I wrote this piece over the summer in one of those moments where something is so clear it just flows through you. I wrote it as the introduction to a potential new book that is currently calling itself “Full Circle – the Simple Act of Coming Home”. I have had two major pieces of writing unpublished on the digital shelf for a while now – Volution Theory and the Pain and the Promise. For some reason I haven’t felt the urge to get them out there yet – it feels like “Full Circle” might be a way to make that happen. I’d love to read in the comments what you think of the title and framing below.
Have you ever felt that we’ve somehow lost the plot? That this incredible, complex expression of life that is you and me shouldn’t be facing a future of suffering and struggle primarily of our own making? That in fact after all these billions of years of evolution we should actually be thriving and celebrating with the rest of life we have grown up with on this planet of ours?
They feel to me like very valid questions to be asking, and ones that I have been on the trail of for many years. I’m writing this book to share what I have discovered on that quest: that it is really very simple, and that once we have made the choice we need to make, we can trust that the rest will reveal itself.
The simple truth is that we have forgotten one very fundamental aspect of who we are: that we are Earth. This is Earth writing to our self and you are Earth reading a message from our self. We are Earth trying to work out how to prolong this experiment that is humanity as Earth being aware of our self. Breathe it in.
Remembering this is our simple medicine. “Simple” derives from the Latin meaning a medicine made from just one constituent, usually a plant. This is our simple medicine. One constituent only. Remember our interconnectedness as Earth.
Simple is not the same as easy. “Easy” derives from Old French and Middle English meaning comfortable or tranquil. The simple step I am describing here is unlikely to be comfortable or tranquil, neither for us as individuals nor for us in our collectives of communities, organisations and nations.
The reason for that is that to re-member (i.e. “put back together”) our felt sense of interconnectedness, we have to revisit the moment that we forgot it. And that moment is full of pain as we realise the suffering we have caused to ourselves, each other and the rest of life through that simple act of forgetting.
However, as we start to feel that pain, we start to come back to life. Deep down, through the tears and anguish, we feel our systems start to settle, and we know this is the right path. A choiceless choice is made as we walk the path of truth and reconciliation. As we peel back the layers of conditioning that have protected us from that traumatic separation, more light is able to enter, and the journey ahead reveals itself, one step at a time.
The good news is that we don’t need to discover anything new. The part of ourselves we need to reintegrate is still there. We just need to stop for a moment, dare to go inside, feel what is there and trust life to show us the way. Simple, not easy.
It is my belief that this step is the greatest way we can contribute to successfully engaging the current challenges we are facing as humanity. All our problems stem from the illusion of separation. Once we remember we are Earth, we plug back into the natural intelligence that has got us this far and can continue to take us as far into the future as we choose.
This book describes the collective human journey that has brought us to this point, the moment of forgetting and how that has played out individually and collectively, some stories of people healing that split in themselves, and examples of what it might look like if we reached a critical mass who made the simple but not easy choice to re-member, to come back home.
Hi Peter, thanks for sharing. Interesting ! I have one question: why do you position our interconnectedness in the Earth and not in the Ground of being, our nonlocal consciousness? Love Leida
Thanks Leida. As you’ll know from Volution Theory, I believe it’s really both at the same time, Spiral Dynamics Turquoise and Beige hand-in-hand. The thing is though I believe we have done lots of transcendence and forgotten about immanence, which means we often have an unrooted transcendence into the ground of being, from which people still live lifestyles that are destructive for the planet. Maybe you remember that session we did at a CHE Salon where we went round the circle and everyone started a statement with “I the Earth…”. Everyone reported a strong sense of non-dual awareness but quite a different feeling to the one you get in meditation. More grounded and solid. In our Western civilisation that is what I feel we need to come home to.
I always appreciate that you drop ideas into my day every so often. I like the title and the premise of the work and vision. I agree that awakening to our unity with all of reality as well as our origin as earth is a powerful step and finally the only step that will lead to new ideas, visions and capacities or Siddhi, that will allow us to evolve.
If I had to make a suggestion for your intro I would say this. You deftly mention that simple is not easy. As a nondual-shamanic teacher I relate this a lot to my students a lot…transformation is a fancy word for dismembering, which is required before we can be put back together again.
An awakening requires the destruction of many identities that the egoic self has constructed. Everyone is attached emotionally to these and so yes, as you pointed out, there is the pain of the loss of our natural state that lies beneath and a bliss when that is released.
I would suggest adding that earth itself is not a cozy sweet place. The organic world survives by eating itself, and cyclical death and destruction are inherent and this truth is lost on modern green individuals. Pain is the natural world’s warning system, and pleasure, and rest are there too. We grow through resistance and so these boundaries and divisions in mind, in body and nature are inherently contractions. Life will never be easy, humanity and earth are a very rough place and our success as a species is because we have been trying to deal with that. Even in a perfect utopia death, sickness and developmental growth based in failing and learning are always present.
