in which Emptiness (Consciousness) and energy (body) prove to be two sides of the same coin. What a miracle! More discoveries will be there for you. Including your body as part of the Self will raise spontaneous compassion for this great gift. Rather than only noticing it when exposed to rude interference, you start tuning in to all kinds of subtle, joyful and meaningful sensations. The body as a source of positive self-experience - joy and insight - is a pre-condition for appreciating nature! This you will automatically come to know, when sooner or later your awareness - with the help of the body - starts expanding into your immediate surroundings. The chair, the table, the carpet and the bookshelf, all prove to be content of (One) Consciousness. While becoming part of you, you love them as your Self.* Step by step, by expanding your awareness/ compassion more, you will include the whole of nature and the world.
* See also: The Integral Way
Sooner or later you may feel the need of integrating your experiences into a new world view. Your cognitive mind also wants its share in trying to understand what this possibly could mean. It likes to interpret the process, in order to be able to design clear concepts. Obviously, this is a step you shouldn't neglect. New insights and experiences should become integrated on all levels of your personality. Only then a true transformation can take place. What helped me a lot was a spontaneuos intuition I received almost two decades ago. Its starting point was the ego in its relation to the evolution. Clearly, our ego is the latest development in a process that started with the greatest mysteries of all: the birth of Consciousness (Divine Light) out of the unfathomable Dark Bottomlessness of the Cosmic Womb. It leads to the insight, that humans - compared to all other creatures - are at the greatest distance from the Original Source. In the Here and Now a similar observation can be made. Everything without exception is part of the Whole, e.g. of the all-embracing Cosmic Womb (with the Divine as Her Light Body). The whole of "creation" is embedded in it. Therefore, Enlightenment is the "container" of the entire universe. However, the only creatures that can (and do) themselves turn away from it, are humans. Who, thus, are closer "to God": the grass and the trees or us? This is underlined by our own experience. We go into nature in order to become refreshed, regenerated, yes even renewed. While playing with animals we regain our "original" playfulness.
Why the Mother makes a difference with regard to saving the planet? Why God won't do? Or humanism? Because only the Mother gives you the necessary insight. It is the reason, why "She has revealed HerSelf". For this you have to go back to the characteristics of the Cosmic Vacuum. In Her Bottomlessness everything without exception dies while continuously being reborn, as expression of Cosmic Balance. Now, if this balance becomes disrupted, in our case, if accumulation gets the upper hand, then re-adjustment sets in. The emphasis will be laid on destruction. Obviously, we live in a time, in which accumulation on all levels of society has disturbed all kinds of balances. Isn't the breakdown of ecological systems proof of this? Destruction of rain forests, vanishing of bio-diversity, impoverishment of the soil, water shortages, overall pollution and the climate crisis are all examples of it. The earth is the Material Body of the Mother, though*. Shifts in one layer have consequences on other layers. This explains, why our transgressions have repercussions on the rest. In these most critical of times a rebounce has set in. Understanding the mechanism is crucial. Without insight in Cosmic Intelligence, the breakdown on all levels of existence seems rather meaningless. Through insight in Mothers Providence the unacceptable can be accepted, though. It leads to a deep remorse about our own behaviour: our collective self-addiction. Seeing that the Mother is backing us, we will be able to surrender to Her Wisdom, accepting the necessity of "dying to the old" - all our destructive clinging, self-centeredness, greed, identifications, convictions and beliefs - in order to become reborn as a New Self. In fact, what the Mother destroys is our destructiveness! One more step has to be done, though. Once our New Self is firmly established, it has to become part of the Whole, Her web of life: "Heaven, earth and the (new) community", once again.
* Existence consists of three parallel "layers". First, there is the Vacuum, the Cosmic Womb. In Her Bottomlessness, She gives birth to "God", the Divine, the Light. The latter being Her "first emanation", hence called Her Light Body. The latter giving birth to the universe. It is Her second manifestation: Her Material Body. Everything ruled by the forces of creation and destruction. Both Bodies thus being continuously born, while returning to the Source.
Thus the last step to be made is to commit yourSelf. Not everybody will do that. Maybe even the majority, despite their experiences of the previous stages, will lack the kind of deeply rooted compassion, needed to take the full consequences. And that is okay, too. Nobody should be forced to comply with ideals, that don't come from within. Do what you can in your own unique way, is the motto that applies to everyone. However, if you DO feel it as a urge from within, that cannot be ignored nor suppressed, then this last step has to be taken. I know this from my own experience. Despite my continuous opposition to "what the Mother was doing to me", I knew deep within that eventually I had to give in. The Mother had a really tough job with me (and sometimes still has)! What I mean here is, that you commit yourself to some kind of action in the world. In my case - because of my longstanding acute awareness of being uprooted - I desperately searched for re-establishing my roots. Because this couldn't be found in existing tradition - since they are all dominated by patriarchy in some way or another - I had to dig deep in order to find the underlying Truth, once again. The reward was the "discovery" of The Original Tradition, in which The Eternal Feminine and the Green Man (Wise Woman) are two sides of the same coin. It is indeed a miracle, that I was granted to be the servant/messenger of the Mother on earth. With it, the Original Wholeness is restored, providing the solid foundation - unity in diversity - for doing my share in saving the planet. This is just one example of how the Ultimate will guide you, once you follow your innermost core. Joy, gratitude! Again, everybody should find his or her own way. May you find your own way, so help you the Ultimate.
Become a Green Man, Wise Woman respectively!
2006 © Copyright Han Marie
Stiekema. All rights reserved.
Last revising: 11/23/06