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Jerry Katz
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#4306 - Monday, July 11, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nonduality Highlights -    

Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness. -- Fritjof Capra


  The following letter from a reader was sent in response to a previous highlights. Perhaps a bit long, but I did not want to edit out the passion  with which it was written. If you have a response to his thoughts, you may reply to this email, and they will be forwarded to him.  

Gloria, I love some of the quotes and writing at NDH. I don't know if my writing is a "fit" here, as it seems that while there was personally a great deal of "unwinding" after my much repeated "glimpses", which became a habit in and of itself, seeking a state of mind, rather than allowing mind simply to be and to slowly quiet or fall away. What cut through the confusion of self for me was Derrick Jensen's writing especially the "culture of make believe". So now instead of entering the marketplace of the holy business I find myself inexorably drawn to the natural world, or should I say what is left of it.

I think as rare as truth is a right relationship with the world and its beings, something that gets lost or sidetracked in "our" pursuit of truth. I don't wonder at why, when all we are shown is a distortion at best, it is no wonder that those who seek truth these days no longer look to nature, for we are no longer able to recognize our place in it. Are there even clean streams to drink from, much less the willingness and interest to listen to the land and learn how it would feed us without effort or money? 

I fear our conception and practice of "Truth" is out of whack with the environment and perhaps that is why it is so elusive?   Derrick Jensen was transformational in my ongoing awakening because he removed the personal sense of "blame and shame" that held me immobilized in the face of truth. As one deeply recognizes and awakens to "collective consciousness", I always ran into a well of deep grief and pain as I saw and experience the madness of civilization, as it is currently practiced within the insanity of a capitalistic, "ongoing growth" violence based modality. The relief comes in understanding that the insanity is not unique to the individual, nor structured in the recent past. While the American empire has been a fundamental tool of world destruction, it is only acting as the facilitator of the corporations and inherent habits and perspectives of "humans" who have been lied too and misled from the very cradle as to the nature of reality   Advita, to be meaningful and relevant must break down this psychosis of separation and restore the fundamental understanding or gnosis of truth and oneness. To have this understanding and fail to ask ourselves what is the next step is to obviate the entire insight. Knowledge is only meaningful if it leads to change and supports life. If in our enlightened states we do nothing to impede the death of all life, human and otherwise we are embracing the exact same sets of bypass and cop out that the previous generation embraced.

Here is a piece that spontaneously erupted after one of my friends sent me some pretty pictures. I sent it to many friends and it has elicited the whole range of responses yet even those on the uber left question the idea of stopping the use of oil. In today's NDH there is a flaw in the metaphor about the ocean, because now 20% or so is dead zones with more plastic than plankton, 90% of the fish are gone and almost all the shellfish that at one time littered our coasts. It is never simply water and to pretend so is to blur the line between truth and perception. What response can "advita" offer to the other inhabitants of the planet besides a premature death and unnecessary suffering?

Where is the point that Love says "STOP" and what does that look like? I suspect it is different for each person, but awake or not, the question becomes clearer the longer we go on this path to self destruction.

Much love and thanks for reading,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM
Subject: Re: Beautiful Animal Pictures

It comes to mind that however beautiful these photos are, they neither represent nor replace a genuine relationship with nature. If we look at pictures that genuinely reflect the current actuality of "nature" when humans, aka corporations and governments, are done with it, we see photos that depict a landscape looking strangely like a battlefield or a dead, barren world, absent of the fecundity of life that was there just 100 years ago. Do you know that 90% of the fish in our oceans are gone? That of the total use of water by humans, only 5% is actually consumed directly for eating, drinking and washing? Yet that is among the most contested of "resources" left on the planet?

The rest is used for fracking, oil production and the manufacture of the weapons we use to kill each other. It's ironic that the military industrial complex, to use an old term, is actually killing it's customers, rather than rendering us "safe" and that these actions of "production" cause the death of the planet. Eventually preventing us from even having to shoot each other!

Perhaps we objectify and consume the "natural beauty" of animals to support the denial of our cultures destruction of the planet and their ecosystem. I say "their ecosystem" because I'm starting to wonder if we can consider ourselves part of something that we consume and destroy with no way to stop, before we destroy ourselves. As we heat the earth and remove clean land and water, destroying migration routes, breaking up the great pathways of the world, which these "other" beings use to live and move and thrive, only to expedite our comodification of the planet leaving behind toxic land and water and  tainted food, if any, for them to eat.

I hope you can at least consider or perhaps understand why I might consider ideally, (as the planet burns) this type of objectification similar to rape, prostitution and pornography, because it destroys what it portrays. It takes the animal out of it's environment, and instead we are left with an image of a being, cut off from directly relating to the land base as a source for food and water. If we were drinking the water and eating off the land, we would not need to photograph them because we would be next to them, listening to their words and wisdom.  Yet because our water comes from the tap and food from a store, we do not actually comprehend their need for unspoiled land and the impact of our oil based uncivil destruction.

For the land these animals need for their survival is gone. That is why we are looking at pictures, 200 species a day leave this world forever. . .  When we really stop and consider and feel what is happening, there is a gigantic release of tension, because we no longer have to pretend it's not happening. Just as quickly we can see that it's extremely unlikely that people will change of their own accord, for living in balance with the world means letting go of ideas like capitalism and all fantasies based on endless growth and power. How do you respond? What is right for you? What do you love enough to protect with your life and body? Anything? your children? Will you stop using oil? Will you start growing your own food? Will you consider giving the land back to the people who took such good care of it before we came along?

If we did care, we would have to dramatically change our behavior, learning to live with the land as it is, hurting, destroyed, and dying as we learn how not to use oil for every aspect of our lives. The environmental movement has been co-opted and destroyed just like the environment itself. All we are left with is an illusory portrayal of the world that has not been sustainable or realistic for over 150 years.

150 years. . . That's how long we have been "overshooting" our human population Six times at least what is considered a "sustainable footprint". What we take and what we give back (mostly poison) sometimes really shitty land trades that "protect" "restored mountains", seeping bio-hazards that will continue to poison the planet for hundreds of decades, long after we are gone. or knocked back to a "sustainable technology level" of hunter gatherers, hopefully learning finally, that agricultural civilizations are non sustainable due to the need to import resources that have been depleted locally, causing war and a never ending  pursuit of the last resources necessary to sustain life. And at the cost of everything and everyone else on the world. Their world, until we came along and ended it. What a way to go.  It's ironic and painful, but it does not diminish the beauty that is left, the love that we are or even perhaps, what we might yet do. All hangs in the balance, waiting to be seen.


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