"Crisis Mythology" - Essays and Conversation with Myra Jackson, Dan De Lion & Willi Paul. Produced by Planetshifter.com Media
"Crisis Mythology" - Essays and Conversation with Myra Jackson, Dan De Lion & Willi Paul. Produced by Planetshifter.com Media
I N D E X
3 Essays on Crisis Mythology
The Conversation (via 14 questions)
3 Summary Statements
* * * * * * *
Vajra (See illustration. In Sanskrit it means thunderbolt and diamond) refers to an important sacred tool and ritual implement in Vajrayana Buddhism, Hinduism and Tantra where it symbolizes the male principle of creation … in religious practice. When made to be worn as a pendant, it reminds the wearer, and the viewer, of the supreme indestructibility of knowledge. In the tantric traditions of Buddhism, the Vajra also symbolizes the nature of reality, or Sunyata.”
“Our life on this earth is a true gift and great opportunity to experience our co-creative abilities and the manifestation of our dreams right in front of our eyes. I see us evolving towards an existence where we start remembering our ‘ancient future’ and the highly developed cultures that existed before us. May we be able to use their powerful knowledge again and learn from their mistakes in order to take our existence towards one of a global peaceful coexistence with the highest values of ethics, dignity, and wellbeing in place for ALL. More and more discoveries of these Ancients are being made and publicly shared, and it appears that there is a definitive and perceivable link between these various cultures, which might have existed at different moments in time, yet have shared a very specific basic common knowledge. This seems to be pointing towards the possibility of a once existing global society. I like to think that we are about to rediscover its secrets and that humanity will be returning to that.” - Martina Hoffman, Painter
3 Essays on Crisis Mythology -
‘Many in my circle view the current smoldering meanderings from the old myths as in dire need of a refreshed power center - free from the burden of the withering storylines in old plots, online game slaughters, and our twittering kindergardens. But myth needs a new spiritual search engine to go with the Internet. This new story base and vision map is permaculture, new alchemy and the sense of the sacred that comes with it.’ - Mother, Sun, and the Compost Pile (W. Paul, 2011)
* * * * * * *
Crisis mythology is embedded with the corrupt business values and religionist hypocrisy in our Chaos Era. New myths are bouncing and deflecting like a pinball. Celebrities give us manufactured quips as product slogans; corporate symbols are depthless logos on tee shirts. Crisis or activist mythology is rooted in survivalism and citizen protest movements.
I am a Chaos-Era Mythologist crawling in Jung’s unconscious - conscious caverns, bending light to speak to what is coming next. My journey tackles present day issues like GMO’s, climate change and extinction, but is also a living barometer of times to come. My task is to build a new set of symbols, stories and re-engineer the archetypes in play.
This conscious – unconscious realm includes the power of music and the collective community concert experience that must awakened to ignite new crisis mythology initiations. Furthermore, new crisis myths must include social media, as myth is most powerful as a real-time, collaborative experience and much less powerful on a static page. Active dreaming is active new myth making.
Activists in the Permaculture and Transition Movements are localizing our communities, changing our consumption patterns and partnering with Nature to debunk the corporate sell. New symbols and traditions are emerging.
Apocalyptic myths are a vision or bridge between old myths and new myths – what’s coming next? Myths of the end time are 120 minute movies. Technology and science will not save us. Community is now the hero, not the individual.
Crisis myths are often driven by our demands to defend Nature and to build a just and toxic free global community. Activists can develop new crisis mythologies using the 12 Elements of Modern Mythology (W. Paul, 2015):
2. Universal struggle
3. Journey, Initiation, Community as Hero
6. Nature is Sacred
7. Threat of apocalypse
8. Digital - Non-Digital Collision
9. Future/ Sci-Fi-based
10. Permaculture and Transition
11. New ritual and tradition
‘ The Permaculture King loves his solar-topped cob hut, the seasons and the compost stains on his feet and legs. His challenge isn’t in the constant weeding and planting and harvesting, but the struggle to get the word out, to get out of the garden and tell the planet’s peeps how to do the permaculture! Alas, we are all like the King – shining; running round and round in our local days with our Atlas-like dreams.’ - The Permaculture King (W. Paul, New Myth #4, 2010)
I am a Mystic who bears the title of Diplomat of the Biosphere and Planetary Steward awarded by Stockholm Resilience Centre. Both titles suggest agency and relationship in the form of care and respect for the planetary being - Gaia. As one who is devoted to linking the wellness of people and planet as an entry point to the great restoration of humanity’s broken bonds with nature ~ I feel these titles are a stellar fit for me.
These days while hanging out in the Biosphere, with great regularity I think of Einstein’s displacement theory. I am in an incessant search for evidence that a fundamental change in our collective way of thinking and perceiving will bring about much needed creative changes within the fabric of life. In my view, there is a major displacement in the collective world view underway that is elevating the human condition. It is a form of Metanoia and it is sponsored by Gaia - the Great Mother herself. This movement in the way we see our world is changing our relationship with the Earth and with each other. In its most visible form the change is happening at the center of all human activity - food, water and environment.
