23 August 2016
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to navigate this Gaia Grief as I call it, knowing that everything I love so dearly - animals and the natural world - are being mindlessly consumed, commoditized and destroyed with entitled abandon.
Joanna Macy calls this breakdown The Great Unraveling.
The word that resonates most with me is
As such, I'm aware of the "thinness" of this magnificent place, where the veil between the physical and non-physical world is virtually non-existent.
Unlike a city with its denuded, unnatural landscape and the incessant noise from honking cars, blaring music, car alarms, machines, construction, techno-distraction, and the mental static of worry, busyness, fatigue, anxiety, and irritation, Earth energy is much easier to feel here - especially for the energetically sensitive like myself.
I feel what is unseen and unheard by the
collective, and which is subsequently ignored and denied by our
culture. The Sunshine Coast is a true barometer for what's really
occurring in the world on a non-physical level. For me, this is
The message is clear:
Collapse is upon us. It's no longer some distant event.
It's happening now and it's happening faster than anyone can predict. Along with the clear message to extricate myself from the system, I've been having repetitive premonitions that won't let up.
These premonitions have a persistent ocean theme that come with two words,
My intellect is grasping, trying to understand what the "it" is that's over.
There's no doubt that we're collectively committing ecocide, but is it more?
As my mind struggles for answers, my heart doesn't care. Content is irrelevant. To my heart it makes no difference if the "it" is cultural, economic, ecological, or human collapse. Rather than allow my mind to exhaust me with possible future scenarios, my heart has chosen to be fully present with what is.
In this acceptance, I've unleashed a force from within that knows that no matter how it all plays out, it's ok, because the love in my heart remains steadfast through it all.
One manifestation of our collective insanity is that we'll do anything to deny our own mortality.
We've all known since early on that
we're going to die and that our mortality is ensured, but
ironically, we have a death-phobic mindset in a culture that is
driven by a compulsive urge to destroy life. This is insanity.
Yet they don't really live either. The
level of anxiety and depression is profound. The world is filled
with hopeless, unhappy, self-loathing people. By avoiding all
conversations about pain and death, slavery is ensured and the
masses never break free from their own misery.
In my own life, the most liberating,
expansive and transformative experience was the untimely death of my
mother. As painful as it was, it altered my perception of reality
and connected me to a deeper love for life.
To me, this is a beautiful thing.
To the naked eye, things may look "ok",
but lurking below the surface, we know something quite different.
It is the sixth
mass extinction event that gets
little airtime in our truth suppressed world.
We now have,
The increase in human population is
directly related to the escalating violence and destruction in our
If we could only stop the war on our
souls, we would stop the war on the Earth and everything else.
Even the so called 'awakened' remain trapped in the conditioned entitlement that perpetuates the slavery, oppression and slaughter of animals for their flesh (meat), ovulations (eggs), and maternal secretions (dairy).
Everything that represents the feminine/life - particularly animals and nature - is fair game for obliteration in our anthropocentric patriarchal culture.
Sadly, with women influencing more than
85% of household purchasing decisions, and unconscious decisions as
the norm, the destructive forces of patriarchy infect us all.
What Newtonian science fails to recognize however, is the organic, non-linear nature of Gaia.
Gaia is a living organism, and linear scientific predictions just don't work for the rapid acceleration we're now experiencing. We've set off so many positive feedback loops that we're officially on a runaway train to a greater hell than we've already created.
When the web of life breaks down,
collapse accelerates and there is no certainty… no predictability.
We tend to face problems with facts, figures, statistics, extrapolations and rationale.
We think that we can master the world with a three pound hunk of watery flab - our almighty brains - but this only serves to distance us from the source of our greatest potential and the place where we most need to go:
We're not only living through startling
ecological, economic, system and cultural collapse, but most
frightening of all, we're living in a state of collapsed
consciousness, where fear, denial and ignorance reign supreme.
I keep coming up empty...
Biologist Jonas Salk said,
Such a tragic statement about how far
we've strayed from the web of life.
Despite everything pointing in that direction, I have a hard time believing this could be so. Despite my own imperfections, I know that it's not so for me, but do I confess that I'm confused.
According to Eknath Easwaran's translation of the Bhagavad Gita,
So the problem is not a lack of goodness
and compassion, the problem is a lack of interest in expressing
goodness and compassion - especially in ways that are not
conditional or fragmented.
Six pack abs? For sure! Sixth mass extinction event? Meh...
Scarf down another bacon cheeseburger,
chase it with a beer and Prozac - and all is well.
I feel the bittersweet pain when I sit
by the ocean with my partner and dogs admiring a beautiful sunset
knowing that the oceans are plasticized beyond repair and are nearly
devoid of life.
