I’m having trouble pulling everything I’ve learned together into something cohesive. I can sense that it all fits together and I have dreams filled with insight in the middle of the night that seem to be grappling with these issues, but I wake up with only the vaguest memories.
Everything I’ve been learning about in the past few years seems to be converging. It feels like I’m so close to seeing a bigger picture.
I really need to explore Edith Cobb’s ideas, especially in conjunction with Barry Lopez’s ideas about children and metaphor. But I also need to take it all a step further and pull in some of my own ideas about place and the living matrix we’re immersed in, as well as John Livingston’s ideas about levels of consciousness—how we downshift into the egoic self.
I believe that the developmental stages of an individual mirror the stages humanity has passed through over the ages. A child’s blissful fusion with place and the natural world is like humanity’s earliest days of pre-egoic fusion with nature. You can also see it in John Livingston’s way as a shifting up and out of the personality into a larger identity, but he leaves out the distinction between unconscious and conscious fusion. I suspect that children spend much more time unconsciously fused with a larger identity than we realize. What we note are the instances when children become aware of the fusion and can articulate it.
It wasn’t until I was eleven that I first was able to clumsily grasp hold of and articulate what I had felt my whole life. I wrote that I sometimes felt I was a million years old—that I had already experienced everything that could be experienced and that life (my individual egoic life) would never truly contain any surprises.
What I said was clumsy, but what I knew was something quite profound. It’s only when children approach or enter adolescence that they can reach or begin to have experiences of conscious fusion. Without a fully developed egoic mind they probably wouldn’t be able to name these experiences or to be conscious of them. Consciousness relies on persona. We have to downshift into persona in order to share our experiences of fusion.
If our next phase of evolution is to consciously fuse back into nature, how do we then upshift that awareness? This is where it gets confusing, but also where I feel that I’m getting very close to something.
How do you keep the best aspects of the individual egoic self—awareness—while discarding all the nonsense that comes from isolated dotness?
Little by little over my lifetime I’ve been shedding ego. Is it possible maybe that we could slough off all of ego except for a core of pure awareness? How would that be possible? It all gets so confusing.
I don’t understand the how of it, but I’m excited about the possibilities. When you shift consciously to the higher levels of the matrix—out of the persona—so much becomes possible. I can understand how weather could be shifted, how healing could be accomplished, how thoughts could be transmitted telepathically, how the land could be “read” and human endeavors harmonized with it.
I know I’ve said it many times before that one of my greatest gifts in this lifetime is to have such a huge store of past life memories. Whether they are ultimately real or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that they feel real. Their gift is that they give me the long view. I see this moment in history for what it is—a moment. I see my life for what it is—a brief flickering. I understand that I am much more than this life and this persona and I understand that humanity is much more than what is expressing itself here in our current civilization. I can grasp the brief flickering of Gaia’s life and recognize that’s not all there is. I can grasp the concept of eternity.
I can fully engage with the here and now—my individual circumstances and earth’s predicament—and yet not so fully identify with them that I despair. This is not all there is and this doesn’t ultimately matter. I wear my life loosely—not clinging to it as others do. I will easily shed this life when that moment comes because I know I go on. And when humanity dies, I will shed that identity too, and when earth dies I will release that body with grace.
The gift of these past life memories is not only that I see the long view, but also that it’s impossible to identify too much with the ego. I’ve been so many egos it’s easy to see I’m not ego. This persona is a cloak I will shed—the thing I drape around me to give me form temporarily, so I can play here. But I will shed it and go on to wear other cloaks. As I evolve awareness, I expect the cloaks will get larger and larger until eventually I outgrow all of them.