For this world, and for yourself, learn to listen from silence,
For that delicate whisper that reveals your true reason for being
In 1912, the environmental philosopher John Muir wrote, “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with the stars, all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe might appear as an endless storm of beauty.”
Very long ago, we miraculously appeared here on this blue world as wandering explorers, as the children of a greater immortality. We arrived as the ghostly emissaries of an inexplicable intelligence too vast to describe. Having voyaged through the seemingly endless starlit depths, we finally came upon this small watery world. Intuiting here in this blossoming copiousness a favorable home. Our spirits fell into the Earth Mother’s receiving embrace like a spectral rain, every drop joining willingly with her life-forming grace.
We quickly learned to respect this Great Spirit with humble care and deep veneration. We offered her our first covenants. In return, she fashioned our bodies, dressing us in an amalgamation of her five life-bestowing elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Dawning our mortal guise we awoke our ability to hear her, feel her, see her, taste her, and smell her earthly allures. As previously timeless spirits reduced to live in limited animal-like bodies, we learned to quickly adapt to her natural gifts, laws, and perils. Realizing the great challenge of life we found here; we dedicated ourselves to deciphering her many languages. We learned to hear the silky whispers for the seasons in her winds, to feel the endless giving and taking in her shifting ebbs and tides, and found the means to understand and value the cries and songs of her other creature nations. We walked in reverent awe among the great forests of tree people, climbed the skyward reaching mountains, swam the mysterious emerald depths and turquoise seas, and learned to make our beds in the soft green fields beneath the nurturing sun and glimmering stars.
We learned to walk carefully through her untamed wildness, a fierce natural rawness, which out of necessity called us to learn all we could. We opened our hearts to her in admiration and tuned our minds to her ways in respect and caution. Feeling the yet-to-be-discovered treasures awaiting us in those wild thin places, we realized there must be a great purpose for us in this earthly dream. We searched, and before we knew it, we were intimately interwoven into the evolving fabric of her commanding will. We found that we too had her wildness in us, a wildness that called us to find balance between chaos and order, conflicts and harmony, and taking and giving. We found there, beyond the obvious surface ways of things, deep within that wildness, the underlying forces that move all things in and out of existence. We adapted and grew ever more proficient.
But, not all the star-born stayed the course; many fell asleep in the gravity of forgetting that seemingly came with being isolated individuals for too long. But, a few managed to stay aware. These few felt their call rise through them in the same ways that the wolves howled their gratefulness to the moon, the birds heralded their morning praises and the way the great whales toned their healing chants into the currents of the seas. These few stood taller than the rest, with their heads stretched into the heavens, and their feet pressed like listening ears upon the pulsing rhythms of the land. These few realized, like the wolves and the birds and the whales had, that they had a vital part to play. They came to accept their parts as overseers, peacekeepers, between-world envoys, and the devoted sentinels of a necessary order and healing. So they took on the tasks of being intermediaries, bridging the upper spirit heavens to the material earth.
The Earth Spirit spoke generously to these beings, revealing her memory embedded in the rocks, her healing powers in plants, and special power and beauty in her many creatures. Over time, they became her caretakers, her stewards, for healing and establishing harmony. Learning the secrets of bringing the sacred into form they mastered the means to balance the forces of creation and destruction and bring back order wherever there was suffering and indiscriminate turmoil. Having retained the old knowledge of the starry heavens these noble beings created a means to pass forward the ancient truths to help mend the broken or wounded expressions of life. These few became the first Baumaitri. And so, Mother Earth’s most vital friendships had begun.
Eventually, the Baumaitri became the great Mother’s most essential conjurors, the earth magi, the overseers of the hidden force, and the listeners who developed the means to communicate with the fair and powerful spirits. Learning their secrets, the Baumaitri became the first medicine bringers that found the means to sing the sacred song-currents into the earth, waters, and skies, and in so doing created a sacred kinship with the five all-pervasive elements.
The Baumaitri were the virtuous ones, half human and half-divine: the Angirasa, rishis-seers, diviners, spirit teachers, the soul’s poets, and sacred pathfinders. Stirring to life the old knowledge of former worlds, the Baumaitri built the earth’s first great monuments. Not for mankind alone, but to serve as living conduits between the cosmic realms and the milieu of this earth’s endlessly diverse visible and invisible beings. They erected the soaring stones, massive obelisks, and later the great monoliths, planting heavenward pointers; one end buried into untamed earth vortexes, the other reaching up into the downward cascade of healing forces. Empowering and sewing these forces together the way a bodyworker might link and enable our human energy meridians, they regenerated order, directing it into the earthly web to provide it with its means to invigorate this world’s galactic presence.
The first great birthing Taras’ ancient Amartya emissaries, and the later arriving Kemutean seers, Vedic Rishis, and Celts, called down from the ancestral stars the sacred math and celestial tones that would become the earth’s healing arts. Thus waking the life-sculpting forces of consciousness that promised to bring ultimate fulfillment to both the great Mother and her endless variety of children. They worked intimately with her spirit wisdom, both in the mortal dream of ever-shifting possibility and above in the timeless temples of never-ending truth. They realized in doing this work, the sleeping children of the stars would one day find their way back to the immortal realms, to bring forth their ultimate contribution, a true divine manifestation of the one High Self through their lives.