And yet we still do nothing to change
If we're really honest with ourselves, as was written in the email from AV, tipping points are well behind us and there's no hope for salvaging our broken world anymore.
Quite frankly, why would we want to continue on with what is so blatantly cruel and destructive toward life anyways? Because it's familiar?
I don't think so.
In his book Endgame, Derrick Jensen asks,
Most of us know that the answer is a resounding NO.
With our collective indifference and
denial, we've thrown away all opportunities for a global
transformation in consciousness.
The explosion of humans on the planet - all indoctrinated into the paradigm of separation - is the perfect recipe for biosphere collapse.
We're rigid in our worldview and refuse to look outside of our mechanistic conditioning. We persist in having having the same old conversations that we did hundreds of years ago.
Sexism, speciesism, racism, and many other 'isms' are as prolific as ever.
Throughout the millennia, the same old story of separation plays out. Consciousness deteriorates. Civilizations collapse. Extinction events wipe out life.
And here we stand again:
The sad reality is that our cultural system and those who control it are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and the masses don't give a damn.
Most people are too distracted by the daily minutiae of their own lives to care about the state of the world. Despite the low grade unease that relentlessly tugs on their hearts, every day is 'business as usual'.
Make money, pay the bills, Facebook, text, buy stuff, eat, tweet, sleep, text, down a beer, a glass of wine, watch TV, text, repeat.
The monotonous machine of relentless distraction that silences their hearts and swallows their souls. Our culture rewards destruction and punishes love. We've traded our humanity for profit.
For anyone with a hint of critical
thinking skills, it's impossible to deny that the earth is
terminally ill, humans are completely insane, and a rapid
acceleration of extraordinary collapse is occurring. It's both
confusing and disorienting as we careen our way toward an uncertain
Most people can't even bring themselves to do these simple actions anyway.
We're long past the point of a spontaneous awakening. If everyone on the planet chose to live off-grid, grow their own food, and never buy a single plastic item again, it still wouldn't be enough (but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still choose to live this way).
The momentum from our destructive
behavior is well underway. In most cases, the damage is
irreversible. The lag time between our past and our present actions,
and the subsequent repercussions of these actions will likely play
out for several millennia to come.
Let's get real here, we've screwed the planet and ourselves. Surely I'm not the only one who gets this? For the city dwellers who've read this far and haven't tuned me out, please don't allow yourself to believe that you're insulated from collapse.
One only needs to bear witness to the,
...to know that something is very, very wrong with our 'civilized' ways.
This may all be 'normal', however it's
anything but natural. Collapsing energies are playing out in a
plethora of dysfunctional ways.
We stand alone, isolated from life, love and truth on our soulless island of separation. We are the zombie apocalypse we so deeply fear.
We've chosen, and the sooner we can accept what we've done to the planet and ourselves, the sooner we can connect with our deepest core essence and be fully present for whatever comes next.
The problem has never been the human condition, it has always been the conditioned human. There is no way that a species steeped in separation sickness could possibly have a glorious future.
Even as a child I knew that the Earth
would never allow it.
In my belief, there is no changing rigid
old patriarchal systems built on the foundation of the wounded inner
child. There is no 5th dimensional consciousness, age of Aquarius,
feminine uprising, or new age awakening to save us. There is only
the irreparable damage that we've inflicted on animals, the earth
and our souls. There's only the inevitable cultural collapse and
fall of humanity.
If we would only just allow ourselves to slow down and breathe, we would connect to the heartbeat of the Earth and feel the depth of her pain.
This is the only way back to our love for the world. The question for many of us right now is how to remain engaged and activated in a collapsing world without falling into despair, depression or addiction.
How do we remain present to it all? By facing our pain, we discover the answer.
When we step into pain, it transforms.
It doesn't remain static. It only remains static if we refuse to
look at it. But when we look at it and bring it into our hearts, it
reveals its other face, the face of our love for the world - our
absolutely inseparable connectedness with all life.
When I cry, I'm cleansed. When I cry,
I'm connected. When I cry, I find joy much easier. When I cry, I
know that my heart and my mind are twinned.
When we fear the vastness of our grief,
we shut down and move into a state of denial.
Suppressed grief is unexpressed love, and I think we can all agree that we live in a world devoid of true, essential love. Our "don't worry, be happy, everything will be ok" culture of denial promotes our disconnect from the earth and each other.
Denial traps us in the status quo and
prevents us from taking the action required to think, feel, choose,
and live in a way that is more aligned with our true nature.
I found this rather amusing.
My take is that it's only "dark and heavy" when denial is the primary modus operandi. The truth of our current world is pretty damned dark and heavy, but it gets (somewhat) lighter when it is not denied or ignored.
