Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CAN WE BEFRIEND THE ELEMENTS?

"Monotheism breeds fanatical anthropocentrism, which eventually destroys Earth." - The Prophet Isaiah, as channeled by Barbara Hand Clow in The Pleiadian Agenda

Those eight words struck me like a sledgehammer when I first encountered them while reading a rather ponderous and nebulous work by the well-known astrologer, shamanic oracle and publisher, Barbara Hand Clow, who says her Cherokee grandfather taught her to listen to the elements and attune her psyche to the earth. After his death the young Barbara was subject to the severe traumas of growing up in a dysfunctional American family and experienced recurring contact with what she later identified as Pleiadian entities. At university Barbara majored in Jungian psychology and began delving into astrology and cosmomythology. In 1974 she married Gerald Cudahy Clow and together they established Bear & Company as a highly successful publishing house for cutting-edge, "New Age" authors.

But coming back to those eight words that had so much impact on me. Let's deconstruct and decompress that "Isaiah" quote:

Monotheism is the defining feature of the Abrahamic religions which are at most 4,000 years old (since the patriarch Abraham supposedly lived in the era between 2,000 and 1,500 BCE). Hindus believe the Kali yuga or Age of Darkness began at midnight on 23 January 3,102 BCE. In effect, the advent of the Abrahamic era (dare I say error?) occurred approximately a thousand years into the Age of Darkness when all divine revelations were subject to severe distortion and refraction. Interestingly, scholars of the Mayan calendar report that in 3,113 BCE the Earth began traversing a 5,000-year beam of density emanating from the Galactic Core, during which humans would become more individualized and egocentric. This densification and dimming of human consciousness is supposed to terminate between 28 October 2011 and 21 December 2012.


Most astronomers concur that the Solar System is approximately 4.6 billion years old, as estimated by the radiometric dating of meteorites. The Earth, according to consensus scientific opinion, was probably formed shortly afterwards. Some point at the figure 4.56 billion years as the age of our planet. Paleoanthropologists can't quite agree as to exactly when Homo sapiens may have begun to appear on Earth, but the general time frame ranges between 400,000 to 160,000 years. Let's say Homo faber (tool-using hominids) began multiplying around 250,000 years ago. Though the concept of a single Almighty Creator God has been around for approximately 4,000 years, the word "monotheism" was introduced into the English language by the Neoplatonist philosopher, Henry More, only in 1660 - exactly 348 years ago.


What does anthropocentrism mean? It is the belief that humans must be considered at the center of, and above any other aspect of, reality. Monotheistic religions posit that God granted Man "dominion over Nature" - in other words, human considerations take precedence over the rest of the ecosystem. Ultimately, this leads to the dangerous viewpoint that making money is the single most important human activity on earth and that hills exist just so wealthy folks may build luxury apartments from which to gaze upon the urban sprawl below. We have seen the catastrophic results of such egotistical and myopic thinking. Stringent legislation and stricter enforcement won't solve the problem in the long run - but a radical shift in consciousness and perspective most certainly will.


Alchemy (from the Arabic Al-kimia) postulates that the Matter Universe consists of four elements - Fire, Earth, Air, and Water - and that these elements are present on the micro- as well as the macrocosmic levels. Indeed, our physical bodies are a blend of these very elements. Fire represents vitality, spirit, intellect; Earth the mineral compounds that constitute our blood and bones and fleshly tissue; Air the breath that oxygenates and cleanses our lifeblood, separating us from death; and Water (which forms 60-80 per cent of our bodies), symbolizing our emotional tides, influenced by the electromagnetic interaction of the Moon's gravitational field with that of the Earth.


When I relocated from Kuala Lumpur in early 1992 to the verdant hills of Pertak, Ulu Selangor, I soon became acutely aware of the close proximity of all four elements in my ecstatically beautiful riverine environment. Just sitting on a 500-million-year-old granite rock aglitter with embedded quartzite, feeling the hot sun on my skin, the fragrant breeze in my hair, soothed by the neverending riversong of crystalline life-sustaining waters - I felt for the first time in my life completely and absolutely at home.


