Recently I’ve become fascinated by a notion I’d like to explore much more in 2013 — our critical role in tending the soul of the Earth. The idea was brought to my attention at the 2012 Science and Nonduality (SAND) conference in San Rafael in October. In several of his talks, Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee stressed something I had never really fully understood before: that the challenge of climate change is something that must be tackled not only on a physical level, but on a spiritual level as well.
It seems to me that December 2012 — the month that so many of us have been anticipating, with the end of the current Mayan calendar and the beginning of the next occurring on December 21, 2012 — is also a perfect time to consider this deep question of tending the soul of the Earth. It brings together several key points that I make in Active Consciousness :
- All things possess an energy body, at least on the etheric level, and many living things have energy bodies on even higher levels.
- The Earth can be viewed as a living organism (sometimes called Gaia).
- As beings who have evolved as part of Earth, we are all elements of and in many ways inseparable from the larger “holon” of the Earth.
- As above, so below; and as below, so above. What is happening on the physical level to planet Earth is also occurring on all levels.
At the SAND conference, Vaughn-Lee stressed that environmentalists have been missing this very key element in their battles to stem the tide of climate change: the role of the soul of the Earth. While it is clear that the body of the Earth is suffering and changing around us, and that we humans are a part of and even probably the primary cause of this change on a physical level, the soul of the Earth has also been crying and suffering as well. Indeed, what is cause and what is effect?
There was a time when humanity was exquisitely tuned into the magic and soul of the Earth. Every tree, every storm, every sowing and reaping of the harvest, was imbued with spiritual meaning. Native people understood their spiritual relationship with the animals and plants around them. We blessed, thanked, and asked forgiveness for our interactions with and intrusions upon our fellow Earthers, both animate and inanimate. We understood that a balance had to be kept.
With the coming of the enlightenment and the rise of science came materialism and the complete disenchantment of the Earth. Many of us may not have forgotten our own souls, but we have definitely forgotten about the souls of the Earth and our fellow creatures. We ‘thing’ed them. And as we know from the fields of war and humanity’s holocausts, when we ‘thing’ someone or something, we feel free to destroy it. It is soulless to us. It is no more than a machine. It is merely matter, not soul.
But just because we do this ‘thinging’ in our minds does not make it true. The Earth and everything in it does possess a soul. To help our Earth, we must not only heal its body, we must also heal it on an energetic or soul level. Just as energy medicines like homeopathy and acupuncture and Reiki tell us, it is actually on this energy level that true disease originates and where true healing must occur. In fact, after healing the energy level, physical healing usually follows. While healing the Earth on a physical level now seems almost insurmountable to us, leaving us in a state of despair and hopelessness, perhaps there is still hope for healing the soul of the Earth.
That’s where each of us comes in. Each of us is part of the Earth holon. By healing ourselves we may be able to heal the Earth. By re-enchanting the pieces, we can begin to re-enchant the whole. You can start today in your own home, in your own backyard, in your own neighborhood. Bless your food. Talk to your plant. Thank your tree and hug it. Feel the energy of your flower garden and commune with it. Sense the soul of your street and send healing energy throughout your neighborhood. Sense the stresses and joys within your dwelling. Create a ceremony for the healing of your home energy. Tune into any intuitions about changes that may help ease tension or contraction.
If each of us heals the soul of the small space around us, the healing of the whole can begin. And who knows? If we tend to the healing of the soul of the Earth, the body of the Earth may begin to respond as well. As the Mayans predicted, a transformation for the better may be just around the corner.