Tell the World: A Young Environmentalist Speaks Out ~ Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Review
Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s Tell the World: A Young Environmentalist Speaks Out is another publishing oddity. Thirteen-year-old Cullis-Suzuki is, of course, the famed David Suzuki’s daughter. The book includes the text of her speechView Here at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro held in June, 1992, as well as sections that explain the formation of Cullis-Suzuki’s environmentalist group and give pragmatic suggestions for action to other teenage activists. Cullis-Suzuki’s speech is perfectly decent rhetoric for a cause most of us would support. It is, however, nothing new. While the suggestions for activism are sensible and well presented, the young author seems blissfully unaware of how her privileged position as the child of a celebrity has influenced her effectiveness as an environmental activist. This is understandable and forgivable in a youngster. The decision to publish such ephemera is not.
Rhea Tregebov (Books in Canada) — Books in Canada

Severn Cullis-Suzuki – A Call to Action for Canadians for Earth Summit 2012

Hey everyone. Severn is our inspiration and a hard worker for environmental justice Here she speaks as as We Canada Champion http://www.earthsummit.ca @wecanada

At only 12 years of age, Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke to world leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, telling them that they needed to take action and save the planet. Now, nearly 20 years later, she asks all Canadians to demand action from our leaders at the 2012 UN Earth Summit.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is a world renowned environmental activist, a UN Commissioner for the Earth Charter, and a Champion of the We Canada Initiative.

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Evolving a Robust Root Chakra System, Part 1 ~ Humanity Healing

Understanding Muladhara
Chakra Stats

Common Name: Root Chakra
Name in Sanskrit: Muladhara, meaning “Base and Foundation”
Color: Red
Vortices: 04
Element: Earth
Sound: Lam
Musical Note: C
Correlation Physics: Adrenal Gland/Kidneys

The base chakra is located at the base of the spine and has four small vortexes red. This chakra is the first physical connection between human beings and the planet Earth, not at the holographic level as with the Earthstar Chakra. The more open and vitalized the base chakra, the higher our provision of physical energy.

This chakra is generally associated with economic resources, survival, the basic needs of our existence; the ability to handle money, our independence from others, sense of direction and guidance in life; among other factors. It also regulates our ability to fight for the realization of our ideals.

Factors Regulated by the Root Chakra:

Survival
Self Esteem
Evolution of Identity
Achievement
Autonomy
Tribal thinking

The base chakra is also called the fundamental chakra, root, or basal kundalini chakra, because it is located at the base of the spine or backbone, near the sacrum-plexus.

During its spiraling movement, it presents itself through astral vision as only four lines, forming a suggestive picture of a cross an ethereal orange red color with red flares in its center.

It is the most primitive and simple of all chakras and in its “physical” manifestation, is one of the major outliner of shapes and stimuli of our organic life. It is the driver of the famous “Serpentine Fire,” an etheric center responsible for the flow of powerful energies emanating from the Sun and Earth intimacy: energy “mother of the world” because it is the main foundation of life in matter.

This chakra is also related to the first layer of our Auric field, our intermediate state of matter between the world and our perception as a personality-soul.

When this center is out of balance, we tend to fear more intangible things. Some of these dysfunctions can create a lack of emotional control, causing decontrol of sexual energies, and creating dis-eases in organs related to this center. It can also present a general agitated behavior and feeling of general discomfort in being with our physical body.

When there are physical pathologies related to this unbalance, they are all feared based: either of rejection, failing, to face the unknown, to assume a posture sexual guilt, and fears that were rooted in the personality-soul during traumas in past lives. Many of these problems can manifest as disturbances at the kidneys and adrenal levels.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Mayan Calendar Celebration in Chichen Itza and Piste Pueblo


Welcome to the Synthesis 2012 festival, A global gathering, world music festival and spiritual celebration in Piste pueblo and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. This 2012 festival will occur at the end of the Mayan Calendar on Dec 20th to 23rd this year. We will arrive on the 20th and participate in the global gathering on the Winter Solstice on the 21st. The Synthesis 2012 festival team is working directly with the local Mayan people, event producers in Mexico to produce this historical event.