It's exquisitely therapeutic to find your analytical mind suddenly and spontaneously falling silent while all your senses come alive. You begin to grasp the notion of Zen, of being totally in the here and now. In this serene state of receptivity, your body begins to pick up impressions long forgotten or usually unnoticed in the hurly-burly of urban existence. The rock you're resting on begins to tell you stories in its own distinctive mineral voice. And you begin to perceive the holographic, fractal nature of form itself - wherein the rock you're connected with in turn connects you with the entire spectrum of mineral consciousness.


Gradually, it dawns on you that the compressed experience of spacetime imposed on us by routinely accepted constraints of modern living is no more than an ephemeral veneer of insensitivity, of a societally sanctioned sensory shutdown. Our natural state is to be in constant awe and wonderment at the glorious epiphanies that abound all around us.


When indigenous cultures connect with the elements through their shamans, they do so in a spirit of friendly cooperation. The very idea of combating the forces of nature would strike them as foolish and futile. How can one possibly defeat the wind or vanquish the ocean waves? On the other hand, by understanding these majestic forces and respectfully working with them, one is able to harness their might for one's own purposes. Wind and wave and solar power could free us forever from the stranglehold of voracious corporations that trade in toxic fossil fuels. Do we truly believe we can suck dry the oil reserves with impunity? Have we never considered the possibility that these subterranean and suboceanic pockets of petroleum actually serve as hydraulic shock absorbers, preventing the tectonic plates from scraping together with results disastrous to dwellers on the earth's surface?


The element Air embodies the idea of interconnectivity, communication, communion. When we consciously share breath with another, we synchronize our heartbeats and merge our energy fields. We experience a melding on the soul level, a fusion of destinies. Interesting how in our figures of speech, air features prominently as a metaphor. For instance, Malays speak of khabar angin (gossip, rumors) just as Italians call gossipers venticelli (little winds). Those with noble hearts are considered "fragrant" (wangi in Malay) while others with malicious intent are described as "stinkers" (busuk). The nose obviously knows better then the brain!


Where integrity reigns and people are naturally inclined to speaking truthfully, atmospheric pollution is a virtual impossibility. If you live in an asphyxiating hellhole where pedestrians scurry around wearing gasmasks, car windows are constantly closed with the aircon going full blast, while outside the air is almost unbreathable from carbon monoxide fumes - it's a clear sign that lying has become a national pastime.


When 100-million-year-old hardwood forests are clearfelled and set on fire by oil palm companies, you can be sure that a great many untruths are being circulated about the sustainability of monoculture cash crop plantations and the illusory profits to be made from a nearsighted biofuel campaign. Indeed, some of the biggest logging concerns and oil palm corporations have ministers as major shareholders - and that explains why the annually recurring haze just won't go away. How does it feel to choke and gag on your own lies?


Water is the Vital Essence of Life, it's chi or prana in liquid form. Moistness is an indication of fertility, sensual ripeness, warmth of feeling; and dryness suggests sterility, barrenness, humorlessness, sexual apathy. In effect, water is the element that signifies our emotional flux. The tragic situation in Malaysia wherein anxiety about water shortages is used to justify the construction of unnecessary dams even as flash floods recur with debilitating frequency reveals the unhealthy state of the nation's emotional life. Floodwaters are murky, polluted and often accompanied by waterborne diseases. What does this indicate about the kind of emotions we are expressing... or not? Are we being governed through fear rather than love?


Monotheism and the Abrahamic religions are patriarchal by definition, since these belief systems involve worship of a male deity, a Heavenly Father or Lord. A bit of research into the early history of the monotheistic religions associated with Yahweh reveals that there was a systematic excision of pre-existing Goddess emblems by a misogynistic male priesthood.


