Relationship With Mother Nature
... a new series
by Swami Nitya
Relationship with Mother Nature (to be continued)
Our world is in the danger of destroying itself.
It is almost impossible to not see this, whether we look at pollution of the environment, the destruction of the earth and its resources, the economic injustice, the overpopulation, the raise of violence, the increase in disease… etc. etc. There hardly is any aspect of life, which is not threatened.. by the way humanity has lived in the last 100 years until today!
We need to turn the tide, or we drown. For that we need to proceed twofold: a) understand what happened, so we can recognize deeply what needs to change. b) to find our way back to balance.
The first issue is too complex to address here in detail, but let me try to sum it up quickly.
Everything we know off is made up of intelligent energy, which expresses in two principles that interact, bringing forth energy-types, energy-fields…. That are totally inter-connected. Now what has happened in our world in the last 500 years is that one of these energy-fields has gone totally into an extreme, totally overriding all others. As a result, we live in a time where Materialism rains supremely. We are told “only matter matters”.
With that kind of “logic’, all other aspects of life are excluded. This one-sided approach brings extreme imbalance. With this insight we focus on the second aspect.
One thing is sure, balance cannot be achieved through the emphasis of one religion or other, one culture or other… one philosophy or other, --- or one energy or other, or even “one gender” or other, because that is the very thing, that caused the life-threatening imbalance.
A more holistic perception, would mean in the first instance to turn around, away from the extreme pursued in the moment.
A more positive, peaceful, just world can only come from balancing energies and for that be need the reawakening of the feminine principle, an energetic principle that has been neglected… dare I say it: since the Bronze Age, but more so in “recent history” (whatever that means).
We need to turn away from the power crazy, destructive perception, which in our global society has gone to extreme, and that by necessity means to unearth and redirect focus into the opposite direction…
That means, even though the goal is balance, there first has to happen a turning, in this case from a materialistic society dominated by the masculine principle to rekindling of the values inherent in the feminine principle.
We are talking about principles, not gender.
We are talking of duality, of energetic principles, but as long as we stay in duality, we have a problem, so by necessity, we have to move up to the next level up... where both energies (the masculine and the feminine) contribute to a society of harmony and peace…where co-operation in love and respect, is the goal; not the survival of the strongest, most scrupulous and ruthless.
Again, remember when I talk about the feminine principles (or the masculine principle) I am not referring to gender, but to sort of energy-fields, that yes, eventually become manifest – but they do so in both genders.
In this way the materialistic, out-ward,… matter orientated… society is a manifestation of the masculine principle.
Now let me go to the next level: Both masculine and feminine energetic principle have there root in a common source. A “ground of Being….” This ground of being, which brings forth all of existence, has many names, but the most widely accepted through time and geographical Space is : “Mother”
Again: when I talk about “the Mother” this also does not refer to biological or social roles of a mother (or your mother) but refers to the vast cosmic energy-field beyond our ken from which all creation emerges, like a child being born from its mother.
Using the words “the Great Mother” or “the Cosmic Mother … “ are words that I, of limited mind, use, to describe that vast energetic field that is “beyond” (Sanskrit: para; or Latin: divine ).
When I write, I move my fingers, in order to do so my brain gives the instructions to move the fingers, in order to do so my brain is infused by intelligent energy called mind, or consciousness, which in order to work through me is “fuelled” by some power, call it prana, call it “life-force”… which is in essence beyond understanding –yet possibly not beyond our experience.
Our capacity to put into words what we know, experience, feel is limited; language is limited.. so we choose words… that describe, paint a picture in our minds. You know the story of Creation in Christianity, that is only one way of looking at the mystery of existence.
Another way is, to talk in the picture of a cosmic Womb…(Hiranyagarbha) or “God in who’s mind, all exist already.” Creation is simply an expression of what is potentially already there and that includes ever new creation and ever dissolving, there is a constant process of “bringing force” and dissolving.