For all life on this jewel of a planet, Earth is the primary metric and the vehicle for our collective transformation. We are evidence of her Grace and the common heritage of Earth’s ecosystem are gifts to us all.
Our crisis is spewing forth the Prima Materia needed to bring us into a new epoch and mature us as a species. Such times call for the Entrepreneur (translated as undertaker) as an agent who recognizes what seeks to die and knows how to clear and open space to allow for that spent life force to reverently consign itself to its final rest. And then, give cover into that fecund space for the subtleties of seeds encoded with the new to take form. These are creative acts on the edge of the in breath and out breath of embodiment on the Earth.
I see evidence that we have birthed an Age of Creativity where power-over structures benefiting a few have been outed and through disclosure can no longer hide their true ambitions to serve self alone. What is supported is power that cooperates and collaborates with others and harmonizes in council with the Earth.
It is a worthy undertaking to answer the call to create the community spaces where nature and nurture join to reclaim our wild hearts and blow open the doors to our senses that delights in life.
We can be sure that this call to return to our original inheritance will attract scores of subtle activists, alchemists, sirens and sacred synthesizers who move and dance in the quantum field where change occurs in an instant. All are called to create from the Aether from which fire, air, water and earth elementals emerge in the midst of the wailing death throes from an unyielding, unsustainable world and its spoils.
To view the Earth from its biosphere, the solutions to our most deeply entrenched challenges and the thinking that perpetuates our sense of separation, suddenly, seems clear as we are flooded with a sense of biophilia that washes over us, in the way, Oxytocin bonds us to our birth mothers.
And with that feeling of connection that her luminous raiment supports, we see, Permaculture visible as a great activity of hands and hearts in which our collective wound of disassociation from nature is nurtured and restored whole. In the many luminous threads, we see the idea of dirt and bugs salvaged from the shadows and embraced as fertile and rich with microbial life rather than denied as untouchable. We see a growing realization that diversity harmonizes and a great turning inward to make peace with the microbes within the gut and the outer ecology of the Earth. We see the [hashtag], #BlackLivesMatter becomes the canary-like tweet heard across the globe as the moniker that uplifts ALL lives, in a way that enlivens the latent treasury of evolutionary information from mitochondrial Eve herself.
If Earth is a primary metric of Human Wellness, what do we need to measure?
* * * * * * *
What is Activist / Crisis Mythology to you?
To me it seems that the old myth of humans getting banished from Eden has become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy of a fundamental and perhaps suicidal disconnection from nature, source, which ends up instilling the belief that human behaviors and actions are of a corrupt nature, and that human is somehow less than divine.
Within this realization, it is very possible and necessary to develop a new mythology which recasts us out of the original sin idea, and gives some credit to the goodness of the human species. One way I see this banishment being historically enacted is in the way that our ancient ancestors were perhaps seeking resolution to a problem that they felt; which at the time, was waking up to having fallen from a hunter gatherer lifestyle into sedentary agrarian and therefore stationary and rote people, they felt that something was lost, that literally they had fallen.
A recasting came in the 19th century in the form of “natural philosophers” where science tried to rebel its way out of this disconnection from human-as-nature, and fought for the freedom to recast the perennial question; what is nature? And what is man’s relation to nature?
The likes of Copernicus, Darwin and other explorers sought to see a new human arise by studying nature, and indeed it did. Yet, what we have concluded once again is a flawed perception that we get from this age of scientism. When the smoke was all clear, we have been given the paradigm of a dead and meaningless universe that does not breathe or live, and surely does not speak. Neo-Darwinists developed a system of thinking which Darwin apparently was said to never agree with and the “survival of the fittest” projection was fully claimed to be indeed the behavior of nature and therefore of man.
Out of this, another human projection upon nature which gives rise to social justification for an oppressive class structure, the birth of social Darwinism, hierarchical structure, Tyranny, and the exploitation of far off resources based on capitalistic economy of the same principle. We now see a culture which believes it's only inherent nature to be bad and flawed, or at the very least not to be trusted and therefore watched over by a law enforcement. Yet, above law is the sense of ethic; cause and effect, the careful study of consequence, the law of karma. The misperception that humans have created, is thought to be a reality, but is actually a projection of a confused and greedy type of human.
New Potentials of Ecological Myths
One of the long forgotten, yet most potent ideas now on the table is that of symbiosis. This is the interrelation of individual organisms to work together to provide a benefit greater than each organism could ever do on their own. The willingness to compromise, to work together, to share resources, and this is also just as fundamental to our nature as human beings. In Nature, symbiotic relationships are just as persistent of the theme as ideas like survival of the fittest.
To look to the relationship between bacteria, mushrooms, plants, and the soil building process is to see that without an organized working and structuring together none of the survival of any individual species is possible. In fact, we are learning here from our ancestors; the oldest living organisms on earth. Surely, they have the long term vision, and it is one of a shareware economy.
