awakening into connection
For those of you who prefer to read, rather than to listen, this is the written version of episode 2 of the podcast
awakening into connection
We’re suggesting four steps to get us to a place from which this can happen and in today’s podcast, I want to look more deeply at the first of these steps, the one that is key to everything – connecting with the natural world, what we’re calling Re-Awakening into Connection
Which is a part of our heritage, really, it is…. Our dis-connection from the rest of the living world is such a recent event in the evolution of humanity. Perhaps it was necessary to get us to where we are, or perhaps it was a really basic mistake, I don’t know, and I imagine we’ll never find out. But the fact remains that back in the ancestor lines of each one of us, are people who knew how to connect heart to heart with the web of consciousness that spans this planet – – and there are people alive today who still know this.
the other side of eden
In his book, The Other Side of Eden, Hugh Brody describes living amongst the first peoples of the US north west – including a time when he was told he had to rise at 4 o’clock the next morning because the elk had come. He got up at 4… and everyone else was asleep. He woke someone and they looked at him like he was crazy and told him to go back to sleep because obviously the elk hadn’t come – and how could he not know this?
Half a month later, he was shaken awake at 4am because ‘the elk are here’- and again, how could he not know when everyone else was up and ready? He threw on some clothes and they started walking through the forest – and walked for 3 days.
My memory’s a bit hazy, but I think they had to make a litter and drag him along for some of it because he wasn’t up to the walk… but the point is – they all knew when the elk were or were not there. And that was back in the 1970s, it’s not out of reach – we can do this – – – – as long as we understand something of what it is we’re connecting to, and how we’re going to do it.
What we’re connecting to is the web of consciousness, which I know doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on first hearing. I do have an image, though –
A web of living light
When I did the meditations leading up to this podcast, a number of images kept coming up and one of them was of the earth as seen from the moon – that beautiful blue pearl of a planet swimming in the blackness of space… but in the vision, it’s surrounded by a fantastically intricate web of light – sometimes it’s moonlight, sometimes it’s sunlight – but there are millions upon millions of strands of light interweaving in fantastically complex patterns across the globe. And at every crossing point, is a node of consciousness.
And this isn’t just the obviously sentient, conscious brilliance of the red kite or the fox, the toad, or the Humpbacked Whale – this is about us recognising the consciousness in a rock or a river, a tree, a forest, the mycelial mat in the forest floor, the bacteria of the microbiome. In this image, everything from a single cell to a mountain has consciousness….
consciousness – all is possible
That’s my image. Yours might be different. There are a lot of models of consciousness from the Panpsychists and animists who believe more or less what I’ve just said, to the hardcore Cartesian materialists who seem, as far as I can tell to have solved the hard problem of consciousness by saying it doesn’t exit – consciousness, that is, not the hard problem – and the hard problem is how does the set of physiology and biochemistry and neuronal networks of our brain create consciousness in the first place. Particularly when some of the most exciting features of our consciousness seem to occur when our brains – to the best of our ability to measure, are non-functional. We’ll explore this in much more depth in another podcast – probably several other podcasts… probably the whole of our project for as long as it lasts, which I sincerely hope will be until we find a way to an evolutionary paradigm shift.
But what matters to us is our direct experience. If your direct day to day experience is that only humanity is conscious, then go with that until or unless it changes. My day to day experience is that the rocks and the trees and the rivers and the red kites feel conscious to me, but I’m not going to push that one anyone. What matters is that we can build relationship and that is definitely possible, whatever your belief system.
taking our place
There’s a huge liberation in this – in the letting go of having to have all the answers, in accepting that we are astonishingly creative, amazing beings – we are the product of millions of years of the evolution of consciousness – but it may be that sorting this is not our job. Our job is to BE who we are, in the right place at the right time, open to whatever comes, flexible enough that we can act in the moment, doing what we are here to do – that nobody but us can do. None of this is new, it’s just that we lose it in the heat and fluster of our days.
So, part of becoming the best of ourselves, of being the best that we can be, is learning to step into the power of being and stop the heart-blinding terror of thinking we have to find answers on our own.
And yes, this is easy to say, harder to do, but speaking as someone for whom this has been a lifelong quest, I can tell you it does happen – it’s just that it takes time. We live in an era of instant gratification and this doesn’t fit that model. So, we need to make a conscious choice to build the habits of connecting, just as we will need to build the habits of coherence and focusing our attention into clear, crisp intention.
So that’s it for this podcast. We’ll talk about this second step, of learning to let go of our stuff and focus intention what we’re calling Growing into Coherence – in the next episode.
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Episodes in our Introductory Series
What is the first, simplest and most profound change we can make in our lives? Sign up as an Earth Protector – and then encourage your local schools, hospitals, colleges, councils to sign too. Jozette Khimba of the Earth Protector Communities organisation, explores the ways we can have huge impact on our local communities.
What are we here for? Where does our heritage step into our potential? How can we build a genuinely ecological civilisation that sees people and communities flourish within the means of the living planet? Jeremy Lent, author of ‘The Patterning Instinct’, explores the answers to life’s biggest questions.
How can we shape a world where everyone has found and is following their soul’s calling? Gill Coombs, author of The Trembling Warrior and ‘Hearing your Calling’ on ways to discover our soul’s true path.
How would our world feel if we let ourselves follow our wild dreams and hopes? And how can we reshape the land around us if we let it teach us?
Thoughts on an opening sense of self after the birth of a foal – learning new things, triggering angst, fear of making it all up… and a sense of awe.
Thoughts from the hill – on resistance to meditating, watching like a fox and synchronicity.
Visionary, healer and author of two books on ancient and contemporary shamanic practice, Chris Luttichau is a beacon of grounded integrity in this time of upheaval. In this week’s podcast, we explore how the indigenous peoples’ view this time, and how we can respond to the challenges of the moment.
As our world turns over, we turn to the new-old ways to discover how we could do things differently. In this raw, deep, honest conversation with shamanic practitioner, Ya’acov Darling Khan, we talk about what we can do – and his new book.
VIDEO – At times like this, what matters most of all is that we take agency – that we feel what we choose to feel and not what the times are pushing us towards.
Feelings… we avoid them unless we like them and even then, we’re very good at suppressing what’s really there. But if we want to truly connect with ourselves, each other and whatever else is conscious in the web of life… we have to let our feelings flow unrestricted. We have to learn to understand what’s ours and what isn’t and be able to set our default feelings so that we shape them instead of them shaping us.
The hypercomplex system that is our interconnected world is on the edge of emergence into something new – and if we’re going to get our heads around this, we need to understand the difference between Complicated and Complex systems.
Changing our habits of thought and feeling for ones that help us flourish