Imagine yourself here at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan with the Mayans and thousands of others at the dawn of the new age and cycle this December.

Mayan Calendar Celebration
Contrary to media sensationalism, the end of the Mayan Calendar does not mean the end of the world. When we listen to the words of the Mayan Elders, we learn that the end of the Mayan Calendar is comparable to watching your car’s odometer roll over to all zeroes. The Mayan prophecies foretell of a transition to the age of the 5th Sun, a new time when consciousness, prosperity and the Divine Feminine prevail.

Mayan Calendar Dates
Although scholars may debate whether or not December 21st, 2012 is the exact ending date for the Mayan Calendar, we choose to celebrate this time of transition at Chichen Itza on this date because it is also the Winter Solstice and the Galactic Alignment. We invite you to come celebrate and co-create with us for 3 days of music, dance, ceremony and intention-setting for this bridge of transition to the golden age of the 5th Sun at our 2012 festival.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Attractions

We are currently offering international entertainment including Reggae, West African Drum & Dance, Steel Drums, Flamenco Fusion, Afro-Funk Fusion, Cuban, Mayan Music & Dance, Prehispanic Music and Mexican Dance as well as name bands such as Scott Huckabay, Chris Berry & Pangea, Human, Freedom, Diane Patterson, Al Torre, Mirabai & Ceiba. There will also be a variety of presentations by keynote speakers, a tour of the Mayan temples and access to special places known only to locals and regular visitors. Synthesis 2012 festival participants will also receive a copy of Transforming Through 2012, an in-depth compendium of experts on the meaning of 2012.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Amenities
We have arranged catering and ground transportation and several accommodation options for this 3 day 2012 festival celebration from December 20th thru 23rd.

Chichen Itza & Surrounding Grounds
Although the main attraction is the Chichen Itza Pyramid itself, we are utilizing the nearby grounds for most of the Synthesis 2012 festival ceremonies ad celebrations. Working with the people of the Piste pueblo, we have secured several areas nearby to Chichen Itza for camping, meals, entertainment and comfort lodging.

Chichen Itza Pyramid Tour
We have also made preparations for Synthesis 2012 festival participants to receive tour passes to the Chichen Itza Pyramid on Friday, December 21st.

So mark your calendar for the Synthesis 2012 Festival and celebration in Chichen Itza at the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Living A Course in Miracles by Dr. Jon Mundy, Ph.D.

Note from evolutionarymystic:
Just a short note that some years back I attended Dr. Jon Mundy’s course on ” What is mysticism?” , stretching over 3 to 4 week-ends conducted at the New York Open Center.

In 1976, a mysterious “Inner Voice” spoke to Helen Schucman, dictating what would come to be known as A Course in Miracles–a spiritual classic that would go on to sell over two million copies and influence countless people worldwide. Those who study this 1,333-page course can struggle for years to progress through its resonant but often difficult-to-comprehend truths.

Jon Mundy, who knew ACIM’s founders, uses passages from the text to illuminate its teachings on subjects ranging from the self and forgiveness to health and the afterlife. His lively storytelling and in-depth knowledge will help readers embrace the wisdom of this timeless text in their daily lives.

Jon Mundy, Ph.D. is an author, lecturer and the Executive Director of All Faiths Seminary International in New York City. He is the publisher of Miracles magazine, and the author of 9 books including his newest book Living A Course in Miracles by Sterling Ethos of New York City a division of Barnes & Noble’s. He taught university courses in Philosophy and Religion from 1967 to 2009 with a specialization in the History of Mysticism. He met Dr. Helen Schucman the scribe of A Course in Miracles in 1973. Helen introduced him to the Course and served as his counselor and guide till she became ill in 1980.

http://www.bestofyoutoday.com/ did an exclusive interview with Dr.John Mundy

Learn to Forgive to Live a Life of Peace and Happiness

If you are a spiritual seeker, there’s a good chance you know of A Course of Miracles (ACIM), considered one of the most influential works ever written. Author, lecturer and minister Dr. John Mundy has written Living a Course of Miracles to help followers put the teachings of the Course into practice. Here, Dr. Mundy gives us some insight into ACIM, its teachings and his involvement in the Course.

