As you may have seen, the cover of the new upcoming book has been posted. The book will go to my fabulous lay-out friend in December. Printing will occur in January and the completed book will arrive back in early February. This is a completion of what I had felt would be a trilogy for children.
It seems each of these books has added a year onto the age of the child who would be its audience, putting this book in the kingdom of ‘Middle Childhood’. This phase of life is delineated in Bill Plotkin’s amazing comprehensive book, Nature and the Human Soul, wherein all stages of life from ‘The Innocent in the Nest’ to ‘The Sage in the Mountain Cave’ are imbued with great guiding insights, tasks and understanding. The stage relevant to Little Star and Eliore, is thumbnailed as ‘The Explorers in the Garden’, with a task of ‘Learning the givens of the world and our place in it (discovering the enchantment of the natural world and learning cultural ways’. This would be quite lovely and easy if the state of the world and the current of mass consciousness and mass media was bent on creating wholesomeness and nourishment for growing children (which would have to include all humanity and the planet!). But this is clearly not the case. The tasks of this stage parallels my own lifelong underwritten goal of returning children to nature (however we can manage to do that) and articulating some of the timeless and eternal collective human values of love, gratitude, mindfulness, and loving connectedness to all life.
Also introduced in Little Star and Eliore is the life-affirming knowledge that there is a plan for each and every life. It is already planted in us, we need only to connect to it and help it unfold. We do not have to invent it.
I feel a necessity to share SOME illustrations from the upcoming book, despite what I said earlier about intellectual property. This illustration is so pertinent to the conversation about Talking to Trees.
Humanity is creating a new paradigm. Altogether we are arising in our consciousness to create something good, something of value, for the community of Life and its progenitor, planet Earth. We want to regain a reverence, a sacredness for all that lives and shares space on this planet, for the well-being of all. If not, we will be gone as a species. See an amazing talk from a remarkable physician, Dr. Zach Bush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_EDQSp5ayU (this one or any one of his many talks). I don’t think a human exit will be a loss to planet Earth, our beautiful home that brought us all forth – over billions of years – in stunning fecundity and generosity. If we take into account all we have done to each other and planet earth in just a few hundred years, we have not contributed much of what is our great and beautiful potential of light and love. Read The Universe Story by Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry. It really creates a new mindset. I want to credit Brian Swimme for his uplifting thought (heard in one of his on-line talks) that the Universe is evoking or drawing forth, a new consciousness in us all, drawing forth what we and the planet needs now.
Close your mouth in the presence of trees. Just think. Stand there and think to yourself: “There you are, tree. Growing, developing, enjoying rain and sunshine and soil. I don’t know what your life is like, standing out here all night in the snow, owls scraping your bark; or standing there soaking up tons of sunlight. I don’t even know what it’s like to hope for sunshine or stand helpless with a forest fire blazing your way. I can’t even imagine the joy you might feel when the sun shines and all your vast processes of life churn forward, throwing out tons of water, producing such complex seeds. But whatever destiny you are to live, I want you to go on living it. Whatever relationship you enjoy with the Earth’s vitality, I want you to go on enjoying them. I don’t know what my own destiny is, nor what relationships I will enjoy in the future, but together we make part of this vast mystery of Earth’s life, and that is enough fort now.”
Remember that a tree doesn’t need to be addressed. It is you that needs to address the tree.
p. 132 from The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme
Such a very large and interesting thought. It enhances and expands our awareness. It augments our own transformative process. It gives a tiny nudge toward the process of remediating the frightening modern urban/industrial/technology obsessed world’s disconnect from the sacredness of the inhabitants of our planet Earth.
Brian Swimme (a mathematical cosmologist) says in The Universe is a Green Dragon, “ We must address the tree, we must address all things, confronting them in the awareness that we are in the presence of numinous mystery.” And then he goes on with this : “…I’m not worried about the tree here. I’m worried about humans. We need to address trees and all things. We are the ones who forget awe, mystery and the astonishment of being. …We have convinced ourselves that [the trees] are just inert stuff, standing there for twenty years until we get around to cutting them down. We’re deluded.”
Some of the views or realizations I wrote about last time, are of humanity’s tremendous separations from nature in modern times. This separation is not only physical, not only that we have become more than 80% urban, but that in our consciousness, in our value system, there is nothing relational about how we live and what we do to the natural world, how we assault and plunder the earth for our own gain – for profit and consumption. In our entire value system and belief system and understanding, WE DO NOT FIT OURSELVES IN as respectful members of the ecosystem. This is some of what is thought about as being BEHIND our climate change crisis.
This relates to my intentions for writing my books. Stories that show children in nature, but also children exploring and enjoying nature, benefitting from nature and giving benefit (reciprocity) to the natural world. Children’s emotional nature’s are entirely open to and yearning for this love and reciprocity. It is not the time in their life to ‘address their heads’ with facts and information, especially the dangers of our crises. It is time to develop love and connection. Head learning will find its right place later.
When we talk to a tree, it is WE who benefit and are changed. We extend our awareness of living things around us, and we become part of the tapestry of livingness.
