Growing Strong Beyond Religious Believe Systems And Limitations

by Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
during the past few weeks, our daily life was very intense and transformative in my little hometown on the Guatemalan country side. The changes that are collectively happening in our world right now, which are also making an influence on our personal lifestyle and the roles we play in society, have triggered many discussions and deep communication about the future of humanity and life on planet earth. We all could agree that there is a collective need to reconnect with the ancient powers of the divine feminine expressions within us and, that a lot of different religious believes could become a real obstacle on the way.
Maybe over time, we collectively will have to exchange religion for authentic spiritual connection, and remember who we truly are. For the individual human being in this huge awakening process, we need to bring back conscious initiations that allow us such a personal connection again. Than we can all live as the invoker of spirit, the natural healer, herbalists, oracles, ecstatic dancer and priestesses, that we by nature are. Do you also hear the call for self-empowerment and for raising our voices in the name of a collective awakening into the Golden Age and a brotherhood of man? Than set  yourself free from the limiting ideas you might have taken on from your upbringing and religious practice.

“What can I do, Muslims? I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim,
I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,
not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,
not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.

I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,
not from existence, not from being.
I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,
not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan.

I am not from the world, not from beyond,
not from heaven and not from hell.
I am not from Adam, not from Eve,
not from paradise and not from Ridwan.

My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,
no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.
I have chased out duality,
lived the two worlds as one.

One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.
Beyond He and He is I know no other.I am drunk from the cup of love,
the two worlds have escaped me.
I have no concern but carouse and rapture.

If one day in my life I spend a moment without you
from that hour and that time I would repent my life.
If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you
I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.

O Sun of Tabriz, I am so tipsy here in this world,
I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.”
Jalaluddin Rumi

Religion is interesting because it brings out the best and the worst in humanity. It can be a source of good deeds, whether it’s people from different spiritual backgrounds coming together to help other people in need after a crisis. But it’s also a cause for war and bloodshed.
Josh Gad

Religion is meant to teach us true spiritual human character. It is meant for self-transformation. It is meant to transform anxiety into peace, arrogance into humility, envy into compassion, to awaken the pure soul in man and his love for the Source, which is God.
Radhanath Swami

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Thomas Paine

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.
Mahatma Gandhi

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
Abraham Lincoln
Dear ones, as a big fan of personal awakening and self-empowerment for the common people, I myself never felt the need to be member of any religion, club or organized group, but I do understand when others find grounding, guidance and safety in such institutions. Anyway the individual needs to get up and take self-responsibility for the separations we have created thru our own closed up minds. So  go out and make a new friend from a different religion, exchange your dreams and hopes and you will see, humans from all over the world have much more in common than you might have thought!
Love and Light!
Edith

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

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Integrate The Taurus Energies By Cultivating Perseverance

3by Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
during this last week we experienced the powerful influence of a second Super Full Moon, an energy field that keeps building up as there is still more to come from the stellar impacts. The Taurus Full Moon has brought us the powers of grounding, lasting stability and a chance to learn about perseverance. The bull is in the zodiac an earth sign, deeply bound to experiencing life as a step by step process, an ability that every human being is better of to lean over time. One thing we can train with the Taurus energies, is to show patience. To walk the talk in the pace that we truly can carry right now. Not to allow our patient carrying to turn into laziness, but to humbly follow the signs that over time lead us to our authentic manifestations.

The dictionary describes patience as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. And when we consciously work with patience: a quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
So it becomes clear very quickly that if we desire to cultivate perseverance, we first have to dig our heals into leaning to be patient. Persistence is a steadiness in our course of action, a stable and regular will to follow the path of our purpose, a state of mind, a humbleness that keeps listening to the divine guidance of our personal divine blueprint for our soul, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. It is the ability to experience life in continuance in a state of grace, which leads us over time to eternal salvation. Below I gathered for you the voices of many wise people, sharing with us the wisdom they gained about perseverance in life.

“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.”
― Malcolm X

“Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
― Winston S. Churchill2“You got up off the bathroom floor. That’s a start. Now, just stay off the floor. After all—aside from winning the lottery—all any of us can ever really hope for is more days spent standing tall than spent in pieces on the floor.”
― Sarah Spann

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
― Confucius

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins, not through strength but by perseverance.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.”
― Roger Von Oech

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
― Dale Carnegie

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
― John Quincy Adams

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
― Nelson Mandela1Dear Ones, I hope by now you made discipline and faith regular guests on your path to awakening. Some of the things we are planting need years to emerge, others we will see breaking through the ground in only some hours, but it is always on us to believe in the inner powers we have to bring the true desires of our soul into manifestation. What we feed with our love, our devotion, prayers and perseverance in thoughts and actions, will appear on the material plane.
Grounding Blessings and Love!
Edith

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Supporting Our Children To Develop Faith For Their Life Path

sDear Friends,
over the last two days I shared in the posts “planting a seed of meditation and inner communion in our children” and “introducing our children to authentic spiritual expression“, steps how to talk to the next generation about prayer, meditation and developing an internal connection to the higher self. Today we are talking about purity to our path and acting on the guidelines we share.
I hope this trilogy of expects has provided lots of loving guidance, valuable insides and helpful tools for you. May they serve you well in your attempt to support your children on their path of developing a spiritual practice for themselves.
Love and Blessings!

Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

6) “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi
For some kids, positive sensory associations are very important in creating an attachment to prayer. From a young age, my boys have taken great pride in dressing up for Jumah (Friday) prayers in their best clothes, wearing their best perfume and their best kufis (prayer hats). We always set out their most special clothes for the most special of days, and they feel noble and dignified as they wash and dress for going to the mosque on Friday afternoons. I know of one mom who created a magical “prayer corner” in her daughter’s bedroom, complete with a lace canopy that cascaded down over an intricately embroidered prayer mat and an ornate table that held a beautifully designed Quran and crystal prayer beads. Other parents regularly light sweetly scented incense or candles during prayer time in the home. One mother used to wear a silk prayer gown stamped with gold and silver block print for her night prayers; her children sometimes have compared her to a princess, other times to an angel. These are examples of kids who saw, heard, smelled, and tasted nothing but beauty and elegance when it came to prayer in their homes.l7) Aspire to be what you want them to be.
No one recognizes hypocrisy quicker than a child. The truth of the matter is that you can encourage and teach a child to pray all you want, but if you’re not going to pray, the chances are highly likely that he/she’s not going to pray either. And letting a child witness that you pray isn’t always enough either. What about how you pray? Are you rushed and distracted? Are you nonchalant if you miss the prayer? I know of an adult who remembers his own father weeping when he once missed a prayer, and that reaction made more of an impression on him about the importance of prayer than all the lectures in the world ever could.