He is a retired lecturer of philosophy, religion and psychology at Interboro Institute, The New School and Mercy College. He has also taught inside Sing Sing and Bedford Hills Prison for Women, the State University of New York and Marist College. He is co-founder of Interfaith Ministries and publisher of MiraclesMagazine.org. He has authored several books, including What Is Mysticism?, Missouri Mystic, Awaken to Your Own Call: A Comprehensive Introduction to A Course in Miracles, Listening to Your Inner Guide, The Ten Laws of Happiness, Money and Jesus, Search for the Center, and Learning to Die.

BOYT: What is A Course in Miracles (ACIM) all about? What is the core premise?

Jon Mundy: When the great spiritual masters reach enlightenment, that enlightenment comes with the awareness that the thing we call an ego does not exist. It never has been and it never will be. It is a dream, a fleeting fantasy and it has no more reality than any of the billions of dreams that the many billions of people who inhabit this planet dream every night. Having no reality, the ego cannot be defined. We need, however, a “working definition” to be clear about the illusion we seek freedom from. We need more awareness so it will not “possess us” in an unconscious way.

My favorite definition of the ego is this: the ego is that which defines, interprets, projects, judges, and analyzes. It is that which is dreaming the dream or “making up the world.” For this very reason the world itself is a projection. The ego has no eternity in it. God is eternal, God is real. Love is eternal. Love is real. We simply dream that we are trapped in a body, in space, in time. The task of the Course is, therefore, to help us be free of the illusion of self (ego) so we can remember who we are in truth—not an ego, but Spirit and as Spirit also a part of God. As the Course says, (speaking metaphorically) “There is no place where the Son ends and the Father begins.”

After his enlightenment, Buddha said he was “awake.” According to the Course, learning always begins with the awakening of Spirit and a turning away from physical sight. Physical sight is limited to the body’s eyes. Physical sight shows us the outer world and that is never satisfying. No matter how many experiences we have or how many things we acquire, before long we will want more. The outer world provides, at best, some temporary satisfaction. Eat and before long you will be hungry. Have sex and before long you may want it again.

In the movie The Bucket List, the main characters played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman go off to see the greatest sights in the world. They sit and look at the pyramids and then they go off to look at something else. The eyes are never satisfied. Satisfaction is never found in the world or in any fantasy. When Jesus in the Gospels says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” he doesn’t mean it’s in our bodies. The body is destined to die. While the ego mind can be possessed by illusions, Spirit remains eternally free.

BOYT: How did you become interested in ACIM and what has been your involvement?

Jon Mundy: In 1973 I met Dr. Helen Schucman, the scribe of the Course, when she and Dr. William Thetford came to a lecture I was giving on mysticism. The following year, I wrote a letter which was published in the newsletter of the American Association for Transpersonal Psychology. In the letter, I expressed interest in being in contact with anyone who was working in the fields of psychotherapy and spirituality as I was doing a dissertation on the conjunction of these two fields. Dr. Thetford saw my letter and suggested to Helen that it was a call for her to complete the writing of the pamphlet, “Psychotherapy, Purpose, Process, and Practice,” which she had begun but never completed. She agreed that my letter was a call for her to complete the psychotherapy pamphlet. She completed it in April 1975. She then called me saying that she had something for me. I agreed to meet with her, Dr. Thetford, and Dr. Ken Wapnick at Ken’s little studio apartment in New York City. There, Helen told me how the Course had come into being and she gave me a copy of the psychotherapy pamphlet.

I walked home that evening with the manuscript under my arm thinking that probably the most important thing which had ever happened to me had just happened, but I had no idea what it was. Not long thereafter, Helen met Judy Skutch. Judy and I were both on the faculty at New York University and had been friends for several years. Judy saw to it that a bunch of copies of the Course were Xeroxed and a small group of us started studying the Course in manuscript format. After the meeting at Ken’s, Helen became my counselor and guide and continued in that role until she became ill in 1980. I’ve been an active student and teacher since 1975; I’ve written eight books and produced a number of CDs based on the teachings of the Course.

BOYT: Why did you decide to write Living a Course of Miracles? What is your goal with the book?

