Saturday, May 14, 2011

One Earth

My desire and intent in this blog is to share my experiences of the interaction, partnership, and collaboration between the physical and non-physical (or "subtle") worlds.  But right off the bat, even this simple statement runs into problems.  I have to be careful that my language doesn't get in the way of accomplishing this intent.

We live in a world of differences, and these differences are important. They should not be glossed over or denigrated in the name of an abstract "Oneness."  There are significant and powerful differences between the physical and non-physical worlds, the most obvious being that the former is accessible to our five senses and the latter is not.  For anyone seeking to make contact with the inner worlds, this is a formidable barrier, one that stops most people before they investigate to see if they can go any further.

The differences between the realms are important and need to be understood and respected. I discuss this in some detail in my book Subtle Worlds.  But paradoxically, the best first step we can take in the direction of collaboration with the invisible realms is not to focus on the differences but to think of them as part of a single, whole earth in which material and subtle realities are blended.  When I go through my day and I have an experience of some subtle presence--a nature spirit perhaps or a visitor from a higher dimension, perhaps one of my colleagues in designing classes--I don't think, "Oh, right now I'm engaging with a subtle being from the subtle worlds."  Rather I think, "Oh, right now I'm engaging with a fellow member of the earth." The fact that I have a body and the intelligence I'm engaging with in the moment doesn't isn't really the most important fact about us.  The most important thing is that we are both life-forms inhabiting this world which in its wholeness has physical and non-physical sides, or as my friend Catherine MacCoun (author of a wonderful book, On Becoming an Alchemist) would say, "vertical" and "horizontal" dimensions.

Imagine meeting someone from another country whose culture is very different from your own.  For example, I meet someone from China.  There are obvious differences of language and culture between us, and I need to take those into account. But the most salient fact--the one that gives the overarching context to our meeting--is that we are both human beings living on the earth.  China is different from the United States but both are part of the earth.  A Chinese individual is different from me as an American in our cultural backgrounds and world views, but we are both people.  We both have hopes and fears. We both want to happy. We both want to love and be loved.

Recognizing this is not quite the same as saying we are part of a mystical Oneness.  Too often, I feel, we use the concept of "oneness" to obliterate important distinctions and differences.  Instead, it's saying that we we have things in common on which to build a relationship and develop a communication.

This is how I think of subtle beings.  Like me, they seek to love and be loved; they seek to fulfill the nature of their beingness; they seek to align and embody sacredness.  We have in common that we are part of Gaia, part of the cosmos, part of the Sacred, the Generative Mystery.  We have in common that we share the earth and its destiny.  This creates a link between us that can transcend the differences of our vibrational status, whether I'm vibrating to the frequency of physical matter or they are vibrating to the frequency of matter in a different state of being.

So going back to my original intent: yes, it is to champion and explore partnership between incarnate persons and subtle beings, but perhaps more deeply, it is to champion the realization of a single earth with two interacting ecologies, one of matter, one of energy and spirit.  If we can grasp this realization, collaboration with partners from earth's "subtle half" can begin to unfold more naturally.