But, a larger number of beings gradually fell deeply into mortal sleep, and there grew more restless. Disconnected from the source of all things, they increasingly yearned for more. Eventually, they lost themselves entirely in a collective hunger, only to fall further into a suffering turmoil where they were tossed repeatedly about within a growing sense of lack, driven on by the never-ending call for more material pleasures, and their repulsion to pain. They came to mistaken emotions for feelings, happiness for bliss, and desire for love. Misshapen by their illusions they built their attachments and aversion between lack and worth, and greed, and denial. Without knowing it, they had unwittingly yoked the power of their heavenly inheritance to serve their lack-oriented defenses and desires. They began to lose their greater sense of things and came to doubt that they had ever been immortal. Soon, they could no longer see beyond the fear and limits of birth and death. They found themselves frightfully trapped within an ever-fleeting impermanence. Having lost the eternal truths, they anxiously held onto the ephemeral things, dreading the possible loss of what they gathered, and clinging desperately to what time attempted to steal away. In that separation from the womb of Oneness, ambition and the need for a personal power and identity soon replaced that vital art of listening for the answers to our shared needs.
Many once great beings soon lost their eyes, ears, and hearts, ignoring the cautionary warnings of the Baumaitri: —“Beware lest you waste your life and all reason in the crafting of a false image.” Their numbers grew and eventually the many shunned the wisdom of the Baumaitri altogether, succumbing instead to their greed and hunger for more power. Instead of caretaking the right to life, they found themselves driven to take, and take more, —far too much for this Earthly Mother to bear.
Many more have turned on each other, warring for anything extra they might get. Driven on by an ever-intensifying greed and insatiable hunger for more wealth, recognition, and control. These who lost their ways have now utterly abandoned the old honoring ways, instead constructing a convenient system of new rules, and material gods made in their own images, false gods who dawn the faces of their desires, and who denounce this world as nothing more than a means to a greater abundance, —presenting themselves as the righteous overseers that affirm the belief that this earth is meant to be exploited and cannibalized, —who affirm that other creature nations, as well as the Mother Earth herself are inferior to our human exceptionality, and therefore have no rights.
In this brief period of history, the Baumaitri have been cast aside by the ruthless, vilified and replaced with those new hungry-eyed leaders who promise more riches, more fame, and more comfort for all. Only a few are now left to bear the truths, —who must be careful to protect the old ways and knowledge lest they too become the target of the greedy. It was merely a blink in time before the ways of the world had changed, before the giving dream became a taking dream. When people chose to subjugate the wild, to crush her secrets with religious proclamations that bend the forces of nature to the will of commerce. Something that can only be done if we turn away from our hearts, and choose to hide from ourselves that our choices must always include the welfare of the world and other living things.
The cost of this illusion has been too high. Those that stood in defense of the old and rightful ways, in hope of protecting and honoring the other creature nations, the forests, mountains, and seas, are regularly branded fools, and if necessary are crushed into oblivion between the growing force of corporate wealth-procuring industries and those politically motivated dogma driven religions. A great battle for life is now in place, in which animals large and small are conveniently stripped of their feeling status and still hunted for food and skins. Many kill only for sport, finding entertainment in their relentless lust for blood. The green spirits shudder as armies of men cut down the ancient forest beings and seas are poisoned and mountains razed. The creatures of the earth, skies, and waters now fear man, and run for their lives at their sight. Our once companion nature spirits are entirely distanced, or cast solely as fictional characters in children’s fairytales. Having become fugitives of mankind’s endless greed they now hide themselves and their secrets from the view of the dark dreamers. And yet, whenever or wherever life is decimated, Mother Earth generously brings it back to health, willingly offering up her seemingly limitless abundance, endlessly working to repair the broken or wounded.
But all living things are vulnerable, subject to an inevitable end. On this lovely watery world, what is ending is now outweighing what is beginning. The material earth is the outward ever-changing manifestation of an exquisite presence that belongs to an eternal spirit, a spirit that will continue beyond anything we might imagine as her physical lifetime. But in her temporal expression, she too can grow ill and die, quicker than the dark dreamers might choose to accept. Today, that killing plague is the dark greed that afflicts the collective’s ignorant liars. Its name is raw capitalism. Through it humankind has lost its way. Today, more than ever, we need to reawaken the sacred Baumaitri, the sleeping friends of this sacred Earth. Right now, right there beneath your feet, that very ground is holy. In the way that a tree falls to provide sustenance for the trees to follow, all of this Earth’s soils are rife with the transformed flesh and blood of your ancestral creature nations; providing sustenance for all those yet to be. Walking on this sacred ground let your feet kiss the earth, your lungs breath in the gift of her seasons, let the creatures inspire your kindness, and let your fellow human feel your compassion for having lost his or her way.
If you have read this and it sparked recognition in your feeling heart, water that now, nourish your way back to life, you can be that medicine that the earth so desperately needs.
Text by Aaravindha Himadra, written on a retreat on Orcas Island