Catalyzing the Great Turning by Re-membering the Mind of Nature
In 1984 E.O.Wilson’s ‘biophilia hypothesis’ brought the West’s scientific attention to the psychical, as well as physical, inter-relation we have with Nature: humans have a deep urge to love our fellow kinship and natural neighbourhood.
Since then there have been numerous studies pointing to the deleterious effect our sense of separation from Nature has on us, along with the regenerative effect Nature has on our ability to flourish in wholesome ways. Western science is on the cusp of the dawning realisation that our sense of separation from Nature creates dis-ease causing a great number of the problems littering our culture today.
‘The modern condition of soiling our nest reflects how we’ve become dissociated from our somas, our communities, and the Earth itself. This has become a pathological condition so widespread that we think of it as normal…When we feel ourselves as part of Nature we invoke a vast intelligence that is both deeply spacious and deliriously ecstatic. When we tie in with the life force it rights us from our distractions and reconnects us to the rapture of life.’ Richard Strozzi-Heckler.
This sense of separation from Nature is what the anthropologist Gregory Bateson referred to as an ‘original corruption’ setting us up for an evolutionary cul-de-sac of selfish ascendance. It fuels hubris, he says, whereupon common sense becomes insanity.
Learning how to open up to our essential nature and to our deeper Nature within and all around us is the most radical of undertakings for our evolution as flourishing beings.
Wisdom traditions the world over have long understood Nature’s wisdom (using different names for this Pleroma: Sophia, Akasha, Divine Ground, Aluna, Shekinah, Tao, Indra’s Net). It is the same phenomenon that quantum physicists are now grappling to comprehend in exploring the existence of an all-pervasive potent presence; an intangible formlessness which gives birth to energy and form; they call it the quantum vaccum, zero-point energy field or dark energy and it pervades everything, nothing is separate from it.
The Kogi – an indigenous tribe of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – are an ancient society upholding the sacred wisdom of Nature which, for them is a sacred embodiment of Aluna – the Great Mother that gives birth to and nurtures the entire Cosmos, and ourselves within it. The embodiment of Aluna is central to their sense of place and purpose in this world. They wish to re-mind us of the grave danger we face in not honouring this wisdom of life.
For the Kogi – along with other shamanic cultures and ancient wisdom traditions the world over – the Mind of Nature (Aluna) is a deeply wise matrix, a cosmic womb or collective archetypal field from which creative energy spawns forth in a process of unfolding evolution. Each moment is an unfolding participatory dance of our conscious awareness co-creating within this Cosmic Intellect. To resonate with the innate rhythms, patterns, tensions and harmonies within and all around us, is to become conscious expressions of this Nature whereupon our sense of place and purpose in this life can be heard in our hearts. To be unaware of, or de-sensitised, to this wisdom is to allow ourselves to become out-of-tune and adrift from this deeper resonance. With this dis-ease we fall prey to polluting thoughts, emotions and belief-patterns, and find ourselves caught up in the contagion of consumerism now plaguing us. For the Kogi, re-membering this rhythm of Nature is the beginning of righting ourselves and our societies.
All our actions and interactions are immersed within this sentient sea of sacredness and to bring this awareness into our everyday understanding of life is to awaken the sacred within and all around us; a dawning of our destiny as Homo sapiens – wise beings. This is the ‘Great Turning’ from our current carcinogenetic culture to one that flourishes in harmony with life.
From as early as I can recall, I have always sensed this ‘ground of being’ from which everything in life is immersed and nourished. While the ‘life feeds on life’ reality I see all around and within me often perplexes me, there is never a doubt that I am ‘biophilically’ in love with life, in awe of its unfathomable beauty, enchanted by its wisdom, perplexed by its paradoxes. On occasions my everyday consciousness is enriched, if for the briefest of moments, by this wisdom in our midst. I know that what prevents me from fully living and fully loving are my own ingrained habituations and acculturations picked up from living in this carcinogenic culture. And I know it is nothing but my quality of attention and intention that can emancipate my mind-set from this acculturation.
Whether we choose to believe in Aluna or not is not the question here. This question is: Do you fancy living in a culture that enhances our greatness or undermines it; a culture that teaches us to love life or vandalise it; a culture that celebrates or denigrates our sense of place and purpose in this world?
We do not need to impose another ideology or set of beliefs onto reality. Instead, we need to hold space for opening our attention individually and collectively – this way we can allow the truth to emerge from our souls. There is no better time and place than the situation we find ourselves in for us to open our hearts and minds to Nature, to humbly listen to rather than hubristically seeking domination and control over Her. The call of Aluna is here and the metamorphosis is in our midst.
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