Peaceable Kingdom

On Winter Solstice I held an Ecstatic Wisdom Posture along with a number of others around the globe.

We all held a pose called Calling the Spirits while listening to a steady rhythmic beat. Because I was holding the posture alone in my living room, I listened to drumming/rattling from a CD. Not as energetically potent as live drumming/rattling, but serviceable. This combination reliably opens doorways in our brain to imaginal consciousness. (Images of poses
are from Belinda Gore’s book: Ecstatic Body Postures.)

In my posture session, I experienced a modern version of the Peaceable Kingdom. Here’s a summary: I experience a profound sense of comradeship with the animals and see that we are all sitting in council. Not everyone is here yet and I see herds of horses cascading down slopes to reach us as quickly as they can. They’re mostly black and white pintos, their vivid spots highlighted by red canyon walls and a glowering, dark sky behind them. I look for the bear family and don’t see them. But then, relief. Here they come lumbering toward the circle, furred in every color, brown, black, white, cinnamon and even golden honey like the one we saw in Montana last summer. I see a girl-woman riding this honey bear. She’s being cared for, protected by and journeying with this bear. My rational mind flashes on all the global myths of relationships between human animal and non-human…cross species nurturing, even marriages. And I wonder how we humans ever agreed to sterilize our perceptions of ordinary reality so thoroughly. We’ve stunted our possibilities.

Last evening, despite the threat of snow, four of us gathered to watch a favorite film of mine, Mythic Journeys. Several people interviewed in the film describe the significance of myth. Contrary to popular opinion, myth does not mean a falsehood.

“Myths are the encoded wisdom of human experience.”

“Myths are a reflection of human experience and human experience is the foundation for all the storylines in myth.”

“A good story brings out the truth of the human condition.”

“ Life experience takes on significance when we tell the story of what just happened to us. It is the telling of our story that gives life meaning.”

“It is part of being human to craft archetypal stories into enduring myths.”

Because of all the myths in which humans and animals interact, when animals care for humans in need, when animals and humans join to work out a puzzle or accomplish an enormous task, ( I think of those ants who help Psyche sort seeds.), I wonder if the myths are reflecting lived experience. Could there have been a time when human animals and non-human animals communicated more readily, when we saw each other as companions sharing a habitat and honoring the need for give and take? I believe so.

I agree with Deepak Chopra in the Mythic Journeys film. He says, and I paraphrase of course, that our collective soul is hurting and we need a new story to heal it.

 

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About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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4 Responses to Peaceable Kingdom

  1. Patricia Menzies says:

    I’m not familiar with that film, Deborah, but I’m considering getting it since you’ve mentioned it. I love the idea that we were once just another member of the animal family and worked together in harmony. I’d never thought that myths were actually memories from the distant past!

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    • Deborah says:

      thanks Patricia for acknowledging this thought. I’m heartened by the concept that myths record human experience. I’ve just learned about the first ever Myth Symposium to be held on Labor Day weekend. I hope to present Ecstatic Wisdom Postures at it since that practice opens us to the mythic or imaginal consciousness. It all hangs together!!! Here’s link to the conference.

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  2. lucyd says:

    I love that quote, ” Life experience takes on significance when we tell the story of what just happened to us. It is the telling of our story that gives life meaning.” I agree! Re-telling stories from my own life both brings greater meaning to my life and helps me be more interconnected with others as I see archtypal (how do you spell that?) images in my own life history. I loved being one of the four gathered to watch the film. Thank you Deborah for bringing us all together. That evening still has a magical resonance for me and I am excited as a child to see what will come forward from our gathering. I love your blog here, the words, experiences and art together!

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