I would suggest finding a way to couch your entire book and intro in a very cogent description of the inherent existential and practical conditions of life on earth, not the current crisis, or our current situation. Just what life on earth really means. Take the humans off to see it really clearly. Then build from there. If your vision is not built on solid clear truth of what organic life is, then it makes it sound unrealistic and disconnected from reality…which is why farmers often used to think that elite environmentalists where delusional…because they had never really dealt with the actual nature they were trying to save. Fortunately, we have moved way beyond those early days.
I know you know this, it just a suggestion to lay a line or two in to set the context of the great challenge we have here. The key point being that we did not break a perfect peace loving earth, we broke a place that is, was and always will be both a wondrous world that is also a rapacious monster feeding off itself to survive and evolve. Organic life is only a thin layer of organic born consciousness that lays like the thinnest skin over a great ball of rock and fire. The closest mythology to capture what is really up is the Norse from what I see.
Also, I just moved to London in June. If you are ever in town feel free to look me up. I would love to take you out for a pint. Also my book came out in June in case you are interested.
The way of the Mystic Wizard
Thanks Matthew. Yes, I agree. It’s not about going back to a romantic picture of a garden of Eden, yet it is about re-embodiment and re-membering. I like the way you connect shamanism and mysticism – we need transcendence and immanence hand-in-hand.
Mmmm… do I get to tweak your first draft? Can’t wait!!!!
This looks excellent, though I have concerns that the temporary states you refer to cannot become permanent traits without changes in the way we use our brains. . Specifically, for everything that enters our conscious awareness, both neural hemispheres must be used in reciprocal fashion to achieve an adequate understanding of anything whatsoever. . Consumer-driven economic systems are deadly to our personal degree of awareness, because our brains evolved to allow us to survive the threats of the natural world, including predators and natural events. . Because we are such complex creatures, it’s generally true that with most human capacities they must be exercised to remain functional. . What I see happening is that human conscious awareness is rapidly devolving, and particularly so since the post-modern era began. . As you probably understand, all of the ‘environmental’ problems we see in the world arise from an inadequate understanding of their implications on the wider world. . As a further example, all of the conflicts we see today, whether international or interpersonal (and even intrapersonal, if we are aware enough) arise from the same cause. . The human-created civilised world, for all its wonderful benefits, has become a threat to all life, not least our own species’ wellbeing and survival.
The foregoing is implicit in Wilber’s writing, but I had to look to neuroscience to provide an adequate explanation. . This year, polymath Dr Iain McGilchrist, psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher, philosopher and ‘cultural scholar’ published ‘The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World’ which sets out (in 1600 pages and 2 hardcover volumes) the situation we find ourselves in and how we must make changes. . A key fact (this is my interpretation whilst I continue exploring what he says) is that the world is not material at all, but that is only one aspect of consciousness, which is primary.
His assessment is so serious, and so urgent, that I’m summarising key aspects of his work, and their implications, on my Facebook profile in a few public posts commencing with a pinned post of 5th October.
I celebrate your impulse. It resonates.
I have 3 impulses back to you:
1. If you write in the generalized ‘we’ form instead of the first person present tense ‘I am’ form, you abdicate Radical Responsibility for your Sword of Clarity, for the impulse itself. You water down what you truly see, and then the book becomes just another, ‘we must’, ‘we should’, ‘we have to’, whitewash over the raw imperatives of the reader learning entirely new skills and growing up into the kind of ecstatically effective adulthood that Gaia designed-in to the human potential.
2. You are lying to the reader when you say: “The good news is that we don’t need to discover anything new. The part of ourselves we need to reintegrate is still there. We just need to stop for a moment, dare to go inside, feel what is there and trust life to show us the way.” This is like saying, “If you want to learn to ski, you just need to go to the top of a mountain and let go, and trust that gravity will show you the way.” The lie is that an entirely new set of skills are required to do Inner Navigation. Each person who actually makes this journey DOES INDEED need to learn entirely new skills and perspectives (thoughtware) that not only contradict most of what we have been taught in school and by modern culture, but also distinguish possibility and capacity in domains that the modern planet-killing culture knows nothing about. For a beginning catalog of such skills, check out http://spaceport.mystrikingly.com. People who follow your advice and ‘just stop for a moment, dare to go inside, feel what is there…’ are completely unprepared to face their stored up emotions (http://4emotions.mystrikingly.com), hidden competing commitments (http://hiddencompetingcommitments.mystrikingly.com), ‘gremlin’ purposes http://gremlin.mystrikingly.com), long denied baggage (http://baggage.mystrikingly.com), etc. We are not trained to navigate the 3 Worlds even though they are inside of us. We are pitifully amateur when it comes to becoming Present (http://becomepresent.mystrikingly.com), noticing (http://noticing.mystrikingly.com), or being a Person Of Agency (http://personofagency.mystrikingly.com).
