“Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available . . . an idea as powerful as any other in history will be let loose.”
– Sir Frederick Hoyle (British Astronomer), 1950
On July 20, 1969, when I was eleven years old my little body strained toward the television screen, my hands gripping the carpet, as I beheld Her, whole, for the first time I leaned closer, frustrated with Walter Cronkite’s insistence on talking about astronauts and overlooking what I was certain was a glimpse of the earth. Why, was that not the BIG moment? We are still processing that moment and have yet to fully integrate that shared experience of seeing that first image of Earth from space.
“Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing about the earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive. The photographs show the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dead as an old bone. Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming membrane of bright blue sky, is the rising earth, the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos. If you could look long enough, you would see the swirling of the great drifts of white cloud, covering and uncovering the half-hidden masses of land. If you had been looking for a very long, geologic time, you could have seen the continents themselves in motion, drifting apart on their crustal plates, held afloat by the fire beneath. It has the organized, self-contained look of a live creature full of information, marvelously skilled in handling the sun.”
-Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell, 1974
My life’s trajectory changed that day. Perhaps yours did too. I realized that life was a great mystery, and I made a conscious decision to open fully to it. Unbeknownst to me, that choice severed me from the prevailing winds of the cultural narrative. Instead, my return to the Ancient Mother and to the earth herself had been initiated. Since then, my life has been dedicated to leading others back to their mother, the earth.
My paternal grandmother came to live with us after her husband (my grandfather) died of a stroke at age 69. Her deep relationship with the Earth and its wisdom revealed a way of learning so different than what I learned in school. She brought to me informal education of tremendous value, a life way in harmony with nature’s laws. I recognized that she had an uncommon wisdom not found in books. The Earth mother had found a way to show me life with the bonds of nature still intact and a power of transmission unspoken—and for many, unnoticed.
At age 14, the next decision point set me fully on my path: I elected not to be baptized and take vows proclaiming one way to God. There was not one iota of ambiguity in my deeply felt sense that God was being made too small and that the founder of this religious thinking, a man called Rutherford, could not see far enough if he projected such an interpretation onto the source of all creation. That denomination’s prescribed narrative did not—could not—embrace my direct experiences as an empathic seer into the subtle realms, nor my interactions with devas, sprites, and the like.
At my Saturn opposition, still unbeknownst to me, I had chosen the path of return to the Mother. The primordial knower was alive and well in the weave of my DNA and was protecting me from falling into the collective trance based in the illusion of separation. From that choice point, I was forever rendered averse to vows that would allow for societal scripts to run as a default, to prevent my full awakening as a part of something so vast that no human could explain it all. I was no longer looking for answers from books or my fellow humans and rejected any narrative that separated me from the living earth, the living universe, and the source of all creation.
Humanity is the only living species that resists its own blooming!
The memory of seeing the whole earth floating in space flooded into my awareness in the way that dawn activates the Morning Glory blossom. Stunned by the obvious, I felt increasingly pained by a latent awareness arising within me as a layer of ignorance was lifted. I began to see a way in which the grand narrative of our time has disassociated us from natural law and from recognizing the Earth as a living planetary being. By way of our ability to choose what we believe, we create the structure of our lives. Our shared beliefs have thus become a cosmology that has shaped our view of the Earth and of each other.
Central to that cosmology is the narrative of paradise lost. Recent interpretations of it are deeply embedded and evident in many societal structures. The story sets Earth up as a battlefield for the powers of good and evil and its symbols and motifs as recurring structures for the great separation. From ancient myths to bible stories to modern movie plots, we live and breathe this story.
As a consequence of this division into good and evil, the languages that emerged from the cultures that share this grand narrative are encoded with the assumption of opposites as superior or inferior. That which is light, pure, viable, good, heavenly, eternal, man, giver, valued, greater, blessing, magnum opus are associated with the masculine; and that which is dark, weak, primal, receptive, earthly, dirty, instinctual, bloody, fleshly, woman, chaos, death, raw, wild, evil, cursed, lesser, intuitive, prima materia as inferior are associated with the feminine.
If our language is an indication, Earth is not only the battleground, but also the foe. If we are at war with the Earth, then it is not a conscious war. There is an even deeper narrative that operates below the surface of our conscious mind that is codified and sealed by the dominant culture as we encounter social hierarchies that define who and what is of value. The story behind the paradise lost story is thus evident: we are operating from a story that does not take into account the living intelligence of the Earth or any notion of our interconnectedness and interdependence with the earth. We, by and large, operate in the world without taking responsibility for what gives rise to life, and yet collectively we feel qualified to determine what is alive and what is not, and which lives matter more than others. But are we truly qualified to do that?
Early in my life, I had encounters with the phenomenal world, and I realized that many people truly do not see. In that place of awe and curiosity, many of those encounters were validated by my pet rabbit and my beloved hairy dachshund, Willie, yet rarely by the adults in my world.
