ONE SUNNY DAY beneath a clear blue sky, I sat on a rock, feet immersed in the fast-flowing, healing waters of my favorite river. (A rock of some distinction, I might add: a veritable Throne of Stone I had fondly named Le Fauteuil du Diable or Armchair of the Devil, after an obscure landmark in the south of France.) I was particularly receptive that afternoon, thanks to the lovely cup of black tea I had just imbibed. For the record, it was Boh tea - laced with the juice of freshly-picked sacred mushrooms (ritually used by shamans as a catalyst to enhanced awareness).
Soon I could feel my ego membrane dilate and my perceptual range ballooning out to include everything around me. I was now an integral part of the scene, a protean/protein extension of the Devil's Armchair. Indeed, I was the embodiment of the nature deity some call Pan. I became acutely aware of the ferns on the opposite bank of the river. It was like sitting in the center of a natural amphitheater. I nodded in acknowledgement of the ferns, and a gentle breeze rippled through them, making them wave courteously back in greeting.
We began to converse telepathically... and suddenly it wasn't just the ferns that were present. I found myself plugged into Nature's own Etheric Web and participating in a symposium conducted with multiple-channel, multi-dimensional, interactive hook-ups. The experience was sublimely insightful and uplifting, though very difficult to report in logical, linear terms. Let's say it is delightfully liberating not to be trapped in one's “skin-encapsulated ego” (as Alan Watts, my favorite rascal philosopher, once put it).
“Individuality” was the key issue. Neither ferns, nor rocks, nor fish, nor birds, nor worms, nor the wind and water dancing ceaselessly in rainbow spirals through cycles large and small, had any notion of being separate, discretely defined individuals. Only humans were blessed, or cursed, with this strange condition called Me-hood.
As such, we are perceived by Nature as an Ecosystemic Virus. But what exactly is a “virus”? A crystallized thought-form: a restructuring agent with the power to mutate and transmute and permute - in creative as well as destructive modes. Anabolic, catabolic... and now, with access to the 64 codons of the Genetic Code, we could wipe out aeons of cellular memory with a mere toss of yarrow stalks, or the click of a mouse, or the flick of a balance sheet...
“No way!” the goddess Gaia spoke, her voice a gentle breeze on my goosebumpy skin. “I need you to plant the kiss of True Love on my lips, to wake me from my evolutionary slumber. You are the reflection of my spirit, the mirror of my beauty. I need you around to admire and adore me, and help me ascend to true Stardom.”
“Me?” I momentarily transformed myself into Robert De Niro (a pretty remarkable shapeshifter himself). “You talking to me?”
“Not you as a manufactured personality, silly. I mean YOU as a species. You, Human, are the completion of my neural circuitry, the quintessence of all kingdoms - mineral, vegetable, animal, angelic, and demonic. When wholly human, you are godlike.”
So what is God like?
IT DOESN’T REQUIRE very much. All we need to do is change our perspective, unify our polarities, shift our paradigms, reverse our priorities. The untidy bits of plastic and styrofoam and rusty metal we can clear up and recycle in a jiffy. No problem. Noxious gases and toxic wastes are a measure of the ethical and aesthetical inadequacies of those who produce them. Treatment is available for anyone who seeks it - and it's quite painless. Confidentiality assured. JUST TURN IN YOUR ARMAMENTS AT THE DOOR. No one will be punished.
Trees we may respectfully remove from the forests according to need (and our need will dramatically decrease when we discover that quality paper products can be obtained from swift-growing species of hemp and other fibrous weeds) - but we shall have to use heavy-duty tweezers, not bulldozers. And the extraction of non-renewable resources will have to be supervised by independently funded ecoscientists - not the chief minister's sister-in-law (unless, of course, she happens to be a true-blue Greenie).
And the Orang Asli will let us introduce them to the joys of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic - if we open our hearts to their spontaneous songs of freedom, and their genetic memory of Heaven on Earth... not in the Hereafter.
[Excerpt from TANAH TUJUH ~ Close Encounters with the Temuan Mythos by Antares © 1998]