In conclusion, I feel it’s important to confess how emotionally difficult it was for me to actually write this article. I’ve been analyzing what my hesitation was, and I realize that it was rooted in the fear that my words will come across as preachy and imbued with a sense of self-satisfaction when nothing could be farther from the truth. Another part of me worries that I will somehow jinx my family by admitting to the world that my husband and kids are regular with their prayers. I remember when I had my first son in 1997, how desperate I was to find any kind of reading material that would help motivate and guide me in teaching him the fundamentals of this beautiful tradition.

Source: Seekershub.org

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

Introducing Our Children To Authentic Spiritual Expression

aDear Friends,
in yesterdays post about “planting a seed of meditation and inner communion in our children“, we received first insides how to help our children cultivate an inner relationship with their higher self. Today we learn how to put meaning and mindfulness into the process of daily practice. And please remember how easy it is to turn everyday life activities into meditation by adding mindful awareness to them!! Enjoy the insides and tips!
Blessings and lots of success!
Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

3) “If it was good enough for the Prophet, it’s good enough for me.”
When I asked Shaan why he is committed to his prayers, he said, “It was the last thing the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) told us to hold onto; he was talking about it right up until the point he passed away. How can we ignore that? How important must prayer be if he (peace be upon him) was reminding us about it even with his last breaths?” They learned that missing a prayer just isn’t an option for anyone who has taqwa (God-consciousness).

4) Teach them what they’re saying, what they’re doing, and why.
Prayer should not be allowed to become a series of robotic yoga-like motions devoid of meaning or purpose. Zeeshan and I have been forthright with our kids and confessed to them that there will be times when prayer might feel like an inconvenient, rote duty that just needs to be discharged — and they may find themselves feeling disillusioned and disheartened when those thoughts come to them — but, nevertheless, the prayer is never to be abandoned.
We have made sure to make it clear to the kids, however, that God is not in any need of our prayers or our praise or our prostrations; on the contrary, it is we who are in need of Him. We have also emphasized that none of us should ever feel self-righteous or holier-than-thou about the fact that we are choosing to pray when others are not. “We need prayer; it’s like taking medicine that the Doctor prescribes,” I tell the boys. “Would any of us go around bragging about taking meds or look down on others because they aren’t taking the prescription that we’ve chosen to take for our own health?”Ados-pour-HAWe all know that you are only as good as the company you keep, and being in an environment where prayer is as natural as eating or drinking just helps create a new type of “normal” for the kids. My boys have grown up seeing not only their parents and their friends praying in congregation but seeing their parents’ friends and friends’ parents giving significance to prayer.

Teaching our children about the Isra and Mi’raj (Night Journey and Ascension) has been instrumental in getting them to understand how the prayer was revealed and what the different parts of the prayer mean to us on a spiritual level. The position of ruku (bowing) is compared to the way one would bow in front of a king. In the humbling position of sajdah (prostration), we point out how that is the only position in which the human heart is elevated over the human brain. It is the heart that truly knows God; it is the heart that truly recognizes Him.” The prayer will suddenly have relevance for them.

Finally, it’s really important to talk to the kids about intention. One of my favorite quotes that I like to share with the boys is a comparison of worshipers of three types — the first is the worshiper who worships out of desire for Heaven (he is like the businessman looking only for a profit); the second is the worshiper who worships out of fear of the Hell-fire (he is like the slave who wants only to avoid punishment); and the third is the worshiper who worships out of gratitude because he recognizes that Allah is worthy of worship (he is the truly free man).
“Which one are you?” we ask our sons…and then we leave them to reflect.
And we reflect on ourselves as well.

5) Set them up for success.
We recently invested quite a bit of money in some high quality khuffs (waterproof socks) for him so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of having to stick his foot in the sink while making wudu in the boys’ restroom at his high school. He can just wipe over his khuffs during school hours now. On Shaan’s first day as a freshman, his father and I helped him come up with talking points so that he could approach the principal with confidence when he requested a private space for prayer; we promised to have his back if he ran into any resistance.
Our “support” turned out to be unnecessary however. It’s been three years now, alhamdulillah, and the high school front office staff knows Shaan really well — he’s the kid who comes in every day during lunch to go to the conference room to pray.imagesWhile all of these gadgets and gizmos may be great to have around for convenience’s sake, the kids understand that they will have to make do for prayer — one way or the other — whether they have their prayer packs on hand or not. “Guard your prayer” is the mantra in our home.

Source: Seekershub.org

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

Planting A Seeds Of Meditation And Inner Communion In Our Children

eliminate-violenceDear Friends,
in my post of the last year, I have mentioned again and again the importance of the practice of prayer and meditation, as tools to enter a space of inner communion with the higher self. I shared how easy it is to turn everyday life activities into meditation by adding mindful awareness to them; posted a study from the University of Harvard on the impact of meditation on the brain; let you know about the success Schools in San Francisco have by adding meditation to their curriculum; and most importantly, I shared how it is even scientifically proofed that group meditation can change the energetic field of the entire world. And of course in many of my pieces I mentioned the effectiveness of prayer to the energies of the Ascended Master Realms.
Nearly a year ago I ran into this wonderful article describing how to pass on a sense for cultivating commitment and bliss in our daily practice of prayer. While reading the piece I realized, that the author speaks with such a beautifully open heart and from such deep insides into human nature, that sharing her piece is of big value for many. The article is a very long one, that is why I choose to only use excepts and share the knowledge in a trilogy starting today! The guidance was originally written for Muslim parents looking for a way to introduce their kids to the intense commitment of five prayers the day, but they are just as valuable for every parent looking to give their children a feeling for meditation and a mindful lifestyle. I hope you enjoy her wonderful insides just as much as I did, and find profound guidance in her words.
Tomorrows post will be the second part, watch out for it!!
Love and Blessed Communions!
Edith

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

Teaching our children and teenagers to perform obligatory prayers, is a delicate and often stressful matter for families. What is the divine guidance on the matter? When and how is it best done? Parenting expert Hina Khan-Mukhtar sheds some light.

