Saturday, September 26, 2009

Being the Land

Human beings are the land. Humans are not alone in being the land; birds and beasts are also the land; trees are; Gods and spirits are, as well. Oneness is a hard concept to grasp for some, especially when oneness is only experienced in terms of many seeming parts. And yet, oneness is what we have. It is what we always had and will always have. When we have that, we have one another, in the most intimate and spiritual way possible.

It's a real pity to imagine a race of beings who have oneness, living as though they didn't have it, and even lacking awareness of it. To see such wealthy beings living out lives of poverty is a sorrow; to see those same beings slowly rediscover their treasure is a sublime pleasure. I know that I am pleased when I feel the wind and know it as my wind, and know myself as belonging to that wind. That's a strange thought, at first: The fire that crackles in the hearth is my own glow and warmth and flame, and, at the same time, that glow and warmth and flame is my mother- I am her human.

It all comes together, you see- it is of me and I am of it, whatever it may be; in this two way reciprocity, oneness is found. Two quickly becomes one, because you can't find where the circle ends or begins. This is because, ultimately, circles don't end or begin, and neither does the web of living relationships.

All of our poor confusion is born in the breaking of the circle. When we depict ourselves in sacred stories and myths as the takers of resources, as masters of a world that was put at our disposal, there is no circle, only a line, the line of mastery and ownership. That's simple enough, though how many have the power in them to defeat that terrible myth? In my experience, not many.

But thrice-blessed by Sovereignty herself are they who have re-established the eternity of the circle of communion and belonging in themselves, and thus, in the world! They have rediscovered their being in the Land, their being in oneness. They have found the cornerstone of life that the builders of our present day society rejected. Without that cornerstone, no lasting spiritual peace is possible; no health of the body or mind is truly possible, and no real experience of authentic humanhood is possible. We only become fully human when we know what powers belong to us and those powers to which we belong. Then, we have our lost families back, the mother-clan, our dignity among the ranks of life.

When we don't have the cornerstone of oneness, we hallucinate many things about "the way things are." Thoughts and dreams and feelings become exiled off to one realm, and "tangible, solid things" become part of another. These two realms never meet, in our experience, when we suffer this sickness. What a terrible pity- for once you know yourself as the land, and the land as your "self", then deep processes that were never ultimately divided by such lunacy begin to assert themselves consciously again.

I shall make an example: seeding. You have been a farmer all your life, whether or not you knew it. You have plowed the ground of the mind with habitual ways of thinking, and planted in those furrows the seeds of will, the seeds of destiny. Most people would see this statement as a matter of me using agricultural metaphors- words for a process that takes place "outside"- for "inner" processes. But I don't mean that at all. I never mean that. And I can't say it enough.

When I seed the ground of my garden outside, by turning up the earth, making a space and dropping in seeds and watering them, and when I wait and watch for those sprouts to break ground, and watch them grow, and harvest them for their fruit or bloom, that's called "gardening". When I plant the seeds of intention and fantasy and ideation in my head, losing them to the dark under-reaches of consciousness, only to see them sprout and to reap their merits (or lack thereof), that's called "experiencing, planning, thinking and behaving." And the conclusion of most is that they belong to two different realms. But they do not- they are, in fact, one process; one and the same. This process is experienced in different ways, but it is one process. I am the land; when I seed the land, I am seeding myself, and when I seed myself, I am seeding the land.

Does it sound so foreign, still? Strange? Naive? Absurd? Mystical? Does it violate the perception-paradigm of our age, ignore the science? The answer to all these things is yes- it sounds foreign, and most would say "yes"- strange, naive, absurd, and ridiculously mystical. It totally ignores "straight up reality that anyone can see"- it's primitive and stupid. Practically anyone will tell you.

A man once asked Empedocles what the most precious thing in life was, and he said "what people neglect the most." As usual, the master was correct- the stone that the builders rejected, the thing lying discarded in the trash heap, may in fact be the most precious thing imaginable. It may be the key to our peace. Where does wisdom hide? In the last place people will look- the dark underside, the underworld, the place of fear and death. To see as I see means to die to another way of seeing- a way that seems so natural, normal, scientific, and sane.

And death is death. I died; we all do, eventually. I'll die again and again if Mighty Sovereignty and the guardians of wisdom demand it. Those powers that guard wisdom- they are my powers, and I am theirs. We are one. The land under "my" feet- it is my land, my stability, my fertility, my lasting landscape, and I am its human, its eyes, its hands, its worshiper, its living being. What happens in the land is happening in me; this is oneness. What happens in me happens in the land. Can any science draw the "line" for me that separates me, ultimately, from any thing else- any land, any being? I say "no", and the contrary voices are silent, for they know they cannot.

Why oneness? Why hold up "being the Land" as such an important perspective? Because when you are the land, you do not harm it. When you are others, you do not harm them. When others are you, you do not harm yourself; in all cases or circumstances, you help. You protect and preserve. You do not take; you exchange and cooperate. You do not leave the company of life; you move around in it, forever. Each situation in life calls for either measured or spontaneous action in accordance with these principles; each situation and the response to the situation being somewhat different, but the deep call to the principles remains the same. This is plain, and this is power- with this perspective, sanity and peace is possible, within these heads.

And when these heads are settled at peace, fires burning, rivers flowing, plants growing, cows lowing- then the land is settled, and at peace. Is peace important? I'd say. Few would disagree. Peace has a use- it isn't just a passive state. In the sort of peace I'm talking about, we speak with the Gods. In that peace, children thrive, and even death settles himself down for a long sleep.

The really clever people who intellectualize the ramifications of oneness can easily point out that opposites fall apart in oneness- gentle Gandhi and vicious Hitler are "one", and thus, the implication goes, their different characters were and are meaningless.

I don't go so far as to say that all opposites merely fall apart or fall away, and stop there; I say that opposites exist relative to one another from one perspective, and fall away into meaninglessness from another. Why does oneness seem to contain so many perspectives? For the same reason it seems to contain so many parts at all- whether many trees, many stars, many stones, or many perspectives, oneness is certainly experienced as "many-ness". This is hard to grasp, but it's joyful to understand.

In no manner do I mean to suggest that the many humans we see everyday are one human, or that the many Gods are one God- but I do suggest that we are all one within the system of life, bound together by it, part of one whole, part of the oneness- and that's what this "oneness" always was and is. There is a way of understanding and experiencing ourselves as individuals, and a way of understanding and experiencing ourselves as something much greater than an individual. The two- which certainly both exist- quickly become one, when you let the circle be.

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