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Who is Mother Earth?

Every day my dog and I walk through the forest where I live heading for the same tree. It only takes 10 or so minutes to get there. Sometimes I go a different way to spend time in the forest, but I always end up at the same place. I go to this tree all year round; through sun, rain, frost and snow. Even when I intentionally set out to do a different walk, I am magnetically drawn towards this place and my feet change direction (my dog knows the way and often second-guesses the destination). I take with me a mat for meditation, seeds for the birds, honey for the insects, flowers (in summer) or food (in winter) for the tree. For most of the year I do my sitting practice there, and in warmer months, I spend up to several hours a day in the magical peace and tranquillity of this place. I have never yet seen another person. I have always had a love of the beauty, solace and harmony found in nature. For the last 6 months I have been working with an Ecuadorian medicine woman which has opened my eyes and heart to the invisible ways of nature and the medicine of plants. In her tradition, you interact with the intelligence of nature consciously, attuning to its elements and fostering a reciprocal partnership. This reminds me of a practice that I used to do thirty years ago when I would communicate with ailing plants and animals to help restore them to health. This partnership with nature can be utilised not only for healing, but also transformation, growth and spiritual evolution. The last few months have deepened my respect for indigenous wisdom and brought a whole new light to my understanding of Earth. That the Earth is not an inanimate provider of ‘resources’ for us, but a living, breathing organism is becoming more widely accepted. We refer to the Earth using the feminine pronoun. We call her Mother, Pachamama, Gaia. And yet, even those of us who consider ourselves aware, well-intended, environmentally conscious, can still fail to see the full truth of Earth’s presence. In developed societies, the perception of Earth as rightfully belonging to us still governs much of the human thinking and relating with the Earth. Despite us wanting and wishing for a more sustainable, just and respectful treatment of Earth, most of us live within societies and modern systems which are inherently destructive. Pulling out of the thinking and behaviours of these systems and placing our attention and intention into nurturing, restorative thoughts, words and deeds requires ongoing vigilance and commitment. One of the aspects of working with indigenous wisdom that touched me was the way they treat Earth as a being, with the same faculties of body, soul and spirit that we have. And although we can intellectually accept that as a truth, somehow daily life can keep us busy and prevent the deep interaction with Earth that lets this truth become a tangible experience. During the quieter months of the pandemic, I have had the opportunity to spend more time communing with nature in the forest where I live. I am starting to see that our relationship with Earth can be as profound and intimate as with another human being. When this is our frame for understanding the Earth, we can see how distressing it is for indigenous peoples to witness the heedless habits of modern man. We inhabit the Earth’s surface with little regard for the effect we are having. We construct our buildings and highways without seeing the disruption to subtle energy channels and vital health-giving structures in the soil. We conveniently overlook what other species are already using the space we wish to occupy. We smother the land that grows our food in poisonous chemicals, even though countless organisms who have no say in the choices we make on their behalf are dependent on that land for survival. We use water without thinking where it has come from and where our soiled water ends up. We pollute the air that we, and every other living thing, must breathe. We create products from raw materials that cannot be returned back to Earth once we’re finished with them (sometimes our use of products is counted in mere seconds – like drinking bottled water). Unthinking, selfish, greedy or knowingly disrespectful human behaviour doesn’t just affect the physical body of Earth. Like us, Earth has feeling and thinking bodies, as well as a heart body and spiritual bodies. Imagine each body of Earth as a bank account (not the most obvious analogy but stay with me). We can either make deposits into or withdrawals from that account. We are beginning to see how this has worked on a physical level with the increasing degradation of Earth’s systems over the last 300 years (and the acute acceleration of breakdown in the last 30). We’ve taken out more than we’ve put in and undermined the physical health of the Earth in doing so. We tend to think our thoughts and feelings are our own business, and affect only ourselves. And yet, our individual thoughts, words, emotions and deeds combine to create the collective atmosphere of the whole Earth. During our time here, the enduring emotional, mental and heart turmoil of humans has unbalanced the collective emotional, mental and heart accounts of Earth. Fear, hatred, anger, violence and prejudice feed into collective emotional body of the Earth, and make them more available for others to draw on. They lower the overall frequency of the Earth’s emotional body – and we then feel that as heaviness, numbness, stricture etc. But states such as these do not generate themselves out of nowhere. They are the energetic patterns that express thought of a similar nature. A collective thought/feeling atmosphere based on a misperception of Earth is responsible for all the misunderstanding, mistreatment and justification which leads to actions of destruction. Conversely, perceiving and experiencing Earth as a being means we treat her as we would a member of our own family. We feel her plight, we want to assist her, we take care of her, we appreciate her, we love her. Once we start to interact with Earth on these levels, we see a being of such intelligence, beauty and grace. We see how generous she is in her immense capacity to love and forgive. Our heart is moved to connect with her more deeply and intimately. Our thoughts are filled with gratitude, and our feelings express the joy and contentment of being in her proximity. In this way we become co-creative agents of her (and our) transformation. It’s easy to get caught up in the images and accounts of brutality, greed, destruction and feel that the human species, and the fate of the Earth, are doomed. When we know that the outer environment is a mirror of the inner environment, we are empowered to do something about it. The pictures we hold of ourselves and our planet literally weave the energetic forms which become the reality of matter. An expansive, light-filled, harmonious future (and present!) comes about when we allow those properties to take hold in our being – to come through us and out into the world. And these properties are never lost, wasted, pointless. The power of positive, aligned energy far outperforms negative, misdirected energy. And it doesn’t matter if you are the only one on Earth doing this practice. The benefits still hold (definitely for you personally, and with some effect on the wider environment). However, when we join that positive, aligned energy together with others, and unify our attention and intention on it, the results are powerful and exponential. We create the world we want by carrying the picture of that possibility with us…in every single moment of our waking state. As the world around you falters, remember that it is the misperceptions of life and manifestations of that misperception that are faltering and exposing their inherent limitations. We must discern what is passing from what is enduring. Life itself remains in its pure, vibrant, intelligent, benevolent state. As we move towards a world built on that knowing, deep change is inevitable. Those of us who wish to use our presence on Earth towards contribution and service, have an opportunity in the coming years to step into roles as leaders in every field of human endeavour and share the pictures of possibility that we intuit. As we do so, we awaken the inspiration and passion that live in every human heart. Our willingness to go forward in trust and love, even when some are running in the opposite direction, carves a pathway that others can follow. So what is Earth’s future? Where is she headed? Can we know her destiny? Earth is receiving unprecedented help from all levels of being right now in order to transition into a more aligned expression of her essence. Humanity, not only needs to go with her, but needs to facilitate that outcome. We call on you to step forward, in whatever way you feel moved to, and be a proactive creator of our shared future. The coming times require us to join together, learn from and support one another, and hold our course steady. At Intelligent Life, we are absolutely committed to sharing what we know to make that possible. Blessings be, Jeddah


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