This post continues the theme Touching the earth: Himalayas and the first chakra.
Connected to the earth, we are reminded to look beyond our conditioned experience and to delve beneath the question “What are we afraid of?”
In Sardhana, Tagore reminds us that all creation is a love letter if only we would heed its message:
The Vaishnava religion has boldly declared that God has bound himself to man, and in that consists the greatest glory of human existence. In the spell of the wonderful rhythm of the finite he fetters himself at every step, and thus gives his love out in music in his most perfect lyrics of beauty. Beauty is his wooing of our heart; it can have no other purpose. It tells us everywhere that the display of power is not the ultimate meaning of creation; wherever there is a bit of colour, a note of song, a grace of form, there comes the call for our love. Hunger compels us to obey its behests, but hunger is not the last word for a man. There have been men who have deliberately defied its commands to show that the human soul is not to be led by the pressure of wants and threat of pain. In fact, to live the life of man we have to resist its demands every day, the least of us as well as the greatest.
But, on the other hand, there is a beauty in the world which never insults our freedom, never raises even its little finger to make us acknowledge its sovereignty. We can absolutely ignore it and suffer no penalty in consequence. It is a call to us, but not a command. It seeks for love in us, and love can never be had by compulsion.
Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. Any joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, unnecessary; nay, it very often contradicts the most peremptory behests of necessity. It exists to show that the bonds of law can only be explained by love; they are like body and soul.
Joy is the realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover.
How we interpret that message reflects the waters of our soul. As the proverbs express it ‘As in water face corresponds with face, so the heart of a man with [that of] a man.’ (Pr 27:19).
The message may be of love, but how do we face files challenges?
Do we see challenge as opportunity or do we blame?
The first chakra asks us to seek the groundedness of our being. We are questioned with survival and asked to question “What am I afraid of?” as if some past karma has obstructed a river and its flow pools around the challenge. Of course, we have different experiences depending on our level of realisation. We may be asked to consider our relationship to our roots, our family and how we survive, including our view of money.
The pressure of our modern world demands quick solutions, it is easy to blame others or circumstance. To blame is to stop searching.
When we blame we empower the condemned to control our life. We are no longer looking at our self as a mirror of existence.
Science has made great progress in understanding the world out there, but forgotten what is within. We face a tremendous loss of soul, and disillusionment with the dream that happiness is economic progress.
Modern life has made us wanderers outside of our gates, an ever recreated world, a landscape without memory, detached from the soil, rootless, away from the land, unable lay at rest in the soil of home, to find the smell of home or to hear the ocean of our childhood in a conch shell.
We risk reinventing our life as if recasting ourselves in a videogame.
In our throw away society we are asked to never be content for long, but to want more. We are told ‘there is not enough and never going to be enough and I must grab my bit before anything runs out.’ The shamans of the past however, believed that ‘the earth provides, its resources renew each year and that produce must be shared amongst all or the people will die’.
We honour those who take the most. This does not mean a person of wealth does not contribute, in fact wealth can come as right reward for contribution.
The business world claims what you want build and to grow you measure.
We are so disconnected from the earth that pollution is accounted as economic gain. According to former World Bank economist Herman Daly the earth was accounted in the developed world as as a business in liquidation.
“Pollution shows up three times in the Gross Domestic Product account as a gain: once when the factory produces it as a by-product of something useful, secondly when the nation spends billions cleaning up the mess and thirdly in the extra costs of health care and environmental recovery! (Source Resurgence magazine). So if you feel you are getting poorer even though the papers are telling you the gross wealth is going up every year, that is one explanation.” –Leo Rutherford, The Way of the Shaman
In India, I am constantly reminded to get out of my Westernised logical head and to live.
Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada made a similar point in 1928:
Do not try to discover the nature of truth by the exercise of your imagination. Do not endeavor to attain the truth through experience of this world. Do not manufacture truth in order to satisfy your erring inclinations, or hastily accept anything for the reason that it satisfies such inclinations. Do not regard as truth anything that has been “built up” or has the support of a majority of people like yourself, nor as untruth anything that is rejected by the overwhelming majority.
According to the scriptures there will be found hardly one in a crore of human beings who really worships the truth. What is proclaimed by the united voices of all the people of this world as truth may turn out to be false. Therefore, cease to confront the truth in a challenging mood.
The truth is not brought into existence by such arrogance. One has to approach the truth in the spirit of absolute submission. It is necessary to listen to truth. Truth is self-revealing, and only when it is pleased to reveal itself can its actual nature be known to us, and not otherwise.
Are We listening?
Touching the earth remind us of the bigger picture. We are taken from our stories. For there is no fear in love. Most people are afraid of themselves and so latch onto god.
Touch the earth and we remember that if we have love then we do not need to fear others because centre ourselves first in the divine universal circumference of reality.
Osho declared of many believers:
‘Out of fear people believe in god – they don’t search for him. People become superstitious. One can be a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, but these are not religious people at all. They are just afraid people, in a kind of paranoia; they cling to any belief, to any consolation.
But god is not a belief and god is not a consolation. God is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian; god is not even a person. God is this whole existence: this-ness is god, such-ness is god.’
While many would deny Osho’s claim god is devoid of personality, (and I feel many believe without fear), few would narrow him to our finite experience.
God is not a label, for we must keep seeking. By touching the earth we are reminded of the tranquility of wholeness without fear.
‘How to know this totality that surrounds you, that is within you and without you? With fear it is not possible: in fear one starts shrinking. It is possible only when one starts expanding; then one can have contact with existence. That can happen only if you have found something immortal in yourself; then there is no fear. All meditations lead to it.
Meditation allows us to penetrate deeper and deeper into one’s own being. And one has to go on digging till one has arrived at the source of nectar.”
It is there. All that one needs to do is: one has to learn how to turn off the mind, how to stop the inner talk, the continuous talk, how to stop the inner chattering, how to get off the mind.
And the moment you get off the mind, great energy is released. Such tremendous energy is released that one is simply turned on. No psychedelic can do that, no intoxicant can do that. You are simply aflame with such vital force that it seems impossible that it can belong to you. It seems so huge, enormous, that you cannot believe that this is yours. It is yours. It is just as each atom carries infinite energy. Once it explodes then we will know what energy it has. If an atom of matter has so much energy, how much more has the atom of being, the atom of life, the atom of consciousness?
In contrast the mind dissipates and leaks our energy. It must be turned off to release this cosmic explosion of experiencing the greatness of our universe. Then we are no longer victims of its limiting delusions.
You are turned on to a new reality, absolutely unknown to you, of immense vitality, of tremendous power. It is a great explosion, and only in that explosion does one come to know who one is, being is revealed.
-Osho “Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot”
The title of Osho’s talk was reminiscent of Hippy slogan from the 60’s. ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out.’
Socially, the hippy ideal didn’t work then because it denied personal responsibility. Osho’s point though remains. There is great power when we escape the confines of our mind and experience the greatness of reality.
Let us us this power chanting a new mantra:
‘Turn on, tune in and take responsibility for yourself, your life and your home – Mother Earth.’
Let us work together for our brothers and sisters in our global community. Dropping out is no longer a responsible option. It is incumbent on each of us who awakens to work for the good of all and the healing of the Earth.
 Harmonist 25.230, March 1928.