Dancing in the Tao

Only you

Everyone’s got to find the right path. You can’t see it, so it’s hard to find. No one can show you. Each person’s got to find the path by himself.”
A  Native American Elder
to Harvey Arden
in Dreamkeepers

No one can rescue you. Each of us is required to find our own way to the right path. Most don’t see or acknowledge this truth, and spend their lives waiting, searching outside themselves for rescue, lamenting.

When you take your life firmly and seriously in hand, and passionately, with all of your being, turn in heartful, vulnerable gesture toward the ‘right path’ you will discover the deeper, higher intelligences that wait, patiently, compassionately and hopefully for this moment of your turning, this moment that they can FINALLY help you, because you’ve opened access to them and you’re willing to work in partnership with them: Then everything changes.

You will never be the same.

You can determine the truth of what I say within yourself. Or not.

Your choice.

Changing consciousness

Our consciousness, humanity’s consciousness, must change if we, and our world, are to begin to fulfill our wondrous and infinite potentials. As we are we will never create a different future than the one so many of us seemed determined to imagine: endless war and degradation until we’ve killed off everything in our omnicidal insanity.

We, however, cannot change our own consciousness; it is an impossibility. Every attempt we make backfires because we’re trying to change limited consciousness using limited consciousness. As Einstein said: We cannot solve problems with the same consciousness that created them. Additionally, there is something in our consciousness, something that works very hard to stay invisible to us, that seems to ever be working against us and our best efforts. It is that within us which makes us double down on trauma over and over and again until we find ourselves helpless and terrified by a Global War we ourselves declared on Terror.  Obviously, we’re insane.

Obviously, we need ready access to a higher, deeper, greater consciousness. How is this done?

Although neither simple nor easy at first, it is both possible and necessary. We must re-cognize :: we must know again with fresh eyes :: the greater consciousness which has created all that is with exquisitely beautiful self-complexifying intelligence. We must re-cognize that we are a tiny band of working members of this consciousness, just as fingers are working members on our hands. We must re-member :: put back together again :: everything we have appeared to slice into every tinier slivers with the scalpels of our intellect :: re-member, as Empedocles said two-and-a-half millennia ago, that everything has consciousness, and its share of intelligence.

When we understand, literally stand under looking up in joyful awe at all that is, all that we are a part of, then we open ourselves once again and gain access to the greater intelligence that’s been here all along.

With this intelligence, billions and billions of years in self-development, we can rescue ourselves and our world. Then, at long last, the fun we all came for can finally begin.

Just one thing

There is something we most desperately need to notice, to re-member, about what is happening on our planet at this moment. If we can simply notice and re-cognize and hold in our awareness this one feature of our experience, we could immediately begin to unfold tremendous healing forces on our planet.

It is this:

Everything humans are doing right now, every last thing, was first conceived of in the human imagination. Every thought, language, word humans have brought into this world, every story, every song, every weapon, every war, every temple, every prison. All of science, religion, law, technology: everything, even math, has come into the world through the faculty of human imagination.

We don’t have a good working understanding of this thing we call imagination. And so we have never recognized our power.

If you stop to think about it for just a moment, you will see that we imagine, and then we create what we have imagined. It’s kind of like magic, notice the similarities?  For millennia now we refuse to see and to own the powers of creation that we possess, and to use them consciously and responsibly for the good of all living things. But this can change, in a heartbeat, when we begin to imagine something different. The omnicidal war we are perpetuating throughout our world is, truly, a failure of our imagination.

First we literally imagined ourselves into the situations we currently find ourselves in, now we are imagining that we are powerless to change anything we’ve brought into the world, and, in a nearly fatal coup d’etat we have increasingly imagined that our imagination itself is something insignificant, a child’s toy.  It’s very much as if we used magic to create something tremendously powerful, used magic to make it seem more powerful than us, its creators, and are now trying to use that same magic to uncreate the source of magic itself.

When we recognize and remember what this thing we call the imagination truly is we once again, in a twinkling, begin to access vastly immense powers and abilities. Then, when we recognize and remember and heartfully explore the relationship between imagination, emotions and the world as we experience it, we can begin creating a world where all children everywhere thrive, for and with each other.