Something rather stupendous has been happening lately. What is being learned and written about has the possibility to evoke something beautiful to be born from humanity – all of us together!
Science has been operating since the 1600’s totally in a mechanistic void, eschewing anything that has to do with the affective domain. The human domain. which includes the spiritual interests of the world has wanted nothing to do with that. Those two very large entities have been totally at odds with each other for several hundred years now. It seems that science has come to such a refined understanding of how the world works and how it came to be that they – the spiritual and scientific interests – really are only a stone’s throw away from each other, and are, incredibly, sometimes congruent in their understanding and knowledge.
At the same time as this is happening, it seems that everywhere, and in different ways, many people are looking at the disaster of climate change, (and including even the covid pandemic), and saying actually that there is something more BEHIND these overpowering planetary challenges. It is not a matter of us just trying to find solutions within technology and science to fix it so we can get back to our status quo lovely lives! There is a malaise in humanity’s way of living that has caused these unprecedented challenges. Our beliefs, our goals, our values or lack thereof, our drives and actions, make it impossible for us to continue the way we have been. The way we have been going is the very root of the problem. And so, if we look BEHIND the general news, and search behind things, we discover that there is a confluence of new thoughts and perspectives being called forth by the very crisis of the planet.
I will end here for the day. My guidepost is to not write long blogs that no one will read and already it will take more than 3 seconds to read this! More to come on this very subject soon…like what is the outcome?
Or maybe I should say Artistic Property! In the past when I had a book on the go, I posted many illustrations as the book progressed. Although I have a gorgeous book very well on the way, I have avoided posting illustrations because of what the statistics on my website show. The stats show that my site is visited very frequently from a certain country – more visits from this country than all other countries put together! This country does not seem to respect intellectual property, as I have discovered that other artists have had their work stolen and flogged on the net without reference or respect. There’s not much I can do about what is already posted, but at this time I am keeping a lid on more pics. So instead I am resorting to writing about what is behind my impulse to write these books. More soon.
There is a spiritual dimension, a dimension of profound love and light, immeasurable bliss – qualities and realities that the mind and its words cannot describe.
But how do we access it? How we can know it is completely counterintuitive. We cannot approach it by any of our worldly means. We cannot access that through our body-personality’s will, desire, skills or tools. It is beyond the mind., beyond scientific instruments. This is why the scientists and philosophers are so sure there is no spiritual world because the mind, and especially the well-trained mind – so busy with its grand thoughts – completely obfuscates and blocks the spiritual dimension.
The spiritual dimensions are so unbelievably more than the mind can grasp, and finer than the mind can access. Therefore, it is difficult, because our habit patterns are so entrenched, they work so well in this world, and only in this world does it work to control, to grasp, to attach ourselves.
When I was little wandering around in field and forest in Norway, I was always looking for some spiritual truths, so perhaps I am just writing the kind of books I was looking for. Sometimes it is like miracle when one can get a validation or an insight that hits home.
Below is my attempt to show the personal self, completely still and released from worldly concerns, being touched by Universal Energy. This energy we can call by any name, but for simplicity, and for a child’s understanding, I call it the Mother-of-Us-All.
The workings of our physical body is nothing short of miraculous. But there is more to it – more to our heart, for instance – than the vital pumping of blood. Why is the heart always mentioned in writings and poetry, why is the heart symbol always used to denote love? It is because on some level we know where love can be found. At times we have experienced the heat in our hearts, the expansion, the glow, the joy and radiance that attends love. The Heart is the fount of love, compassion, and forgiveness.
At a deeper level, there is Light in the heart, but even if a person has not yet experienced that, they have surely experienced the love and goodness that flows out from the heart. This is something precious to value. This is something to know, to remember. The heart can only improve and grow as we remember it and use it.
A little strange, isn’t it, to have set up a blog page and then not write?…the vagaries of life!
At first I thought it was because I am writing the third book. It is hard to be in one mode – the well-spring of creative thought and artistic beauty – and to also tailor ones thought processes to the public.
But later I have understood that I was in a kind of removed cocoon – needing to digest and ruminate on the state of the planet and humanity – yes, actually on the horrific mess we are in. I don’t mean covid, which in many ways is having a constructive effect on many, both personally and nationally. If we don’t look at the many aspects of our humanity and the planet, we can thankfully go along, coddled in our own little world, striving for our arrangements and comforts, struggling with our own challenges and fulfilling what must be fulfilled. And also trying in our own limited personal way to align our small efforts with planetary ethics. That is already a full plate. But what if we look, really look!
This time I have been reading a lot, Thomas Berry and Bill Plotkin, and Brian Swimme, but also many, many National Geographics that have been lying around for 20 years – all these thoughts and information has impacted me in a life-changing way.
And how to address what we know? How to address this! In a way I want to stand on rooftops and rail. But we know that does not work. It is also not aligned to my energies of love and understanding.
My teacher says, to do what you can according to your own capacity. This means on every level, spiritual, local and planetary. “According to your own capacity” is a very forgiving and focusing thought. This very thing bears examining. It has been a guiding force in my ruminations.