We as humans, at this very time on earth, must be careful to wake up and realize that the glasses we hold over nature is a projection, and it is called culture. We do indeed create our culture, and we create our culture through language and ideas; myth. For our survival as a species, and for many of the organisms to survive the human being phenomenon, we must discern between projecting our belief systems onto the way nature "behaves.
Through mass advertisement, the illusion of convenience, humans largely have fell into the inability to recognize the crisis we are in, as well as a great forgetting of the power humans have in the situation to change it. And yet, there are tremendous forces working towards this remembering.
A deeply touching example of the power that we do have is with animals which were labeled as extinct, with the help of humans, were brought back to wild populations. This serves as one of many powerful reminders of human capacity to bring change and make tremendous effects on the ecosystem.
One such story is of the California condor which was an endangered species for over 25 years before it now again has numbers released into the wild. That is a huge effort for something that only takes a few gallons of gas and an afternoon of habitat destruction with modern machines.
"Los Angeles (CNN) -- Almost 25 years after the California condor went extinct in the wild and dwindled to just 27 birds in captivity, North America's largest flying bird is on the verge of a watershed moment: Its total population is projected to hit 400 this spring, including 200 birds thriving in the wild. Apr 26, 2011.”
Out of this crisis the human species is entering, there is yet a blessing in disguise. The blessing that we have is that with each day, as the devastation and destruction shown to us by our own media becomes more prominent in the lives of humans, the more we will all desire for a new way to arise. It literally is and will be the resistance softener.
Developing new memes for the culture
"A meme is to an idea as a gene is to DNA" - Terence McKenna
A meme is an idea which is the most packeted element of that idea. Thing that once you see, you not only understand, you vision. You see literally what someone means. This is like a genetic upgrade of ideas, essentially this technological application is like a neo-biological function.
We are currently in a process of self-hypnosis with digital media, unconsciously programming culture through the meme. What I propose is to actually spread the meme you wish to see; that this can be done consciously. Cultural programming through potentials of mass dispersion of the packet of data in one glance.
If we simply had the awareness power to collectively overpower the image hypnosis that our current culture is currently working under, eventually it would generate the collectivity, to overpower the old ways; a kind of aikido of symbology.
One Option for all of us is that we can bring any kind of request for a sentence and an image that expresses the new potential of being, to the best that you can envision it, into our meditation and time in nature. To literally turn the spiritual and ecological vision inside out and into the culture we live in. And the stage is so ripe that if it's a good idea and people like it, millions will spread it. This is perhaps a dawning practical and potent way of activism; a way of exfoliating the culture with new ideas, images and words that excite people, and get them motivated for change and transformation. Good ideas always overtake ones that are less functional once they are spread.
We now have the fastest information spreading technology that our culture has ever had a hold of. This is an odd but unique potential to bring magic through the technology that we have received. And yes, like all tools it has the potential for both negativity and benefit. Yet entirely, it is Gaia’s gift to us. Somehow we built her in silicone, and the new temple is awakening.
One choice changes the whole world.
* * * * * * *
How do we unfold the idea that Gaia is indeed sentient and alive?
Dan: I foresee that it will take new mapping strategies by the natural sciences. In the last 10 years there is more and more realization toward the hermetic revelation, “as above so below”. In this understanding of the Interrelation between all organisms, there is no evolution, there is only co-evolution. Within the diversity on this planet, the way that each individual species pushes each other genetically to continue to evolve, expand, and grow is a more relevant message to humans than what species are individually.
In order to see the threads between, we need this needed stretching of a new map of biology to understand the ways of expressing this interrelation.
Myra: A bit of awe that invites curiosity and opens the senses is a great entry point for a direct encounter with the sentience and aliveness of Gaia. And yet, where Abrahamic religious traditions have shaped the prevailing narrative, I see this idea of being tossed out of the garden as disruptive to our relationship with Gaia. There has been a collective dulling of human senses as we disassociated from her. The doorways to the senses that aid us in growing into an appreciative relationship with Gaia are systematically shunted and ultimately shut down from the moment of birth and acculturation into the modern world.
Our bodies and its inner ecology directly correspond to that of Gaia. There are many examples: The same pattern in a leaf is repeated in the vessels of the human heart and the array of rivers in the Amazon. And quantum motion observed in the subatomic life within our bodies echoes that of the galaxy.
When we peer into an electron microscope the holographic nature of reality is evident everywhere. The microbes within our gut are alive. They feed on us and excrete nutrients we utilize. They have bodies with sensory organs that grow and die depending upon the environment within our guts. Embedded within our bodies are colonies of microbial life that exist out of view. Do they know we are alive as individuated two-legged humans? Can the tick who is born on the hip of an elephant grasp the sentience of the beast it feeds, excretes, mates upon and calls home?
We fail to recognize the profound interdependent and interrelated relationships we have with Gaia, let alone, all the beings who call our bodies their home. Perhaps, it is a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees syndrome. What we inherit by being born unto Gaia is given freely and is common. We tend not to be conscious of things that demand nothing of us, and give no value to what we feel we have power over or we that which we can take on demand. Rather we appreciate what is rare and limited in access.