There exist unseen, unmanifest multidimensional domains that we each of us have access to through the toy we call imagination. Shamans, artists, inventors, the best scientists and truest mystics all have had direct experience with these realms, yet it has been millennia since Western Civilization has had anything like a working model of this or our relationship to it. Henry Corbin, philosopher and mystic, named it the Mundus Imaginalis. Carl Jung brought gifts of deep transformation to psychology, and to how we understand ourselves, from his journeys in the Mundus Imaginalis, as was finally revealed with the publication of The Red Book.

One very limited but hopefully useful way of conceiving of this: The living consciousness of earth exists as something like a membrane between the Mundus Imaginalis and physical reality. Earth is “where” the imaginal has material, and physical hands and eyes. We’re the only place that we know of in the universe where this is happening, this living membrane. We are not, as is commonly supposed, insignificant. We are, however, fairly moronic, so far blind to the blindspots in our highly faulty intelligence.

The human dimension of the Mundus Imaginalis is currently something like a battlefield where machine-like concepts and ways of knowing are, for a badly misunderstood reason, laying waste to the living sources of imagination … this is a battle that we are playing out in the material world, in our omnicidal war against all living things, especially children.

Humans are the hero species of this planet, raised up through billions of years of evolution by all living forms to a species that could protect and further the goal-less goals of this exquisitely beautiful, mysterious self-complexifying universe. And we heroes have lost our way. What we must do is begin to heartfully explore the nature of our mind and emotions, and the relationships between what we imagine and what becomes manifest here.

Human failure to recognize even a sliver of our powers and birthrights has led to the cascading catastrophes we are currently witnessing. Human recognition and remembrance of these birthrights and their sources empowers us to participate in the creation of a living paradise that makes our wildest utopias and religious beliefs look like … cartoons.

We know what it is to create beautiful, healing, uplifting, empowering thoughts and things. It is not some inconceivable transformation that is required of us.

Except this: We must stop being terrified of who we are.

The Ancient Song

(Best read aloud)

There is an ancient song singing itself throughout the universe, singing as-through every thing, as-through all the unseen in-betweens. Begun before time began it sings even time into being, and is, in every moment of every moment, new born and brand new.

Thousands of years ago, humans heard the Song, heard their parts, their notes; and their cultures grew in the harmonies of the universal music. We built pyramids and revered bees, and danced the sun himself up into the sky to the rhythm of the frame drum. Then, for whys lost in mystery and millennia and forgetfulness, we grew deaf to our musical knowing.

Deafness multiplied and multiplied and multiplied again … each generation further from the ancient rhythms and harmonies and vibrations; every child forgetting more. Minds once woven into the aural fabric of the universe now filled with sharp cutting thoughts of separation, abandonment. Hearts once overflowing with joyful belonging now trembled in terrified isolation.

The telling began, born of sharp thoughts: terrifying stories. The building began: ever more terrifying machines to protect them from … something. Soon sounds of machines pervaded their every inner and outer worlds, deafening them ever more, drowning out all but the faintest traces of the tenderly powerful ancient Song.

Blinded by deafness, running from the terror within, the children veered from disaster to calamity to the precipice of total catastrophe, and called it ever progress.

But there, there near the precipice, a few children, sensing great danger for all, wandered away to seek help: far from mad maddening crowds, far from machines, away even from words … into the dark forests, into the night, into the terror within. Wandering, lost in the dark, following breadcrumbs and myths, fairy stories and the broken yearning of their hearts, they slept and dreamt and wandered again.

Some found hands to hold in the darkness, and whispered wonderingly with this new kind of friend. And all who listened could hear voices of other children calling out, sometimes in loneliness, sometimes in discovery. They strengthened one another across all gaps, and in their growing strength, they looked at the impossible with new eyes.

In the darkness, no longer blinded by sight, other powers reveal themselves within themselves. Long forgotten and misremembered, misnamed and underidentified, powers at once strange and familiar begin resuming their natural shapes … just the merest of beginnings is revelation within epiphany wrapped in wonder. Ease grows in these children, as they breathe in what they always knew to be true.

Gardens grow in these children, gardens of wonder and healing and wholeness. And each fruit, each flower in these gardens brings new born, brand new seeds in every moment of every moment. And these children know something ancient and new about alive: to be a garden within a garden within a garden circling a star.

Feeling again faintly first then ever more, the rhythm, the vibration, the harmony … the heart-beautifully-breaking ancient Song. Never lost, never abandoned, just a temporary deafness, healed with true friendship and rest, stillness and wandering dreams in the dark.