For other cultures at the “root” is indefinable, empty space which however holds all potential- this space then is compared to ‘the womb’ as a collective noun. Yes, nothing new can come into existence… without a “womb” a space – however subtle that contains the potential. Here “womb” takes on a wider meaning than the physical womb, yet it retains it’s link to, or even identity with the feminine (or even the female).
Hence people like Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (The return of the feminine and the world soul; p.49) can say: Without the feminine nothing can be born, nothing can come into existence.
Since ancient times this “Space beyond” has been given various names and we as humans have tried to understand ‘IT’ with our limited perceptions, and made all sorts of models and systems, and pictures….of what we “think” or “experience” as these forces beyond.
The most ancient and most widely spread throughout the globe and all times, is - to call this “ground of existing”: Mother. Why “Mother’?
At the root of the human experience (then and now) is that individual life, yours, mine – everyone’s life has its roots in something bigger than us; i.e. life-giving and life sustaining, loving and caring, which is originally and even now - expressed in the word: ‘mother’….. hence through tens of thousands of years human-kind talked of that life-giving power, when inclusive to all that is born (all that has ever come into existence) as the Great Mother, or the Cosmic Mother… and this knowing survived into our days.
Yet at some time, under some circumstances, in some cultures, at a much, much later date, and - for whatever reason (we can’t go into that now) people started to see the cosmic energy-field, that brought forward all existence, as different - and thus they designated male gods as being the originators of life.
The root of this trend, is probably in what is called the “solar science “.. nomadic tribes, that travelled by the sun. They understood the sun, the sky, the light as the originator of life.. not the earth.. as others did. So God – in the sky – was moved away from humanity and earthly analogies. There was division between God and the rest!
And yet others, from earliest times in human history referred to that final Absolute as a dimension, that is totally beyond us: incomprehensible and indescribable; neither male nor female. And they tell us, that from that Indescribable ONE (Brahman or Parabrahm, Paramashiva) when it “stirs” - the first that evolves are two energetic forces/principles/fields with certain characteristics – which we then can talk about and describe. This is how we began our contemplation.
All three perspectives are still there today.
In India all three versions are alive: There what was called above the “Great Cosmic Mother” is especially associated with the feminine principle and as such called Maha-Shakti . There the focus lies on the permanent process, the permanent movement of bringing force; the name refers more to an intangible spiritual energy, which in Sufism is more like a “spiritual substance” “ a divine essence “ ; and even connected to “ blood and breath “ . we may simply call IT “prana”- life-energy?
Swami Rama, writes: ‘Shakti the power of Brahman is the cause of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe. The universe originates from Shakti, resides in Shakti and is ultimately reabsorb in Shakti. The one single non-dual Shakti transforms herself into the vast universe. There is no Brahman apart from Shakti and no Shakti apart from Brahman..” ( Call to humanity; p. 13)
But why do we call ‘That’ great fem. Energy - “Mother” in the first place?
As said above, humans learn through experiencing, and communicating their experience in language.
The first experience the human Being has – as we become conscious of ourselves, whether as embryo, or as small child – in total connection with mother… As an embryo, mother surrounds us...completely. There is total fusion – total containment… within her body. In fact we feed of her substance, we are her.
The fetus in the womb has no separate existence; just so, we have no separate existence!
In the wider perspective, we, all life exists in Her; like a blood-cell lives in our body… in total dependency and co-operation with the rest of the body. In fact this is an analogy that has been drawn in many scriptures of various traditions.
The experience of the first people, of becoming aware of their surroundings, of their total embedded-ness and dependency with Nature – was just this: they were totally surrounded, embedded, had their existence received from: The Great Mother Nature. Hence there was total respect for Her and life was lived in total harmony with her. This means: individuals or humanity as a whole lived from the awareness of “One-ness within the source” – one-ness with Nature, oneness in the cosmic Womb, totally embedded in Mother… in Nature!
And again, please understand: when referring to the source, or ‘the cosmic’ womb, it has little or nothing to do with the gender specific term ‘woman’… in fact some describe this ‘source’ as “Mother-Father” . It’s not gender we talk about, but a state of being totally connected with…Like: a child in her Mother’s womb!
