At the age of 20, I read Siddhartha… more than once. Herman Hesse’s short novel retold the story of the Buddha so eloquently, I thought. Sitting in the back of buses, lonely and estranged from both family and my religious upbringing, criss-crossing Europe on art history tours during a junior year abroad--I dreamed of walking the path outlined so beautifully in the book.
Somehow, like the Buddha, I would leave the family for asceticism and training. Maybe I already had. But then would come immersion in business, passion, and wealth, followed finally by that enlightened epiphany in which I saw it all as “illusion”-- and realized my essential oneness with everything. It was the classic, heroic, individual quest for unity with a transcendent Divine. I drank it in like a starving child.
But What About the Planet?
Roughly four and a half decades later, that quest remains. But progress has not come in the ways I thought it would. The grand vision absorbed in my youth had some things totally backwards. In some respects, it started me (and many others) walking more or less in the wrong direction.
Take the idea, still evident in Christianity and in Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, for instance—that Mother Earth and this life on her are really just a platform for private spiritual evolution. She’s all maya—illusion—anyway. Or worse, sinful. Get on to nirvana, or heaven, as fast as you can. That’s all that matters.
While there’s some truth to this, still, with a whole planet it crisis, it can be irresponsible, escapist, and downright dangerous. Not too long ago, it was identified as “spiritual bypass.” It can foster the attitude that we may plunder and destroy the great, nurturing ecosystem that gives us all this chance to incarnate and evolve. Or ignore it at least. How can that not matter? The traditional message—“live for the afterlife, this one’s a mess”—has turned out to be a deadly half truth. In our world, it’s one of the memes that has created the worst of the damage.
And What About Families?
But more recently, into the awareness of many healers anyway, has come another kind of reversal. Not only must the transformational pilgrim be ultimately responsible to the Mother Earth and the rest of humanity, but even the “I”--the distinct, individual seeker--is a kind of reductionist fantasy. That lone “I” is far more bound up with collective families than we in the West have tended to think.
So what does that mean for getting and staying well?
What powers the body is a very slow fire. We take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide just like the flames you sit around camping out at night. Though "antioxidants" and "free radicals" have given it something of a bad name these days--combustion still powers our cells.
But if that's true, if we are fueled by internalized oxidation, perhaps we can learn something from the life-path of that simple campfire. What if what's healthy for fire, always, but especially in its late stages, is also what's healthy for us?
I've been sitting with small fires recently on Sunday afternoons. It tunes me in to the accelerating Earth Changes. So I've been thinking about this. Especially as it relates to chronic suffering, and mainstream health care's current fetish for extreme specialization.
Nurturing the Flame-Child
The tiniest flames, like you as an infant, need special care. They need lots to learn and grow on, but also shelter. Too much oxygen, as in a strong draft, will cool them below ignition temperature and—blow them out. Dampness also cools them, because water evaporating steals lots of heat in order to become a vapor. Dampness, we might say, is like trauma in the young family. Areas of learning and growth get shut down as parts of the tinder cannot ignite.
So you start a good fire by creating a cone or teepee-like structure with three layers. The inner core is tinder. It consists of flammable materials that are dry, lightweight, and present lots of surface area. Crumpled paper, bits of cardboard, and brittle twigs up to the size of pencils work well. You make a small pile with the twigs leaning against, and above the paper.
What a Good Firestart Looks Like
The next layer of the cone has no name in English—but I call it "bonewood." It's dry sticks about the thickness of the bones in your arms or legs just long enough to lean up against the core of tinder and touch at the top. As you surround it with these, you begin to see the form of the teepee more clearly. The final layer is branches or split logs more like the thickness of your whole arm.
Let's compare creating this foundation to the perinatal period in human life. Do it well and your child is off towards a good firestart. Now what?
Violent Weather Extremes are the New Normal
So How do YOU Stay Safe?
Global warming puts way more moisture in the air. That means a "normal" thundershower or cold front slamming through can dump 3, 4, 5 inches of rain in an hour or two. And, as the Weather Service says, Harvey's 40 to 50 inches in a few days is "unprecedented."
Well, it WAS unprecedented... It's very "precedented" now.
I could go on about drought, wildfires, terrorism, fascism, nuclear brinkmanship, and more--but you understand. So what does "safety" look like as these Earth-Changes accelerate?
Apprenticed to shamanic teachers in the 90's, I was taught one thing before all else. There's a real but limited amount you can do to prepare physically, but way more important is whether you prepare spiritually, emotionally, psychically.
Look, even animals know when Nature's emergencies are imminent--so why don't we also FEEL what to do when?
Earth-changes Push Lightworkers--
Go Deeper Now, We Need You WELL!
I think it's fair to call most of us alternative healers "lightworkers" And many more of my readers here I know are lightworkers, regardless of profession.
So I ask you, have you felt it over the last few years?
That intense push to move through the layers of your personal and family trauma and get clear of it?
I know I've felt it big time, and so many I know have. That push is there because Earth needs us to be open, fluid, resilient, and compassionate. And it's much harder to do that carrying the scars of a heavy personal or ancestral wound system.
The Parallel Worlds Perspective on This
A couple of years ago I spent 5 hours under hypnosis with a very evolved Thai woman. As part of that, I saw Earth's futures splitting.
3 Steps to Safety in Extreme Weather
Power up Your Affirmations with Breath
Personality Layers--Why Some Wounds Need More Than One Healing
Seed Time--or Grow a Good Future
Solution Focus Solves the Problem
Can Empathy Win at Armageddon?
Earth, Families, and Personal Transformation
Good Health as a Sacred Fire
Your Safety as Earth-Changes Accelerate
Karen and the Alien Hand--Why I Do Inner Family Constellations
Music, Migrations, and Health--In Tough Times
Better Private Family Constellations: The Three Session Package
Five Facts About Personal and Ancestral Trauma