“How the heck do you get a teenage boy in public high school to care about not missing his prayer?”
It is a question that I’ve been asked more than once, and there has never been a simple, easy answer to give. The quickest and most honest one is to frankly admit that all guidance is a blessing and a mercy from God and none of us are in any real control of what our children choose to take — and not take — from our teachings.
But let’s face it — we all know that’s not what parents want to hear (even if they know it’s the truth). Parents are looking for tips and advice, some kind of handbook to follow, a checklist of do’s and don’ts. For the purposes of this article, I did sit down and reflect on what has brought us to where we are now after almost 18 years of raising sons, alhamdulillah (praise be to God). I write this article with the full knowledge that we are no experts; we are no authority figures; we are no success stories. We just happen to be parents who for whatever reason are blessed with children who choose to pray…for now.MeditatingI asked my kids what they think has helped make prayer a priority for them in their lives, and I informally interviewed some friends to get their insights as well. Here’s what has worked for our families so far, and we hope that our experiences may help others in turn, insha’Allah (God willing)…

1) For God’s sake (literally), leave those kids alone for the first 7 years!
You shouldn’t have any real expectations of them until after they are 7 years old. I still remember how I cringed when I once saw a well-meaning father pretty much forcing his 6-year-old daughter to join the congregational prayer. She kept running off, and he kept bringing her back, insisting that she fold her hands and stand silently by his side as he recited the Quranic verses aloud. His intentions were noble and sincere, no doubt, but the execution left much to be desired. It was painful to watch, and I remember hoping that his plans weren’t going to backfire on him one day. Another time, I heard a mother tell her son that “Allah will be mad at you if you don’t pray; the angels are writing down that you’re being a bad boy”, and it took all my willpower not to cry out loud, “Stop! Please don’t say that to your 5-year-old!”
What baffles most adults is trying to figure out how they are supposed to take the spiritual souls that have been placed under their care and then successfully prepare them for the lifelong duty of praying five times a day once their physical bodies have attained puberty.

In the early years, children should be allowed to join and leave the prayer at will, letting themselves get acclimated to the motions and the sensations of the ritual prayer at their own pace. Praying with the family should be an enjoyable experience — one that kids can partake in (or not) as much as they desire. Their association with prayer should be one of sweetness. I know one father who has all of his children share their duas (supplications) aloud one by one after the prayer is over so that everyone can join together in asking Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to grant their siblings’ wishes. Once the duas are over, the kids often dissolve into tickling and wrestling matches while the father finishes up his supererogatory prayers on his own.

2) When the time for praying finally comes, go all out and make the initiation into prayer a celebration to remember! Treat it like an exciting honor, a real rite of passage.
When each of my boys turned 7 years old, I bought them beautiful journals which I gave to my friends and family to fill with inspiring messages about prayer. My parents and my in-laws each wrote messages to their grandsons, sharing their hopes and wishes for their futures with them. Older cousins wrote about how prayer helps them in good times and in bad; aunties and uncles gave advice on what helps them get through “prayer slumps” which — if we are truly honest — are bound to come in one’s life at some point or another. The general theme was one of encouragement and excitement. It’s been almost 10 years since I put together those gifts for my older two sons, and even now, I will sometimes catch them perusing their Prayer Books with smiles on their faces as they read the heartfelt messages to themselves.eZeeshan and I have found that slow and steady wins the race. When each of our sons turned 7 years old, we allowed them to choose one prayer that they wanted to take on as their daily commitment. The understanding was that — no matter what — the one prayer would never be neglected from that day (i.e. their 7th birthday) forward. If the boys wanted to pray any of the other prayers, that was all well and good, but it was their choice and we made it clear that we would not be monitoring them or holding them accountable.
Whether they were at a play date or in the middle of a shopping mall or at a swimming lesson, if the time for their prayer came in, they made sure to take a few minutes to complete it.We continued this routine for twelve months. When a year of praying one prayer on time had finally passed by successfully, we told the boys that they were now “qualified” to take on a second prayer. We treated it like an honor that only the most responsible could be trusted to handle! We told them that we were trying to teach them how to honor commitments, we knew that it took practice and discipline to do so, and we accepted that it was our job to slowly but surely teach them those tools for success. Using this method, all three of our boys were praying all five of their daily prayers by the time they were 9 1/2 years old, alhamdulillah. By age 10, prayer was an established routine.

During the course of writing this article, I asked my almost-16-year-old son Ameen why he prays all of his prayers on time, and he responded, “I don’t remember ever not praying, so I can’t imagine not doing it now. It’s a part of who I am.” My most fervent prayer is that he always feels that way. I am no fool; I know prayer is a gift and, if not treated with gratitude and humility, it can be lost at any moment. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) protect us from ever experiencing such a devastating void in our lives. Aameen. (Amen.)

Source: Seekershub.org

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

Achieving Self-Mastery by Documenting the Synchronicity of Number Sequences

The person overcomes difficulties and aspires to the purpose and dream.

by Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
if you are following my blog on a regular base that you heard me talking about the incoming Angel messages that are transmitted to us on a regular base, by the appearance of number sequences, that enter repeatedly our awareness. So far I shared with you how this numbers now are changing with more rapid speed, together with the
exhilaration rate of our collective awakening process, and what  content these messages have at different moments in time. In my post “Recognizing Divine Energy Pattern” I also shared how we can gain deeper insiders into the details of the divine blueprint for life, if we monitor the different pattern in their movement. Today I want to add how all of this can be a major key for the Art of Human Self-Mastery.
When we are dealing with numbers we are always playing with a key to decode the divine origin of the universe. Remember from school that every song written in notes, can also be written down in numbers!? That is in essence the wisdom of numerology. The understanding, that every number on earth, also represents a divine sound!! And as human beings in essence as well are creations of light and frequency, with a particular sound pattern and a vibration as fingerprint, numbers are always good friends to receive information and insides from. When we seek to achieve self-mastery in devotion, humility and purity to the divine guidance of our higher self, we can use this knowledge for tracking the multi-dimensional sidearms of the impact the number sequences guidance and teachings so far had on us.c

Here are the steps how it goes:
1. Buy yourself a notebook
Make it a nice one!! Go and treat yourself to an especially beautiful notebook. Make already the purchase a part of the ritual for your coming steps of self-mastery. Keep it on you at any time, so you can immediately react when a special number sequence starts popping up for you, as a wake up call to center your awareness NOW!

