Earth is the Holy Land | by Catherine Shainberg, Ph.D.

I’m walking around New York City in a sleeveless dress. It‘s 62 degrees (F) out and not yet the end of March. We had lots of rain but barely a winter as I would recognize it. Around the world, from Pakistan to California, Australia to Antarctica, we are seeing global climate transformation, some of which seems really scary, some inevitable, some unavoidable.

At the same time, we are entering a new season, a sacred season of birth, rebirth, and recovery for many. Passover will soon roll in and Easter, too. We are in the midst of Ramadan and in April, Hindus celebrate the birth of  Lord Rama. Even those for whom these celebrations have no sacred meaning, we are approaching that maddening time of the burst of Spring in the Northern hemisphere or of Winter for our Australian Dreamers….

These are welcome themes of return to the Holy Land and resurrection. We all need to resurrect, to leave behind our doldrums from very real and very sad news about the environment to remember this: Our earth may not feel like a Holy Land at the moment –  but IT IS.

In the Kabbalah of Light, I reflected on this where I wrote:

“Opening your dreams leads you eventually to the source, the Holy Grail, the paradise we all—albeit unconsciously—search for….it is the gateway to the happiness, joy, health, and abundance we are all longing to obtain here on this Earth.”  (from KoL)

No matter how hard these times on Planet Earth may be or appear to be, I remain ever grateful that we have dreaming, imagery and a community of Dreamers to keep us in truth.

I mention them because this time of renewal brings with it a resurgence of energy and optimism that we must make use of constructively. How can we realign ourselves to the vast intelligence of the earth? Soon we’ll be celebrating Earth Day. Let’s think of doing so by expanding our consciousness into the world.

We have been promised freedom from enslavement. The first enslavement that comes to mind is narrow thinking, discouragement, apathy. Sins of greed and hubris are also big where, in the name of progress and science, we amend the intricate and delicate weaving of many different organisms that contribute to making this world flow in beauty and grace.

Can we resurrect this beautiful planet? Yes, we can.

For my part the first thing that needs to be corrected is our way of thinking. Consciousness plays a huge part in the way reality configures. And our consciousness is flawed. How many times have I heard the sentiment expressed: “I want to be more in nature” or “I want to live in nature?”

Very noble sentiment, but guess what? You are in nature! You are an intrinsic part of nature. You are one of the many forms that nature takes – more evolved, you may think, although seeing the way we’re destroying the natural world and our nature, one can question that.

Progress may be one of the most misleading words that guides our modern world. What is progress if it destroys the field of interconnectedness that binds our planet – and us in it –  together?  We must re-think progress to achieve the progress of balance, made possible by balance within and without.

What more progress can we – or should we – possibly make in this Holy Land that we were given to steward? Can you improve on a sunset over the ocean? The natural beauty and glory of nature – both the natural world and your nature – is awaiting your return. The resurrection and rebirth we must hope for and work towards is a return to a healthy Holy Land. And it is Planet Earth.

This means that individually and collectively our consciousness needs to return to sanity and health. For as Alva Noe said,  “consciousness isn’t something that happens inside us, it is something we do.”

Let’s start by expanding our consciousness to include the many splendored living organisms that inhabit the same earth.

Here’s a quick exercise to enhance this thought: 

“Ask not what’s inside your head, but what your head’s inside of.”

                                                                                   -William Mace

Close your eyes, uncross your arms and legs,  and breathe out three times slowly, counting from 3 to 1.  See the “1” tall, clear and bright.

Breathe out.

See that by thinking we are separate from nature, we damage what’s inside our heads. We damage our own wild cognition of the world.

Breathe out.

Open your eyes.

What do you see?