A Council of All Beings (1)
On my knees in the circle before the embers of a glowing fire, I sobbed for our islands, especially Kauai.
Cleared by hurricane Iniki in 1991, to be rebuilt more haole than Hawaiian, Kauai is now more tourist destination than ever.
Great trees became matchsticks. Ancient swamps abundant with vibrant life which elsewhere was already decimated were blown aside, pushed down.
Waimea River roared taking out banks edged with old trees it took four or more to reach around. Grand boulders by river and beach tumbled off and rolled over. Such was the power of wind and waters outraged. The power of spirits lashing out.
From high mountain cliffs dropped far off into wondrous jungle and teeming life before falling into heart-stopping seascapes now to barren slopes, scraped of birds, torn by wind and rain. Bad enough nature itself. Time would heal if time given.
Bulldozers crash and push salt into open wounds. Haole values triumph.
Battered by the harsh thump thump thump of helicopter-borne voyeurs, peeping toms with money thrilled by destruction more than given joy by life. Nesting birds, gulls and rare survivors barely clinging to jumbled nests struggled for life, given no respite, harshly battered by low-flying thrill seekers glued to camera eye pieces substituting for experiences.
John Seed, Aussie eco-activist, does A Council of All Beings, a week-long much too short meeting of people of like minds. In rural settings, minimally invasive, tent camping, rough sleeping, good eating, much friending, a Council convenes.
Buddhist enough in that all beings are revered, day by day we come closer and closer to being among friends, to making and giving room to all beings. No elaborate ceremonies or rituals, mostly making it up as we move tighter and together to honor those who share with us so abundantly. Those who manage to survive all that humankind can throw at them, all that can be done to rush extinctions.
"Deep ecology" was used frequently in the 80s and early 90s before the turnings now overwhelming all beings. There was value attached to a sense of self within a Gaia actuality.
As we are limited to human communication, weak wordings, few maintain a sense of contact with all beings. A Council of All Beings is opportunity to identify and to express fellow-being. Speak from your amakua, your totem, your heart self. Make and stay in contact. Not to lose again. Not to lose.
Wisdom and compassion, kind loving intentions made into being. Joining with. Staying with. Risking identity. Accepting actions. Mourning losses. Break through to acknowledge and to know connections, connecting patterns, differences which make difference.
Feel the earth supporting your being. No shoes intruding. Put your body in contact. Look deeply into the plants and soil. See the small moving lives. See so much normally unseen, unknown. If known, not acknowledged.
"Do you ever think how much the earth gives without asking anything in return?" Wilhelm Reich.
". . .hear within ourselves sounds of earth crying." Thich Nhat Hanh.
Push out your senses. Feel the earth. Reach out for a hand. Gather. Expand. Extend. Grab the sounds around. Smell carefully, dwelling on each nuance offered. Cradle each other in new ways, with heightened awareness of preciousness abounding.
Name a being to call up and to bring forth. Be that one. Speak. Share what you find and know. Dare. Risk. Accept. Extend, Expand.
Stay out. Never again close up, dumb down.
(1)Thinking Like A Mountain, Toward a Council of All Beings, John Seed, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, Arne Naess, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, 1988, ISBN 0-86571-133-X pbk
From the webzine SWANS.COM 1/03
Milo G. Clark
Pahoa HI 96778-0454 USA