2. Write Down The Dates When The Numbers Appear

To write a record of the dates when you see a number sequence, helps to create a mental map of the collective energy field involved. For example if you see a number combination more frequently than others and you write down the dates, you can further look up more relate information about this day. Impacts with an collective influence like special stellar constellations, or massive earth movement. Over time you will get accustomed to reading the pattern and that will lead you to  deeper insides how your Spirit Guides work to guide your mental and emotional process. And as a natural result of your newly developed ability to track the pattern of creation, you gain much more clarity over meaning and directions of the messages to come.

3. Take A Note Of Your Situation, Location and Feelings
When you see a repeating sequence, remember what you were thinking or feeling at that moment. Take a mental snapshot or write down that thought or feeling for your recording. Note the date first so that you later don’t forget to look at the moment from the bigger picture. The sign you see next, and then the thought and/or feeling just prior to seeing it. Try and be as detailed as possible in detecting primary thoughts, primary feelings, sub-thoughts, sub-feelings, plans and ideas you had on your mind at that moment. You can do that with as many number sequences seen on the same day as you wish. If it is a number sequence you are not familiar with, see if you find the meaning in this article or the angel message in the introduction . It is neither important nor can it be pushed to understand immediately what this may mean to you, or how it relates to your life, but make a note anyway. If you feel clear about the sign’s meaning and guidance for you in that moment, then record it follow it, and see to which divine blessing it leads you.astet4. Watch The Outcome Unfold
If you are passionate about this practice and keep going a while, you will naturally collect several number sequences you see over different periods of time. By keeping such a record going, you will be able to see number sequences manifesting into human action and detect details of their influence on the collective, as well as your personal life. And over time, you develop the ability to see the real reason for the different signs given, at different moments in time. So by recording the outcome of a guidance seen and followed, enables us to see the pattern of the divine blueprint and the methods our spirit guides use in order to reach our human, constantly occupied ears!! Following all of that in first-hand experience, allows us to relax into the feeling of faith, that everything truly happens for a reason, whether we are aware of it or not!

The rest my dear ones is just a matter of refining and increasing our purity, by listening well and following without discussion, doubt or change to the directions. If we do that we always walk within the divine plan for our personal life and therefor stop the creation of suffering from within us. Not to engage with suffering and pain anymore, while being capable of holding the awareness for their existence on the planet, is what we call Self-Mastery… The inner mastery of timelines – the integration of space and time – the homecoming of the united spirits endlessness into the diversity and limitations in expression, thru human beings in physical human bodies, on planet earth.

My Friends, I hope this little guide to Self Mastery by Numbers 😉 has inspires you to take full advantage of the endless blessings that the Angelic Realms are transmitting to us daily. Listen to voices and vibrations of the numbers, and unveil the guidance of your own higher-self and personal spirit guides! I hope you have fun playing with the Angels, personally I find them quite a jolly crowd to hang out with ;-)!!
Blessings and Angelic Guidance!
Edith

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Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

 

How to hold space for yourself first

Woman-MeditatingDear Friends,
this is the follow up to yesterdays article about “how to hold space”. In the last year of  working with ancient plant medicine, I was in the blessed position to hold space for the most amazing internal transformations human beings can surrender to. I was allowed to witness the release of incredible depths of pain, anger and sadness disolve into the blissful feeling of oneness.
Non of that would have been possible without the ability to hold space. And, as in this article also mentioned, it is crucial to hold space for yourself first!! We need to be filled, even over-floating with clarity, divine connection and unconditional love for ourselves – to effectively create and hold a sacred space for others.
Hope you enjoy the read and take very good care of yourself!
Edith

by Heather Platt
The desire to hold space well for other people is vast and diverse.

I have heard from the most fascinating range of people about how this post is being circulated and used. It’s showing up in home schooling forums, palliative and hospice care circles, art communities, spiritual retreat center, universities, alcoholics anonymous groups, psychotherapists’ offices, etc. The most interesting place I heard about it being shared was within the US Marines. It is also touching the lives of people supporting their parents, children, spouses and friends through difficult times.

The lesson in this is that no matter who or where you are, you can do the beautiful and important work of holding space for other people. There are so many of us who are making this a priority in our lives that I feel hopeful that this world is finally swinging like a pendulum away from a place of isolation and individualism to a place of deeper connection and loveIsn’t that a beautiful idea?

Recently, I participated in an online course on “Leading from the Future as it Emerges: From Ego-system to Eco-system” and the underlying premise of the course was that we need to find a way to make deeper connections with ourselves, others, and the earth so that we bring about a paradigm shift and stop this crash course we’re on. There were more than 25,000 from around the world participating in the course. That’s a LOT of people who share a common passion for changing the ways in which we interact and make decisions. I walked away feeling increasingly hopeful that I am part of a swelling tide of change.

46We are doing the best we can to live in love and community.

We are not perfect, and sometimes we still make selfish decisions, but we are doing our best. Thank you for being part of the change.
The other thing that struck me as I read through all of the comments, emails, etc., is that, while all of you are all responding from a place of generosity and openheartedness, wanting to learn more about holding space for others, you also need to be given permission and encouragement to hold space for yourselves.
This is really important. If we don’t care for ourselves well in this work, we’ll suffer burnout, and risk becoming cynical and/or ineffective.

PLEASE take the time to hold space for yourself so that you can hold space for others!

