Not long ago, we celebrated another Earth Day. For many of us, marking Earth Day demonstrates that we care about the environment, however, setting aside one day per year for Earth Day or Women’s Day or Mother’s Day always sits uncomfortably with me. I feel that as long as we need a special day of remembrance, we are not fully integrated with Feminine energy, caregiving, or the Earth. And, on a practical level, there is a danger that attending an event on the given day may generate the good vibes of actually making a contribution, while our behaviour has not changed at all.
On Earth Day, an artist that I follow posted to his social media account a woodcut print that he had made.
Today is just another occasion to seriously consider the impact we are having on the environment both as individuals and society as a whole. We need to urgently rethink how we live and what we value. Every day should be #earthday. Woodblock print available at www.artandseeking.com #plin #plinart #print #woodblock #greed #consumersociety #destruction #environment
Like the images in the print, he made an impassioned plea to his social media followers to rethink their values and consumption patterns. He ended his plea with: “Every Day Should Be Earth Day.” He isn’t the first person to have said this, but he does not seem to use words lightly, so when he speaks, I pay attention, and I think about what he has said. Over the next few days, I thought a lot about it.
What would it take to truly make every day, Earth Day?
Behavioural change, is needed, to be sure. And so, I set about developing something that, as a sustainability consultant, was within my reach: A series on ecological issues and behavioural changes that we could all make to help address the issues. I completed and edited and polished the first article. But I couldn’t publish. I knew something fundamental was missing. It wasn’t the first article, after all.
I needed to get out of my comfortable position of understanding, in order to begin at the beginning.
At the heart of behavioural change must be a real shift in consciousness and an awakening to the insanity of our apparent indifference to the consequences of our lifestyles. That awakening would seem to require a deep reverence for the Earth and clarity on what we are doing to destroy her. I am not saying that we should not reduce and eliminate the use of plastics, switch to clean energy, grow our own food, reduce water and embedded water use and avoid the use of conflict minerals like Coltan, found in electronics. But I do believe that we must begin with a perceptual shift toward the interconnectedness of all things: Oneness.
Those of you who have navigated around this website will notice that I have not completed the article on Oneness. I have deliberately left it blank, for now. I have been writing for nearly two years about Oneness as we each develop our own understanding and meaning.
There are many great thinkers who have had something to say about the concept:
“Oneness is very simple: everything is included and allowed to live according to its true nature. This is the secret that is being revealed, the opportunity that is offered. How we make use of this opportunity depends upon the degree of our participation, how much we are prepared to give ourselves to the work that needs to be done, to the freedom that needs to be lived.”
— Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee from the book Working with Oneness
“From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars.”
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”
— Albert Einstein
We require a paradigm shift.
Last month, we celebrated North American Mother’s Day. There is meant to be no greater bond between humans than that of the bond between child and primary caregiver, regardless of gender or biological relationship. Our first relationship, with “Mother,” is an archetypal one. It is, for better or worse, a relationship that defines us. Yet we seem to have forgotten that our first Mother is the Earth. Connecting to Oneness may help our remembrance of her and to re-establish and work with our archetypal relationship with the primary caregiver of us all.
Of course, when we begin to do this, if we are truly witnessing what is happening, we cannot help but feel overwhelming pain. As horrible as it is, perhaps the grief of “witnessing” is a sign that we are on the right path.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, one of the Interfaith leaders dedicated to Working With Oneness offers a brief talk on our current ecological crisis, in this 7 minute film.
I understand that not everyone reading this will resonate with the concept of magic. However, it is useful to note that Vaughan-Lee is not only a mystic but a Jungian psychologist. I don’t pretend to understand the depths of Jungian analysis, but I have some knowledge. Perhaps we can consider this destructive entrancement as a kind of strangle hold on our collective unconsciousness. We need a paradigm shift to break free; It seems, to me, that the first step toward that paradigm shift is in working with Oneness.
So, how can we work with Oneness?
In whatever way is natural to you, every single day. I came to my own understanding and practice of Oneness through a spark that was lit by Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee and the Interfaith leaders of Working With Oneness. I am not an expert in Oneness – I struggle as much as anyone to work with it, every day. However, there are many experts on many spiritual paths which take up the practice, even if not so named. And, Einstein shows that shifting to working with Oneness is not the preserve of the mystic or the spiritual aspirant. For the secular among us, an association with a group of like minded people who care about the planet, and who practice compassion towards all living beings, can help us connect and work with Oneness.
For the spiritual seeker, I suggest looking to your own path to see how Oneness with the planet is called to manifest. If you practice healing, perhaps make it a regular part of your practice to send healing to the planet and to the soul of the planet – the Anima Mundi. If you are a meditator, yogi or have some other spiritual practice, dedicate at least some of your practice to healing the planet. In your remembrances of the Divine Quantum, remember that Divine Life that is Mother Earth.
Working with Oneness will, no doubt, bring us in touch with grief as we witness what is. It is a terrible burden that is necessary for the transformation that can lead to the creation of a new story.
If you are an artist, writer, or musician, connect with, and start to tell not just the story of destruction and crisis, but the new story of Life. How? However you can. All art originates from storytelling and heroic tales. We are all on a heroic journey through the dark night of the soul – now, it is no longer just our own soul, but the soul of the planet, as well. We must make this journey alone, but with the knowledge that we are together, in this darkness, with one another and our Mother Earth. Like the hero, we must find the light in the darkness that leads us to the other side, or else, we risk being lost. Too much grief can dim the creative light and energy in us all, if we don’t also work to midwife the new story of Life.
If you are not an artist, writer or musician – create, anyway! Create a community garden, draw a picture of a tree, tell a story from the point of view of an animal, sing a song when you go for a walk. I come from the West coast of Canada. When hiking, it is advisable to wear a bell to warn bears that a human is approaching and to avoid a startled and possibly dangerous meeting. I don’t wear a bear bell; I sing. I’m pretty sure I’m not in key, but do the birds worry about being in key? They just sing. Rebirth is a creative process; Let’s generate as much creative energy as we can.
Let’s spend more time in and develop a new relationship with nature. Let’s reflect on the wonder of the natural world and how we have not only taken her for granted, but destroyed her with our forgetfulness. Let’s learn to listen with our intuition, our imagination and our hearts to the story she wants to tell, and to our role in the narrative. Let’s reflect on the food chain at each meal and reflect upon what has gone into bringing this food to our supermarket, our kitchen and our table. Reflection on this may lead to an understanding of our own role in creating the toxins poisoning our Mother Earth and finding its way into our food and it may help make conscious the ways in which we are creating and exacerbating drought conditions around the planet with our consumption patterns. It may lead us to switch from fossil fuels, eliminate plastic waste and grow our own food in a community garden, as we care gently for our Mother Earth.
There are so many ways to work with Oneness and discovering the way that is right for each of us is part of our own individual part of the story.
Behavioural change is crucial for our survival. But a more important change must come if we are to avoid patching up a system built upon a paradigm that is fundamentally broken and unsustainable. If we really work with Oneness, we all must accept responsibility for our part in the current ecological crisis that comes from recognising we are one with the story of destruction as well as the story of creative healing that is required.
In the coming months, we will look at ways we can change our behaviour and our ethos around various issues. For me, as much as anyone else, it will also be a venture into the unknown world of working with Oneness with Mother Earth.
If there is an issue you feel strongly about, or if you’d like to write an article, a poem or feature some artwork related to the topic, contact us.
Let’s make some magic.