There is no happy ending anymore (was there ever?), and this realization has brought up more real moments of joy, presence and tenderness, like epic moments with goofy dogs and cats, 'lip licking' acorn barnacles (so cool!), dive-bombing bald eagles, curious sea otters, playful seals, wispy cloud formations and breathtaking starry night skies.
I notice all of this because I don't
fear the pain, duality and truth. I now see the importance of
savoring moments, and it's beautiful thing!
When we move beyond our own denial and the false sense of hope that holds us captive to a complacent mindset, and when we accept the severity of our situation, only then can we open our hearts to the pain of our grief - the gateway to our deepest love for the world.
I've consciously participated in the healing of the Earth through ongoing activism, as well as my personal choices and actions. Although I'm not perfect, I have a tireless hunger for living as close to my essence as possible. With that in mind, I'm always willing (although not always eager) to examine my own inconsistencies, conditioning and separation.
This is the only way to allow for the
healing of the wounds that emerge. It's an ongoing evolutionary
There were 3.2 billion people on the planet in my birth year of 1963. There are now almost 7.5 billion people a mere 50 years later.
Because of humanity's aggressive
population growth, there are exponentially more of us doing more of
what has always upset me. More humans equals more violence and
destruction toward the animals, the Earth, and each other. The
hardest part to swallow is that it never had to be this way.
I used to believe I was a significant
player in the creation of a new story for humanity, a story based on
the essence of who we're meant to be. I used to believe in a happy
ending for all.
The real story is being written by the escalating wildfires, droughts, floods, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, ice storms, record snowfalls, desertification and ocean dead zones.
The earth is bleeding and we're doing
nothing to tend to her wounds. Until the blood soaks our front yard,
it's just not our problem.
I've wondered if we refuse to talk about
it because we're too busy pretending that everything will be ok…
pretending that we have hope.
As Derrick Jensen writes in Endgame,
For those who cling to the hope of some epic awakening, miraculous consciousness shift or utopian new world (been there, done that), or for those still living in denial that it can't possibly be that bad, my question is this:
Let's get real here,
Hope binds us to intolerable situations and blinds us from truth. Hope has us believe that things are getting better, but they're not.
They're getting much, much worse.
When I look back on hope in my own life, I see how it held me captive to denial.
Yes folks, hope is denial in drag. Hope trapped me in a low grade state of inertia that I had no awareness of until I let it go. It pushed me just out of reach of the present moment so that I didn't feel the severity of it all.
Yes, it motivated me to act (or so I
thought), but would my actions have been more effective if I were
present rather than looking toward an illusory future?
I've reclaimed the deepest authenticity
of my unadulterated, activated presence.
You may be asking,
To which I respond,
What if we stopped living in hope and
instead lived from the acceptance of what is, despite how gloomy it
may seem to be?
Hope is a fantasy that
prevents us from feeling the pain of our reality. Hope feeds
inertia. Presence inspires action.
As Guy McPherson says,
I can hear it now,
And I reply,
This is when we come fully alive! It's ok to not be brimming with hope. It's ok to not be optimistic.
Many ancient teachings tell us that the ongoing maintenance of hope will burn us out. When we hope, it's not enough. But when we're present, it's more than enough. In our presence, we're activated.
We show up in ways that allow us to discover ever more capacity to love this world.
The biggest gift we can offer the world is our full on, activated presence.
The distant snow capped mountains of Vancouver Island, along with clear sunny skies and a calm ocean created an arresting frame. Under "normal" circumstances, I would feel immense joy from this beautiful display of nature in action.
Instead, I was heavy-hearted, irritated and angry.
Interrupting this magnificent natural spectacle was a jarring sight:
For years, a local mountain range has been raped for profit.
Sand, gravel, crushed stone, and concrete are the final products. Where majestic mountains once stood, there is now only desecration:
I miss nothing. The ocean and the tanker ship. The orcas and the mountain rape. Beauty and destruction. Life and death.
There's more however. I'm painfully aware of the precarious state of the ocean. This is the focal point of my premonitions. The ocean is dying and it's happening fast. It is our link to life - the true lungs of the Earth.
When the ocean collapses, it is the end of life on Earth. Ocean collapse is well underway.
It's bad. Really, really, really bad...
With mountain rape added to the picture, it becomes that much more painful. The experience with the orcas and the mountain rape struck a deep chord in me. It was pivotal to where I'm at today. It was the catalyzing experience that peeled back the curtain on my own denial.
It implored me to look more deeply at
where we really stand within the collapsing story of human
separation. It forced me to finally realize the severity of my
I read this message and began sobbing - from the depths of my soul.
