How Far Must We Walk?
I’m sure it could have been any major city – I stopped in the street, looked around and realized that, besides the other human beings, I could see nothing alive! Not even a potted plant. No trees, no grass, not a dog or cat. Every direction I turned I saw concrete, plastic, glass. All was brightly painted, even lavishly designed; obviously vast amounts of money had been necessary to create this colourful scene. But it was too sterile even for bugs,
Most horrifying to a consciousness that desires to attune itself to the sacred is the realization that almost no one is noticing. Very few people are actually conscious of the difference between ground under their feet that breathes, and ground that defends. There is a difference between the touch of the forest floor on naked feet – the grass and earth, the wetness, the variant textures and temperatures, the unpredictability – and the feeling of walking on pavement. But the difference is not just at obvious levels of perception! Some of us feel the difference between that which is alive and that which defends us from life. We can feel the breathing presence of that which is alive and growing. We know in our cells when there is a defence against life, an unnatural system based upon fear.
It seems natural in our time to defend ourselves against life. It seems sensible. After all, we might get Lymes disease from a tick, or West Nile Fever from a mosquito. We might scrape a toe on a barnacle and it might get infected, we might trip on the uneven floor of the forest, or a branch might fall on our head, or a bear might get us. Or in the clearing we might get sunburn. Or we might catch cold, or get overheated, or wet.
It seems sensible, but is it? What if, in our initial attempts to protect ourselves from the elements, we have taken up a path which is leading us further and further away from our natural protection – our alignment with natural evolution? What if, instead of putting so much energy into defending ourselves, we might begin to reclaim our natural ability to adapt to our environment?
Is it not yet obvious that we are using up the planet’s resources in order to defend ourselves against the very nourishment we all need to survive? Is it not obvious that for survival of the race we must begin to turn the tide and reclaim our ability to live undefended? How many know that living undefended, in touch with the breathing presence of Life in its natural state, is ecstasy beyond description? Most humans are so far from knowing that ecstasy, so far from being able to feel their relationship with the sacred, that they would ridicule this writing. They simply have lost their ability to feel the difference between alive and synthetic, between breathing and stasis, between growth and decay.
How far must we walk to find original forest, grasslands not torn up by all-terrain vehicles, waters unpolluted? How far to find a place where organic growth holds dominion? How far to feel the living breathing earth, to feel sacred ground under our feet?
We fool ourselves thinking our nicely manicured gardens are ‘natural’. It is avoidance to believe carrot juice in our booster drinks makes us ‘organic’. It is not what we do to make our yard pretty or what we put into our mouths that makes our lives sacred.
We have to be willing to look honestly and with vulnerability at the incredible depth of alienation within which we live. We have to allow ourselves to acknowledge the human condition. We have to allow ourselves to be conscious.
But this is too much! I can’t change this! I am just one person, I am too weak, too insignificant!
I hear this all the time and recognize it as ego-defence. We don’t have to do the change by ourselves. No one is asking that of us. But we can participate in the honest recognition of the fact of our alienation. Over time, with honesty, in life’s own way, we will collectively find our way back. Life itself is on our side. But we cannot be passive, we cannot rest in dishonesty. We cannot go on rationalizing our lack of feeling, our insensitivity to the earth under our feet and the fact that it is being raped. We are not asked to take on the task of change alone, but we can take off the blinders. Just that – just choosing not to be blind – helps turn the tide.
We have to walk far to find sacred ground – ground not altered by human defence systems and not everyone can walk so far at this point in time. People have jobs to fill, families to feed, commitments. But everyone, everywhere, if they so choose can take up the prayer that from out of the midst of our defence systems will arise the collective strength and faith that together we will find our way forward into our realignment with the natural life process.
How do we reclaim our birthright? We must first acknowledge our attachment to the comfort of living within our defence systems. We have grown accustomed to being defended and don’t yet know how to live otherwise. It seems unimaginable that we could put our defences down. Most people can’t. Not immediately and perhaps not in this lifetime. And perhaps they are not asked to. But everyone can acknowledge that they are unnaturally attached to comfort and that this is not the healthiest way for a culture to live, and then, with humility, look into the human condition as it truly is rather than pretend everything is fine. Everything is not fine. Disease, poverty, violence, war, division in homes and families around the world – all prevail at this time more than ever in the known history of the planet – and the sole reason for this is our alienation from our natural nourishment and protection.
We are not ‘fine’ and in your heart you know it. From a place of honesty we will be far more likely to find others who also know that the time has come for a change in consciousness, a change in our fundamental understanding of what is happening, and can happen, on our earth. That change can come about right now, in any one of us. We can begin now to ask for sacred ground under our feet and under the feet of all human beings, all of our brothers and sisters. This would be prayer – the collective prayer needed for the deliverance of our race.