In my view, we are in the midst of awakening to the sentient nature of our planetary home as a living being. We have yet to fully process those early pictures from space where we could see the stunning elliptical being suspended in space and embedded within the Orion arm of a spiral galactic being we call the Milky Way - a being known to many indigenous as Grandmother Eridawni. The Indigenous hold an important part of humanity’s relationship with Gaia in wait of our discovery and keys to unfolding the idea of her sentience.
What does it mean to be a sentient being embedded within a larger sentient being? What are our responsibilities in that relationship? How does being in good relationship harmonize the environment? It is important that we discover how to be in good relationship. Our presence, now threatens our ability for human life and the life of many other beings to continue. Like any being in the role of the Mother, providing material sustenance to its lifeforms, she will show us the boundaries and the consequences of crossing those boundaries.
In my view, the changing climate is a form of planetary feedback system inviting humanity into a more mature relationship with the Being from whom we share a common inheritance, Gaia. This resounding clarity is a true Clarion call to humanity to enter the big story. The scale of the narrative is shifting and it is a story that is Galactic in scale. NASAs instruments are blowing the doors open to our senses. We are seeing new planets, galaxies and universes. We can hear the music of the spheres and we are being awakened into our ancient inheritance. Recognition of Gaia’s sentience and our ability to receive and transmit information regardless of time and space, will return us to the Garden of life and poise us for greeting the ways in which life expresses in its Galactic forms.
Willi: To me, GAIA is both a mythic and an everyday force that can unfold in many ways and in many places. Permaculture’s community ethics support a global view and change here. Fighting toxic corporate profiteers in the courts and the streets are channels.
What is Capitalism’s role in activist mythology?
Dan: I see that there needs to be a way to correlate cash and calories; meaning that the big economic disconnect in capitalism is the ability to tie in calories spent to dollars earned. If there was a way to convert the understanding of effort back into labor, then true cost would be reflected.
We definitely need strong solutions to the falsified ideas of endless resources that global capitalism promises. Another very practical way this can be integrated is in understanding how to build cottage industry. Within the ability to localize resources as much as possible, main street gets to keep money local instead of it being globally recycled into stock and into the WTO. Another revolution in the making is the ability to ween away such stringent FDA laws for certified kitchens so that again the bakers, jam makers, and wild foragers can provide the local community with foods that are local and much more safe than most that passes through the FDA regulations.
Myra: This is not a direct answer to the question. However, I see Capitalism as a false narrative closely identified and skillfully couched within democratic values. It is important to question the idea of property ownership. The rule of law set aside, we humans come up against a wall of terror when we bear up laws that allow ownership of people and the rape and acquisition of the planetary body to the highest bidder. The biosphere and ecosystem of Gaia provides life sustenance and must be stewarded for all.
The curtain is being lifted through disclosure at various levels and across many sectors of societal life to expose the actors behind the scene in the world economy. It will bring about a systemic change of Mythic proportions.
Like Rome, I see, too big to fail structures on the verge of collapse and total transformation. CEOs of major corporations are well aware what people want from corporations has shifted. I read a confidential report that presents us with enormous opportunities.
Willi: Capitalism is a primary archetype and pusher in a greedy, top-down system that destroys land and cultures wherever it rears its ugly head. There is no greater mythic-alchemic force than Capitalism.
How do humans find responsibility instead of blame?
Dan: The number one thing that seems to block progress and change is the sense that understanding the consequences of our purchases, lifestyle, and comfort, this process gets translated often into blame, guilt, and shame.
We are in such a time where trying to remind someone on a shopping line of bringing cloth bags instead of plastic can bring a charged argument. The fabric of our society is desperate and ripe for change, yet so emotional about its decision making processes.
The way we discuss options, changes, and progress are going to need a very soft and inspired tone, with lots of solutions, and very little harping on the problem. People seem to know what’s wrong, but need some guidance towards what CAN happen.
An easy thing is inspiring the use of ball jars instead of paper and Styrofoam cups. Even something little such as this, when globally applied, would be a huge hit even to the petroleum industry, all of which are made out of oil.
Myra: Compassion turns us courageously inward. This turning inward finds no gain in placing blame, shaming or feeling guilt. Instead, it opens a space to draw upon which is more vast and unleashes the WILL to respond to one’s own life with compassion, while extending that opportunity for others to do the same.
Willi: Building responsibility mandates a turn away from materialism; blame is a symptom of greed.
What are the dominant symbols in crisis mythology?
Myra: The Spiral is one of many symbols in crisis mythology.
