This weekend me and a few friends took some time to go camping in southern Utah, in the vast rocky expanses of desert surrounding Goblin Valley. The following are some of the thoughts that came to me while we camped at the foot of a truly majestic rock formation, in a place that, in all likelihood, offered the same protection from the sun for ancient peoples like the Anasazi or Pueblo Indians.
We were exploring the San Rafael Swell, and drinking in the sun. I just recently rigged myself out with all kinds of new (to me) camping gear. This was my first actual camping trip of the year (not counting the overnighter just a few miles from my house; it was just to to get my pack organized). As we wandered and pondered the ages of all the rocks and trees, it was hard not to let my thoughts drift back, once again, to the 'cave' people who once occupied these stomping grounds. The Anasazi creation narrative, as I have heard it, is that they emerged from the Earth, they climbed to the surface from within the womb of mother Earth. In their temples, called 'Kivas', which resemble longhouses sunken in the earth, they practiced rituals which symbolically represent their creation, and when they were done, they would emerge through a hole in the roof, with a ladder leading out onto the surface of the earth, as a symbol of their 'birth' into what they called the Fourth World (the belly of the earth being the Third World). Then, suddenly they disappeared. They left their dwellings high in the cliff walls riddled with the tools of everyday life, and vanished without a trace. Even today, we don't really know what happened to them. Some hold that they re-entered the Earth because of the threat of invading European cultures. Some even say that they will emerge again someday, and reclaim their land that was lost to them over 600 years ago.... I wonder what ancient traditions they will bring back with them, or will they have to re-learn how to survive in the sun?
Also scattered throughout the swell, are remnants of petrified forests, which were ancient even in the time of the Anasazi, who used the hardy material for making tools and weapons much like the flint, chert and obsidian blades of other ancient natives. I had read a little tutorial on how to find geodes, and as we wandered through the winding canyon, I kept an eye out for cauliflower-texture, clam-shaped rocks to test my luck. Finally, I spotted one, and sure enough it had a small pocket of crystals! A dark, caked mud inside the cavity tumbled around as the smell of petroleum wafted out of the little pocket. I guess you could say I 'struck oil' as well.
I began to notice the remnants of an even more ancient population of this area: Dinosaurs. I tried to imagine what life on earth must have been like at that time, but the task was largely beyond my imagination. However, I was humbled by the vast body of time in which life on Earth has been in flux. Sediment, filled with little pebbles which had perhaps once been boulders, long since eroded down to their 'pits', and eventually washed into this natural mortar, forming new layers of earth, only to be broken into more boulders which even now are in the process of being washed down those ancient slot canyons, chipping away at the floors and walls, and continuing a process which has been ongoing since time out of mind. I imagined the scale on which grazing and defecating took place when behemoth herbivores roamed the area, before it became desolate desert, before the Earth began a new phase of life on her surface.
That night, as the mice scurried in the shadows of the campfire, hoping to snag a scrap or crumb from our outdoor, covered kitchen, I mused at the idea that these little mammals have been around for a long, long time. In fact, evolutionists say that it was the scurrying, digging mammals which survived the catastrophic weather which wiped the dinosaurs out of existence. The new landscape left by the asteroids required adaptation. New diets, new survival tactics. Some say that these little rodents gave rise to humanity itself. So perhaps the Anasazi really did emerge from the Earth afterall? Whether you believe in evolution, or divine creation, the fact remains; there would be no human consciousness if not for the nurturing aid of Mother Earth. Humanity would like to take credit for their ability to cultivate the Earth, and thereby sustain itself. But the fact of the matter is, that Earth is actually cultivating humanity.
Whether you believe in God or the Big Bang, here we are. Humanity is the pinnacle of creation on this planet. We are what I have come to call "Stewards of Consciousness". We have been blessed with intelligence, and it is our duty to protect and to cultivate it. We are responsible, both collectively and individually, for building a body of knowledge, exploring the realm of experience, engaging in dialogue about the issues that press humanity, and above all, to pass this process on to a new generation.
This process of "cultivating consciousness"—this shared responsibility between humans and our planet—has been ongoing for millennia, even millions of years. But the modern man shares nearly nothing in common with his ancestors. Our language is restricted for the most part to speaking in terms of generations; we are lucky if our grandparents are a part of our lives, and luckier still if we happen to garner some insight into what life was like for them as children or youngsters. But we have hardly any concept of what life was like for our parents, let alone before the industrial revolution—at least for the individual. Have we ignored the planet, the seasons, the processes that once had to be studied closely and mindfully to ensure the continuation of our species? Is it still a necessity, or have we grown independent of our parents; Mother Earth and Father Sky?