Jon Mundy: It’s one thing to read the Course; it’s another matter altogether to put its principles into practice. You don’t do yoga by reading a book on yoga. In the same way, the Course becomes increasingly clear when I do what it is asking me to do. Living a Course in Miracles is a book about the practical application of the principles of the Course. What we are called to do is give up our judgments of everything in favor of seeing through what the Course calls “the Vision of Christ.” The Vision of Christ sees wholeness and innocence. It cannot see what is not there. I wrote the book in good part because my publisher, Sterling Ethos of New York City, asked me to do so, knowing there was a need for it.

BOYT: How would you characterize ACIM as a practice? Is it religion-based?

Jon Mundy: The Course says of itself that it is but one of “many thousands” of pathways back to God. There is nothing that says that anyone has to do the Course. There is no evangelism in the Course. To evangelize, I must believe that I am right and you are wrong and you need to see things the way I do. The Course is not a religion. It is a study. There are no rites, no rituals, no dogmas, no laws, no creeds, no required ways of believing, no temples, and no churches. There are no ministers. There are no priests. There is no hierarchy. Once you have a hierarchy, you have someone at the top, someone at the bottom, someone in the middle, and ego games going on to see who gets to be on top; who gets to be in the middle; and who has to stay at the bottom. The idea is to keep the ego out altogether. The Course is simply a spiritual discipline or study. It can be done completely on one’s own. It can also be studied in groups, and by attending workshops and conferences. It is essentially a spiritual psychology.

BOYT: Why do you call ACIM a radical philosophy that “asks us to engage in a total reversal in thinking?” What is that shift?

Jon Mundy: The word “radical” means “root” as in a “radish.” The Course is radical in that it goes to the root of the problem; namely, the decision we made to turn away from God, to try and do things on our own. This is pretty much the problem we find in the Adam and Eve narrative in the book of Genesis. Our basic problem is an authority problem. In essence, we say to God, “Thank you very much God, I would rather do it myself.” We have free will. Free will is a characteristic of divinity; therefore, as in the story of the prodigal son, God does not stop us from going off on our own. God also knows that one day we will find that all of our external searching is unsatisfactory. One day we will turn around, come Home (remember Heaven), and realign our will with His. It’s inevitable—so why wait for heaven?

The Course calls for a reversal in thinking. We’ve been looking at the world for so long through judgmental eyes that it takes a good bit of work before we can stop making up the world, let it be what it is, and switch our allegiance from seeing with judgment to allowing what is. We are called upon to let our brothers and sisters be who they are and not to make of love an enemy. If I point out the error of my brother’s ego, I must be seeing through my own ego. Once we stop the projection, we have an opportunity to see things the way they really are and the way they really are is fine. God really is in charge, always has been and always will be. In the end we see that it’s not about time—it’s about remembering the truth of our identity as Spirit, in every present moment.

BOYT: How does the Course compare to other spiritual teachings? Is it unique?

Jon Mundy: The Course is a universal curriculum available to everyone. Although Christian in context (i.e. it uses Christian mythology to explain the basic concepts) it is eastern in outlook and flavor. Dr. Thetford, Helen’s companion in the composition of the Course, said it was “the Christian Vedanta.” Like the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism, the Course is monistic. All there is in truth is God, Love, Truth, Life and Light—big words, all of which are synonyms. There can be no opposite to God, no opposite to truth, to love, etc. There is, therefore nothing to be afraid of. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. There is no hell, no devil, no body, and no world. Though they may look very real, ultimately all these things are ideas of the ego. They are all ephemeral. Like all dreams, they are born in time and they will disappear in time. Life is eternal and not delimited by time. Only that which is true is everlasting. Everything else is an illusion, a fleeting fantasy; it will one day disappear.

