Essay: Uniting Heaven and Earth

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Uniting Heaven and Earth

The Earth is a living, sacred being. She is the microcosm of the universe which is the physical manifestation of God, the One. The Earth is also our Mother and it is a forgotten secret that we humans are a part of Her body. Not only are we a part of Her body but we are also the embodiment of secret wisdom known to shamans since the birth of consciousness: That we are the Earth Herself looking back upon Herself.

Yes, human beings are the eyes of our beloved Mother. We gaze upon the Earth with Her eyes. We are Her billions of eyes looking into a mirror that reflects a billion different points of view. We are an utterly immense network of consciousness looking back upon ourselves. In case it is not clear what I am saying, let me use other words: humanity is that aspect of the Earth Mother that is capable of self-reflection, that is endlessly looking back upon Herself.

We are not, however, collectively conscious of this aspect of our being. Most of us are living in the consciousness of being separate from the Earth, from God. Most of us experience only our desires, our ego, our mind and have no sense of being connected to everything that is. And this is a strange paradox, as mystical things so often are, because we are an aspect of Her consciousness that is capable of being conscious of both separation and unity. We are both the experience of the small self, the ego, and the unbound Self that is one with everything.

In this sense we are embedded in matter. We are of the Earth, we are Her body, we are an aspect of Her that can experience the consciousness of a separate self. In most instances we are completely trapped in this materialistic veil, where we only remember our true nature for a few years after leaving the oneness of God at birth and then again when we die and return to God. This experience of being human is a process of experiencing being trapped in matter, of being the sword in the stone. And yet we are also completely capable, through years of spiritual practice, of releasing our consciousness from matter, of merging with the infinite, the divine, the source of our life force.

Weaving Worlds

It is a shamanic secret that is not well understood, even by some mystics, that humans carry a magical potential that can unite the polarities of heaven and earth. We are able to be the place in which “the two seas meet”, where earth and spirit merge. We are this place already, all the physical body of the Earth is a place where these two worlds meet, but only humanity has been given the gift to be conscious of this process and can actively participate in this process. This is the true potential of the shaman, she is the place where the two worlds meet, where the five elements emerge into the world and then dissipate into spirit. The breath of the shaman is the creator and destroyer, the coming into being and the dissipating into non-being. In Africa the name is sangoma, the drum, the heartbeat of life. The drumbeat is the heartbeat of the Earth. The drummer is partaking in the primal entrainment of universal heartbeat, the coming into being and the dissolution into spirit. The true potential of the shaman is to be a conscious participant in this process of uniting heaven and earth within their own self, to entrain to the heartbeat of there Earth and to align her consciousness with the light within the soul of the beloved Earth Mother.

Human beings are really so extraordinary. So filled with magic and mystery and potential. We are the epicenter of consciousness, the place where God can be consciously present in the world. A human being can invoke the light of God and live this light in the world. With this incredible potential comes great responsibility, to humanity and to the Earth.

Our spiritual traditions to date are almost entirely focussed on the liberation of the soul of the human being, of denying earthly existence and reaching God. But what of the ancient shamanic wisdom that said to first go down into the depths of the Earth and there to liberate the light of God present in the darkest depths of matter. What of this archetypal journey that is forgotten in the great spiritual traditions of today. Our real journey is not only to lift our eyes up to God, but also, equally to look down into the darkness of matter. We are meant to be trapped in this world of matter and look downwards in order to reach deeper, to liberate not only our light from the depths of our physical being, but from the depths of the body of the Great Mother. We must reach high up to God and deep down to the Earth. We must become the conduit for the light that is present in the depths of matter and unite this light with its source. Because only when we take this archetypal journey into the deep, dark depths of the material world and liberate the light through the real work, do we actually experience the full potential of being human.

Soul Sickness

In absolute contrast to this beautiful potential of the shamanic potential of our souls is the reality of where we stand today: in the queues of a shopping mall, distracted by things of transient value, searching to fulfill our emptiness with things that glitter.