In many cultures, were the connection between physical mother and child is understood as parallel to the connection between life-forms and ‘cosmic mother’, the uncorrupted shared Space between Mother and Child, is then seen as continuing as the spiritual journey throughout life, and that for every life-form.
The use of the term ‘ Great Mother’, for many ancient and some contemporary traditions, (such as Tibetan Buddhism) immediately makes clear, that we are all connected, all held like children in the womb, or in the arms of our mother as brothers and sisters; being totally connected and unable to be living without her juice, her life-blood… And this brings us to “Mother Nature”.
It is interesting to note, that the word Nature, seems to touch on two meanings, both Latin:. “nat” which is related to water and swimming….”natal”….which is connected with birth….
Born from her waters… is life (we still are up to 75 % water). We are creatures totally dependent on Her water. Now see what we do with water: putting hormones in it, chloride, fluoride and all sorts…that kill fish, make man infertile and cause a multitude of illnesses and mental conditions, so that some scientists say: we cannot think clearly anymore, because our brains are constantly drugged! Polluted, clouded.
How can we as people, how can plants and animals be “clean”, be healthy.. if… water is not? Impossible!
The problem arose and continuous to rise… because, we think we know better than nature, than Mother Nature. We have changed and mistreat and misuse Her for hundreds of years.. when will She stamp her foot and shake her hips and say :enough.. and throw us of Her hips… is anyone’s guess… but it doesn’t seem far away.
How did things get so bad? A major part in the story, I am afraid, started with the Judeo-Christian conquest of the globe. The old story of the OT, i.e. right from the beginning.. God was above the primal waters…. He the Lord over…the living waters that became earth. HE , removed.. in the sky –God tells the human that he has to make “the earth his dominion”. Man has to conquer earth, nature… and with it women of course! Or so the manipulators want us to believe.
Let me tell you a different story: Stories are told, to express some truth through cultural symbols and language. With this understanding lets look at the OT and Creation story:
Adam short for adamah (Hebrew) meaning dust or Earth
Eva from Esha (Hebrew) referring to the inner fire or spirit.
So the human form (manifest, made of earth) has a fire inside (spirit/rib) which when taken out becomes self-existing. Spirit exists independent of form.
Now we add the other two symbols used: Apple: at the time indicated.. there were no apples growing in the region; (only figs, grapes and pomegranates). Apple originate in Northern Europe, it’s a borrowed symbol. Apples were the fruit in Celtic (and before) tradition of the Divine Mother. Not only that, they stood in the alphabet for the letter Q.. which was the symbol for the spiritual Warrior, or divine madness (associated with enlightenment.) Snake…universally recognized for two things, since the beginning of time: shedding the skin ( continuous time/infinity).. and the wriggle….of the snake, was seen as the reoccurring patterns of life and death (i.e. rhythm of time/reincarnation. Both these were associated with the worship of the Divine Fem. i.e. the Great Mother…
So now see the story: Spirit is originally inherent in Life form (human existence.) The life-affirming, ever birthing and renewing, en-souled existence… however gets emptied (as matter and spirit are separated ) and the independent spirit, the spirit that knows about time, about life and death, (the feminine wisdom per se), is made to look evil; forbidden , judged and punished by the sky God.. which only deals with what is seen in the light of day!!!
No unknown, no potential , no womb-space…. Only Matter/ facts… visible manipulation…is allowed, only matter ..matters….
Indeed, the fire within, the spirit and potencia…. Is driven out!
Truth, life is distorted to such an extreme, that it cannot sustain itself anymore in many places. We are the inheritors of this legacy: desertification, melting Ice-sheets, starving refugees, combat for survival that ends in genocide and … femicide, of course… as life .. has to be sacrificed for matter….
And we obey: we fill our lives more and more with matter… so we do not feel the emptiness….
Turn around!!!!! Bring back the awareness of nature, of life, turn to life affirming, essence affirming, sharing….see the Oneness…. See Mother Nature in all her beauty and richness…
In India another image for her is Bhuvaneshvari…..The goddess of Bhu… the elements of life, of existence…