Winter Solstice and our Connection - Part 2
As sort of an end-of-the year perspective on things, I feel that the subject of
winter solstice and our connection with our planet merits a 2-part blog entry.
To continue on this subject (the concept that all life is connected, and we are
all part of the same organism) I watched that new movie "Avatar" this past weekend. As a side note, my own personal
review (in case you haven't seen it yet) would be that it is worth watching on a
big screen, for sure. Being a sci fi fan, I was impressed with the way they at least
started the storyline and held to it. The story itself probably had enough material
to be a trilogy and really go into the depth that the story deserved. Visually it
was stunning. The music was the worst part of the movie. Formula music applied in
formula foreshadowing that I hate but it seems that Hollywood has decided is the
only way to present a movie to its audiences. There were some other Hollywood "template"
aspects that were trite and took away from the film, but overall I would definitely
give it a thumbs up.
My point in mentioning this movie is that the underlying concept throughout this
movie is exactly what my point is in this 2-part blog entry. Namely that all planetary
life is connected in the same way that all the components of a cell are connected,
or all components of a body organ, or an organ system, or a whole body. The same
patterns repeat themselves in this inter-connectedness over and over, so it amazes
me that this isn't more obvious as an overall understanding in both science and
Here is another interesting article that touches into the same subject
on a personal level. The point of this study talked about in this article is that
working with nature and even just being in nature actually changes us.
Of course it does. It gently forces us to connect back to "the organism" that we
all really are.
Yet another look at this same topic has been through an amazing book I've been reading over the past several weeks.
Loaned to me by the same aforementioned friend, this book by Wade Davis chronicles the perilous and
incredible Amazonian excursions of 2 botanists over 2 different generations as they
find, name and research psychoactive, medicinal, poisonous and utilitarian plants
throughout Central and South America. Wade Davis also presents a "macro" perspective
of the historical, vicious brutality that global demand for resources by governments
and corporations in that area created over the past century. Again... a look at
the human species as an organism which is part of the organism of the planet itself.
In his ethnobotanical explorations of Central and South America, Wade Davis notes
something that I've been thinking about for many years as well. At one point he
is researching the plants used to make curare. He notes that the native tribes are
using a complex combination of several plants to create curare. Curare is a paralyzing
poison made from various recipes depending on the region and native tribe in South
America. Most of these recipes are quite intricate and involve methods to extract
this poison that rival the methodologies of a modern organic chemistry lab.
Moreover, curare only works upon delivery straight to the muscle. You can eat it
with no ill-effect.
So the big question is: How did these native people figure this out? Which plants
to use? How to use them? How to prepare them? This is one of dozens, if not hundreds
of plants that are used in a way that requires a deep understanding of the plant
on some level.
The author points out that the idea of "trial and error" is not really adequate
in explaining how these people have learned to work with plants (or did they sit
around for centuries, poking themselves with just the right combination of plants
out of the millions of species found in the jungle, until they felt paralysis?).
The obvious answer, to even the most reductionist, intellectual, western-scientific
mind is that there has to be a different connection somehow between these people
and the plants they use. And there is.
They have linked into the spirit of the earth
and the spirit(s) of the plant world. I fully agree with the author. This is also
a vital aspect of what it is I am trying to teach in my classes, in fact. The concept of linking to the earth organism
of which we are all a part. We're actually already linked in to it. The key is in
quieting the chatter and perceiving that link that's already there. Our bodies know
this, but we have to quiet our intellect to get there.
I have been thinking about this subject for over 2 decades. It first started when
I lived near the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado. I used to go on several-day excursions,
carrying nothing more than an elk skin and a knife in order to practice and live
my own primitive living skills. Since I carried no water purification
with me, I had to trust in the concept of clean water when and where water was available.
I came up with my own method to test water. I would take a mouthful of water out
of a stream, pond or lake and "connect" to the water first this way - holding the
water in my mouth for about 5 seconds. Nothing fancy... just take a mouthful, empty
mind (no presuppositions or projections), connect or link to the water itself. I
would inevitably feel one of two things happen. I would either feel nauseous and
sick, or I would feel rejuvenated by the water. Based on these physical reactions,
I drank and/or rejected gallons of stream water throughout the Pikes Peak National
Forest. I never became sick.
The reductionist, intellectual, scientific explanation for my results would be "luck"
or "chance," just as the same explanation for native South American Indian's discovering
the intricate methodologies to extract curare would be "trial and error."
The real explanation is that we are all part of the same organism, linked literally
in an act of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with the plant world via the carbon cycle.
The real question is: How can we NOT know these things? How did it come to the point
it is at today, that we are so far separated from this vital connection to our own
planet? Our own resources? Everything that allows us to live and breathe?
One final word, in regards to being aware of the cycles of nature around us: This
New Year's Eve is a combination of a lot of different lunar and stellar cycles that
happening at the same time. Full moon, Blue Moon, Eclipse and more. While I am not "into"
astrology per se, I absolutely believe that the cycles of our environment affect
us. The way we have mapped these cycles (whether western astrology, eastern astrology,
or one of several other versions) may or may not be fully accurate. However there
is no doubt that they are accurate to some degree each in their own way. So on that
note.... please be careful and safe this New Year's Eve!