Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Reflections on the Loss of Ancestors

The wisdom of a billion years of life whirls through our very DNA. We explode with the creative impulse of evolution. We are imaginative beyond all measure, each of us, this miracle of molecules. We are vibrating souls of a pure energy, poised at the starting blocks of a great New World. So much to be revealed, and so much already manifest in anchors of goodness, delivered by untold heroes who ask for nothing in return. Patient ancestors watch and smile at each grand deed in the forward thrust of humanity towards its full awakening. We have arrived. Sacred wells of change spring forth in acts of kindness and generosity.

Something very lonely has been the lot of a great many of us. We are without a connectedness to an essential body of caring ancestors. We are alone. While our living friends and relations are a vibrant and essential part of us, we cannot be constantly surrounded by such people. We walk by ourselves through much of our day, through most of our life. Do we have a guardian angel, a knowable God? Some of us do, maybe. Do we have a connection to ancestors who are deeply invested in our well-being because we have inherited their DNA, and, more importantly, their dreams for a purposeful life? This lonely detachment from ancestors is a very sad state of affairs. Our separation from a living vital earth is another component of our profound dysphoria. Neither embedded in place, nor surrounded by watchful spirits, we can feel so alone today.

Imagine this brain that evolved in the Pleistocene environment of hunting and gathering. It has been unceremoniously stripped of the trappings of wild nature that both inspired it to flourish, and gently brought the dual hemispheres into sympathetic dance. It lives now largely in a world that sings the praises of linear mind, left mind, and offers the right mind accolades for art electives and the occasional music concert.

The ancestors are still waiting upon the living generations of people to shake loose from the death grip of post-industrial culture that has torn gaping wounds across earth’s blessed face. They have infinite patience because they are both timeless and knowing. We can touch that timelessness when we align with what is true and right about our dance on Great Mother Earth this time. So much beauty and wisdom exists like silken parades in wind over our heads that we can reach out and grasp if we simply trust this deeper knowing that is indigenous to mind. We are awake and yet how quiet the knowing mind has become -insolent rebellion from the gifts and yet ancestors are not bitter. They are ever patient.

My human form is secretly isolated from a bountiful world just beyond the double-paned windows of civilization, insulating as they do from any conscious knowledge that I have lost both place and ancestors. I peer out from the vantage point of eager scholar, budding woodsman, romantic lover of the Goddess, seasoned (if only recently conscious) mentor of youth. ‘Place’ is sacred hill, lush woodlands, terrain known under foot, fields grazed by the Other who will be the object of adoration and target of a spear to feed me. Contradictions from within this ‘place,’ the violence and the beauty, will be addressed and reconciled as the ancestors are spoken of in myth, and danced to in ritual. A connection to mythic heroes from our past becomes the guidepost for a more serious journey that begins at adolescence. We become hunters now, stalking that deep seed of destiny linking us to the ancestors who gifted us this cargo of fate.

Anchored as we are in this culture blinded by centuries of warfare and cruelty, the vast expanse of human creative expression and imaginative birthright gets buried in vitriolic evening newscasts that systematically ignore our heroism and instead parade our childish betrayals of the ancestors. We are much more than we are told, and we feel this deeply in the bones. We know something is amiss, and we manage to fashion a durable kind of self around a tenacious if tenuous belief that things really are OK despite deep callings that say otherwise. We are awakening, and this emergence into truth is not without ample birth pain. But is has its glory and we can sit still for just a moment and we know we evolve to betterment, as is the nature of time really.

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