Eventually I came to realize that we perceive according to what we expect to see. Although the human brain takes in all data, we delete, generalize, and modify information according to what we expect to see or what is scripted. Studies have shown that the schemas by which we understand what we perceive distort what we see according to our filters and the meaning that we have given to our experiences. For example, researchers placed oil cans on kitchen counters (not where the average person would expect to see them), and when the subjects who walked through these kitchens were later asked what they saw, they reported only seeing typical household items found in kitchens. They failed to see what did not belong in their schema for “kitchen.” Our grand narrative of separation functions as the primordial schema.
We live in the shadowy consequences of our beliefs in separation, in our superiority over nature, and our superiority over others believed to be lesser or too close to nature to be of value. All life has been harmed as a result.
Have we gone utterly mad?
The fracture and fragmentation is pandemic. Our loss of identification with the earth has given rise to a toxic, trauma-based, violent world. The well-being of the planet and its inhabitants is showing signs of breakdown. We are all living during a massive, sixth extinction of plants and animals at the rate of 12 species lost per day. Such vast loss of biodiversity has not occurred for over 65 million years. Too few know our predicament, and many who do lack any feeling associated with the fact 99 percent of these losses have been caused by human activity.
Biodiversity is one of the nine major planetary boundaries and an indicator of Earth’s wellness. Earth’s biodiversity provides for her resilience and ability to self-regulate across systems.
Life is holographic, and so there is a direct correspondence between what is happening at the macro-level and the micro-level. Thus, not only the earth but we humans are also losing our inner biodiversity, among the microbes that consider our intestines “home.” A lack of diverse forms of microbial life that ensure healthy gut flora needed for proper assimilation of nutrients, disposal of what is not needed by the body, and a responsive immune system has now been linked to the pandemic rise in obesity. The diverse biomes found only in the human digestive tract pass from mother to child as the baby goes through the vaginal canal and then also through her breast milk.
In our affluent society, however, mothers can choose their delivery method. Once cesarean deliveries were limited to life-or-death decisions during childbirth, but now they represent 32% of births. Perhaps not coincidentally, 35% of adults in that same population are obese. They lack specific human gut flora, including Bacteriodetes, a species that protects us from obesity. Similarly, nursing mothers were maligned as being too earthy, wild, primitive, and of lower class. This idea was promoted widely as a way to market manmade infant formulas that also lack those essential microbes.
Before the age of 18, most children have been treated with 10 to 20 rounds of antibiotics (which literally means against life). This, too, is another factor in obesity, as antibiotics kill off all bacteria, leaving a deficiency of beneficial bacteria that is difficult to recover. The body depends on the diversity of gut flora for its resilience against opportunistic bacteria species that undermine the immune system in the same way that biodiversity is key to the Earth’s resilience. When we fall ill, do we stop to consider the health of the water, soil, or air in our region? We do not yet see the health and well-being of the Earth as a direct correlate to our own health and that of our family.
We might become one of the many species facing extinction. Indeed, many civilizations have come and gone, and the remnants of our ancient past have been systematically removed, destroyed, and repurposed. How might we drive ourselves to extinction?
By continuing to obstruct our own doorways of perception. The inner technologies crucial to thriving as a living element within the larger planetary body are violently assaulted daily. Our sense of smell— which allows us to discern what to eat, whether the environment is safe, what is blooming, and the weather—has been lost. Instead, we rely on labels to determine whether our food contains the living, unadulterated codes of life our bodies recognize. We hide natural odors and wax our foods to trick the senses. Raccoons do not need labels and will not eat genetically modified corn.
By continuing to deny and judge primal material form. This has taken us on the grand journey into separation. And in our break from nature, we resist contact with the natural world. We are a people embedded within the myriad systems of this living planet but lack awareness of our interrelatedness to the Earth and of the laws that truly govern its varied systems and the systems that animate our human bodies. Much of what keeps our world in motion unfolds from origins that are unseen and remain a great mystery to us.
Although we default to a meta-narrative whose logic is dehumanizing and destructive to the diverse systems that support life, we are born into an interconnected web of life. At deep intrinsic levels, we know that we are born onto the earth. We know that all life shares the common heritage of all the elements that allow life to thrive. Yet in our rote existence, we are void of feeling a sense of interconnectedness with the planet.
With my eyes closed, I feel the terror of that life-long question, “what will it take to breakthrough this limited view and blossom?” This question just now caused me to retreat and fill with doubt, but then I was seized by a distinct feeling of inspired optimism that came from the living Earth herself. The sound of a crow cawing vociferously outside my window latched onto my awareness, and that ever- present bond with nature drew me in close and all of her lessons lifted me. I stopped and withdrew my fingers from the keyboard.
