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A NEW Green Living Column by Steve Hurt In every edition


Holding the earth in our hearts

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. The darkest days of winter are past and the light grows stronger every day. All the forces of nature move from dormancy to growth in the cycle of outward expansion and renewal. There is a freshness in the air, an aliveness in the light, a sense of optimism and abundance.

But in the outer world, on a global scale, we appear to be moving into a collective winter. The world is getting darker as global ecological collapse continues unabated and our socio-political systems contract into less evolved forms of their true potential. Sages and prophets have referred to this period by many names and recently I heard the term ‘The Great Reset’ whichrang true.Collectively we know that this is a time when the cycle of consciousness reaches a tipping point and either progresses into a new and more evolved form of itself or collapses and retracts into patterns of constriction.

There is overwhelming evidence in our world that we have chosen the latter path.

There was a period at the turn of the millennium when humanity had the choice to step into the light and take responsibility for the new spiritual potential of oneness that was being born in the heart of the world, but this moment has sadly passed. Humanity has chosen the allure and addiction of material things over spiritual progress and now we are bearing witness to a time on earth where we collectively regress into a lower form of our divine potential.

Fundamentally, things have changed

In this time of great turbulence in the world, we are all bearing witness to fundamental changes in the global ecology and our culture. We are moving into a new era where the primary fabric of life, the global ecosystem, is collapsing. As this collapse continues to unfold in cycles of catastrophic climate change there will be vast changes in the way that we live and in the environment around us. None of us will be untouched by these changes. Rich, poor, old, young, we will all be affected profoundly.

On a deeper level this is something that we all sensed was coming. We felt the anxiety and fear of a collective angst growing day by day and we witnessed as humanity buried this fear by choosing to become consumers of a materialistic dream. Our community of spiritually conscious people has lived in hope of seeing the birth of a new era in which we could integrate the principles of oneness into global culture. We prayed for and worked towards the birth of a new consciousness where an understanding of the interconnectedness of all the living systems would become central to our culture. We saw the potential of a new era where the threads of love that are woven between the living earth and human culture would be remembered again, that we would learn from our mistakes caused by an addiction to material things and begin to build new ways of life that would be in tune with our earth and each other. But this has not happened. The opportunity has now passed us by. I wish it weren’t so.

It is now a time of transition to a period on earth where the light that is at the centre of creation is dimming. In the choice that humanity has made collectively to refuse the potential of living in an era of oneness, we have set course for a very different shore. The gift of oneness showed us a potential future for humanity where we could collectively co-operate with the living wholeness that is sacred and essential nature of the earth. Oneness offered us true magic, inspired sacred principles for living a new story of collective cooperation and it contained the gifts of an entirely new culture that would be more harmoniously aligned with the soul of the world. But we chose to refuse the gift of oneness and we have now steered toward the opposite potential of oneness which will be greater divisiveness, perfectly played out in the dramas of a global pandemic. Lockdown, social isolation, forced infringements upon the sacred space of our God-given bodies, restricted movement and heightened control from a centralised power which is monitored by systems of artificial intelligence. Our new world is now the antithesis of the gift of oneness. The new world is like a dark spell, infused with the same patterns of a psychologically dysfunctional dynamic, where the potential to live a certain note of truth has been permanently damaged by our repeated patterns of denial, addiction and abuse.

The earth weeps
The impact of this decision to live a materialistic life that denies the sacred has had a catastrophic effect on the body of the earth. We have given ourselves permission to treat the earth as a soulless material object and this has enabled our global culture to utterly desecrate her body. When the earth is not respected as a living being, when the light in creation is not seen and respected, when the spirit realms are disrespected and sacred groves are torn down, then we cease to live, see and speak in a way that is sacred. When nature is not sacred then our collective attitude is to see her as a resource to be consumed. We see this being played out in the world over and over again. The most recent story that illustrates this turn toward hyper-materialism is in China, where there is a planned relocation of more than 200-million rural people over the next decade into the 600 new Chinese cities that have been built since 1949. The removal of the farmers from the land will allow radical industrialised agriculture to flourish and ensure a mass culture of more and more city-based materialism as the rural people who are the caretakers of the earth are forced to become urbanised consumers. With the relocation of the people from the land there will be nobody left to sing the songs of love to the earth, nobody to protect the sacred rivers, no systems of traditional knowledge remaining to be guardians of the earth. This is what humanity has collectively chosen, being played out in the new Chinese vision. Of course, it is not only China, but everywhere. 