We wander around aimlessly, shopping for things we think we need, hoping to find something that will somehow make a meaningful difference to our lives. We buy more things and bring them home but forget to throw out the things they were meant to replace. We gather stuff that seems important, gadgets, clothing, make-up, lifeless food, a few trinkets that will last a minute in a childs hands and then be discarded in a heap of too many other useless trinkets to ever be used again. We give these meaningless glittery things as gifts in the hope that our loved ones feel more fulfilled. We buy these things for ourselves in the hope that we may be more fulfilled. We gather absolutely every conceivable thing and try to fill our lives with these things that promise so much and deliver so little.

My beloved teacher taught that the energy present in these things is itself a dark magic that consumes our light. The gathering of stuff is a sickness of our soul caused by a dark spell that has been designed to capture our light. We gather and gather in the hope of fulfilling some long forgotten desire, the primary desire of any soul, which is to be merged again with God. The gift of fulfillment is only something that God can give, but clever marketing and a cultural brainwashing has made us forget this simple truth. In all this buying of stuff, we are choosing to believe in the god of materialism who promises to fill the void that is at the core of our souls. We do not realize that we are ourselves have become a product of the time. We are the product of a culture that is dying, a global culture that has completely lost its path. With lives that are devoid of the sacred, and without reminders on a daily basis of what is real with a capital R there is no hope for the kind of radical change that is needed. We can no longer feel fulfilled by fasting and sitting silently in nature, being present for the sake of God.

There is a deeper problem that is caused by this sickness. We have not only forgotten to nourish our own souls with the things that matter (silence, presence, prayer) but in this neglect of the needs of our souls, we have in turn made ourselves absent to life itself. We are so distracted by the need to fulfill our own desires that we have forgotten that a human being is supposed to offer their light to the unfolding light being born into creation. We have forgotten that the purpose of devotion to the sacred is not just that we can transcend this realm, but that we can be present so that life can flow from heaven to earth and back again, through us. Even the world of spiritual paths has been affected by this sickness. We believe that spiritual practice is for our sake, that it is to brighten up our lives, to bring us more joy and fulfillment and peace. We think that spiritual life is a weekend retreat, a yoga and self-realization meditation, a polishing of the mirror of the soul for the purpose of feeling more fulfilled on a personal level. We don’t notice how subtly these practices praise and deify the ego itself, how these new age spiritual practices are designed to give the ego a sense of being spiritualized. It’s a very wry twist in this new age that spirituality is marketed as self-actualization for the purpose of me and my spiritual journey, when in truth the spiritual path is about the dissolution of the ego and the self so that the soul is present for the sake of God alone.

Our Inheritance

Unless we change our culture of being completely entrenched in the spell of materialism there will be no hope for the Earth and nothing of value left for our children to inherit. We will have consumed everything in our paths, like hungry ghosts that cannot ever be satiated and this will ultimately lead to the death of humanity. By death I mean both ecologically induced genocide and even worse, a spiritual death. When the ecological capacity for a species to survive on earth no longer exists, then that species collapses. Similarly, when there is a spiritual death, our collective soul is extinguished and all that will remain is an empty shell with no more potential for evolution.

The dark spell that has stolen the light from our world must somehow be broken and a new era must be ushered in. This dark spell is intent on absorbing all the light in creation. It is the antithesis of life, like a cancer, it returns every living thing to dust.

The signs are so clear: If we do not collectively wake up and restore our attention to the light within creation then life will collapse and return to the primal dust that was once the essence of its origin.

A Seed

But with the crisis of our collective state there is also an opportunity. There is a space in this transition where the light has not been absorbed by the darkness, a space that has been kept safely inside the heart of our Mother. This space is a mystical secret that has been protected in the inner circles of mysticism since the beginning of time, a space where the light has always been protected by those that are the chosen ones of God. This space in the world’s collective darkness holds a seed of potential for the world, an opportunity of grace that is being offered by God.

But this is not a journey that the mystics must take alone. This time of need has issued an invitation to all of humanity to participate in the birth of a new era. Those who can hear the call are required to be present, to acknowledge it within and to create a mystical space for its unfolding in their hearts. This is the responsibility of the time and it contains the essence of the present need.  With our feet firmly rooted in the soil and our hearts emptied of separation and captured by the wings of Love, we can be the fertile ground for a new seed to be grown, a portal through which God’s light can shine in creation again.