Note: Beautiful, Mike! I make the pledge. How about you, dear reader?
By Madison Woods
TEOTWAWKI, an acronym for “The End of the World as We Know It,” can mean anything, from the standard biblical apocalypse to an economic or environmental disaster, or even a personal crisis. Some people consider an uncertain future to be a challenge, while others fear it. Still others don’t think of the unknown at all; they assume things will go on as they always have, never entertaining the possibility that life as we know it might take a completely different turn and belie our expectations. Whether “it” is referred to as Armageddon, End of the World, Economic Collapse, WWIII, Global Warming Disasters, or the Zombie Apocalypse, “it” is a source of widespread anxiety.
Disconnect from Nature
I think part of the reason for the anxiety is because of an epidemic disconnect from Nature. And I believe one of the reasons I feel no such fear is because I have a very close relationship to Nature.
Rattlesnakes are one of the more dangerous aspects in Nature that we must learn to live with. You can read my blog post about how I used plants (not all local, though) to help my dog heal quickly and without side effects from a rattlesnake bite last month. To be aware of and respect danger doesn’t mean we need to be afraid. (By the way, the snake only wanted to be left alone. It wasn’t until the dog tried to bite it that it responded in turn.)
Media fuels this disconnect from Nature by dramatizing the dangerous aspects of nature through hyped up weather reports, with programming designed specifically to highlight the hazardous side of nature. The most popular movies focus almost exclusively on the dangerous aspects of humans in their behavior toward each other.
Remember, we are part of Nature, too. Continue reading
You’re on your death bed, family members all around you, and suddenly you can’t see them anymore. A figure, a Native American man, is floating near the foot of your bed and he says to you, “Behold the light.” He gestures with his right hand and an opening appears. You see a community where everyone is dressed in white clothing decorated with variously-colored bands of beads. Male and female, they are happy, smiling, moving about from place to place, some working, others shopping, some having lunch together. You see a chorale harmonizing on a stage, and then a woman running into the street to save a stray dog from the wheels of a carriage. The incredible blue of the sky catches your attention, the air is fresh and clear—you can sense this from your bed. A white-haired man who seems an Elder of the man floating above your bed, appears right next to you, smiling. Extending a hand, he says, “Come, now.”
You can’t believe this is happening. You’re not an Indian! You’re a man of influence! Who are those people dressed in white? The place is beautiful but there is no conflict there. Everyone seems unnaturally peaceful. “Robots?” you think. “No, that’s not right. Something has changed in that world—they live there without conflict, as if they’re of one mind. One mind?” you ask yourself. “That’s dreadful. What about my mind? Would it disappear if I go there?”
The Elder fades and the first Native American man, still floating above the end of your bed, says, “Behold the land of struggle,” and gestures with his left hand. An opening appears and if you weren’t this very moment dying, you would leap from your bed. A T-Rex dinosaur is stepping out of that world on top of you. Continue reading
At times like this, when nine people are slaughtered because of the color of their skin while praying in their church, words are hollow. But I remember fifty years ago when it seemed, from the outside at least, that light was being shed on the forces behind racism, and new understanding and acceptance were taking root. I thought it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
I was wrong. For the sake of all the families who have lost loved ones to fanaticism, isn’t it time we identify the root cause of intolerance?’ This dangerous emotion lives in feelings of superiority, pride, fear and hate. Why has racism become so dangerously common? Is it the acceptance and fanning of extremist ideas? Is it mental illness? Why and how have the many facets of human existence—religion, politics, economics, education, health, culture—all become so polarized? Aren’t we responsible for this? Why is it now the norm NOT to cooperate for the higher good?
There is a fascination today, and I am not digressing here, with the paranormal: ghosts, vampires, demons, etc., in novels, TV shows and movies. On some level, we humans understand there is more to these stories than meets the eye. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), was an Austrian mystic, philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist who saw into spiritual worlds. He consistently spoke of the battle between light and dark forces and the effects of spiritual beings on the physical world. If we don’t reverse the trend of the ever-expanding problem of violent intolerance, Steiner says life could end in a War of All Against All.
Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy (a path of insight which leads the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the cosmos), was a deeply devout man and while it may not be fair to him or to the reader to pull out a few paragraphs of his spiritual lingo from the book NATURE SPIRITS, his ideas are pertinent to the heart-wrenching issue of the growing and violent partisanship of our times:
“Matters which have a harmful result on the etheric body are bad laws, or bad social measures prevailing in a community. All that leads to want of harmony, all that makes for bad adjustments between people [causes] the accumulation in the etheric body . . . [of] detachments from beings working in the spiritual worlds [which are] now found in our environment—they are ‘spectres’ or ‘ghosts.’ We see [them] grow out of the life of human beings . . . For one who is able to see things spiritually, [the] physical body is crammed with phantoms, [the] etheric body crammed with specters. As a rule after a person’s death, all this rises up and disperses and populates the world.” Continue reading