I originally wrote the comment below as a reply to a member’s blog, but I got thinking that it would be a nice addition to my series on Angry Planet, so here it is:
Everywhere I look these days, I read questions about what to DO to save the planet.
Not everyone will agree, but I believe there is not a lot we, mere humans, can DO to help planet Earth and her Nature, but we could help them heal *themselves* by – each ONE of us – reducing our dependence on all that we keep taking away from them daily, mostly indirectly, through the many 3rd parties whose work it is to keep material abundance flowing through the fibers of our culture.
Yes, we are urged to accept responsibility for the part, however tiny, our personal needs have played in the disaster in the Gulf area. While we are *talking* about healing the planet, while we are accepting responsibility, our cumulated needs are pushing BP’s CEO, shareholders and workers to dump a pile of gravel that is acres-deep into the pristine environment of the Alaskan Beauford Sea to create a fake island from which to drill even deeper than in the Gulf. All in the search for more crude oil.
So what does it really require from us, this acceptance of personal and group karmic responsibility? What should it look like, feel like or feel like?
Besides acceptance of responsibility as consumers, what other ways are there to help heal the planet? Prayer circles and group meditations?
Meditating on the Sacred Lore of Dolphins or on some secret code given to the Boab tree by Goddess ‘Ariela’, while we keep drilling and mining deeper, faster, harder instead of turning all our energies, be they spiritual, intellectual and physical to the harnassing of the renewable power of the sun and of the wind?
While we keep eroding here, there and everywhere?
While we striate Earth’s crust with more and more mammoth concrete slabs and endless strips of tar that block the natural flow of water, just as our buildings and towers dim the sun’s light and twist winds and breezes in and around themselves?
While we are unable to extricate ourselves from the tightly knotted co-dependency of avid consumerism [that keeps 99% of our communities in jobs] and expectations that our freedom to spend is sine qua non to our quality of life?
Oh, I know that in many spiritual communities the belief is STILL rife that that by a concerted effort – good intentions accompanied by heartfelt rituals – we can save the planet.
If that were all that was needed, surely, considering the millions of people worldwide who consider themselves spiritual and concerned, Nature would already be convalescing instead of ailing from the cumulated impact of all attacks made on her since the Industrial Revolution.
Reality check: Nature does not need us for anything at all and so, one way by which to achieve cleansing quickly would have been by her making our civilisation obsolete – once again and once and for all.
As we witness daily on the news, unleashing winds and rains and storms and fires are a lot easier for Earth and Nature than for us to survive, heal and rebuild.
If it is still true that we, humans, only use about 11% of our potential brain power, I can easily accept that Nature, like a good-natured nanny who is annoyed, but not yet angry, is currently only using an infinitesimal portion of her cosmic powers.
You see, I am convinced that Nature – the Cosmos – has not yet given up on us as a species. She is, in fact, very creative in generating moments of such intensity that they force us to open our hearts to others – however briefly – whenever we hear about or see or experience a new natural hazard a.k.a. an “act of God”, such as the sudden and frightening landslide that occurred recently in the village of Maierato in Italy back in February 2010.
Personally, I prefer to think of these natural disasters as the Collective Karmic Reaping of what we as member of the current civilisation, have been sowing.
My bottom line is that I do find it presumptuous for any and all of us to assume that any amount of cleansing and healing is something that has to be done to others and for others or to Nature and for Nature.
Another of my bottom lines is that we, all of us spiritual and concerned inhabitants of this planet, need to plumb the depths of our spiritual MO.
Surely, we understand that the spiritual energy needed to make a difference can only be genuine 100% pure energy.
Honestly, which ones of us, here, now, can raise a [calm and caring] hand in protest and say, “My spiritual energy, the energy in my energy field/aura is pure. I am at one with my soul. Though I am on this earth with family and friends and working daily to earn my living, I have mastered the art of reacting only altruistically.”
Those of us who cannot make such a claim in good faith need to understand that our *gross energy* is not of the sort that can cleanse *anything*. And when we use the Tarot, amulets or crystal, we can but infuse them with our own limited energy, not that of the Cosmos.
By the same token, I do not believe that, as I have read earlier today, writing a poem of apology to Earth, folding it into a paper boat to be released in a stream or river and counting on the water’s energy to transmute our message into more than heartfelt words on soggy paper will do the trick.
While our spiritual energy remains *willing* but basic, I do not believe that rituals, be they with cards, amulets, crystals, visualization or dancing in the moonlight or prayers, can do more than make us feel righteous and spiritual – for a moment.
Lovely as this glow of Goodness might be, surely it must snap, crackle and pop the moment we realize we have lost our grip on … the moment, which is any moment we become angry with the dog, with the kids, with our partner, with the stranger in the queue or on the road, with our colleague, with a doctor, with the neighbor, with a phone operator, with the person on the news and/or with the leaders of our countries.
Surely, we spiritual people know that the moment we react to whatever has pricked the *low* end of our ego, our ego centric self, we know that, buttons pushed, we are reacting robotically – not spiritually.
We, spiritual and concerned people know that the only thing that can make a difference to *our* day today is by striving to be the best we can be – heart chakra open – actively *accepting* what has just come down in the moment under our feet and to process THAT through the *high* end of our ego, our spiritual self; that, and finding ways to patiently, actively restrain ourselves [leading by example] and buying/needing less, much less of whatever it is that keeps wounding Earth and Nature and hurts others, starting with those in our immediate proximity, our *loved ones* – because I believe there is a direct correlation between culturally engrained self-centeredness, living above our *true* needs, and the limited understanding of what spiritual energy – an energetic empathy for others – is all about.
If we fail to make this connection then, I can easily imagine that our benevolent nanny who has begun showings recurring signs of irritation will upgrade karmic retribution in a bid to put us back in our place, that of humble little bipeds with big, mostly unused brains and big, mostly unused hearts who need to imagine themselves and their potential – differently.