It is not selfish to focus on yourself. In fact, it’s an act of generosity and commitment to make sure that you are at your best when you support others. They will get much more effective, meaningful, and openhearted support from you if you are healthy and strong.
In the Art of Hosting work that I do and teach, we talk about “hosting ourselves first”. What does it mean to “host myself first”? It means, simply, that anything I am prepared to encounter once I walk into a room, I need to be prepared to encounter and host in myself first. In order to prepare myself for conflict, frustration, ego, fear, anger, weariness, envy, injustice, etc., I need to sit with myself, look into my own heart, bear witness to what I see there, and address it in whatever way I need to before I can do it for others. I can’t hide any of that stuff in the shadows, because what is hidden there tends to come out in ways I don’t want it to when I am under stress.

AND just as I am prepared to offer compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and resolution to anything that shows up in the room, I need to offer it to myself first. Only when I am present for myself and compassionate with myself will I be prepared to host with strength and courage.
In other words, all of those points that I made about how to hold space for others can and should be applied to yourself first. Give yourself permission to trust your own intuition. Give yourself only as much information as you can handle. Don’t let anyone take your power away. Keep your ego out of it. Make yourself feel safe enough to fail. Give guidance and help to yourself with humility and thoughtfulness. Create your own container for complex emotions, fears, trauma, etc. And allow yourself to make decisions that are different from what other people would make.

This isn’t necessarily easy, when you’re doing the often stressful and time-consuming work of holding space for others, but it is imperative.

Here are some other tips on how to hold space for yourself.walking

  1. Learn when to walk away. You can’t serve other people well when your energy is depleted. Even if you can only leave the hospital room of your loved one for short periods of time, or you’re a single mom who doesn’t have much of a support system for caring from your kids, it is imperative that you find times when you can walk away from the place where you are needed most to take deep breaths, walk in nature, go for a swim, or simply sit and stare at the sunset. Replenish yourself so that you can return without bitterness. Whenever you can, take a longer break (a week at a retreat does wonders).
  2. Let the tears flow. When the only thing you can do is cry, that’s often the best thing you can do. Let the tears wash away the accumulated ick in your soul. A social worker once told me that tears are the window-washer of the soul and she was right. They help to clear your vision so that you can see better and move forward more successfully. When my husband was in the psych ward a few years ago, and I still had to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my children, I spent many, many hours weeping as I drove from the hospital to the soccer field and back again. Releasing those tears when I was alone or with close friends allowed me to be strong for the people who needed me most.
  3. Let others hold space for you. You can’t do this work alone and you’re not meant to. We are all meant to be communal people, showing up for each other in reciprocal ways. As I mentioned in my original post about holding space, we were able to hold space for my mom in her dying because others (like Anne, the palliative care nurse) were holding space for us. Many others were stopping to visit, bringing food, etc. We would have been much less able to walk that path with Mom if we hadn’t known there was a strong container in which we were being held.images (7)
  4. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply “paying attention to your attention”. In mindfulness meditation, you are taught that, instead of trying to stop the thoughts, you should simply notice them and let them pass. You don’t need to sit on a meditation cushion to practice mindfulness – simply pay attention to what emotions and thoughts are showing up, and when they come, wish them well and send them on their way. Are you angry? Notice the anger, name it anger, ask yourself whether there is any value in holding onto this anger, and then let it pass. Frustrated? Notice, name, inquire, and then let it pass.
  5. Find sources of inspiration. There are many, many writers, artists, musicians, etc. whose wisdom can help you hold space for yourself. When I was nearing a nervous breakdown earlier this week because of the intensity, I went to a Martyn Joseph concert (my favorite musician), and when he started to sing “I need you brave, I want you brave, I need you strong to sing along, You are so beautiful, and I’m not wrong”, I was sure he was singing directly to me. (Watch it on Youtube.) That evening of music shifted the way I felt about what was going on and I was able to walk back into my work with courage and strength.
  6. Let other people live their own stories. You are not in charge of the world. You are only in charge of yourself and your own behaviours, thoughts, emotions, etc. Often when you are a caregiver, you’ll find yourself the target of other people’s frustration, anger, fear, etc. REMEMBER – that’s THEIR story, not yours. Just because they yell at you doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Take a deep breath, say to yourself “I am not responsible for their emotion, I am only responsible for how I respond”, and then let it go. When you’re feeling wounded by what they’re projecting on you, return to the points above and walk away, practice mindfulness, and let others hold space for you.download (3)
  7. Find a creative outlet for processing what you’re experiencing. Write in a journal, paint, dance, bake, play the guitar – do whatever replenishes your soul. Few things are as healing as time spent in creative practice. One of my favorite things to do is something I call Mandala Journaiing, where I bring both my words and my wordlessness to the circle. You can learn to do it yourself in Mandala Discovery: 30 days of self-discovery through mandala journaling.
I hope that you will find the time this week to hold space for yourself. Your work is important, and the world needs more generous and open hearts who are healthy and strong enough to serve well.
Blessings to you.

What it means to hold space for other people

32Dear Friends,
this is a truly beautiful article describing a very personal situation of holding space for a dying family member. The 8 steps mentioned at the end are universal and can help every Therapist, Healer, Energy Worker, Body Worker and many more professionals, to develop the “art of holding space”!! Developing this ability well, is a long-term process. It requires honesty, persistence, acceptance and a strong – wide open – heart. For the once who desire this work, this is a wonderful checklist!
Blessings and healing spaces!!

Edith

By
When my mom was dying, my siblings and I gathered to be with her in her final days. None of us knew anything about supporting someone in her transition out of this life into the next, but we were pretty sure we wanted to keep her at home, so we did.
While we supported mom, we were, in turn, supported by a gifted palliative care nurse, Ann, who came every few days to care for mom and to talk to us about what we could expect in the coming days. She taught us how to inject Mom with morphine when she became restless, she offered to do the difficult tasks (like giving Mom a bath), and she gave us only as much information as we needed about what to do with Mom’s body after her spirit had passed.
“Take your time,” she said. “You don’t need to call the funeral home until you’re ready. Gather the people who will want to say their final farewells. Sit with your mom as long as you need to. When you’re ready, call and they will come to pick her up.”