Now these children begin their return from wandering. They will come with light hearts, singing: Don’t fear the darkness. There is no thing to fear. There are gifts and gifts and gifts for everyone. Let us hold one another’s hands and play and sing, and remember ourselves, together:

We are children … we are gardens … we are stars.

The Spirits of the Land could now support us!

Charles Eisenstein shares this soaring story from a friend of his in Australia. This is what it looks like when we re-connect with ourselves, with each other, with the Earth herself, and with the mysterious Source of the miraculous Everything:

When I first moved to Byron Bay 22 years ago, I was friendly with a ‘mob’ of activists that ran the world’s first successful forest protest. There were strange ideas in the community about conservation which I have now resolved but at the time were intriguing. The ‘us versus them’ played out with all its polarities and dynamics and even though there were victories, the ‘beast’ seemed relentless, well funded and had all manner of social , legal and political levers to tilt the playing field. I have come to realize that if one is an activist and has an emotional INVESTMENT in an outcome then the challenge is against oneself and it is impossible to ‘win’, and yet if one can protest without an emotional investment in the outcome, you always win.

I recently participated in a successful anti fracking protest that lasted over two months and engaged as many as 8 thousand of our small Byron community! Our lush camp had a 4 berth cappuccino machine, massage, sacred fire, media centre, full kitchen feeding a core of 200 each day and more. We held off the miners for ages with many tactics including drone video media production, barriers, towers, 24/7 vigils, writing lawful notices to politicians, police and company directors, training commonwealth public officials and preparing for a showdown where the government decided to send 800 heavily armed police to break up the camp! This huge mission was planned and publicized and HOTELS BOOKED as tensions rose in anticipation of the onslaught. Three days before the arrival of the troops, we heard that all four news channels would be filming from air which would then go out world wide as if this were a full scale ‘war’. Our camp had planned a strategy to confront the troops and we waited. I came up with an idea to paint a giant aboriginal art piece on the landscape that would be seen from the helicopters and would indeed be ‘newsworthy’ along with a ceremony that would be led by the local indigenous mob that would engage 500 of us with clap sticks , huge smoky fires, all the men painted in white ochre and the leader playing didgeridoo for three days straight! There was no precedent for police to break up an Originee ceremony and so I pitched this novel idea to the Originee elder women who had become quite depressed as the conflict approached. They had seen this all before and it always ended the same… all the blackfellas arrested along with many white fella supporters, and the miners getting their way. The elder women immediately became animated and excited as they looked at the drawings of a proposed 150ft long Goanna and a 350 ft rainbow serpent and started adding dots, Pleiades star system and hand prints. The battle now seemed like a giant fun performance and ceremony and got the energy moving. We were given permission to access the sacred ochre pits to get tons of white ochre to begin line marking the giant art piece and I left camp and headed home that evening to get art supplies … excited.

The next morning, we got a call from camp to say the government had called the conflict off and was going to be INVESTIGATING the company for corruption! I arrived back at camp to a giant party and as My friend Mike and I arrived, the elder women grabbed us and whisked us off to an elder meeting that was taking place. An elder auntie grabbed me and looked me in the eye and said that the reason that the conflict was called off was because we had engaged in art and ceremony, and she asked for a copy of the diagram to keep for her children so they would remember that day and how to deal with these ‘whitefella’ situations. She explained that as soon as we had switched gears from confronting the armed force to art and ceremony, the spirits of the land could now support us and were grateful that we had ‘remembered’ this tactic in time to avoid confrontation! I learned an amazing lesson that day about solving a crises using higher frequency ‘technology’ of the heart. A great opportunity to unite our community and instead of confrontation, offer the gift of shared creative path.

Let’s get playing, children of the world! Rescuing ourselves is going to be so very, very fun.

… and he is us

Almost 30 years ago I studied briefly with a man from Peru who didn’t call himself a shaman. He told a story one evening about a woman he healed. After months of trying everything to get her to let go of the issues that were holding her back, he took her up on the roof and hung her over the edge, saying “Drop your stuff or I’ll drop you.” She dropped her stuff.

The multiplying crises we are facing are hanging us off the roof of the world; we are collectively and individually being challenged to “drop our stuff.” Drop the lies, the denial, the always taking the easy way out. Drop the wars, the profiteering, the converting of irreplaceable living sources into dollars and machines and toxic waste. Drop the abuse, the enslavement and imprisonment of all children everywhere. Drop the blame, the scapegoating, the projection of our own darkness on to someone, anyone out there. Drop all our crap already.