The Course is unique in its level of psychological sophistication. It is truly a document of the 20th and the 21st centuries. It could not have appeared before Freud, as it was not until Freud that we had a clear ego psychology. Freud understood the ego very well. Freud, however, thought we were stuck with the ego. He did not see any way for us to be free of it. Freud was an atheist. If he had studied eastern philosophy, he might have seen the way out. The Course, like much of eastern philosophy, is saying that we can be free of the ego by recognizing its non-reality. It is also important that Einstein passed by this planet before the Course came out, as it was not until Einstein that we had the theory of relativity. Time, said Einstein, can speed up. It can slow down and the really interesting thing is what happens when it stops. At that point, we can step out of time. The ego and its home, the body, are innate to time. Life is not bound by time or a body.

BOYT: For readers who might be considering ACIM, what are some of the personal benefits they might experience with the Course?

Jon Mundy: At one point, the Course says that the goal of the Course is happiness. At another point, it says that the goal of the Course is peace. At another point, it says that the goal of the Course is peace and happiness. If you are peaceful, you are probably pretty happy. If you are happy, you are probably pretty peaceful. Ultimately, the Course leads us to freedom from all the judgment and all of the external searching, which goes with the ego. Ultimately, only God is and all is well.

Mysticism and A Course in Miracles – Jon Mundy

If you liked this video – do consider making a small donation: http://bit.ly/FR8zRI Your support helps me to keep everything ad-free and to make even better content! Ken *

I speak to Dr. Jon Mundy, a well-known Teacher and Author in the ACIM community! Jon has been the editor of Miracles Magazine, the longest running ACIM magazine / newsletter, since 1985. Jon is an expert on comparative religion and philosophy, and taught university courses in philosophy and religion from 1967 to 2009. He is also the author of several books: including “Missouri Mystic”, “What is Mysticism?”, and the recently published “Living A Course in Miracles”.

We talk about Mysticism and A Course in Miracles:

– What is Mysticism?
– Some of Jon’s mystical experiences
– How ACIM and other spiritual paths seek to connect us to the pure non-dual state

We then move on to

– His personal experiences growing up in a farm in Missouri
– As a spiritual seeker in India, and meeting gurus such as Muktanada and Rajneesh (Osho)
– His personal experiences knowing Marianne Williamson and Helen Schucman years ago!
– Jon’s alter(ed) ego, the stand up philosopher-comedian Dr. Baba Jon Mundane
– His advice for new ACIM students

Jon’s website:
http://miraclesmagazine.org/

Astrology and the Use of Herbs ~ Humanity Healing


According to research, the origins of astrology had its cradle in the third century BC among the Chaldeans. Inside the tomb of the pharaoh Ramses was found a celestial chart showing the astral influences on all the organs of the human body. From there, Chaldean astrology made its way to Greece, aligning itself with philosophy and mathematics along with other sciences of the “holistic” ancient world.

In Rome, under the influence of the Church, astrological predictions eventually were considered superstitious, and astrologers, along with mystics and spiritualists, were to suffer the persecution of the Catholic Church.

The Arabs in northern Africa and the Mediterranean were the caretakers responsible for the continuity of astrological studies and traditions, adding to this knowledge with the development of more precise calculations, aspects, angles, and areas of influence in man’s life.

The Arabs were also pioneers in the study of treatment with herbs and medicinal plants. They were also the creators of the first known hospitals of the ancient world. Nowadays, herbs and flowers are still used in the preparation medicinal tinctures, teas and dyes. When these herbs are harvested on days and hours of specific planetary regencies, they become effective on the improvement or cure of specific diseases.

Our current society mostly cherishes the values of scientific research and tries to diminish the ancient value of these natural ways of healing in favor or allopathic pharma; as if the advancement of biochemistry are the only treatments possible for our physical ills.

We have a mainstream society where homeopathy and herbal sciences are not fully supported. Obviously, we must not forget that the allopathic treatments sometime are necessary, but we should never forget to add the advantage of a complementary and supplementary use of natural resources such as herbs.

The entry of the Sun in the Zodiac Virgo is a great cosmic cycle for the harvesting of herbs, flowers and roots in order to prepare tinctures and remedies. It is indeed perfect time integration with the healing force since Virgo is the sign of the sixth house of the astral map, reigning upon health and lifestyle.

The following lists contain the Astrological Herbal Correspondences for Elements, Planets and signs:

ELEMENTS

FIRE: Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Carrot, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Cumin, Frankincense, Ginger, Hyssop, Juniper berry, Mandarin, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Pennyroyal, Petty grain, Rosemary, Rue, Saffron, Sassafras.