3. Readers do not need a new mythology. Each reader needs to relocate their personal Point of Origin into a culture I have self-assigned Authority (http://authority.mystrikingly.com) to Cavitate and inhabit new culture space (http://cavitatespace.mystrikingly.com) that is functional with Nonmaterial Value (http://nonmaterialvalue.mystrikingly.com) and Archiarchal Economics (http://archiarchaleconomics.mystrikingly.com). PLEASE do not write another woeful tale that ‘describes the collective human journey that has brought us to this point, the moment of forgetting and how that has played out individually and collectively’. The shit is already hitting the fan. We already viscerally know this. It is not a history lesson that we need. Instead we need new skills (http://possibilitatorskills.mystrikingly.com) combined with hugely effective Emotional Healing Processes (http://process.mystrikingly.com) that unleash our designed-in capacities to create new possibilities (http://createpossibility.mystrikingly.com) so that humans can also have a future on Earth.
Thank you Peter for being such a friend that I can share all this with you. Thank you especially for asking.
Thanks Clinton. Nice to hear from you after so many years! I agree that the tools to re-integrate what we meet in that space of separation do indeed need to be learned. I’ll make that clearer. And the experience of that deep interconnectedness is already in our being, and when we rediscover it, it’s like coming home – in my experience. It’s also my experience that the recognition of where the pain originates from – the split that I describe in the Pain and the Promise – is itself a healing moment, bringing the light of consciousness into the shadow. It’s reaching into the “past” to release blocked traumatic energy that is needed for us to take the next step. For the “past” and “future” are intertwined in the volutionary breath. As that reconnection happens, I have seen how any beliefs about having to learn certain things or develop certain parts of ourselves fall away as judgements from others, particularly self-proclaimed gurus, and not only do we feel held once more but also guided to move forward one step at a time, without any great big personal development plan mapped out for the coming years. Now each value system (Spiral Dynamics as en example) will filter that experience through their own lense and need the language and concepts to guide them – and that is the skilful means.
Actually, Buckminster Fuller was seriously wrong to mislead humanity by claiming that we are “Passengers on spaceship Earth.” We are not passengers. We are the Earth. We are in need of a radical thoughtware upgrade…
Yes, I agree.
Thanks Peter! So many of us will agree with this coming home message. I wonder about the process of shifting the collective choice when the dominant system is often closed to consciousness and based on earth ownership and control. I sense the shift is happening in its time, the rise of consciousness books and programs, global consensus that climate change is an important issue and the crushing wealth inequality, people like Hypha working on distributed, Earth based currencies and governance tools. I would like to share my poem with you, the great weaver’s gift. Your messages have been part of the inspiration for this poem and I think everyone here will enjoy it.
The Great Weaver’s Gift
Beste Peter, voor mij gaat het om de zin dat we opnieuw de onderlinge verbondenheid hebben te ontmoeten. Als we niets doen is die er, we hebben dus iets te laten. Dat maakt de zin het is simpel maar niet eenvoudig zo raak. Toestaan en laten gaan, meer hoeft niet. Dan is er ontmoeting en onderlinge verbondenheid en besef dat jij ik bent en ik jij. Ben ik de aarde, is de aarde mij. Echter zijn we door ervaringen, laat ik het simpel houden, in de eerste vijf jaar van ons leven daarin al veel verloren. Alle afweermechanismen, allen overlevingsstrategieën, alle overtuigingen en daarmee vergissingen die we opgelopen hebben zijn de schillen die maken dat het niet eenvoudig is. Ik ben hoopvol over deze tijd waarin mensen enorm veel trauma’s aankijken en de pijn in hun volwassen leeftijd toelaten waar het in hun jeugd niet kon. Toen ik pedagogie studeerde leerde ik dat 1/3 van de mensen veilige hechting kent. Ik dacht dat is hoog ingeschat. In veilige omgevingen gaan mensen, dieren planten, bloemen open, zo niet dan sluiten ze zich. Het enige waar ik me mijn gehele leven op gericht heb is kinderen en volwassenen, waaronder ikzelf, veiligheid aanreiken. De pain and the promise was voor mij vanaf dat je hem voor het eerst noemde zo in de roos. En niet de belofte als garantie, enkel waar je de pijn toe kunt laten in de veiligheid van een ander of bij jezelf komt de connectie en de liefde voor alles en iedereen , jezelf incluis, los, en kun je de ander, de (verwonde) mens en de (verwonde) aarde zien. Vanuit die ervaring, de compassie die dan overvloedig losbreekt dragen steeds meer mensen bij aan vrede. Voor mij is de vraag wat doen we in die tussentijd , die tussentijd dat we de pijn nog niet toelaten en naar buiten kijken in plaats van naar binnen. Elkaar zien, ontmoeten en veilige plekken creëren, en dat dat zo ver mag gaan dat onveiligheid zelfs geen issue meer is. We zijn namelijk al één, altijd.
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