Ann gave us an incredible gift in those final days. Though it was an excruciating week, we knew that we were being held by someone who was only a phone call away.
In the two years since then, I’ve often thought about Ann and the important role she played in our lives. She was much more than what can fit in the title of “palliative care nurse”. She was  facilitator, coach, and guide. By offering gentle, nonjudgmental support and guidance, she helped us walk one of the most difficult journeys of our lives.

images (3)The work that Ann did can be defined by a term that’s become common in some of the circles in which I work. She was holding space for us.

What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.

Sometimes we find ourselves holding space for people while they hold space for others. In our situation, for example, Ann was holding space for us while we held space for Mom. Though I know nothing about her support system, I suspect that there are others holding space for Ann as she does this challenging and meaningful work. It’s virtually impossible to be a strong space holder unless we have others who will hold space for us. Even the strongest leaders, coaches, nurses, etc., need to know that there are some people with whom they can be vulnerable and weak without fear of being judged.
In my own roles as teacher, facilitator, coach, mother, wife, and friend, etc., I do my best to hold space for other people in the same way that Ann modeled it for me and my siblings. It’s not always easy, because I have a very human tendency to want to fix people, give them advice, or judge them for not being further along the path than they are, but I keep trying because I know that it’s important. At the same time, there are people in my life that I trust to hold space for me.
To truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for). We have to be prepared to step to the side so that they can make their own choices, offer them unconditional love and support, give gentle guidance when it’s needed, and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.

Holding space is not something that’s exclusive to facilitators, coaches, or palliative care nurses. It is something that ALL of us can do for each other – for our partners, children, friends, neighbors, and even strangers who strike up conversations as we’re riding the bus to work.

images
Here are the lessons I’ve learned from Ann and others who have held space for me:

  1. Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. When we were supporting Mom in her final days, we had no experience to rely on, and yet, intuitively, we knew what was needed. We knew how to carry her shrinking body to the washroom, we knew how to sit and sing hymns to her, and we knew how to love her. We even knew when it was time to inject the medication that would help ease her pain. In a very gentle way, Ann let us know that we didn’t need to do things according to some arbitrary health care protocol – we simply needed to trust our intuition and accumulated wisdom from the many years we’d loved Mom.
  2. Give people only as much information as they can handle. Ann gave us some simple instructions and left us with a few handouts, but did not overwhelm us with far more than we could process in our tender time of grief. Too much information would have left us feeling incompetent and unworthy.
  3. Don’t take their power away. When we take decision-making power out of people’s hands, we leave them feeling useless and incompetent. There may be some times when we need to step in and make hard decisions for other people (ie. when they’re dealing with an addiction and an intervention feels like the only thing that will save them), but in almost every other case, people need the autonomy to make their own choices (even our children). Ann knew that we needed to feel empowered in making decisions on our Mom’s behalf, and so she offered support but never tried to direct or control us.
  4. Keep your own ego out of it. This is a big one. We all get caught in that trap now and then – when we begin to believe that someone else’s success is dependent on our intervention, or when we think that their failure reflects poorly on us, or when we’re convinced that whatever emotions they choose to unload on us are about us instead of them. It’s a trap I’ve occasionally found myself slipping into when I teach. I can become more concerned about my own success (Do the students like me? Do their marks reflect on my ability to teach? Etc.) than about the success of my students. But that doesn’t serve anyone – not even me. To truly support their growth, I need to keep my ego out of it and create the space where they have the opportunity to grow and learn.
  5. Make them feel safe enough to fail. When people are learning, growing, or going through grief or transition, they are bound to make some mistakes along the way. When we, as their space holders, withhold judgement and shame, we offer them the opportunity to reach inside themselves to find the courage to take risks and the resilience to keep going even when they fail. When we let them know that failure is simply a part of the journey and not the end of the world, they’ll spend less time beating themselves up for it and more time learning from their mistakes.images (6)
  6. Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness. A wise space holder knows when to withhold guidance (ie. when it makes a person feel foolish and inadequate) and when to offer it gently (ie. when a person asks for it or is too lost to know what to ask for). Though Ann did not take our power or autonomy away, she did offer to come and give Mom baths and do some of the more challenging parts of caregiving. This was a relief to us, as we had no practice at it and didn’t want to place Mom in a position that might make her feel shame (ie. having her children see her naked). This is a careful dance that we all must do when we hold space for other people. Recognizing the areas in which they feel most vulnerable and incapable and offering the right kind of help without shaming them takes practice and humility.
  7. Create a container for complex emotions, fear, trauma, etc. When people feel that they are held in a deeper way than they are used to, they feel safe enough to allow complex emotions to surface that might normally remain hidden. Someone who is practiced at holding space knows that this can happen and will be prepared to hold it in a gentle, supportive, and nonjudgmental way. In The Circle Way, we talk about “holding the rim” for people. The circle becomes the space where people feel safe enough to fall apart without fearing that this will leave them permanently broken or that they will be shamed by others in the room. Someone is always there to offer strength and courage. This is not easy work, and it is work that I continue to learn about as I host increasingly more challenging conversations. We cannot do it if we are overly emotional ourselves, if we haven’t done the hard work of looking into our own shadow, or if we don’t trust the people we are holding space for. In Ann’s case, she did this by showing up with tenderness, compassion, and confidence. If she had shown up in a way that didn’t offer us assurance that she could handle difficult situations or that she was afraid of death, we wouldn’t have been able to trust her as we did.
  8. Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would. Holding space is about respecting each person’s differences and recognizing that those differences may lead to them making choices that we would not make. Sometimes, for example, they make choices based on cultural norms that we can’t understand from within our own experience. When we hold space, we release control and we honor differences. This showed up, for example, in the way that Ann supported us in making decisions about what to do with Mom’s body after her spirit was no longer housed there. If there had been some ritual that we felt we needed to conduct before releasing her body, we were free to do that in the privacy of Mom’s home.

Holding space is not something that we can master overnight, or that can be adequately addressed in a list of tips like the ones I’ve just given. It’s a complex practice that evolves as we practice it, and it is unique to each person and each situation.
Note: I have written a follow-up piece on how to hold space for yourself first. It will be tomorrows post!

Source: http://heatherplett.com/2015/03/hold-space/

Aluna: A Message to Little Brother by Charles Eisenstein

Aluna – Directed by Alan Ereira
A black line, a network of hidden connections, links all the sacred places on earth. If that line should be broken, calamities will ensue, and this beautiful world shall perish. Destroying a forest here, draining a swamp there might have dire consequences across the globe. The Kogi shamans cannot perform their work of maintaining the balance of nature much longer in the face of our depredations.

