I’m not sure how long anthropologists and historians consider humans “modern.” They probably disagree. Given the quality of ancient artwork found inEurope, I think we are more like our ancestors of 35 to 40,000 years ago than we want to admit.
I’m going out on a limb here: for most of our “modern” human history, we lived in community. The members of our communities were everything everywhere. It was normal and natural, an everyday occurrence, to communicate with spirit(s)…spirits of the land, the ancestors, the elemental forces that influence our daily commerce like hurricanes and fires, the bears, trees, frogs, rocks, ravens, kangaroos, salmon, clouds, hedgehogs, spiders, mycelia, rivers and slugs – all the beings with whom we share habitat, including the energetic creatures.
We never felt truly isolated, nor separate, because we lived embedded in our habitat.
Can you imagine that?
We began forgetting that interconnectedness and the realities of the invisible about the same time we entered the agricultural age.
Now, though we are all still indigenous really, we urban folk mostly forget we belong to this eairth.
Per Espen Stoknes, in the essay mentioned a post or so ago, says: Is not the air, quite simply, this invisible presence that makes all earthly presence possible, this invisibility that makes all visibility possible? The air hosts and facilitates all earthly relations…The Air is…an original Being just as Gaia is. Maybe we need to coin a new phrase for this. Let’s call it the Eairth – the closely intertwined links between earth and sky, ground and world, ocean and clouds, rain and water vapor. The Eairth, then, is this living, creative world that we are fully inside…
About a year ago, my friend Jeff and I were riding the nighttime ferry, the after dark kind of nighttime ferry. Sitting on comfy chairs behind huge protective windows, we rocked on the waves as we watched the bow slice through heavy fog which parted and swirled around us. We had been talking animatedly about the Ecstatic Wisdom Posture experience we’d just shared with his professional colleagues and other faculty from a university. Suddenly, we fell silent. We looked at each other and simultaneously whispered, “Are you feeling it?” Chills raced up and down my arms. His, too. . . We hushed…
“They’re here, aren’t they?”
The ancestors, all the ancestors that ever were, hovered around us. There is no where else for them to be. Eairth holds them close.
Chief Sealth tried to tell us that more than a hundred years ago.
And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.
CHIEF SEATTLE’S TREATY ORATION 1854
Source: “Four Wagons West,”
by Roberta Frye Watt, Binsford & Mort, Portland Ore., 1934.
Originally published in the Seattle Sunday Star, Oct. 29 1887.
A timely reminder, Deborah 🙂 It’s shaking off the world enough to listen that’s such a challenge.