My heart... so very, very heavy.
I spent most of the morning in tears. My
premonitions are coming true much faster than imagined. There has
also been news of red tides along the eastern coast of Vancouver
Island. The blood is soaking my front yard and it's spreading
With our prolific breeding abilities,
our voracious hunger for destruction, our penchant for ignorance and
denial, and our absolute refusal to change, it's over. The time for
miracles and quantum leaps has come and gone.
I see the bacon sandwich and the terrified, screaming, blood-soaked pigs.
The masses see the cheese omelet. I see the cheese omelet and the imprisoned, grieving dairy cows, the discarded by-product baby calves, the exhausted, sickly chickens, and the violation of the feminine through the consumption of the maternal secretions and ovulations of brutalized female living beings.
The masses see the shiny white paper... I
see the shiny white paper and the chemical pollution, the corporate
greed, and the clear-cut forests.
The masses see 'normal'. I see
When we love the Earth, we are the Earth.
We refuse the blinders that prevent us from feeling and seeing it all. When we love something or someone that is unwell, we don't turn away, because our love unites us in deeper ways.
Essentially, it is only when we fall deeply in love with the Earth - and our own souls - that we will end our destructive ways.
My innocent young mind could never understand why humans were so cruel and indifferent toward animals, the Earth and each other. I never understood why kindness, compassion and caring were so fragmented and compartmentalized.
It confused me then. It pained me as I
became more aware.
I'd flare up, consumed with anger and
despair - railing against the system with my rage-filled activism -
only to cause more of what I wanted to see the end of… separation.
It was exhausting.
I realized that changing a deeply entrenched culturally conditioned worldview was akin to flying without wings. It just isn't possible. On the other hand, inspiring a return to truth, love and wholeness sparked a remembrance… a unity and a willingness to listen - and possibly wake up. I knew that I'd found my calling.
I hoped that it wasn't too late, but
deep in my heart I knew the odds were always stacked against me.
The essence of my work remains the same: living with passion, purpose, love, compassion, presence, activation, kindness, and grace.
What differs now is the "why".
Before, my work was to inspire the creation of a new world story based on who we've always been meant to be. Now, my work is to inspire leaving the world as who we've always been meant to be. It's about going big and going home.
For me, this is a massive paradigm shift!
As I've been writing, I've been healing.
I've moved through the inertia of my own denial, grief, sadness,
despair, and anger to finally reach a place of acceptance.
It's a sacred time. Heartbreaking and
beautiful. Sad and tender. It's a special time that reminds me of
both the beauty and frailty of life.
Unlike the mainstream interpretation of her important body of work, the five stages of grief are organic, non-linear, and don't always appear as defined.
In the processing of my own grief, I realized that hope was my way of bargaining. The energies of anger, sadness, frustration, joy, awe, and acceptance move through me like breezes, gusts, tornadoes… and then stillness. Until it starts up again.
I knew nothing of my own denial until I stopped hoping. In giving up on hope, I reached acceptance. With acceptance, I've touched my essence, and my grief has morphed into activated presence.
This has brought up a number of important questions such as:
With repeated consistency, there's only one word that comes to me: Love.
Love is the answer - the salve for every
wound - the force that inspires courage, creativity, purpose, trust,
joy, acceptance and activated presence.
Activated presence is an extreme paradigm shift in a distracted and indifferent world.
Activated presence is an embodied awakening to my deepest essential nature - my primal, unconditioned, undomesticated, deeply connected, wild animal soul-Self.
In her book, Coming Back to Life, Joanna Macy writes,
This is activated presence.
For the longest time, I wanted to be sure about how it would all end. I was afraid to be unsure. I was afraid of what could or would play out in the uncertainty.
I wanted to be able to say with conviction,
But I've since realized that this helps nobody.
First of all, nobody knows. More
importantly though, even if we can be convinced that everything will
be ok, would that elicit from us our deepest love, compassion,
courage and greatness? Would that inspire our activated presence?
Let's face it,
Other than death, there are no guarantees for anyone or anything.
Uncertainty is the nature of life, and by stepping into it, we step into radical, activated presence.
Embracing uncertainty connects us with
the soul of who we are - the part of us who lives for the present
moment and could give a damn about tomorrow. Uncertainty activates
The answer was immediate,
I sobbed. So loving. So simple...
Remembering the stardust that is a part
of me. I close my eyes and see the Earth. She weeps. I weep. I wrap
my arms around her, offering the only solace I know. I give myself
fully to her - the only gift I know. It rarely feels like enough
though, yet she makes it clear to me that in standing in the truth
of who I am, I am more than enough.
I end with this offering:
I guarantee that no matter how it all
plays out in the end, you will not regret it.