Earth Day, the new TV documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously” and the many environmental initiatives, projects, talks and debates surrounding the state of our planet all offer opportunities to feel into what I call the “wisdom of sinking”.
What our collective mind does when it senses an impending “sinking” it goes into emergency mode: fight, flight or numbing. These have been the main elements characterizing our approach to the state of our planet and the undercurrent of the environmental conversation at most every level of society.
The environmental condition of our planet is approached as a battle of ideas, a battle of truths, a war over seemingly conflicting data, a race against time, or as a non-issue. For those who “fight and flight” the environment is perceived as an overwhelming reminder of powerlessness calling for immediate action and for the numbed ones a mere marginal aspect of our existence calling for more distraction. For those who declares themselves “conscious and sustainable” the reality in their eyes reflects that they still navigate between the three: fight, flight and numbing. No matter in what category we find ourselves, we are all anxious because we are faced with the terror of uncertainty – it is either the question what will happen to our planet? what will the people do? or both. Overall, the environment is embedded in the polluted field of a warring mind scrambling for survival and battling against uncertainty.
It is simple. The state of our planet simply mirrors the insanity of a mind-based collective consciousness and the cosmic joke is that for years we have been attempting to save the environment through the polluting means of our minds righteously expecting anything to change. The consciousness of our environmental activism has created as much harm and pollution as the ignorance of the numbed ones. The planet is a living being with a stunningly brilliant brain and body. As such it holds consciousness and absorbs and stores data from the powerful field of human consciousness. How can we expect the environment to inhale health and thrive while we point fingers, blame and rage in our politically correct or raw ways always making the “other” responsible? How can we expect the environment to inhale health and thrive while we are spending our days in our minds rather than in our bodies scrambling for solutions to the great challenges of our planet, sitting at our computers or staring at our phones, TV, chasing Malaysian airline, or the latest news? How healthy is the emanation of our repressed fears, our masked powerlessness and our abdication to the “other”? How healthy is our unacknowledged grief? How healthy is our manic joy of drinking, gambling, smoking drugs, endless shopping and greed? Well, our dear planet is inhaling all this, each day, each night. No wonder that our planet’s exhale is the one of a detoxifying body: smelly, intense, with bouts of diarrhea and vomit, eliminating all the imbalances in not very pretty and comfortable ways.
If you still do not find credible that the pollution of our individual and collective mind has much to do with the state of our oceans, rivers, air, and soil, try to direct hatred to a bowl of rice for a week, each day, and then try to direct love to another bowl of rice for a week, each day, and then notice the difference. Quite remarkable. The planet is like the bowl of rice: it will respond to what you emanate. Yes, many of our global, national and local corporate and government policies and laws have gone as much off course as the Malasyian mystery jet. However, the daily pollution created by our mind-based consciousness and our inability to feel our feelings have an even bigger impact on the health of our planet.
We are feelings-illiterates, we know how to talk about feelings and at best lecture about compassion, sustainability and the need for change for the planet but when it comes to actually feeling the feelings in our body we are lost, numb like many of our dried out rivers and lakes. Our ability to name, feel and take responsibility for our feelings without blaming the “outside” is essential to the ability of our planet to breathe in a healthy way. This is so because feelings reawakened in our body in a conscious way connect us to life force. This same life force or lack thereof is transmitted into the body of our planet. In our mind-based society our conscious feelings are deadened. Thus what do you expect the planet to feel like?
The sinking of our planet has much wisdom. When we feel the water on our toes we can either believe we are drowning and engage our mind in another frantic marathon, polluting the planet even further, or we can sink into our body, evaluate the pollution of our inner world, feel the emotions that the state of the planet is triggering in us without pointing fingers and then place our hearts into the ocean where new choices are emerging each moment. This is the starting point of sustainable environmental activism, initiatives, actions, talks or whatever we feel drawn to engage in with our heart. This is the starting point for changing our polluting mind-habits and actions, individually and collectively. This is the starting point for healthy planet.
In the consciousness of the heart – in other words – in the body of awakened feelings, time is an illusion. Equally, considering the planet as a separate being, the collective as a separate being, the “other, are all mind-based illusions as well. The heart-intelligent society of cor publicum (the public heart as opposed to res publica, the public thing) and its ripple effect on the health of our planet is available now, no need to wait for the “other” to change, no time running out, no drowning in the sinking. It is just us, you and me, wherever we go, wherever we engage, in the halls of Congress, in the corporate headquarters, at our workplace, in our living rooms, within ourselves. Many are being ripped of their own foundation and forced to feel through environmental disasters and many will follow until we learn to acknowledge the dysfunction of our own mind and its impact on the planet, until we learn to bring new life force to our body and the planet through our conscious feelings and until we let this integrity inform our engagement with each other and the planet.
As a species we are capable of using the wisdom of sinking, capable of being aware of our own pollution, capable of feeling anger, sadness, fear and joy in our body, capable of seeing creative power in the unknown, capable of being truly alive each moment. All it takes is courage. Let us sink into our heart and our bodies. We can choose to continue to chat, fight about the environment or go asleep or we can choose to engage in heart-based breath and feel into the miracle of a blossoming flower today. The planet has the power to birth itself in each moment in the timelessness of this breath.
Practice: Take stock of your mind pollution. Do the “rice bowl” exercise. Make a new choice. Consider attending the next Living Boldly Workshop on June 7: “Discover and Use the Power of Feelings”.