All our lives depend on how we choose to live.
In 1994 at a workshop with Felicitas Goodman, Ph.D.,
( www.cuyamungueinstitute.com ) the anthropologist who discovered Ecstatic Postures, I experienced a vision that still inspires me:
I see black and white Kachinas dancing in the center of a circle. Suddenly a tiny orange and red Kachina leaps into the middle I wonder where the women are. I find them off to the side, standing in a circle dressed in black shrouds as they help a woman give birth.
Suddenly I see through the eyes of one of the black and white Kachinas. I feel one very large tear sliding down my left cheek. I know it is blue. As I swing my head from side to side, I see the desecrated earth and the green beautiful earth and I hear the kachina chant, “You choose, you choose, you choose.”
Then the animals come spilling through, their eyes peering out of the rainforest, watching us, wondering if we will choose with their well-being in mind as well as our own. A huge heart rises in the midst of the circle of dancers. I see its wounds and also that it is healing itself. A river of green slashes through the heart, carrying compassion and love energy and spilling green all over the earth. I see that the green river has opened the heart so I can see the texture of its interior. I am shocked to see it is the same texture as that of the molten “hole-y” rocks I saw yesterday in the Jemez Mountains. I wonder if our heart’s interior simply mirrors the earth outside our bodies, if all our bodies’ parts and functions reflect the earth outside us.
Can that be right?
Is the earth really outside us?
Maybe, instead, the earth is ourselves turned inside out.
That refrain: “You choose, you choose, you choose,” has echoed in me ever since. I’m glad to have lived long enough now to know that admonishment is heard by many all around the globe. It is in our human hands to influence the course of history. And if we choose to believe that “the earth is ourselves turned inside out,” we will recognize more readily how our well-being, personally and collectively, is inextricably intertwined with the earth’s well-being. I long for my grandchildren and their children to have a sensuous, complex and life-sustaining world in which to live.
If your answer is,”Yes,” then you can contribute to these great and auspicious turning times: the grand awakening of humans – especially those of us in the more consumptive, addictive, stressed cultures – the grand awakening of humans to the fact that we are all indigenous to this planet. We are embedded in a living world, an eairth from which we are inextricable. Maybe we can help each remember a greater gladness than acquisition of limited resources – the birth of camaraderie and communal playfulness, cooperative, creative challenges and ecstatic experiences, soul-filled communion and the spirit of laughter shared, loving and relating, . .“the rapture of being alive” as Joseph Campbell said.
By acknowledging that we all belong in this eairth, we can use our intellect to reanimate our senses…remembering that all our abstractions and concepts are zilch without our surrounding world. We need to retell the stories of how to live, including all that we know from numberless ancestral generations as well as the techonological/scientific/electronic wonders of the last few generations. We have an opportunity to make stories fun-damental, perma-cultural guides to living on this globe, finding the grace in suffering, the humor in pathos and the joy in grief, revering the miracle of living and nourishing the sentient eairth for generations to come.
Please contribute your own innovative, inventive storylines of what it means to be a modern, urban, indigenous human.