I did not want to write this
There have never been people who know but do not act. Those who are supposed to know but do not act simply do not yet know
This morning I practiced yoga again for the first time purely on intuition. It's different. For the past few years, I've primarily attended classes or taken online classes. But when we practice something out of ourselves, it feels different. We slowly begin to listen to our bodies, perceive the environment differently, and the practice feels different. Certainly, I am doing more wrong at that moment because no one is correcting me.
We should start again to open ourselves to all that is out there and trust our gut feeling and then evaluate it with a realistic view. When we truly open our hearts to each other, there is no burden too heavy to carry together, there is no pain too deep to hold in each other's arms. And it is in this place where we feel the hurts of the earth and feel them together that alchemy is born. In the cauldron where we share our grief with our community, contemplate it together, and do not look away, heartbreak is transformed into hope.
We have to listen again to what nature wants to tell us. Trust in the laws of nature and begin to merge our current possibilities with it. It is what our modern civilization needs to hear. I'm sure most of us share the feeling that our society has trampled on natural law; that we live in a world where indigenous knowledge, intuition, and the things that are most valuable to life are ignored, while those that are most destructive are valued most highly.
I am speaking here from Berlin and sharing with many others every day what happens when the law of nature is violated. We have reached a point where looking away is no longer an option. Every day new scenarios reach us. It was just over a year ago that we were all horrified by the images coming out of Australia of apocalyptic wildfires - fires that killed an estimated one billion animals in the outback. And it was also just a year ago that video calls with some friends of mine from the Bay Area became their own version of doomsday - a day without daylight, as smoke from millions of acres of raging wildfires in northwestern California billowed across the sky, leaving nothing but a blood-red glow through.
But of course, those of us here today don't need these harbingers of doom to know that something is terribly wrong with where our world is headed. We all know, despite what our media does to distract our attention, that our global society is heading toward the abyss at an ever-increasing rate. We know that people are suffering out there because of callous economic policies, that the coronavirus outbreak has added to that suffering - and that the increasing climate breakdown will only lead to a deepening of misery, with massive droughts and famines and hundreds of millions of climate refugees forced to leave their homes in despair because no one is willing to take them in.
We know that the natural world is suffering from relentless human exploitation. That the Amazon rainforest - the lungs of the earth - is disappearing at a rate of more than one hectare per second. The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that animal populations worldwide have declined by nearly 70% since 1970 - and by as much as 94% in Latin America. The richness of nature is being virtually wiped out in our lifetime. Sometimes it helps to listen to Luisa Neubauer's climate talk. She provides here very nicely the facts about it.
For me, it is impossible to face these realities without being heartbroken. When I thought about this man-made enormity, I sometimes felt like I was being swallowed by an infinite abyss of darkness. Is it any wonder that people turn away from facing these facts, that they see one of those scary headlines warning of climate collapse, and they click somewhere other than there, reading their Facebook feed, looking at the latest tweet, watching the report on the political scandal of the week? We live in a world designed to keep us numb - a culture peppered with incessant doses of mind-numbing, conditioning us to dull our emotions and conform to the daily grind. I meant that in the nicest way possible. Then we sit down and think the latest technologies can pull us out of the dilemma, but we don't understand the core of the problem.
Then perhaps in a moment when we go out into nature and feel connected to it for once. And then we realize that the deep purpose of our existence on Earth is to nurture her living system, to nurture Gaia, and participate fully in her ancient, sacred unfolding of living beauty. And when we see the relentless way this beauty is being eviscerated, Gaia's pain becomes our pain. It's not just happening in the forests and deep oceans, it's also happening to us - to our own ecological togetherness.
But this pain of the weeping earth is too much for any of us to bear alone. And that is where we must turn to another, an equally important dimension of our togetherness: our shared community of caring. When we truly open our hearts to one another, there is no burden too heavy for us to bear together, there is no pain too deep for us to embrace. In those moments, when I think of how we can get back there. I usually think only of escape. To another place that shelters this communion with nature.
There have never been people who know but do not act. Those who are supposed to know but do not act simply do not yet know.