I think not. I think we have been duped. Somewhere along the lines, we stopped listening to the Earth. We began to spend our time checking our egos against those around us, We began to steer our societies in new directions, and we forgot that the Earth is the mother of our species. We forgot that our neighbors are our brothers. We began to fight over the gifts our parents gave us. Now we live our lives by the clock, not by the sun and moon. Somewhere, someone is racing a man-made clock to work, so they "clock in", and spend their entire day building clocks so that the rest of us can do more or less exactly the same thing. We are so hurried and flustered that we cannot take time to be conscious of ourselves, let alone to be conscious of the world around us. We are in a state of sensory overload, perhaps even by design.... And we are failing our roles as Stewards of Consciousness.
To be conscious is to know that we are sovereign souls. We are more than capable of finding harmony with every single person we come in contact with, given enough time. It is possible, but we are told that we have a duty to go and kill and take from our neighbors in order to survive. Natural resources are being harvested in unnatural ways. Fighting over oil like so much agar, and preying on our own like a cancer...
It seems we have lost touch with our own nature. After all the preparation that the cosmos, Earth and humankind has undergone to bring us to this present moment, here we are squandering our greatest asset—our intelligence—in a mindless pursuit of convenience over consciousness. It seems we wont be content until there is a McDonald's under every Bodhi tree.... So how do we get it right? How do we get back on track? I don't claim to have a master plan, but I know it starts with the individual learning to recognize their own nature. Before thorough self-exploration can take place, fear must be overcome. Fear is what drives us to fight, or flee. Love is what perpetuates evolution and harmony.
There is a Frequency of Fear humming just over our heads. It comes in to form of mass media, pop culture, politicking... Even the habitual self-doubt that reverberates in our heads. It is a low-frequency signal that repeats the same thing over and over: "Us vs. Them...". This low frequency level of consciousness is all we ever know if we never allow ourselves to be drawn inward, and to learn about our completely unique "crystal set"—we are our own, mobile/bi-pedal transceiver tower. We can send out love, and we can tune into love. But only after we have taken some time to learn how to attenuate to a higher conscious.
Above the baseline bandwidth of Fear, there is another frequency, much higher over our heads. it is the bandwidth of Love. Do you know anyone with a HAM radio? Surely you've seen or heard of people talking with someone on the other side of the world with their High Amplitude Modulation radios? But, if you're like me, you haven't taken the time to learn the language and function of such a system. Perhaps you've messed around with a CB "Citizens Band" radio, and talked and listened to a few crude and rude truckers, a few happy campers, probably a good amount of just plain static. But the beauty of these systems are that they are a two-way communication device. A transceiver. The exchange of information and experience is possible with these tools. The same cannot be said of your car stereo, and guess what? For the most part, those only attenuate to the low frequency, fear-based signals that tend to put the soul in the fetal position.
As responsible stewards of consciousness, we rise to the challenge of finding what we can do to help the process of spreading a message of peace, love and learning. Once we have turned on our higher conscious, and tuned in to the love frequency, we will find that the frequency of fear becomes... less frequent. Eventually, we don't even get the static or interference. Part of becoming a beacon of consciousness, is taking inventory of our repository of messages received, and messages to be transmitted. The best way to not send out a low-frequency signal is to rid ourselves of those messages all together. We may not be able to control every single message or bit of static we receive, but we can certainly decide what we will allow to 'repeat' from or proverbial tower. In terms of radio transmission, there is a term called 'Emphasis', and I think that word fits beautifully for the analogy of what we prioritize in our communications. Low-frequency signals tend to travel further than high-frequency signals. So a sort of 'signal booster' is required to send out messages of love over messages of fear.
These thoughts of mine, my own experiences, are observed through a glass darkly, and therefore I can only say that though it may be there, deep within, I don't see perfection in myself, but the promise of transcendence is there in my being, though perhaps I do not now have all the necessary tools or knowledge at this time. I don't wish to hold humankind up to standard of perfection which is ultimately disheartening (after all, that measure of perfection is a low-frequency message that I spent far too long attenuated to, and I don't believe that perfection is a necessity for one to experience and share transcendent love), but I do wish that we all could see ourselves more clearly, and appreciate that our struggles do not mean we are not divine creatures. Each human being holds within them a gift from the universe. A seed of consciousness which will grow exponentially if cultivated mindfully.
This post is a lateral expansion on my previous post, and I feel that I am rephrasing some of those concepts without necessarily drawing out the parallels, but my post is running long. I wish to leave you with a blessing that you will find time to explore your consciousness, and that the practice will take over and replace any habit of letting some other signal—stray or focused— repeat on your transceiver without your mindful consent. Once we are able to dwell in mindfulness, we will find that we get to do all of our own thinking for ourselves. At that point, what we share with our peers, and what we pass on to the next generation becomes wholly our responsibility. It's a tall order, but we are capable. Be mindful of what frequency you get your information from, be mindful of the messages you emphasize.
"I bow to the divine that is in you, and also in me."
Thanks for reading.