Why was the Sacred Feminine suppressed? Look at your left and right brains. The left is regarded as the logical, male brain where abstract symbols are linearly processed into alphanumeric codes - in effect, language. The right is usually associated with intuitive functions such as spatial and temporal navigation and the processing of non-verbal sensory data - in short, the "female" brain. Male children are trained to suppress their emotions while females can cry since they are "the weaker sex." Patriarchal societies are largely warlike and male children are required as cannon fodder for military campaigns. We can't be sending sissies to the battlefield, can we?


Progress is measured in physical terms, never metaphysical. Development is infrastructural, rarely cultural. Science and technology are to be encouraged; arts and humanities are best suited to girls... and effeminate boys (would you like to see your only son become a ballet dancer and move around with the arty-farty gay crowd?) Homophobic, testosteronally propelled national aspirations will neither tolerate the ambiguity of poetry nor the nature mystic's recognition of the aliveness of the elements...


But, alas, only the poet, the mystic, and the true lover in each of us can access and befriend the elements, and restore balance and harmony to the land. Legislative measures and political rhetoric demanding a scientific and technological solution is, at best, the band-aid approach to serious environmental injury. How can we avoid wholesale eco-apocalypse - if we're too goddamn arrogant to apologize to Mother Nature for constantly trying to make a quick buck by flogging off her vital organs as commodities in the marketplace? If you were a magnificent old-growth rainforest, would you appreciate being gangbanged and chainsaw-massacred by loudmouthed louts who call you ugly names like "merchantable biomass"?

26 comments:

Kavi said...

im still waiting for a politician, from either side of the divide, to campaign on the environment...

fighting over the environment is better than fighting over race...

backStreetGluttons said...

We do believe few will grasp the significance ( or otherwise ) of your profound perceptions and cosmic pixs here ! Question is if it is at all possible to integrate these sort of spiritual mantras into bringing some semblance of logical pysical sequence to the real situation vis a vis the absurd Malaysian realpolitikus , where in the main everybody tries to earn their daily 3 meals a day kind of existence.

as an afterthought , din Buddha run away from riches to meditate in rags under a shady tree ? Then preach solemnly throughout but was taken up seriously only by another distant people aka the Orientals ? Such is the great unsolved puzzle of life as we know it !

Kavi said...

errr... come to think of it, how many of us Malaysians think about the elements and the environment often? Forget the politicians... If the rakyat dont care, GOD help us all...

Gerald Wee Eng Kian said...

Gautama Siddhartha ran away from an over controlling dad and a crew of ministers willing to hide all the terrible realities of the world from him. The fact that he was rich and powerful didn't come into the equation.

Which is why the experience of nature is so sobering. When a person is stripped away of what "makes" them, the only certainty is that of death and the soil under one's feet. That connection to earth is the proof of life.

Knights said...

Simply Earth Shattering .....Expected nothing less from The Medicine Man ...

Antares said...

Kavi - Why wait for Godot? Be whatever you believe in! When Deep Ecology replaces Shallow Theology we shall know heaven on earth. Think about it: whether you're bald or long-haired, beturbaned or besongkoked, fat or thin or in-between, male, female or both; whether you eat pork or only petai, whether you pray to the east or to the west or even pray at all... when the water in your well is poisoned, you die.

Backstreetgluttons - You say, "Few will grasp the significance (or otherwise) of your profound perceptions..." I wrote this for The Few, not The Many, so I'm glad you read and appreciated... but why did you have to add "or otherwise" and spoil everything? Come on lah,
wanna give praise give properly lah, don't take back like "Indian giver" (actually that ought to read "Corporate" not "Indian" :-)

Gerald - Rub your belly on my behalf and go BURP! (Thanks for the helpful Buddha references... :-)

Knights Templar - Not supposed to be "shattering"... intended to be "healing"! But thank you for being such a resonant reader of blogs!