In the 70’s, I began receiving dreams with spirals. There was one spiral in particular that came steadily over the course of a year. This was before spirals became dominant as a motif in the cultural. One morning, I woke up hearing the words, DRAW IT. I knew instantly that loud directive meant, draw the SPIRAL image appearing in my dream. I did so and took it to a graphic designer some years later to have it rendered into a graphic file and placed on a business card. During those years, spiral designs slowly made it onto the scene. People close to me would buy totes, plates, bookmarks, etc., as gifts for me with spirals. Now they are everywhere and no one remembers a time when it was rare to see a spiral. I feel that the spiral connotes upward and downward movement and in nature this funneling of toroidal energy is a potent force of collapse and acceleration; assimilation and elimination; upending forces.
In an Age of Creativity, conflict, crisis and chaos are our messengers. Those who can ride into conflict, crisis and chaos and see the hidden pattern waiting to be liberated are ones who feel comfortable exploring their own subconscious material for the treasure it holds.
What I find so compelling about the spin and velocity inherent in the spiral is that recent discoveries that have defied scientist and engineers have been solved by artists who saw the hidden shape of objects while in motion. One example is that of Frank Chester who discovered the 7 sided geometry of the heart, now called the Chest gram. The geometry of the human heart was an unknown, until he saw its geometry by spinning a model of the heart. He used the same method to discover the geometrics of the bell.
Willi: The US Highway System, empty reservoirs, the Pope; the US Capital Building; Donald Trump.
Can the old myths foster a “collective transformation?” Is this alchemy?
Dan: The revival of older and more ancient myths are a huge way to reconsider world potentials and ways of seeing our role in it. There have been many ways of seeing, and it is important that we as a “modern culture” learn this. We have been given a false idea that we are right simply because we are here now. That all else that was incorrect in being and has gone extinct to our current way which is a perfected version. This could not be further from the truth, The Greeks and Romans also had this similar thought, and their whole civilization was plowed under in spite of their hubris.
The alchemy of collective transformation gains its highest power in the art of storytelling. And this truly was, and is, a key foundation for all indigenous culture. This has always been a way of instilling ethics and value of the natural world into children at a young age, before they could think otherwise. The realization that even the scientific understanding of reality, although having factual basis in matter, is still another mythology, and is therefore imperative for our culture in the ability to revive the sense of mystery that we are so longing for; the realization that reality is bigger than any of us can see. In the philosophy of understanding the entire universe, the bottom will always drop out… be it atoms, quarks, strings, superstrings, M, or OM.
Within the relativity of the mythmaking process we get to observe the effects of choosing belief paradigms that are sustainable. Globally, within indigenous cultural myths, the one thing that is obvious is that they have succeeded in not developing a culture with the sense of alienation, separation, and disconnection from earth as home that we have. All hugely important factors which our modern way of being has not been lucky enough to deliver.
The myth that we live in a world which is un-alive, is no different than saying a dog is less alive than a human. These are just belief systems, and as Robert Anton Wilson once said, belief systems are BS.
Myra: Yes, they can. In our current age, the meaning of old myths take on new meaning as we gain experience of other in a connected world. We are discovering how connected we have been all along through the similarity of myths across the globe. It allows us to connect dots and step into a bigger frame and ask new questions about the arc of human being and doing.
Willi: I am on record that the old myths are tired and not in-tune to current global dangers. If can morph the old myths with new ones, then we may be able to ignite the “video game, screen culture” in todays’ youth and tech industry.
How can we organize in local communities? Is disaster eminent?
Dan: It does seem that disaster may be eminent, but perhaps, only for some of us who choose to ignore the signs. Among the sensitivities of our time, it seems to me to be imperative to develop resource and skill-sharing among those who want to. It seems that many of us have been preaching to those who really don’t want to listen, and have gotten tired of doing so. It seems that a next level of society rising is now needed by us, one that perhaps can be summed up by, “Find the others, become the we.” To thread together those who see the immanent changes, want to do something about it, and have skills and trades, resources, desire for bulk buying, and land. It may be like a kind of aikido; a stepping out of the way so that the trajectory and motivation of those who don’t care is not restricted by those who do.
Myra: The Power of One and the Commons - look for that one person in your community who is already engaged as a turned on steward of the commons (food, water, forests, air, libraries, etc.) in your community and support them. In an Age of Creativity, we need to return the artist, herbalist, beekeepers, composters, farmers, water mavens, tree loving arborists, shamans, alchemists back to the center of the community.
For example, let us transform our farmers markets into places where we stop and listen to news from Beekeepers on the health of the bees in our community, celebrate the seasonal nectars and learn how to live in our region in way that the bees live well alongside us. We can do the same with other aspects of community life.
The priorities differ from community- to- community, however establishing direct connections to your food and water supply as a community is an important place to begin.
Willi: In many ways, we are “in disaster now.” The Transition Movement is a great value base for change. While resilience is now a clique, Transition’s localization of people and resources is a great start.
Where is your watershed? What is its condition?
Dan: As a traveler, I have been blessed to witness many watersheds and currently, I am in California studying the drought here. It is such a catastrophe in the making with little promise of progress other than de-salinization plants. From the perspective of the east coast, it is amazing to watch most of the food, even if it is organic, get shipped from California. Without water in California there are 2 options… One is to admit that there is an ecological issue to face, to truly begin the process of intervention where we realize we have a hand in this matrix, or the other is for corporations to continue to pull the wool over our eyes, start de-salinating water from the ocean, and/or ship in foods from farther away such as Mexico or even Africa. It seems that those choices, of course, are in our hands as local caring community.
