This year, with drought, heat and a fire season that seems to have increased in intensity and length, it feels like something has shifted. At a deep level there is recognition, awareness and a sense of expectancy. Perhaps we are to face the results of our collective action. Perhaps we are seeing a taste of whats to come unless we shift, unless we fundamentally transform. Regardless, there is a recognition that things are changing and we are wondering how much.
The complexity of social, economic, health and environmental factors are so interlinked, so multifaceted, so interconnected that as soon as there is a suggestion for improvement from one camp, another camp screams that it will destroy their way of life, livelihood, their environment or health.
So what do we do? What can we do?
What can the small person, the individual, the community and the company do?
Spiritual teachers from Plato, to Sri Aurobindo, suggest that we all emerge from ‘The One’. That creation is a multitude of emanations emerging from ‘The One’ immutable source. We feel separate. You are over there, I am here, but this appearance of separation is a temporary illusion. We need separation to experience individuality, to experience dark and light, to feel, to taste, to touch and smell. However, we are born from, remain within, and will return to ‘The One’ Divine source. The One Divine Life.
I have stood on the rise out of the creek at my home place and felt that I am the gnarly old eucalyptus trees lining the creek glowing pink in the afternoon sun. I am also the pink, and the burrs beneath my feet. I’m the footprints from birds lightly touching the sand in the creek and I’m the bird who made them. The life that flows through me is the same life that flows through Galahs flying overhead, it’s the same life that that flows through the wind that is blowing outside as I write.
‘Life’ taking different forms.
So the blue wren looking at itself is me, the car is me and You are me; taking different Forms.
This ‘One’ is life expressing itself through a multitude of emanations, a multitude of Forms.
So, what can we do?
Simply, humbly, respectfully, remember this one simple truth.
All other life Forms are You expressing yourself in a different Form.
So, if you spray a little poison on the grass at the edge of the path, you are poisoning yourself. You are directing an intention to kill towards yourself. Bring this awareness to each thing you do, each thought you think. If you take action that intends to gain benefit at the expense of others, you are impoverishing yourself.
When you consider excavating a new site for your home. Consider that the place you are thinking of already has a life. That each life Form has an intelligence, a spirit and a right to fulfill its own destiny. So before you bring in the bulldozers, spend time with the place. Feel the subtle energies of the place, get to know if there are earth meridians carrying energies that keep things flowing. See if there are energy wells, talk to the Beings in the trees, see if you can hear what the birds are telling you with their calls. When you recognize that the life in these other life Forms is life you share, they love it. They come alive, they become more beautiful, joyful and they want to help you. They may tell you to move the house a few meters one way or the other. They may show you the special place for healing. Life that is honored will be reflected back to you in beauty, harmony and fullness.
We share this level of limits with other life Forms and at times it is necessary to kill to live. The thing that we have forgotten is to honor the life of the one you take. If you are eating roast lamb. Before you begin your meal, take a moment to thank the lamb that gave its body so that you could live. Remembering the spirit of the lamb is you in another Form, as is the mint within the mint sauce.
The complexity of our current systems, the entrenched oligarchs, systems of government, economy and religious division make change look impossible. Remember that Rome fell. There are times when one era is replaced by a new experiment in the evolution of consciousness.
Reflecting on a world desperately trying to prevent the change bought by the new machines, Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations 1776) said that the industrial revolution was like a butterfly in the chrysalis. I suggest that there is a butterfly stirring in the chrysalis. Smith suggested that the industrial revolution was emerging from within whether we liked it or not, whether we wanted it or not, and ‘when the stir was strong enough it would burst the old structure asunder’. There is a change stirring in the Earth, in people and in the evolution of consciousness. We need to listen deeply to reveal a new way.
Smith argued that free markets, division of labor and productivity if left to run will herald a healthy economy. What would happen to factory farms if each of us recognized that the Beings we are ‘farming’ have a right to live out their highest potential. What if we recognized that the Beings we describe as livestock are You and I in a different Form. What if we recognized that while the separate part of us can ignore the pain we cause, it is known, felt and imprinted within The One Life, that is us.
Perhaps to the trilogy of free markets, division of labor and productivity we could add, an honoring of life in all its Forms.