Wednesday, 8 June 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…


“Rivers and rocks and trees have always been talking to us, but we’ve forgotten
how to listen.”

Michael Roads

Personal Wisdom:

Do you practice listening to other beings? How? When?

What is your relationship with wildness?


Does wildness make you uncomfortable?

How can we all learn to listen better?

Societal Wisdom:

a Moment with Sharif…


All beings on Earth are in direct, constant communication (communion) with each other. And, unlike the beings in the movie “Avatar”, we don’t need a braid to make the connection. It’s all there, all the time.

And, we’ve forgotten how to listen.

The misconception of Breaker science, in seeing Nature as a violent competition, creates an attitude of separation that plagues us today. Yes, the lion chases down and captures a gazelle. Yes, it’s bloody, and it ends in death.  But, the lion doesn’t take just any gazelle – it takes the weak and sick ones, improving the long-term health of the gazelle herd (along with the health of the lions). An ecology is a long-term exercise in cooperation. And, for a million years, humans have been an integral part of that cooperation. Up until about 8-10,000 years ago, when we entered the Age of the Breakers. That age is just about over!  (Whether it takes all humans down as it dies remains to be seen…)

Whenever the Breakers encounter the Keepers, they changed the story. The Keepers have always had a rich dialog with All Being (what we call “Nature”). High relationship (“All my relations”), low tech. The Breakers were exactly the opposite: low relationship (slavery and oppression), high tech (guns, steel). In the short run, the Breaker “magic” wins. In the long term, it fails…

Daniel Quinn talks about someone who builds a contraption that they think will allow
them to fly. They go to the top of a 100 story building and jump off. As they pass the 50th
floor, they are heard to say, “So far, so good!”

They are not flying, they are falling.  That will become evident on impact.

Yes, rivers and rocks and trees are talking to us, even now. And, much of what they are saying is not “pleasant” – we’re the teenagers throwing a party that’s lasted 8 millennia, and the other occupants are getting pissed off at our behavior.

Here’s a story, sent by my friend Jane Hughes Gignoux:

The Whale… A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat.  She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.  A rescue team worked for hours
with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.  She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.  Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.  The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

There are two stories here: one is the rescue of an intelligent, sentient being from a
slow death, rescued by intelligent, sentient beings of another species… with a universally felt “thank you”.  Pretty cool.

The second story is about the less-than-intelligent beings that put her in trouble in the first place. “Rivers and rocks and trees have always been talking to us, but we’ve forgotten how to listen.” The whales and bees and wolves are talking to us, but most of our leaders would rather listen to MONEY than listen to LIFE.

The good news: some of us are waking up and paying attention. The whale’s rescuers, jumping into the water to rescue a being large enough to swallow them, were attempting
to fix the damage done by others.  This is what it means to be a MENDER.




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.


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6 Responses to Wednesday, 8 June 2011

  1. Grace says:

    I walk along the beach listening to the ocean, still powerful and still beautiful but chocking from human debris. She points out the garbage along the way for me to pick up. At least this piece of plastic will not choke any sea life.

    My grandson and I watched a documentary on sharks. Ninety per cent of the shark population has been killed off, most just for their fins. Costa Rica has been taken over by the Shark Fin mafia as the mafia has money and the government is willing. The people are protesting, they care. The documentary said if there are no sharks there are no people. We are all connected.

    • admin says:

      Cool… I used to get really angry when I saw the debris on the ground (on the beach or in the city). Now, I think of it as an opportunity to be of service to the Earth. (I just wish there wasn’t so much “service” out there!)



  2. Jitendra says:

    I was sitting, listening to a friend’s feedback on a talk I had given the other night, Change For R-Evolutionaries. He started to say how it felt a bit slow to him. But as he reflected, he also recalled how even though he had had a busy day and my presentation went a full 3 hours, he did not feel tired. With a smile he offered that perhaps there was a purpose to my cadence. I returned the smile with a glint.

    He admitted that he thinks of himself as somewhat of an intellectual and can grok things very quickly. I acknowledged that our minds move faster than the speed of light, but our bodies have a far slower pace. How else could we have gotten so far out in front of ourselves with our planet? We’re now backtracking at a frantic pace in an effort to realign our quick minds with our bodies and, by extension, our collective body Earth.

    When we slow down to the speed of our breath, take time to feel warmth in our eyes and our heart, we enter a new relationship of care and consideration to both ourselves and everything/one around us. We re-enter life through the gateway of our heart. In true care, we can restore, mend and heal.

    • admin says:

      Absolutely! An essential part of being able to listen to the Earth involves “not speeding up”. (I was about to write “slowing down”, but the Earth isn’t “slow” — its rotating at 733 miles an hour at my latitude!) When we are moving and cogitating at “Breaker” speed, we unpin ourselves from LIFE. What can we actually SEE at our Breaker speeds? The curse of over-stimulation…

  3. Tarri says:

    I think that nature directs us to be true to our own nature, soul. When we listen, we have more respect for the natural world in return…. a big beautiful circle. Our authentic selves have a tendency to become covered up with layers that mask us based on what society/others expect from us in order to “succeed.”. We then lose sight of ourselves and what is true, pure and natural around us.

    • admin says:

      You said:

      Our authentic selves have a tendency to become covered up with layers that mask us based on what society/others expect from us in order to “succeed.”

      True. And, those masks get quite sticky when we label those assumptions and expectations “normal”. Fighting and violence is “normal”. Dominance over other beings (including human beings) is “normal”. Artificial and synthetic foods are “normal”.

      I had a friend who would trade the butter she received (from a government program) for margarine, because the butter “wasn’t yellow enough”. Recently, I had a friend who was meditating next to a beautiful river… which she couldn’t hear, because she had on headphones — listening to the recorded sound of a river! (That’s too bizarre for me to make up!)

      No wonder we can’t hear what Nature is saying…

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