Myra: I have not found one Intact Indigenous culture of the several that I have encountered who does not know where the water source is for their community and track the flows of that water back to its Mountain source. You will find them offering libations back to earth before eating and a reverence for that water as an honored presence. Its condition and status is known and comes with a feeling of care.
We will know a systemic change is underway, when in the west this basic Human 101 question can be answered by young children in our communities.
We abdicate our human responsibility for this vital relationship with Gaia and all that we inherit from her by walking unaware of this basic earth system. We are 70% water as is the planet and our wellness is linked to that of the planet.
This is an Earth Metric important to each person in a community. It is a part of the commons and apart of community life to be in relationship with the earth through stewardship and celebration.
Willi: My heart is my first watershed. It pumps fluid to my body and allows interaction with other souls and secondary watersheds in the community.
How healthy is the soil in your community?
Dan: In the North East, where I grew up, it literally is some of the best soil in the country. The Black dirt region of New York is famous, as well Manhattan (mannahatta) meant “the land of the rolling hills”, Oddly enough we have built concrete slabs miles high over the best farmland we have.
Comparatively, in southern California, there is less organic matter. It is composed mostly of clay and sand, and I’m sure that as a result, it requires much more watering.
Myra: This is where Permaculture and biodynamic farming prevails and why we are learning so much about the directs links to the human immune system of which 85% lies within the gut.
Healthy soil is the precursor to a nutritious food profile. Our attention here goes beyond food alone. Soil is another key earth metric of healthy community life.
Willi: Soil is a powerful symbol of soul. Enrich the soil, enrich your soul. Unfortunately, there is too much toxicity in both.
What does planetary stewardship look like in your community? In your life?
Dan: Within several communities I work with I have made efforts to ally with other local organizations who have the same common goals; Permaculture, Farming, organizing workshops, movie nights, discussion forums, as well as local cottage marketplaces.
I also have been offering a continual list of classes on foraging, herbalism, fermentation, and nature meditations since 2010, which always seek to always be a conduit for bringing the awareness of humans role in ecology, developing change, and building a community that will overcome the lethargy of modern cultures current ability to change fast enough. I have also seen many people connect and develop lasting connections and friendships by meeting at my classes and other events. It truly does make a difference; I have seen it first hand in New Jersey, of all places.
Myra: Self-care becomes equanimous with Earth-care. Planetary Stewardship becomes real as each individual takes responsibility for cultivating inner peace and linking the inner ecology of being with the outer ecology of one’s community or bio-region. Self-care consist of many things. In my life, I am more available to my community when I harmonize to the rhythms of the rising and setting sun, as they shift seasonally. I extend my sleep during winter and adjust it a bit during the peaks of summer. I wake up before sunrise and greet it when I can and eat my last meal before sunset. My day is guided by this movement over the clock and the Gregorian calendar.
I recognize I am stronger with Nature. Identifying and protecting fresh water sources and drinking living, fresh waters is the ideal, choosing local food, supporting local farmers through CSAs, utilizing local currencies, cooperating with my body’s power to heal and rejuvenate in nature, considering the circle of life and impact when making decisions, living with a bias toward harmlessness with recognition that I do cause Harm at times, opening in ways that I cultivate my gifts and offer them, care for the esteem of the other, and communicate and receive wise council from the intelligence of nature. Willing to go where others will not go to bear witness to my own shadow and that of the collective to discover the way through.
Enjoy and celebrate life and allow others who choose differently to enrich my life. Bring big doses of lovingkindness, friendship and compassion into my life. Live as a Beacon. Live true. Magnify the keepers of bees, trees, soil, water and seeds, and support them. Stand up for the children of all species.
Willi: I think little things make me a planetary steward (i.e. – crisis mythologist). Recycle, re-use, and re-sell for starters. New myths can emerge from this practice.
How is technology like mythology?
Dan: Essentially, technology is a mythology come to life. The ability to dream, then make it so. Within it are many notions, such as the idea that there will be a “green” technology that enables us to live as 6 billion people without compromising any comforts, or that a medical breaktrough will fix disease and death once and for all. These are all kinds of mythologies which project hopeful beliefs onto a scenario which may not come to pass in the way we hope.
Out of this must rise a sane mythology. One that finds humans careful balance within the ecosystem. Not as the dominators, and also not as the observers of a phenomenon with no connection to our own efforts. Both of these perspectives must be resolved. I think Gandhi said it best, “it may seem that what you do is insignificant, but it is significant that you do it.”
Myra: I do see Mythology as a form of inner technology. Story is a human device that informs how a person sees themselves and others relative to their culture and to the world. Within story are memes and archetypal characters that are encoded with meaning. Using computer technology as a metaphor, one could say that when we are conscious of the myths informing our view, they are like software programs we run; however when unconscious they operate more like hardware or operating systems that are hardwired.