Miriam said...

Antares! What a brilliant piece! I have savoured the intuitive wisdom of every word and only take you mildly to task for "But, alas, only the poet and the mystic can access and befriend the elements, and restore balance and harmony to the land." Many who are an amazing blend of poet,mystic,scientist, healer & advocate minister unto the Earth (unlike "Ministers" who have little understanding of the word)in measures yet unrecognised. At the end of the day, the Earth will remain, it is humanity that is at stake.

Antares said...

Miriam - First, a protracted astral hug.... (feel it?)... and heartfelt gratitude for your remark, which has prompted me to immediately expand that sentence to be more inclusive - and now it reads much better, of course! By the time I got to the last para it was past 4:30AM... but this was one essay I've been writing over & over again for the last few decades - it's such a multidimensional story I can never cover more than a tiny fraction of the issues involved!
Miriam... the Sea... Mother of All Life... would LOVE to meet you... how?

Anonymous said...

Did I feel it? Tears rolling down my silly face? I too want to breathe the same air as you for a much needed recharge. miriam.hayman@gmail.com

Abraham J.M said...

Quite a good piece of prose written with insight into man's begining. Antares are a free thinker or what?

Antares said...

Abe - I think & feel & live freely as all sentient beings would, how about you? Have you customized your own Operating System... or still running on factory defaults? :-)

Patricia said...

Antares,

I loved this on so many levels. And yes, if you dare defend this earth and cry at her abuse, you're deemed an arty-farty namby-pamby idiot. And, so many have said as much about my can't-wait-to-leave-KL need!

If we just took the weather as a for-instance: could we not say that the earth has had enough, and is starting to say: Hear me roar!

Rrrrrrr!

Pat

Anonymous said...

Hi Antares,

I feel where you are coming from but I think a more balanced view is needed here.

Everything had a time and a place.
When it emerged, monotheism must have been very attractive in terms of its simplicity when compared to pantheistic and theocratic Egyptians/Romans.

Imagine what a relief it was for people when they were offered the possibility of cutting down on the different rituals and sacrifices that are needed to appease multiple gods and goddesses. Christianity was really radical in the way it finally ended all animal sacrifices and replaced it with one man.

Furthermore, no longer was the afterworld reserved for rulers or nobles, but simply to those who had faith and abided by God's "laws".

Over time, I think each of the monotheistic religion just grew too chaotic as it grew in size so a new version came in to replace it. As much as Christianity wanted to emphasise the power of love, when it merge with the Roman state, the love for power corrupted it and made possible the eventual entry of Islam. I think Bahai religion might be monotheism 4.0 or something.

The anthropocentricism of monotheism must have also had a place in history. When human population was so small and nature still so wild, believing that God made man in his image and that nature was there to serve him must have been like the boost in confidence humanity needed to finally break away from their long status as nature's "victim". Remember that life expectantcy was incredibly short throughout history. (Note too that even monotheistic religion point out that this break was not a happy one as the Creation story always speaks of the time when we were one with nature as a life of paradise).

The paternalistic nature of monotheism is perhaps also a kind of "rebalancing" of past dominance of the female fertility goddeses. I think that this feminine "life" force is so strong that even in our present macho and aggresive culture, world population has grown from 1 billion in 1800 to 6 billion plus today.

Today's dire enviromental condition makes the monotheistic teaching of man's dominance over nature look really bad and a reform is needed (and happening - the pope made a speech about protecting the environment ya) but lets be clear that when we speak of protecting nature or "mother" earth, we are not saving an "other / rape victim" but simply protecting our own human ass, so it is an anthropocentric thought too.

While I do agree that its definately easier to feel the chi in the wild, continuesly projecting the image of a pure gentle nature and a totally corrupted modern urban being will only cause more division, confusion and frustration. Even corporations and governments can "balance and harmonise" nature. Didn't the China ban the use of plastic bags?