WATER: Camphor, Cardamom, Chamomile, Cypress, Geranium, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Lemon, Marjoram, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Pennyroyal, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Valerian, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang

AIR: Anise, Bergamot, Caraway, Clary sage, Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fir, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Myrtle, Neroli, Palma Rosa, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Sage, Spearmint, Thyme

EARTH: Balsam, Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Myrtle, Narcissus, Oak moss, Patchouli, Rose, Sage, Spikenard, Thyme, Vanilla, Vetiver, Wintergreen

PLANETS

SUN: Angelica, Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Carrot, Cedar, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Juniper berry, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Rosemary, and Plants those are beneficial to the heart and circulation.

MOON: Camphor, Chamomile, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Labdanum, Lemon, Mugwort, Myrrh, (also many night blooming, white tropical flowers). Include Plants that may affect the activities of the subconscious. Plants living by the water.

MERCURY: Anise, Caraway, Clary Sage, Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Narcissus, Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Storax, Thyme, Wintergreen

VENUS: Balsam de Peru, Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Cypress, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrtle, Oak moss, Palma Rosa, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Thyme, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ylang-ylang; herbs that calm overindulgence in food.

MARS: Basil, Black pepper, Carrot, Coriander, Cumin, Ginger, Pennyroyal, Petty grain, Pine, Rue, Sassafras

JUPITER: Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Cedar, Clove, Hyssop, Melissa, Nutmeg, Saffron, Sage, Sandalwood. Herbs that promote a positive frame of mind and expansion.

SATURN: Clary sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fir, Myrrh, Oak moss, Patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver

URANUS: Chamomile (blue), Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lime, Neroli. Herbs that energize stimulate and promote inspiration.

NEPTUNE: Honeysuckle, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Spikenard. Mystical herbs that are helpful in dream work.

PLUTO: Anise, Basil, Cypress, Pennyroyal, Valerian. Herbs known as beneficial for enhancing sexuality

SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC

ARIES: (Cardinal fire, ruled by Mars, sun exalted) – Bay laurel, Black pepper, Cedar, Frankincense, Ginger, Petty grain, Pine, Rue, Sassafras

TAURUS: (fixed earth, ruled by mars, moon exalted) – Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Geranium, Jasmine, Myrtle, Oak moss, Patchouli, Rose, Thyme, Vanilla.

GEMINI: (Mutable Aair, ruled by Mercury) – Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, spearmint, Storax

CANCER: (cardinal water, ruled by Moon, Jupiter exalted) – Camphor, carrot, chamomile, honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon

LEO: (fixed fire, ruled by sun) – Bay laurel, cinnamon, frankincense, Juniper berry, Mandarin, Neroli, Rosemary, saffron

VIRGO: (mutable earth, ruled by mercury, Mercury exalted) – Caraway, Clary sage, Narcissus, Spikenard, Wintergreen

LIBRA: (cardinal air, ruled by Venus, Saturn exalted) – Cypress, lavender, Marjoram, myrtle, Palma rose, rose, spearmint, thyme

SCORPIO: Fixed water, ruled by mars and Pluto, Uranus exalted) – Anise, Basil, Coriander, Cumin, cypress, ginger, labdanum, Pennyroyal, pine, rue, valerian

SAGITTARIUS:
(mutable fire, ruled by Jupiter) – Angelica, bergamot, cedar, clove, coriander, hyssop, nutmeg, sage, saffron

CAPRICORN: (cardinal earth, ruled by Saturn and Uranus) – Clary sage, Oak moss, patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver

AQUARIUS: (fixed air, ruled by Saturn and Uranus) – Chamomile (blue), Clay sage, eucalyptus, fennel, fir, lime, Neroli

PISCES: (Mutable water, ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, Venus exalted) – Honeysuckle, Marjoram, Melissa, mugwort, sandalwood, spikenard, ylang-ylang

DARKNESS AND LIGHT ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee ~

“At this time of transition, as humanity deepens
its self-destructive nightmare,
the light of the sacred is calling to us and we can still respond.”