Willi: By most definitions at online sources, mythology is a technology. I call this hybrid phenomenon MythoTechnics as there are several important implications in tools and access now. Mythology as a technology? Where are the gadgets? The calibrations? The downloads?! Mythology has always placed a critical role in the evolution of human beings. Through MythoTechnics, the wisdom of the stories, symbols and lessons of both ancient and modern myths can now must refreshed, accelerated, and permeated globally as a shifting and sacred force, a key global alchemic unifier or motherboard for the Transition of man with Nature now underway. Please read my complete vision” Mythology is Technology: The MythoTechnics.
Are we now pitting symbiosis vs. survival of the fittest in the mythic realm?
Dan: Yes, in a big way, it seems that these are 2 myths to resolve into a new holistic map.
How can we acknowledge that alchemically we are following the spagyric method. Spagyric means the process of first separation, then purification, and finally, recombination. This philosophy, put forth by Paracelsus, seems within our culture, to be an unfinished process within our earth system as a kind of alchemical vessel.
We have categorized everything within the “survival of the fittest” paradigm, and “purified” it by analyzing, individuating, and dissecting all of its bits. And now the great unfinished work is the act of recombination. This is what makes the formula strongest.
Myra: We have memories of unity and non-dual reality in the subtle realm of formlessness that takes on a sense of separation in the material realm of form. It is a paradox of mutually exclusive realities that are naturally resolved through liberation.
In the garden of paradise, out of the garden. In the symbiotic environment of the womb or out of the womb trying to get back in. Claimed/abandoned, One and the many; my god, your god, and it goes on. With every word we speak, we reinforce the view of dualism. We have come to this point of initiation and folded in prior epochs.
This time we have an image of Earth - we see that the Earth is not flat after all. And that the grandeur of what is before us is not fully explained by our ideologies alone. Will we collectively open up to beginner’s mind to receive a glimpse of our bigger story and offer up our small stories of separation?
Willi: This is a complex question for me. Where is this so-called mythic realm? Are we are beginning to understand symbiosis through biomimicry? I get “survival of the fittest!” We are competing with each other through our companies and climate change to a fast grave.
What is the significance of being a mystic or reviving mysticism in this age?
Dan: It seems to me that the simple truths that we have begun to take for granted, such as, the heart beats, the body and all of the entire earth are mostly water, and even further, every cell is empty space. And yet, the phenomenon we call consciousness is the same great mystery that it ever was. None but the mystics of old have made traction on not “how does consciousness manifest”, but instead, “where does consciousness arise”, or what is its point in the ecosystem?
Where does it end?
These questions are just as pertinent to modern human, and still the great unanswered quests. You only need one miracle, well each of our hearts beating are just that. I don’t see a real need to downplay being mystified by that. What we are is enough!
So it takes a true awakening into realizing WHAT IS, in order to know what we have before us, and this has always been the work of the mystics.
Myra: My mystical way of being is one of positioning. As a mystic, I walk with an awareness that there is a great mystery in which I am apart that appears to be non-dual and transcendent to time and space. I wish to be in relationship with the creative origins of that great mystery and keep a gate open to that unfolding mystery to make it known to me. I have found over time that Belief structures are provisional and useful in the way that scaffolding is — for a limited time. I am open to the Great Mystery and find myself utterly astounded by its transformative power to move me upward on the spiral where I can see life from what seems to be an elevated view or an overlook of sorts.
The significance is not lost on me during times in which we live today. We face the degradation of systems, ecocide, human slavery, mind control on steroids, power over structures robbing whole communities of their future, rampant systemic greed, toxicity, violence and terror in the name of ideology and dogma, etc. This mystical view provides a pathway through the collective discord into the place where diversity in harmony reign in a beautiful balance. It is there, that I am reminded that in this place of chaos, I can choose to take action upward on the spiral of consciousness and in doing so I see that it is a collective undertaking. I am not alone. We are moving upward together …
Willi: Not sure what a mystic does but it might be close to paganism and magic.
Do you see the potential of new conscious festivals or gatherings?
Dan: I am excited to see the levels of “conscious” festival evolve into rituals that fill a needed void in our culture. I have been to my fair share of festivals, both “conscious”, and quite “unconscious”, and yet there is still an underlying desire for the archaic, being close with and returning to nature, fire spinning, dance and drumming, magic, theatrics and poetics. All of these are aspects of a needed connection with the earth that we once had, and yet need help establishing. I see that festivals and fairs, gatherings, and gypsy markets will grow and spread in time as a way to take back the culture and bring forth a roving cottage industry that shares in higher values, earth spirit, and the sacred of all things.
Myra: Yes, I do. Beyond the useful merriment and delight of gathering together, we are being called to open ourselves to the protection and nourishment of Gaia. To restore the broken bonds with Nature, we are called to dance upon the earth, in community, once again. It will be a sign of our meta-change. We must raise the arc of energy within our individual and collective bodies to elevate our condition and to enter the spaces where we entangle with the particles that will carry us into the New Era.