The global result of this shift from sacred ways of knowing and living is now so perfectly captured in the narratives around climate change. Scientists who were issuing us with warnings about future environmental disasters are now mostly resigned to accept that we will live in a world where ecological collapse on a vast scale is guaranteed. The words being used to describe the radical shift in our climate are ‘irreversible’ and ‘unprecedented ecological collapse’. There is a raging fire of materialism that is burning our earth and yet humanity wants to continue to build cities and follow the materialistic dream.

Remembering the nature soul

In the face of such extreme materialism we have to dig deeper than ever before to hold onto our indigenous ways of knowing. In all of us there is this ‘nature soul’, that aspect of us that is connected to the living soul of the earth. It is now more important than ever to return to the innate awareness that we humans are not separate from our beloved earth. It is utterly critical that we remember that humanity is an intricate part of the very fabric of creation. We are the living, breathing, pulsating essence of life that flows between all living systems of the earth. We are closer to the earth than our own jugular vein.

It is so easy to be drawn into helplessness when the tide of human affairs, rushing in like a dark tsunami that one can see will spell death to the natural world and to the principles of sustainability and oneness with the spirit of the earth. It is difficult to endure the witnessing of the loss of our wild habitats, the loss of traditional ways of living that are our models of sustainability and to see how we are stepping away, further than ever before, from the possibility of living in balance with the spirit of the earth. It is now more important than ever for us to dig even deeper and maintain our sacred ways of life.

The devic realm
There is something important that is not being spoken about in many spiritual circles and I would like to bring it into this conversation because I believe that it needs to be a part of our storytelling. We speak about the collapse of the earth’s ecosystem and the tearing down of sacred places, but nobody remembers the beings of the subtle realms that inhabit the sacred inner spaces of the earth’s subtle body.

We witness the desecration of the physical world but there is very little being said about the subtle worlds and the desecration that has taken place in this realm. As the body of the earth has been desecrated, so too have the sacred places in the subtle realms been destroyed.

The subtle worlds too will become filled with refugees who are confused and bewildered. The great spirits of mountains, forests, rivers, the infinitesimally small devic beings of flowers, fields and homes, these beings all will endure the same collapse of their habitat. They are invisible to the eye but their suffering will be palpable and they too will need places where they can be nourished, nurtured and loved. They too will need counselling and comfort from their loss of life as humanity destroys the sacred places.

When the sacred groves are being cut down, the ancient rivers being polluted, the migratory pathways blocked, where will these creatures and their spirits go? They are all a part of the body of light of the earth and they will need our hearts as a safe place to find refuge. There is radical simplicity in loving the earth and taking extra care to hold the light of the world soul in our hearts whilst we witness the desecration of her body. Those that can remember must hold the light, must bear witness to what is transpiring so that there are still some in humanity who see them, acknowledge them and who remain respectful to the ancient sacred ways.

Holding the earth in our hearts
It is vital to remember that, in our very own hearts, there is a place where the soul of the world finds refuge. We can hold the earth in our prayers and make our hearts a place of remembrance for our beloved Mother as she endures this suffering. Our hearts are connected by a golden thread in a web of light that is made strong by our remembrance of oneness. I believe that it is a radically powerful act in this time to collectively remember the earth in our prayers and hold her in this web of hearts connected by love. In holding her in our individual and collective spiritual heart we will also avail ourselves to bear witness to her suffering and pain. In holding this pain in our hearts we can share in her suffering, help her transition through this difficult time and soften her pain. We can remember her in our prayers, offer her gifts of incense and flowers on our altars, walk with deep respect and appreciation and simply remember our beloved Mother and acknowledge her suffering.

So let us remember to bring the Earth into our meditation and prayers and hold her in our hearts. Let us ensure that we are living with gentleness on the earth. The light of the earth can then rest in our hearts and receive the love that is so desperately needed to help her to transition through this time of darkness.

Steve Hurt

Steve Hurt’s writing falls within the paradigm of spiritual ecology which approaches ecology from a spiritual perspective. His writing is influenced by shamanism, sufism and a deep love for the earth. Steve currently lives in South Africa and runs a business that trades in African medicinal plants, a trade that is driven by his wish to preserve the rich heritage of African medicinal knowledge for future generations.