We seem to forget that we are all here, living on earth. This is our home, yet we are destroying it. This fact is clear. The jury on ‘climate change’ is out. Earth is showing us how things are. Nature is crying out to us and telling us that we have to change. Scientists also are making this point clear: “we are already experiencing the impact of climate change and environmental tipping points.” We may have differing views and opinions, but the reality is, we are all subject to the same laws of nature. And… we only have this one home.
This is the most compelling reason for us to have deep conversations that arrive at unified solutions. We MUST work together. There are only two options now – we remain divided and perish, or we unite and breakthrough. The challenges we face, however, require significant change and involve ‘unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society’(1). A shift in consciousness is the only way forward. We urgently need a great awakening. But this is much more than the traditional notion of awakening – or the modern one of getting ‘woke’.
Historically, awakening has been a more metaphysical journey, oftentimes with the end goal being one of personal liberation – to escape from this world and enter some heavenly realm. Getting woke today seems to be more about getting ‘with it’ – recognising the madness and injustice of our systems, and the deep desire to undo the oppressive chains we are bound by. However, our awakening is not just about undoing, and it certainly is not about escaping. Sure, things can seem so bad the temptation is to bail. And indeed, there is much undoing and unlearning required. But perhaps even more than this, it is a process of remembering, restoring and returning.
Our awakening is about a reconnection in the deepest and most comprehensive ways – with life. It is a re-awakening – to see and engage with things as they are, as they always have been, and as they always will be. It is about a real relationship with life, here, now.
It is an entire shift of mindset. It is a rebuilding of our relationship – not just with ourselves, but with earth, with creation. Understanding and highlighting our interconnectedness is key to this shift. This mindset is an essential element in our ability to see, understand and work consciously within life systems. It is also critical to our ability to work collaboratively and arrive at unified solutions. With a mind of interconnection, we are able to trust the process and know that something better can emerge. But discovering this can be challenging.
Our true nature, its intelligence and creative powers, lie buried in our core. It’s in our cells, our genes, our collective psyche. Most people have been so severed from the body of intelligence that sustained and informed us for thousands of years, that we are chronically fractured. For most, this wisdom is buried in the deep unconscious recesses. Without a way to restore this, we struggle to piece ourselves back together. That body of intelligence, the one that guided and sustained us for thousands of years, is earth herself – nature. Yet in a very brief period of time, we have lost our connection with the natural world, and in the process, have almost destroyed her.
Sixty percent of creatures on the planet have become extinct within the last 50 years and our own human civilisation is on the brink of collapse (2). Billions of populations of animals have been annihilated in recent decades, in what many scientists are calling the first mass extinction to be caused by a species – humans (3). In causing this massive loss of wildlife and biodiversity, we threaten our own survival too. Even if the destruction were to end now, scientists estimate it would take the natural world at least 5 million years to recover (4).
Yet, we are still here. And we must recognise the source of answers available to us. Nature is the repository, the keeper of the knowledge we now desperately need to salvage.
Our ancient people lived and worked in harmony with this knowledge for tens of thousands of years. All First Nations people knew and understood one fundamental truth, and the same universal principles. There is one unifying LORE for all life: everything is interconnected. Life is an open system of inter-relating parts, all of which are interdependent within the whole. These ‘parts’ are a living, interrelating field, expressed through the primary realms of land/ environment, people and sentient beings, the soul/ spirit of all and the cosmic creation patterns. These are the four fundamental pillars (what I call the 4 Pillars of Lore) of a whole balanced system. The threads within and between them are inextricably entwined. It is through a direct and conscious relationship with the 4 Pillars of Lore that the knowledge of sustainable living can be reinstated and upheld.
When we know the threads that tie everything together – we are able to understand and recreate a sustainable world – to thrive and live in harmony. Balanced and sustainable life systems function in accord with these natural laws. Our Indigenous people are the keepers of this wisdom. And for this very reason we would do ourselves, and all life, a great service if we were to welcome our Indigenous people’s leadership. But rather than seeing this as something separate between indigenous or non-indigenous people, we need to acknowledge that the very same knowledge lies at the core of every human. This is what we need to redeem. We need to work together to restore sacred balance between all people and earth.
Without our conscious connection to life’s fundamental laws we cannot find the solutions we need. Nor can we mobilise the level of care and commitment we need to restore the sacred balance between human and natural systems.
This is why awakening is so critical to the challenges we are facing. Without a deep personal awakening, the true knowing, the realisation of our connectedness, and therefore interdependence, remains nebulous. We need to experience this, not just at a deeply felt level, but in a deeply engaged manner. This engagement is a whole and connective relationship. It is a return to ‘we-dom’, rather than ‘me-dom’. It is recognising our awakening is a collective process, guided by the living earth all around us. Only this will catalyse the changes we need for true regeneration.
The answers we need lie deep within us and all around us. We just need to open our ears, our eyes and our hearts again and realise, we are earth’s children, and she will teach us. We need to bring our humble selves back home to her and she will show us the way.
(1) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018) Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C, accessed at: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
(2) World Wildlife Foundation (2018) Living Planet Report, see: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/living-planet-report-2018
(3) Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P.R. and Dirzo, R (2017) Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
(4) Davis, M., Faurby, S. and Svenning, J. (2018) Mammal diversity will take millions of years to recover from the current biodiversity crisis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America