Between them, the upward aspiration of the Spirit and the pull of the Earth exert the two most fundamental influences on our lives. Strip away all the paraphernalia of modern life and the raw energies of these two forces take hold of us, opening up our latent powers.
What might appear to be two opposing forces turns out to be complementary dynamics sharing one original source.
To find our true equilibrium, it is necessary to get creative with these two dynamics. Let them speak to us, through us, so that we are re-imbued with the power that we have allowed to be stolen from us through centuries of denial. Denial, both by us and by those who set the trap into which so great a portion of humankind has walked.
These forces are dangerous. Dangerous, that is, for those who like to live their lives in a sterilized container. But they are equally dangerous for those who would like to keep mankind locked in such a prison. However, to those who continue to search fearlessly for the truth and struggle for its implementation, these forces are indispensable.
Certain native tribes and shamans from the continents of America and Africa still hold this knowledge, still live by it. Their lives are not cluttered by electronic wizardry, Internet shopping and virtual reality. What you see in the wisdom-etched lines of their weathered faces is the expression of an absolute reality, based upon decades of working with and through the aspiration of Spirit and the pull of the Earth.
What does that tell us about our lives?
It tells us that our sanitized “face-cream civilization” is, by and large, an unmitigated disaster. A disaster which, if it will not fall apart of its own volition, needs to be taken apart piece by piece, so as to get back to a place where we can once again participate in the true current of life, touch again the wisdom expressed in the ways of the native peoples.
In particular, it tells us that we need once again to find our place within nature and the elements, and learn to work with them in the spirit of a loving, symbiotic engagement.
That is not as easy as it may sound. Making a life on the land is not for the fainthearted. One would not see those lines on native faces and peasant farmers across the globe, if the life they eked out for themselves wasn’t tough and often relentless.
But there are ways of living close to nature that do not involve being burdened by undue labor day in day out—and in fact most native peoples did not allow themselves to become “tied to the land”—but celebrated the seasons and worked their territories in groups, communities and families—thus sharing both the hardships and the joys. That is the way we are to once again reestablish our working connection with nature in the years to come.
So it comes down to a rather basic question: how much do we really want to pare our lives down so as to be in touch with that which is real—as opposed to surreal?
Are we post-industrial, Western-bred and educated mortals actually able to even contemplate something so altogether different from what we know and see around us most days of our lives?
And if we can, what are the steps that we would need to take to get to that other side?
I will try to answer that question. But first, let’s consider what chances you would have of “getting through” if you elect to make no change at all to your present circumstances. Here, I am assuming you are not already growing a reasonably high percentage of your own food; not having an independent source of pure water nor moving into the production of your own renewable energy—but are still living in a largely urban environment and primarily dependent upon the trappings of the corporate run status quo.
If you are in this position, you are most vulnerable to being caught completely off-guard by a significant turn of events. And since there is increasing evidence of the likelihood of such a turn of events, I can only suggest that you would be wise to take seriously the predicament you find yourself in.
Bear in mind that our goal is not just “survival” but a deep re-engagement with the terrain of this planet. So that it becomes possible once again to experience the actual flow of Life, whose once joyful river has been dammed and muted beyond recognition. To re-experience that flow is only possible when we are finally freed from the falsity of the superimposed and superficial matrix that presently directs almost all of our thoughts and actions, each day of our lives.
So what are the steps that those presently unprepared for what is to come should take?
Here comes the kicker: I am not going to say. Why not? Because you must work them out for yourself. They must be based on your free will to make the changes you know you need to make.
Telling you what to do only takes away the need for you to tell yourself—and at this late stage of crisis—it’s your turn to take control of your destiny and not to follow someone else laying out the stepping stones to the other side.
You already know what to do—but you’re putting it off. At my secondary school, after more than once putting off completing an assignment, the teacher told me to write “procrastination is the thief of time” one hundred times. I never forgot that, of course. Nor should you.
It’s half past midnight now. Set the alarm … when it rings and you awaken … bring into your vision the weathered face of the Indian chief or squaw, and let it remind you of the ascent of the Spirit and the pull of the Earth. The upward thrust of aspiration and the downward pull of gravity, the powers that fuel the drum-driven tribal dance and catalyze a tingling sense of expectancy, ecstasy even.
Let that remind you of where you want to be and what you have to do to get there—then do it.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license.
Julian Rose is an international activist, writer, farmer and actor. He is an early pioneer of UK organic farming methods and is currently involved in the front line of efforts to keep Poland free from genetically modified organisms. Julian is President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. His book CHANGING THE COURSE FOR LIFE can be purchased at www.changingcourseforlife.info. His latest book IN DEFENSE OF LIFE: A RADICAL REWORKING OF GREEN WISDOM is available at Amazon or can be requested via http://www.julianrose.info.