Our collective experience of separation, I feel, has been a necessary stage in the alchemical process of evolution. After separatio comes coagulatio and eventually coniunctio. There is reason to rejoice and be glad.
We the living are proof of Her grace!
Even though the luminosity of the sun – the Earth’s heat source – has increased by about 30 percent since life began almost four billion years ago, the living system of the Earth has reacted as a whole to maintain temperatures at levels suitable for life.
The bird song reminded me of Great Mother’s prompt to walk every morning at dawn to join the meeting of the birds. During the final weeks of winter 2011 I found myself out just before dawn, in time to reach a grove of barren trees where the birds were gathering. I stopped each day to listen to their whistling and chatter, and soon stunningly bright verdant leaves began to bud on the trees. The bird chatter simmered, and one day when the leaves were more apparent, I arrived at dawn and all was silent. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that the birds were all sitting quietly as the trees, now, sang their song.
What a miracle—I witnessed bird song as a trigger for and announcement of the greening of the trees! It was not long before the trees became the home for a new generation of bird species. I witnessed the interdependence, cooperation, reciprocity, and pure love on display between at least seven or more species and six species of trees on this one block in Potomac, Maryland.
I am clear that the Earth is the vehicle for elevating our consciousness, and the needed transformation will come when we restore our sacred bond with nature. This comes with Metanoia—a deeply felt, inspired change of mind and heart that is ushered forth instantly with recognition of our interrelatedness to the Earth Mother.
We must connect with the earth through our senses to restore access to earth’s wisdom. Through our senses we can feel our connection. We have gone too long without feeling her and touching her. We know from research on the power of the heart that skin-to-skin conductance is one of many systems that the heart utilizes to monitor our environment and well-being through our bodies largest organ, the skin. Studies show that when we place our bare feet on the soils of the earth, we become one in potential with the Earth’s field and we are flooded with antioxidants that flush toxins from our bodies, alleviate stress hormones, reduce inflammation, excite our longevity hormones, and entrain the heart’s rhythms into coherent wave forms that increase the power of our intuition and overall wellness. This is one way the earth loves and protects us. In our modern world, however, people live much of their lives without touching the earth. We walk on rubber soles that insulate us from making physical and energetic contact with her potent soils and her protective, informative fields.
It is not possible to go from harm to harmlessness to cooperation without a deeply rooted regard for the Earth’s well-being. A profound awakening by a groundswell of people to this reality will extract us from the “power over” paradigm in which modern society is enslaved. Once the bonds with nature are restored, we will feel the connections and unite, empowered by our union. The challenges that divide us will fall away. We will naturally assume our individual and collective responsibilities for our inner and outer lives and embody the consciousness that considers the whole fabric of being when we make decisions. When we the people are clear that while all of our various societal threads are linked, they are not viable or sustaining without attention and respect for Earth’s systems. When we are solid in this awareness, we cannot be divided.
Buddha got it, but few have truly understood what brought about his transformation and the role that the earth played. A pristine natural environment has always been essential to achieving rainbow body or the transfiguration, as well as a conscious relationship with the living earth. Such is the nature of a mandalic existence on a planetary world of form.
We know from long-lived people who live free of life-threatening disease in blue zones around the world that when we are intimately linked to the ecosystem of the region in which we live, the earth protects us. We become one in potential with her electromagnetic field. The link is established by drinking vital waters from her streams, eating foods grown organically in healthy soils, spending time in skin-to-skin contact with the earth, exercising in nature to ensure neurogenesis (birth of neurons), getting restful sleep harmonized to dawn and dusk, and sharing our appreciation of nature with our loved ones. Living this way, you feel the earth’s love.
Our return to these basics will set the needed transformation in motion. The earth holds the memory of every utterance and every act in its waters and mineral kingdom. When our bonds with nature are restored, we will without hesitation take responsibility for unattended karma and collaborate with nature to restore paradise, remember union, and regenerate our bodies.
We are just beginning to fully embody the fullness of our humanity. It is important to do so to harmonize with our origins, the source of all. Just as we are the only ones who can resist our own flowering, we are the only ones who can consciously embrace our divinity on the earth in which we live and have our being. It is time to integrate
our divinity with our earthly existence as a union of spirit and matter in an appreciative way that informs our relationship of honor and respect for that in which we are inextricably linked, the earth and all its life forms. In this way, with our free will we can choose union and thereby bring the power expressing itself in each unique facet that is an individuated expression of life into celebration with the beauty of Life. We can cross the great divide in how we see and know our world, heal separation, and exalt all experiences of life as part of a greater oneness of which we are all a part.
We are coded to awaken, and the earth is awaiting our collective return to her. With seven billion people, we are in position to galvanize the needed numbers for life to continue.
Author’s Brief Bio: Educated as an electrical engineer, Myra Jackson is known as a Mystic to many. She brings her Philanthropy to organizations and groups in service to the transformation of consciousness and the upliftment of all life.