The Re-Cycling of Life

During the Silent Eye’s annual workshop this April, we engaged in a discussion about fear. There was, I believe, a general agreement that the ultimate fear most people, if not all, harbor is the loss of the individual as a separate entity. We fear the obliteration of the self as we know it, because we learn to believe that there is a self separate from the Source that is all things. How can the self be separate, but whole? Or is the self that is separate really whole? The illusion of separation allows us to feel special and different from other living beings. It feeds the ego’s ideal of superiority, or at least a sense of uniqueness.


The other day, while walking in the woods back in New Hampshire, I thought about how what we fear the most is also what we most long for. It is ironic in some ways, but it also makes perfect sense at its essence. The example of the loss of self in the form of a part of the body came to my mind. I thought about the phenomenon of the phantom limb, which is felt by the body it once belonged to, and still does, in essence. For the reverse is also true, as seen with organ transplants. Patients who receive foreign hearts, for example, often experience personality characteristics of the donor after the transplant. The cell always carries the memory of its home.


A home that extends, ultimately back to its source. Our bodies, made from the elements of Earth, carry the memories in our cells of their origins. Our souls, in turn, have a memory of the Source of All. We carry within us the memories of both as home, and all the “homes” and “mothers” that we experienced throughout our lifetimes. Which leads to the longing of the self to return to that union, even though we become somewhat used to the idea, or illusion, of separation. Confusing that longing with something else.


By nature, birth leads to a physical separation from the “mother,” until death brings us back to the source from which we came. Usually, but not always, the parent experiences death first. The body returns to Earth. The soul returns to the Divine Source. Then the death of the child follows, and so on, in this continual cycle of life and death. We really don’t know, with certainty, what unity after death is like, which was also discussed during the workshop. The experience is, at least by most of us upon our birth, largely forgotten. If we remembered it fully, would we really want to be here to experience separation? Even with the knowing that everything, ultimately, returns to its source?


And why are we so often disturbed by this cycle of life? One only needs to look to Nature to see how life is recycled over and over again. Before the workshop, I had a discussion with Sue, one of the directors, regarding this concept. In a series of vivid and troubling dreams about fears, I had dreamt of being in a laboratory filled with women who were taking human bodies, including their own children, and digesting them in a vat of juices where they were broken down and then injected by tubes into their own bodies. As Sue reminded me in my journal, this is not unlike Mother Earth, who recycles, or re-ingests, her children in a continual process of life and death. It can be a disturbing concept, but we are all a part of this cycle. In order to “live,” we must consume life. When we die as individuals, our bodies will be returned to the earth, eventually, even if we delude ourself by placing the dead in sealed coffins. The parts, once again, broken down by their source to be rebirthed into new life.


Everything always returns to its source. And, everything, I believe, longs to return. We carry with us, even if we do not fully remember it, the memory of “home.” Yet why do so many of us strive for separation, as though it were an ideal? It is an empty endeavor, which never leads to fulfillment. A fact that is so glaringly apparent right now in our world rife with war and discrimination of the “other.” Energy spent toward division, rather than union, takes much effort and is always premised upon fear.


How easily we allow ourselves to forget, and fight against even, what we truly are. There is no need to be a twin to know unity beyond the self, or have a “soul-mate” in the form of a lover, even though some of us harbor a belief that there are connections between living beings that are deeper than others. Connections that speak of a one-self instead of a separate self. Perhaps we are not here to learn what it feels like to be separate, but what it feels like to be separate and still whole. To see the self in the other in recognition, even if the other appears vastly different from who the self thinks she is.



When Did We Forget?

My Spirit Companion

I didn’t intend to write a blog post this morning among the list of things I wanted to accomplish, but sometimes what plan to do is not what we were meant to do.

When I walked out of the door this morning, Crow greeted me as she often does these days, from somewhere hidden among the tall trees in my yard. She continued to call each time I brought more boxes to the end of the drive for donation, and I thought of her, later, when I stepped into the woods with my two canine companions. I’m almost certain a third was with me, in spirit. Tomorrow will mark the year of her passing, but I did not weep for this loss.

In truth, I had not been thinking about Daisy, but about the life that lives in the woods down the road from my house, where I have long enjoyed walking with my dogs and family. Once, my daughter and I saw a pack of coyotes running through the trees. Today, I noted the tracks of deer and wild rabbit marking paths home through the fresh snow.

The morning was quiet, aside from the incessant hum of traffic that always filters through the trees, and the soft tread of my feet, accompanied by the dogs runny ahead of me. Rosy and Zelda were filled with joy, as they always are when they step inside these woods.

About a month ago I had a dream. I was sitting on the hillside below the forest, where children sled in winter, and families gather in the summer to listen to music. I was looking at the vast sky above where dragonflies dance, when the message came through, “Don’t let them bulldoze this sacred ground.”

Now, weeks later, long ropes of tape mark off the boundaries around several acres of trees. Wooden stakes in the ground label potential gravel dumps and irrigation ditches. There is even one that says “pond” where there is no water. I almost laughed at the irony, but instead I cried. Standing among the sentient beings of the forest who speak in a language most have forgotten, I wept for this sacred ground that so many call home. When did we forget? I wondered. We are of the Earth.

Perhaps we need to forget in order to remember. I know that each time I have forget my sacred connection to my Truth, and the much wider Truth of Life, my body/mind/spirit becomes out of alignment until I have no choice but to remember.

We are of the Earth, but we do not own the Earth. She, in fact, owns our bodies, where are made from her nutrients. Long before we walked her surface, she was here, flourishing with life. She will be here long after we leave, broken perhaps, but she will heal. We depend upon her, she does not depend upon us.

At some point, the collective consciousness of humanity chose to forget. There are times when I think it is almost a burden to feel everything, but this is one of those mornings when I am so very grateful that I have chosen to reside in a vessel that remembers how to feel this sacred connection to all life. I believe we all have this ability to feel, this innate knowing, but many of us have chose to forget.

We value our homes. We love the beauty we create, and the money we make is invested into making our homes as beautiful as we can, yet what about this larger home we all share, that we all depend upon? When did we forget that we walk upon sacred ground? When did we forget to that the air we breathe comes from the lungs of Earth we call trees? 

Clean air and water have become a universal gift of a long forgotten past, because of us. I walk the woods to remember Home. I walk the woods to feel whole again. When there is a rip in the web, we are all affected.

It has sadly become an abnormality. An uncool condition. A label of scorn…to remember connection. To remember Home. To remember that all life is sacred, and that the “I” cannot exist without the “We.”