Realisticlly speaking, can 6.7 billion people turn to return to the lifestyle of the nomadic hunter gatherer to finally have peace?

To valorise only the poet, the mystic and the true lover, you risk isolating the scientists and the more materialitics personalities who have their purpose in this complex and mysterious matrix of existence.

I'm tired of judging and choosing sides because I really don't know what is better? As much as one might feel the "chi" from a waterfall, is it not awesome too that there are those who can command atoms and make them collide? Can't it be said that such scientists are as much in love with "nature" as the native indians? Sure its fanatical to love nature to the point that you want to strip it down to its quantum level but if humans don't do it and pursue knowledge wherever it may go, who will or can?

If earth is destroy, it is but a blimp in a cosmos and everything is recycled into the stars again. Nature doesnt care. We care, just as much as we each can hate. So maybe there is some need for us to feel "special", even if in the grand equation of things, we are not.

What is harder for me I think now is trying to forgo the feeling of good / evil and see that everything simply IS....

cheers,
Daniel

Patricia said...

Antares,

This is for Daniel:

What is harder for me I think now is trying to forgo the feeling of good / evil and see that everything simply IS....

What a beautiful thought Daniel. I'm gonna ponder on that for a while. Thank you.

Pat

Brad Blackstone said...

Important stuff here, Antares! Damn! You're always spirit-mining near the core!

I'm on the treadmill, so will give it an even closer look later.

Yes, we're do for a river run soon, too. I've been a bit overwhelmed by my commitments, and will be through the hollies. Skolnik and Gurdeeo are coming in from NY and we head to Laos. Looking for the wonderment you mention!

In any case, keep churning out the provoking ideas!

Knights Templar said...

I am sure you know this Proverb... Medicine Man ....For soon it will come true ...For the Benefit of the others if i may .....

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will Man realize that Money cannot be Eaten ...” Cree Indian Proverb

Antares said...

Daniel - I was sent a link today that may well serve as the best possible way to further clarify my perspective on what horrors the Abrahamic Advent has wrought upon our beloved Gaia-Terra Christa (that's right, the planet itself and its Christalline Matrix anchors the Christ template!).
Here's an extract from the first few paras of an interview with James, the secret agent from our own future responsible for the WingMakers website:

The ominous situations of our world are very real. It is impossible to look at the policies of governments around the world and see coherence, benevolence, enlightened action, or, in general, behavioral intelligence as an outflow of equality and oneness.

The human family has been bound up over thousands of generations and each time returning to our home planet Earth for the sake of upgrading the previous generation’s dominion, creature comforts, lifestyle, and technology, while the emotional maturity remains burrowed in the substrate of rape, abuse, enslavement, war, dishonesty, greed, government fraud, and a hundred other vices of weak and disillusioned humans programmed to see only the out-picturing of the human mind and its systems of limitation.

The human family is building a pyramid of manifested life across thousands of generations and each new generation builds another layer – an upgrade of technology and lifestyle. We are nearing the apex of this pyramid where there is nothing left to add. The pyramid is completed and we – each of us – must look at the pyramid we have constructed and ask ourselves how it exemplifies our transcendence, our true Self.

The pyramid of humanity is manifest in the three-dimensional world, but it derives from a set of constructs that are flawed. What are these constructs? What makes them flawed? How did humanity get off course to build structures of civilization and society that are such poor reflections of who we really are?


WARNING: Prolonged exposure to the WingMakers data may cause acute cognitive dissonance eventually leading to your unsubscribing from the 3D Matrix and discontinuing your mortgage & insurance payments.

DR.SARAVANAN R said...

Antares,
another masterpiece. Very thought provoking.
I especially agree with you on this particular line: "Legislative measures and political rhetoric demanding a scientific and technological solution is, at best, the band-aid approach to serious environmental injury".

It is the lack of political will and relevant laws that are letting some of the worlds biggest pollutors off the hook to carry on killing the earth. The bucket is never going to get filled if we're just going to continue plugging all the tiny leaks and keep ignoring that huge, big hole at the bottom.