Willi: Yes. Especially events that originate in Nature. The power of community rock music festivals has a long way to evolve! Please see my piece entitled: The Reservoir: Rock Music and Mythology.
What is to come of the well-built ego of the 21st century?
Dan: To truly trust in earth consciousness means that even this ego was built by Gaia for an ecological function. It has a place, the superego perhaps is the future where the consciousness is embodied within actors on the stage of life. All great art, invention, must be channeled through the individual’s ability to birth these things into the world. I think it’s actually been something to really control us, the idea that we must remain as ego beating, homogenous servants is an incredibly disempowering myth. The huge challenge of this time indeed is to discover, yes, my ego is worthy, and yes, my ego means well. There is so much doubt in the ego to be a sly dark creature who wants to be aggrandized at the expense of others. And again, that kind of assumption puts us right back into feeling banished from Eden.
Myra: It will be humbled to discover that it is a radiant facet of consciousness along with many, many other distinct facets whose combined brilliance plays a role in the full luminosity they share as a whole, verisimilar, to that of a diamond.
Willi: Perhaps a super-ego based in the family and/or community will arise?
* * * * * * *
3 Summary Statements
Dan: Throughout all the transformation, dedication, destruction, upheavals, and ecological processes we have witnessed and studied, it still seems imperative that we as human beings have a crucial role in the NOW. The way we, as an economy and culture, choose to develop the next 10-30 years may truly be a truly sink-or-swim time for the human species, and I see that discussions like this to birth and develop out of a mythology of “impending doom” and into solution based thinking will truly set the foundations for further discussion and greater shift of mythos. And remember as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” May this be another piece to the mystery of awakening. Thank you Willi and Myra for your thoughtful and heartfelt conversation.
Willi: Crisis Mythology (also called “Activist Mythology” early in this process) is both a present-tense and future-driven agora. Gaia is key: as a metaphor and the land and communities on Earth. Gaia will likely remain in the songs of poets and balladeers until we place our ethics into the seeds and harvests. Permaculture is “active Gaia”; so are Transition values. Nature is heart; a spiritual chrysalis. While climate change, extinction and many other problems choke our psyches, Crisis Mythology ultimately mandates that the future of Nation State and all human beings as One.
Myra: Collectively, we are experiencing the lifting of the veils on all that structures and informs our beliefs about the source of life, who we are in relationship to self, other; and our responsibilities to self and other. Nothing is immune from being thoroughly re-examined for its authenticity and resilience to endure and sustain life into the next iteration of planetary life. The Mythic realm points us toward the grand narrative spiraling upward from our very DNA. This planetary moment is radically poised to signal the dormant codon pairs within humanity to awaken. We are designed to feel, do, imagine and share creatively together. And in the becoming, dance in the quantum field we share in common with the living universe as subtle artisans, healed healers and stewards in council with all life.
* * * * * * *
Myra Jackson is a Mystic and Evocateur of the sacred well-rooted in various ancient spiritual and tantric lineages, Myra devotes her time in service to communities and organizations with a focus on the wellness of people and planet. In February 2015, Myra was given the title of Diplomat of the Biosphere and Planetary Steward by Stockholm Resilience Centre and is actively exploring the way of fulfilling such roles. Educated as an engineer, Myra found that her early training in electrical theory informed her spiritual life. Today, that training provides useful metaphorical language in discussing the subtle realm and alchemy. Myra feels that The Great Mother (with her masculine fully ensconced) is an archetype emerging with fierce clarity and resplendent force, evoking our re-membering during these transitional times. After 35 years, she unveils this whispered wisdom in the public domain.
mljack19 @ gmail.com
Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way.
Willi’s Bio & Network
In 1996 Mr. Paul was instrumental in the design of the emerging online community space in his Master’s Thesis: “The Electronic Charrette.” He was active in many small town design visits with the Minnesota Design Team. Willi earned his permaculture design certification in August 2011 at the Urban Permaculture Institute, SF. Mr. Paul has released 25 eBooks, 2332 + posts on PlanetShifter.com Magazine, and over 325 interviews with global leaders. He has created 75 New Myths to date and has been interviewed over 33 times in blogs and journals. Please see his cutting-edge article at the Joseph Campbell Foundation and his pioneering videos on YouTube. His current focus is new mythology.
Mr. Paul’s Network (members/readers/contacts/followers) includes planetshifter.com (95K+) , LinkedIn: “New Mythology, Permaculture & Transition” group – 800+ members, contacts (1,100); 8 permaculture listserves (20K+); Transition Movement listserves (4+), Twitter @planetshifter @openmythsource @PermacultureXch (6,575); G+ “Permaculture Age” (1,200+); depthpsychologyalliance.com – “New Global Mythology Group” (45); 35,107+ views and 150 videos at YouTube. His network includes many additional global individuals, contacts, blogs and groups.