So, if we’ve had our fill, at last, of blaming the corporations, the media, the rich, the poor, the right, the left, the white, the black, the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu, the men, the women, the children, the parents, the Palestinians, the Israelis, the Iranians, the Americans, ISIS, Putin, ad nauseum, perhaps we are, at last, ready to do the mature thing:  To take full responsibility for our selves.

Whatever your beliefs, there is overwhelming evidence that an exquisitely beautiful intelligence has been self-complexifying for billions and billions of years … and very recently, at roughly 11:59 p.m. on the cosmic clock, just one cosmic minute ago, humanity appeared on the scene. Our species, one of the very newest in this mysterious self-complexifying universe, is in its infancy. And we haven’t begun to figure out who we are, or what this place is. We tell each other broken stories, and kill each other over who’s got the better story. We’ve done a few experiments, come up with some cool math, and pretend that we’ve got it all worked out.

Taking responsibility means many, many things. A good starting place is to finally admit we don’t know much of anything at all.

We used to know some things, though, and some of us still do. Ten years ago my brother and sister-in-law visited Fiji. Mary, a healer, was invited on a walk through the forest with the local healing women. They pointed out plants, describing to her what they were used for. After some time, she asked how they knew. They looked at her with varying degrees of discomfort and dismay, as if realizing she was broken and didn’t know it. “The plants tell us,” they finally said.

There are ways of knowing that we have intimate access to, when we know where to look. We have no earthly idea of our true powers and capabilities. There are wonders for us to discover within ourselves, with each other, and throughout this gorgeous universe. We can rescue ourselves. We can rescue our exquisite home. Nature is an ever-regenerating force, and she hasn’t given up yet. We ‘simply’ need to re-connect with ourselves and with her, as a beginning.

To heal our beautiful planet, we must heal our beautiful selves. We are in the beginning of re-membering, of putting ourselves back together after a very, very long time of apparent disconnection from our own selves, from one another, from all the living beings on the planet, from our planet herself, and from the mysterious Source of this awesome, breathtaking Everything.

There is some fear to face in the early days, and grief, and anger, and shame, and guilt. This is neither easy nor simple. But neither is it as hard or complex as we’ve made it out to be. Each one of us is complicit in what is unfolding here on earth. There are no bystanders. In our one huge dysfunctional family system each of us contributes to the abuse, the denial, the cover up, the scapegoating. Every one of us. Every day. In some way or another. As each one of us grows the strength to face this in ourselves, to battle in ourselves that which would allow our world, our home, to be destroyed on our watch, we re-orient and re-connect ourselves and our world to the literally infinite potentials that have brought Life this far.

Rumi says: Those who dive into the fire, their heads emerge from the cool water. On the other side of the darkness which terrifies us, amongst much, much else of inconceivably infinite worth, are peace and forgiveness, joy and awe, humility and innocence. To say nothing of love.

From here, we can begin to imagine a future where all the children of all the species of this world thrive, together, for and with each other.  When we access our vast re-sources and turn them all toward healing ourselves and our world, we will be astounded at what we can accomplish.

When there are enough of us, just enough, the world will change.

Encouraging words

When I first read this article some weeks ago, I danced-ran to my sons and said, “Someone’s saying what I’ve been saying, and he’s at an international conference … in front of people!” The boys smiled their indulgent smiles and went back to what they were doing. Someday they’ll be as excited about all this as I am, I just know it. Today I read Bayo Akomolafe’s words again, and was moved to see how many of the things he mentioned have been playing in my thoughts and heart over these last weeks. I am encouraged anew.  I knew I needed to respond (about which I hope to be writing more very soon) and, so I wrote this. You won’t see it on RealitySandwich, because I couldn’t get the comment thing-y to work (shocking, I know).

Dear Bayo,

Thank you for your brave and encouraging words. You spoke many truths that have been singing in my heart for this last year and I am thrilled to know that someone has sung them out loud. This is yet another confirmation for me that humanity’s awakening is under way … that many of us, all around our beautiful earth, are slowing down, growing quiet, turning within, seeking deeper answers, connections and perspectives than perhaps we’ve ever sought before. We’re slowly, as you say, growing aware of the subtleties of the Mystery and of the deeper nature of the challenges we once thought were “outside” ourselves.