Art for the movie Aluna

Credit: gstatic.com.

How are we to interpret this warning coming from the Kogi people of the Sierra Madre in Colombia, delivered through their latest film, Aluna?
Contemporary Western viewers may respond to the film with resistance and skepticism. The old guard will undoubtedly reproduce the violence of well-worn colonial discourses, dismissing the Kogi’s message as primitive magico-religious thinking. For the ethnically sensitive, such a crude dismissal is passé. Today we have more sophisticated ways to deafen ourselves to what the Kogi are telling us.
The first we might call “ontological imperialism.” It would be to say, “Yes, the Kogi are onto something after all. The black line is a metaphor for ecological interconnectedness. Their talk of the voice of water is code for the hydrological cycle. They are keen observers of nature and have articulated scientific truths in their own cultural language.” That sounds fair enough, doesn’t it? It gives them credit for being astute observers of nature. However, this view takes for granted that basal reality is that of scientific materialism, thereby disallowing the conceptual categories and causal understandings of the Kogi. It says that fundamentally, we understand the nature of reality better than they do.
If their message were merely, “We must take better care of nature,” then the above understanding would be sufficient. But the Kogi are inviting us into a much deeper change than that. Do we understand the nature of reality better than they do? It once seemed so, but today the fruits of our supposed understanding—social and ecological crisis—gnaw at our surety.

eeA second and related way that Western viewers may resist the Kogi’s message is through what Edward Said called “Orientalism”—the distortion (romanticizing, demonizing, exaggerating, reducing) of another culture to conform it to a comfortable and self-serving narrative. An Orientalist response to Aluna would seek to turn the Kogi into a kind of cultural or spiritual fetish object, subsuming them into our own cultural mythology, perhaps by making them into an academic subject and stuffing their beliefs and way of life into various ethnographic categories. In that way we make them safe, we make them ours. It is just another kind of imperialism.
We might do the same by inserting their messages into a comfortable silo called “indigenous wisdom,” elevating the Kogi to superhuman status and, in the process, dehumanizing them as well. It is not true respect to worship an image—the reverse image of our own shadow—that we project onto another culture. Real respect seeks to understand someone on their own terms.
I am happy to say that Aluna avoids both traps (of imperialism and Orientalism). What makes this film remarkable is that fundamentally it is not a documentary. I have always been a little uncomfortable with documentaries about other cultures, even those that avoid the overtly patronizing tone of “look at those happy natives,” because they of necessity objectify their subjects, turning them into the material of a (video) “document.” By documenting others, we incorporate them into our world, into a safe educational or entertainment or inspirational frame, and into the “society of the spectacle.” But this film is not a documentary.

Reversing Colonialism

Who is the filmmaker here? Ordinarily one would say it was Alan Ereira, a former BBC producer who produced it. But that’s not what he says, and that’s not what the Kogi say either. According to them, the Kogi noticed the accelerating degradation of the planet and contacted the outside world to deliver a message that we must stop the destruction. They did so first in the early 1990s with the BBC documentary From the Heart of the World, after which they again withdrew from contact.
Obviously, we didn’t heed their message. “We must not have spoken it clearly enough,” they concluded, and so they sought out Ereira again to make a sequel. Fittingly, this is not a masterly production in conventional terms. Ereira appears to be in a little over his head, guileless, uncertain, and humble. These qualities are palpable throughout and contribute to one’s confidence that the Kogi and their message have not been conveniently packaged for commercialization or ecospiritual objectification. It is a raw and honest film.
The cynical observer, practiced with the tools of post-colonial analysis, might think that the assertion that “the Kogi have requested this film be made in order to convey their message” is a mere cinematic trope, or a way to preempt charges of exoticism, Orientalism, and cultural appropriation. However, that analysis is itself a kind of colonialism, based as it is on the patronizing assumption that the Kogi must be the helpless pawns of the filmmaker. It discounts the Kogi’s own explicit assertion that they have called the filmmaker back in order to transmit an important message to “little brother” (the industrialized world).
Dare we take the Kogi at face value? Dare we hold them in full agency as authors not only of this film, but of a message sent to us on their initiative? To do so reverses the power relations implicit in even the most post-colonially sensitive ethnography, in which the distinction between the ethnographic subject and the ethnographer is usually preserved in some form (and institutionalized when, with all due disclaimers, it appears in academic publications). Anthropologists don’t normally grant ethnographic populations agency as the originators of messages to academia.
The Kogi are not interested in being studied. They have not allowed anthropologists to live among them. They have not let their civilization become an object within ours. They, in fact, have been studying us—and with increasing alarm. “We have warned little brother,” they tell us, “and little brother has not listened.”

hjgjThe Gift of Humility

In one telling scene, the Kogi mama (shaman) Shibulata visits an astronomical observatory in England. The astronomer is struck by the fact that Shibulata evinces no desire to learn from Western science, no curiosity about the telescope. He shows him photographs of galaxies invisible to the naked eye. The mama is not impressed. He is here to teach us, not to learn from us. Perhaps he recognizes the telescope as another manifestation of the same desire to conquer nature that has destroyed the forests and rivers and mangrove swamps near his home. He also displays an uncanny power, picking out from a large photograph the single star in it among multitudinous galaxies and other objects. Naming it, he says, “That star is not visible to our eyes.”
In this film, the colonial gaze is turned back on the colonizers—sternly, imploringly, and with very great love. The Kogi tell us, “You mutilate the world because you don’t remember the Great Mother. If you don’t stop, the world will die.” Please believe us, they say. You must stop doing this. “Do you think we say these words for the sake of talking? We are speaking the truth.”
Why hasn’t “little brother” listened? It has been over twenty years since the Kogi first spoke their message to the modern world. I think perhaps we have not listened because we have not yet inhabited the humility that this film embodies. We continue to try to somehow box, contain, and reduce the Kogi and their message so that it can rest comfortably in our existing Story of the World. The Kogi themselves say that thought is the scaffolding of matter; that without thought, nothing could exist. The official Aluna website describes the Kogi’s view thusly: “We are not just plundering the world, we are dumbing it down, destroying both the physical structure and the thought underpinning existence.” The conceptual reduction of the Kogi, and indigenous groups generally, to academic subjects, museum specimens, New Age fetish-objects, exploitable labor, or tourist spectacles is part of this dumbing down.

