Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 07:53:38 +1000 (EST) From: John Seed
Dear Leslie Huppert, thanks for your email. Where on the internet did you read about me?
I have an article of clothing to send you when I get back to Lismore (and my clothes!) in 6 weeks.
Here?s the written page you asked for:
I believe that loss of the ceremonies and rituals that acknowledge and nurture our interconnectedness with nature is a large part of the problem. We modern humans are the only culture as far as I?ve been able to find out who have ever attempted to live without these ceremonies and rituals as an integral part of our societies. The people who place great importance upon such rituals and ceremonies are people who live in very, very close connection with nature, hunter-gatherer societies for instance, where people are immersed, imbedded in nature all of the time. If we consider that they find it necessary to guarantee that connectedness by performing such ceremonies, how much more we, living such denatured lives, must need to do this. And so, since those things have been given up, and perhaps not willingly, perhaps we?re forced to give them up by inquisitions and other things, we have now pushed?the environment? somewhere ?out there.? Even though we may know intellectually that this isn?t the case, all we have to do is hold our breath for about a minute to prove that the environment isn?t really ?out there,? but that there?s a constant exchange not just of air, of course, but of moisture and of soil into our bodies, we don?t feel it, we don?t experience ourselves in this way. Our experience of ourselves is still mediated by thousands of years of Judeo-Christian brainwashing, which makes us feel that the real reality is somewhere else, it?s in heaven, it?s anywhere but here on this Earth.
My own awakening shall we say started when I left my job as a systems engineer for IBM and I dropped out and was living on the land. I had no interest in ecology but then I found myself, just through circumstance, involved in the defense of a particular forest. And in that forest I was gripped emotionally, and much against my beliefs at that time, found myself defending that forest. Once I started to do that I also started to become intellectually interested in the subject, and then I discovered that this rainforest that I was defending was in fact the place where I had evolved for the last hundred and thirty million years, and therefore it wasn?t in the least surprising that it was able to get inside me and affect me so powerfully and use me in this way. So it kind of makes sense on every level. And when we do, for instance, one of the processes in the Council of All Beings, where we recapitulate our evolutionary journey, what we?re hoping for is that the intellectual agreement that this is indeed what we did, coupled with the physical involvement of our bodies through dancing and crawling and gliding - this whole process will awaken the deep memories. I think there?s a lot of evidence from rebirthing and LSD research and so on that the cellular memories do exist, but through our conceptual framework and filters we shut them off from ourselves most of the time. That?s where ceremonies and rituals really have the power to release us from those normal filters and to allow these other realities to enter us.
Well, once I understand intellectually that my relationship to the Earth is that of a leaf to a tree, the needs of the tree have priority over the needs of the leaf. The tree can exist without the leaf but the leaf can?t exist without the tree. New leaves can come, you know. So once I know that intellectually and then once I discover the tools for taking that knowledge and allowing it to sink more deeply into my being to that place where my values are made, where my intuitive moment-to-moment decisions are made, and I practice those things, then I feel like I start to partake of the nature of everything else, which is just total ordinariness. It?s not as though there?s anything special about this way of being: I think about a certain species of butterfly that I saw on a television program in the Amazon where one flock which flies together is made up of two different colored individuals, I think black and orange. And when they land on a stalk of grass, the black ones all land to make a perfect circle and the orange ones form these petals around it disguising themselves as a flower that fools their predator. Now the black ones didn?t decide, hey I?m a black one, I?m going to go in the center. They just did what they wanted to do, they just did what they did. And I?m made out of the same material as those butterflies. I?m related to them, you know, I?ve been around here since exactly the same time that they?ve been around here and we?re all made out of the same aboriginal substance. For a long time, because of this big bulge here [touching forehead], I forgot a lot of that, and I have this propensity to forget. The butterfly never, never forgets who it is and what it wants, but I can easily forget. Therefore for me to spend my weekends acknowledging and searching for and finding and loving my rootedness in the Earth and accepting my dependency on the Earth, accepting that I?m not an independent spiritual being but that my spiritual being grows out of a complex and exquisite biology, then I just become an ordinary miraculous butterfly-like creature.
for the Earth - John Seed