Some writings, like those of Charles Eisenstein, have been very helpful to me over this last year, and I recommend them to any whose understanding resonates with your poetry. Peter Kingsley writes, among much else of great worth, about becoming still and making a connection with deeper intelligences within us. He also reminds us that teachings are given to us in seed form, and must be planted and nurtured within if they are to bear fruit for us. Paul Levy writes, among much else of great worth, of the nature of the cultural sickness plaguing humanity–some first peoples of America call it wetiko; it has been known by many names throughout history–a few of the things you mention in your talk are symptoms of this illness. Paul’s work not only helps us identify the shapeshifting nonlocal trickster that turns all of our apparent best efforts against ourselves, but shows us how to go within to disarm it and reclaim our own powers.

We are indeed at a moment of terrifying danger and infinite opportunity. It is time for our species to take a step that is as significant as the one taken by the waterAnimals in their migration to land, writes Darin Stephenson. This is an evolutionary moment beyond our wildest fictions, and it’s happening on our watch.

As we slow down, turn within, re-member and re-cognize ourselves and our world, life will become much simpler, much clearer. We humans are getting ready to dream much, much bigger dreams.


Echoes and Ripples

If a poetic biologist could get a certain perspective of our solar system, she might see echoes of something she knows very well. She might see a presence in the center, let’s call him Sol, who is radiating tiny particles with wavy tails, swimming out in every direction.

She’d see that Sol has many jewel-like spheres circling him, and that the one at a somehow perfect distance is a very fertile sphere, indeed. His tiny particles with their wavy tails penetrate her, and she gives birth to every form of life we’ve ever known: to every thought, every relationship, to every symphony and soccer game, to every religion we’re killing ourselves over, every science and technology we’re killing ourselves with …  to everything we know and all our ways of knowing.

All of this, all of us, all living things and everything we’ve done … are born of a four-plus billion year love affair between our Mother and her brilliant Hero in the sky.

Our poetic biologist would recognize reproduction as it is echoed throughout Life, and she might begin to wonder … what these two amazing entities could possibly be reproducing …

And she might start singing out at the top of her lungs: “Stop! Stop everything dear, confused humans! We need a much better understanding of what’s going on here before we burn this place down! We need to understand the very Sources of our lives. I think we’re supposed to be helping them!”

If you can hear her singing,  please echo her song through your circles.

Ripples are wondrous … they get bigger and bigger, and interact in amazing ways … ways that can change everything.

Out of the Impossible

There is an ancient myth from Central Asia that describes how civilizations are born.

It was known to the early Avars, to the distant ancestors of Tibetans as well as Mongols. This is the myth of the impenetrable mountains.

The people are completely stuck, cornered, hemmed in, the path ahead blocked by insurmountable obstacles rising in front of and all around them. There is no way forward, no hope.

And then the impossible happens. In one version, a wild wolf finds them, feels compassion, shows them how to bore a hole through the solid rock into what will become their future. In another, the mysterious shaman shoots an arrow straight through the impenetrable mountains–creating what would come to be known as the arrow path.

: : :

A new civilization, any civilization, including ours, is not only a miraculous gift. It always comes into existence out of the impossible.

And the impossible is impossible: is absolutely non-negotiable. … And there is no point trying to convince ourselves that we know what the impossible is, because even the things we like to think of as impossible are simply the possibilities that we decided to put aside.

: : :

As we are we will never, not in a thousand years, not in our wildest dreams, find our way into the future. We are trapped on every side by possibilities.

And here is where this story comes in.

- Peter Kingsley

A Story Waiting to Pierce You

Glimpsing a few everyday miracles

You’re in conversation with a close friend. A thought arises in your mind. Your diaphragm contracts, gently moving air up your esophagus and over your vocal cords, which subtly ‘shape’ the air current. Your tongue, teeth and lips put the finishing touches on the shape of the air moving out from you, which creates a vibration in the molecules between you and your friend – air molecule bumping against air molecule – until these vibrations reach your friend’s ear, where they enter a canal and gently reverberate on the drum of her ear. Three tiny bones pick up this vibration, and set in motion even tinier cilia, which translate these vibrations into electro-chemical signals that race through her brain like a tender lightning storm.

Given all these tiny miracles necessary for a thought to move, apparently, from one mind to another, how is it that she understands you immediately? how is it that she is sometimes able to finish your thought, in tandem with you?

Time, it seems, is not what we think it is… nor communication …

O, and where o where did that thought arise from ? I’ve looked and looked for the source … no luck yet …


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