imagesThankfully, the requisite humility to truly hear the Kogi is fast upon us, born of—what else?—humiliation. As our dominant cultural mythology falls apart, we face repeated humiliation in the failure of our cherished systems of technology, politics, law, medicine, education, and more. Only with increasingly strenuous and willful ignorance can we deny that the grand project of “civilization” has failed. We see now that what we do to nature we do to ourselves; that its conquest brings our death. The utopian mirage of the technologist and the social engineer recedes ever further into the distance.
The breakdown of our categories and narratives, the breakdown of our Story of the World, gives us the gift of humility. That is the only thing that can open us to receive the teachings of the Kogi and other indigenous people—to truly receive them, and not merely insert them into some comfortable silo called “indigenous wisdom,” as if they were a museum piece or a spiritual acquisition.
I am not suggesting that we adopt, part and parcel, the entire Kogi cosmology. We need not imitate their shamanic practices or learn to listen to bubbles in the water. What we must do is embrace the core understanding that motivates the attempt to listen to water in the first place: the understanding that nature is alive and intelligent, bearing certain qualities of a self that Western thought has arrogated to human beings alone. We must make it no longer an Other; we must grant to nature the same agency that this film humbly grants to the Kogi. Then we will find our own ways of listening.

What Does Nature Want?

The modern mind does not easily comprehend the idea of the intelligence of nature except through anthropomorphizing or deifying it—another attempt at conquest. That would impose upon nature the same neocolonial attitude that this film does not impose upon the Kogi, and it is contrary to their message. Living much closer to nature than we in industrialized society, the Kogi can be under no illusion that nature is always nice, fair, and pleasant. From a dualistic mindset, the putative “intelligence of nature” looks like a capricious, evil intelligence. If you or I were in charge, we’d do better, wouldn’t we? We wouldn’t arrange for 999 tadpoles out of a thousand never to achieve froghood. We wouldn’t write so much suffering and death into nature. We would improve on nature. Such is the conceit of civilization as we know it.

To the extent we participate in modern society, “you and I” have been in charge. Look at what has happened to the world. Maybe it is time for younger brother—to see through different eyes.

Granting subjectivity and agency to nature and everything in it does not mean to grant human subjectivity and human agency, making them into storybook versions of us. It means asking, “What does the land want? What does the river want? What does the planet want?”—questions that seem crazy from the perspective of nature-as-thing.
The Kogi are not talking about a non-material, supernatural spirit to infuse consciousness into otherwise dead matter. For the Kogi, matter is not a container for thought; matter is thought made manifest, the thought of the Mother. Their beliefs are not actually supernatural, not in the sense of abstracting spirit (and all that goes with it like sacredness, consciousness, etc.) out from matter. To do so denies the inherent beingness of nature just as much as standard scientific materialism does.
Materialism, however, isn’t what it used to be. Science is evolving, recognizing that nature is composed of interdependent systems within systems within systems, just as a human body is; that soil mycorrhizal networks are as complex as brain tissue; that water can carry information and structure; that the earth and even the sun maintain homeostatic balance just as a body does. We are learning that order, complexity, and organization are fundamental properties of matter, mediated through physical processes that we recognize—and perhaps by others we do not. The excluded spirit is coming back to matter, not from without but from within.
So the question, “What does nature want?” does not depend for its coherency on anything supernatural, an external intelligence. The “wanting” is an organic process, an entelechy born of relationship, a movement toward an unfolding wholeness.

indexA Non-Utilitarian Argument Against Ecocide

In that understanding, we can no longer cut down forests and drain swamps, dam rivers and fragment ecosystems with roads, dig pit mines and drill gas wells with impunity. The Kogi say, to do so damages the whole body of nature, just as if you cut off a person’s limb or removed an organ. The well-being of all depends on the well-being of each. We cannot cut down one forest here and plant another there, assuring ourselves through the calculus of net carbon dioxide that we have done no damage. How do we know that we have not removed an organ? How do we know we have not destroyed what the Kogi call an esuana—a key node on the black thread scaffolding the natural world? How do we know we have not destroyed a sacred tree, what the Kogi call “the father of the species,” upon which the whole species depends?
Until we can know it, we’d best refrain from committing further ecocide on any scale. Each intact estuary, river, forest, and wetlands that remains to us, we must treat as sacred, while restoring whatever we can. The Kogi say we are close to the dying of the world.

As the film makes clear, science is beginning to recognize what the Kogi have always known. An invisible web of causality does indeed connect every place on Earth. Building a road that cuts off the natural water flow at a key site might initiate a cascade of changes—more evaporation, salinization, vegetation die-off, flooding, drought—that have far-reaching effects. We must understand that as exemplfying a general principle of interconnectedness; furthermore, we must see the aliveness and intelligence of the world. As the Kogi say in the film, “If you knew she could feel, you would stop.”
Otherwise, we are left only with the logic of instrumental utilitarianism as reason to protect nature—save the rainforest because of its value to us. But that mindset is part of the problem. We need more love, not more self-interest. We know it is wrong to exploit another person for our own gain, because another person is a full subject with her own feelings, desires, pain, and joy. If we knew that nature too were a full subject, we would stop ravaging her as well.
Aluna brings this knowing a little closer. Only by hardening our hearts can we view the film’s images of filled-in swamps and bare, scarred mountains, and disbelieve that something is feeling very great pain. Only by the colonialistic dismissal of an entire culture’s cosmology and ways of knowing, can we uphold our own dying mythology of nature as an insensate source of materials and repository of wastes. The sober indignation of the Kogi defies easy dismissal. It is not hard to believe that they—the largest intact civilization that has remained separate from global industrialized society—are indeed “Elder Brother.” It is not hard to believe their warning. To act on it, though, might require the same courage, patience, and wisdom the film reveals in the Kogi.

Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer. His most recent books are Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible.
Source: http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/a-message-to-little-brother