While it is important for every individual to know and understand the dos and don'ts in saving mother earth, we need to push for more comprehensive and nuanced legislations to stop or at least slow down these big pollutors who have put mother earth on the fast track to destruction.
cheers

chapchai said...

I am very interested in your mention of the shaman in your article. My daughter is currently shooting a feature film in the jungles of Sarawak based on the healing powers of the shaman. Apparently the Ibans had very strong affiliations with their shamans but the spread of Christianity has undermined native culture and shamanism is now considered a myth.

Anonymous said...

@_@ i visited wingmakers!For 5-10 minutes and adoi...

Like Paul Laffoley, I've to take this James guy in mini doses man.
I wished these great mysterious could be as clear as the symbol of the Dao, which to me somehow encapsulates so much of the complex universe in such beautiful simplicity...

regards,

Daniel

Antares said...

Dr Saravanan - Mother Earth is a wise old being & an extremely nurturing one too. She's fast rising up the frequency scale right now as she ascends to ultimate stardom in her own right. The ones faced with imminent extinction are the anthropocentrists! The rest of us are riding the whale all the way HOME! :-)

Chapchai - Missionaries tend to do as much harm as good. Many indigenous cultures have, as a result, traded in their spiritual bond with their land for a modicum of modern comforts like schools & clinics. Not exactly a fair exchange, I feel. Ironic that these days, a vast majority of shamans seem to be highly educated renegade urbanites and just as many may well be sham shamans too, especially the ones that promote their services as such. Most genuine medicine men & women I've met appear completely "normal" & don't indulge in too much hocus-pocus.

Daniel - 5 minutes on the Wingmakers site definitely qualifies as a "mini dose" :-) Though I've known about it since 1999 I haven't spent that much time on it myself - but I find it utterly intriguing. The artistry & intelligence that went into creating the Wingmakers material is EXTRAORDINARY - it's either exactly what it claims to be or the most elaborate & expensive hoax in web history. Stick with the Yin-Yang, hard to go wrong with that! And, remember, there's really no need for all of us to be on the same page - it would get a bit too crowded :-)

The good news, however, is that mysticism & science began converging about 30 years ago. Problem is, the cutting-edge scientists who are more than mere technicians are generally labeled "mavericks" & rarely get any funding from the big corporations & governments. The ones that we ought to keep close tabs on work for evil giants like Monsanto!

Knights Templar said...

Seek and the wonders you will see will reveal the true qualities of your universe. To the truth of your origins your hearts will go out. The beauty of your origins will surpass your belief and comprehension. And the infinite depth of your cosmic reality will remain part of your heritage in the mists of forever.

Antares said...

Knights Templar - In the name of the Immanent & the Transcendent Christos (& by the Monad's Gonads too), you have revealed yourself a poet, mystic & true lover all in one! You honor me with your presence. Here's a great big brotherly hug in anticipation of the happy day we meet again.

Argus Eye said...

I'll have to agree with doc. This is another masterpiece, along with the other writings of yours. None, let me repeat, none of those common names in the blogosphere come anyway close in matching the way you pen your thoughts. It is wisdom beyond the comprehension of a layman. Hats off.

Antares said...

Argus Eye - You're very kind, thank you. I shall take your soul-nourishing appraisal to heart without letting it go to my head ;-)
I just chceked out your blog earlier - I see you just started blogging last month, must browse some more!

pywong said...

Antares, interesting thoughts. Most of it resonate with my thinking.

I have posted a link to your article in Tindak Malaysia here:
http://tindakmalaysia.com/tm_forums2008/index.php/topic,727.msg3028.html#msg3028

Keep up the good work. Maybe one day I can have the chance to visit you in Pertak. Was that a photo of you besides the rapids/waterfall? I just go ga-ga over waterfalls.