A few years ago I came out of a meditation with a sentence that disturbed and surprised me. The words I was given were simple: “Those who follow the light follow the light. Those who follow the darkness stay here.” At that time the focus of my writing and teaching was on oneness: I was exploring how the next step in our evolution will be to awaken to the consciousness of oneness—the consciousness that we are all part of one interconnected spiritual organism. And here I was given a profound and almost paradoxical statement that said otherwise: that there would be a division between those who follow the light and those who follow the darkness. I was left with a strange sense of unease.

Over the years since I have meditated on this saying, trying to understand its message. Watching the outer world, listening within, and to the dreams and visions of others, I have come to believe that we have arrived at such a time of division, of separation between darkness and light. Looking around at a world covered in materialism, wrapped in a profound forgetfulness of the sacred, there is little to indicate a world of light.

Instead the forces of darkness, with their global exploitation and greed, with their unprecedented ecological destruction and desecration, appear to have taken over the world. Each time we have the potential to make a collective decision to help humanity and the environment, whether at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009, or this year’s Rio’s Summit, we have put exploitation before real care for our planet’s well-being. In fact at the Rio Summit the term “sustainability” mutated into “sustained growth.” Looking solely toward material progress, humanity has forgotten its sacred role as guardian of the planet.

And yet there are also signs of a global spiritual awakening. The principle of oneness, of being part of an interconnected living whole, is no longer a fringe idea. There is a longing within many people in different parts of the world to return to the sacred, to live a connection to the divine within themselves and within life. Many are dissatisfied with the values of materialism and the soulless civilization its fosters. Individually and as groups people are aspiring to create a way of life based upon a relationship to what is sacred. Often it seems that those who aspire to live by this awakening light and those who are drawn deeper and deeper into the addictions of materialism are living on different planets.

Some people are waiting, hoping that the prophecies of the Mayan Calendar mean that at the end of 2012 the awaited global transformation will take place. Others see darker signs on the horizon, sensing that we are at a few minutes to midnight in a global ecological or economic collapse, an unprecedented “tipping point” whose effects we cannot predict. We all have our hopes and fears, some shared and some secret. But we cannot deny that primal changes are happening in the inner and outer worlds. Is this a crisis or an opportunity, or both?

My own sense and deep sadness is that we have reached or even passed the “tipping point” and that humanity has made its collective decision. It has decided to pursue its dreams of economic prosperity with disregard for the environment and its own soul. Collectively we have refused to take real responsibility for our actions, for the massive depletion of species, global warming and the pollution that we continue to cause. Humanity has decided to remain in the darkness, forgetful of the sacred within all of life.

We cannot return to the simplicity of an indigenous life style, or to the ways of the hunter-gatherer. But we could have made a transition towards a real sustainability that cares for all of life and its sacred interconnected nature. Instead we have made a collective decision for “sustained growth,” regardless of its consequences. We have placed our own material welfare before the well-being of the whole. Our worship of the false gods of materialism has now become a globally destructive phenomenon.

What this means to the soul of humanity we cannot begin to understand. In its entire history, humanity as a whole has never made such a collective decision—almost all previous cultures lived a deeply rooted connection to the sacred, in whatever form that took; such a decision would have been unimaginable. And what is especially frightening now is our seeming lack of awareness of this choice or its possible consequences.

In our arrogance and ignorance we have decided to forget our sacred role as guardians of the planet. We have chosen not to listen to the cry of life itself, even as we poison its waters and bring its species to extinction. We do not even realize that there is also a spiritual dimension to our unprecedented ecocide that we are so heedlessly committing. Our desecration has created an inner wasteland vaster than the Tar Sands in Northern Alberta. And as a result, a sacred substance that is necessary to nourish the soul of humanity is growing weaker and weaker; soon it will no longer be accessible.

Traditionally this substance was nourished by the sacred ways of humanity, by its prayers, symbols and ceremonies. For example when the Pomo Indian people of Northern California wove baskets, the women would go out and pray over the grasses before they cut them. As they wove their baskets they would put the reeds or grasses through their mouths to moisten them, praying over them. The basket thus wove together the physical and the spiritual parts of life. All aspects of life were approached in this way, the warp and woof of physical and spiritual woven together into the single fabric of life that was never anything than sacred. Indigenous peoples saw their life as a communion with earth and spirit that nourished them and at the same time nourished creation, the two being so interwoven it would not have been possible even to think of nourishing the one without nourishing the other.

But we have lost these sacred ways and forgotten their purpose. And now our Western consumer culture that has no relationship to the sacred dimension of creation has become a global monster. The sacred substance within creation that gives deep meaning to our existence is hardly present anymore: humanity’s soul is starving and we do not even notice. Caught in the darkness we have created, does humanity have any choice but to remain in this soulless world?

And yet this darkness is not all that is present. There is a light that is calling to us. Those who are responding look towards a different way of being—a way in which they are not seduced by materialism and its accompanying forgetfulness of the sacred. In many different ways they aspire to live this light of the divine. But this light can no longer penetrate the darkness of our collective consciousness. It is more and more difficult for the light to exist in a world so devoid of the sacred—there is nothing to sustain it. The pathways of light have begun to separate from the world of darkness. The words that I was told those years ago begin to speak a truth I only now start to understand.

How can we access the light? The world of light is always present, only hidden by the desires of the ego and our instinctual drives. Our base instinctual drives, such as lust or aggression are very tangible: some of our self-centered actions and attitudes are also very visible. Other seductions of the ego, though, are more subtle. For example in our contemporary culture the ego has created an image of spiritual life that subtly serves the ego’s own purposes. The spirituality that is now sold in our market-place as a vehicle for self-improvement and self-empowerment, rather than service, has created a web of deception. Its promises, focusing on our ego’s needs and desires, hide us from the simplicity of our real Self. The true light of the divine cannot be marketed or sold, but like sunlight is free and belongs to all of us. However it carries the price of consciousness—awareness undistorted by the ego. With this awareness comes the real responsibility that is always in service to what is highest.

If we are to be present in the light we need to turn away from the ego and its patterns of self-interest. Then we will find a very different world opening around us. The higher knowledge that belongs to the world of light will gradually become accessible. In this light we will see more clearly the oneness of our multidimensional world, the “unity of being” that the mystic has long known to be the real nature of existence. And we will learn how to live according to the ways of oneness, which are very different to the struggles and demands of duality—the apparent world of separation we have inhabited for centuries. The sacred will once again be present though in a new way—not as something to be sought or longed for, but something naturally within and around us—the divine once again communing directly with us. And this relationship with the sacred will of necessity include creation: an awareness of the light of the divine throughout the whole web of life. Once again we will be able to read nature’s book of revelation and learn how to work with the real magic of creation. This is the future that is being offered to us at this moment in time.

At present these two realities appear to co-exist. People living in the same towns and the same streets are already in very divergent worlds. There are those who deny the dangers of climate change and think that we can safely continue our economic expansion. Believing in the myth of progress they look to technology to save us—blind to any real consequences of our unsustainable way of life. The effects of the ecocide we are perpetuating and the accompanying desecration of the inner world of the soul do not even enter their consciousness. And there are many others who know a very different reality in which inner and outer sustainability, and a reawakening of the sacred, are living principles. How these communities will continue together in the future is uncertain.

What really matters at this moment are the individual choices we make. In our world of free-will it is for each of us to make the decision: to follow the light or the darkness. The darkness is very present around us, and continues to entice us with the ego-centered desires and distractions of soulless materialism. The light will offer us a new way of being, a new awareness of our divine nature. And yet as with all transitions we will have to sacrifice something—our attachment to materialism, our focus on our self to the exclusion of the whole. At the moment there is still a bridge between these two worlds, still a way to journey from the darkness into the light. Soon the inner divide will grow too wide and the time for choice will have passed. But at this time of transition, as humanity deepens its self-destructive nightmare, the light of the sacred is calling to us and we can still respond.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D, is a Sufi teacher and author. His most recent book is Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism. Since 2000, the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and an awakening global consciousness of oneness. More recently he has written about the feminine, the Anima Mundi (world soul), and spiritual ecology.

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