22 Mar, 2021

Serve Life

22 Mar, 2021

Happy World Water Day!

I titled these musings, “Serve Life” rather than “Heal Earth” because in truth to “heal” earth is to serve life.  Daniel Christian Wahl, author of Designing Regenerative Cultures gives us this beautiful illustration that depicts a different way of seeing the world.

The ancient Sanscrit word ‘Seva’ (सेवा) is most commonly translated as ‘service’ in the sense of ‘being in service to a larger whole’ and ‘giving more than one takes’.

Wahl suggests that it is in our enlightened self-interest to work regeneratively in service to all life, moving from an unhealthy arrogant ego to a humble self-loving one, in relationship with our world as an equal member of what the Celts called, “The World Tree,” and in service to health and wellbeing at local, regional and global scales.

Today, March 22, 2021, is World Water Day. In deference to the importance and value of water as life, let’s look at “service to life” from the perspective of water.

I want to start with a visualization. Jesus of Nazareth has walked down to the sea of Galilea, perhaps after having visited Mary of Magdala in her home just over Mount Arbel. Meadows carpeted with spring anemones, purple hyacinth and pink Dianthus give way to the sea. Waters are so clear that abundant sea life can be seen from the shore.

The Sea of Galilea

Sea of Galilea

Jesus lifts his arms out over the blue water and words of gratitude escape his lips: Oh, life-giving waters that came to us from the clouds above the mountains, who gave it to the rivers, who gave it to the sea, I bless thee. And so I float on cloud become water, sea surrounded by mountains, the water fresh, cloud-fall and stream-rush, tree-root and tide-bank, the mouths of rivers sing into the sea those stories buried in the mountains. And the sea remembers and sings back from the depths where nothing is forgotten[1]. Jesus reaches into the crystalline water and cups it to his lips, drinking deeply.

[1] Adapted from “Where Many Rivers Meet” by David Whyte.

SHOW OF HANDS: As opposed to mountains or forests, how many here would describe water as their “go to” place for relaxation, inspiration, and rejuvenation?

Each of us knows water in an intimate and exquisite way. From a microscopic, fertilized egg, our imaginal cells began to develop surrounded by nourishing fluids for protection and buoyancy — water.  Our eyes leak water when we are moved, or sad. Water was once our home as we evolved from water beings to land beings.

On this first day of spring, it’s worth noting that what creates the bright rich greening of our lawns and trees is rainwater.

And so it’s no surprise that water is used in baptism because it is a metaphor for the source, Mother-Father God, the nourishing cleanser, as depicted in the beautiful song, “Come to the Water”.

SING: Oh let all who seek, let them come to the water…”

In Ireland, as in many places around the world, wells were – and are – sacred, often associated with the feminine qualities of the divine. Blessing and gratitude ceremonies are an essential way of demonstrating a philosophy of interconnectedness the Lakota call, Mitakuye Oyasin, “all our relations.” Water is life, and it is also kin. How do we treat our kin?

For centuries, indigenous peoples and farmers believed in a supernatural technique called dowsing (also known as divining) to locate freshwater below the earth’s surface. They believed hidden water sources emitted energies and frequencies that could be detected with a special tool. Before Henry Swett drilled for the water well that resides here on Sunrise Hill, he held out a divining rod – a Y-shaped stick of hazelwood; and walked the land. When the rod pulled down, that’s where he drilled. Our well flow exceeds 100 gallons per minute. Henry Swett said it could serve 20 homes.

Fill a glass with water. It may look crystal clear, but it could in fact hold a universe of secrets, waiting to be discovered. Indeed, there is a burgeoning field of study called water consciousness. It first gained international attention with the unconventional but groundbreaking experiments of Japanese researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto.

In the 1990s, Emoto performed a series of experiments in which water was kept in a variety of bottles, each carrying a label with a different message. The messages ranged from positive and caring (thank you, love) to negative (I hate you, I want to kill you), and then drops of water from these bottles were placed on slides and deep-frozen to form snowflake-like crystals.

His findings were astounding. The crystals that formed on positive messages were found to be more geometric and aesthetically pleasing, while the crystals formed by water with negative messages were chaotic and frankly, ugly.

 

Matt Thornton, CEO of a company, The New Water Generation, says, “When we begin to understand water, the roadmap to ending all pollution will begin.”

 

I’m told by a friend whose husband is a lobsterman near me in Southern Maine how some lobstermen care so little about the ocean, that after changing out their engine oil, they dump the used oil into the sea.

How are we treating our kin?

A few years ago, I was thrown into wakefulness by an alarming dream. In it:

Jesus is standing in front of me, and He is holding a blue plastic bucket.

He hands me the bucket, looks at another person next to me and says,

“Have the ‘other’ fill this bucket with water from your taps and your rivers, and I will drink from your creation.”

 

“Have the ‘other’ fill this bucket with water from your taps and your rivers, and I will drink from your creation.”

It was clear to me in the dream there was no “other” – that I am as guilty for the destruction of the earth as anyone else I might blame – because we are all One. And it was quite clear that he was not saying HIS creation; he was saying YOUR creation.

Friends, what do you do when you get a dream like that? How can it NOT change you? The world we have created is one in which our rivers run swiftly with herbicides and pesticides, wastewater and fracking fluid. The oceans we have spoilt by the cruise-ships that systematically open their valves and dump all their black (toilet) water into them, or by the ravenous trawling nets of over-fishing, or from the North Pacific garbage vortex, filled with chemical sludge, plastic and debris that is larger than the state of Texas.

Photo: GreenPeace 2018

 

So I ask the question, “What IF? What IF we humans were to treat our waters everywhere as though Jesus, the Divine Being, was going to bless them and then drink from them (as in my earlier image)?” And then I have another thought: “Isn’t a deer Divine? Isn’t a bee Divine? Isn’t all of Creation Divine? How have we lost this fundamental view of the sacredness of Creation, and its ultimate Life Force – water?”

Let’s return then to the studies on water consciousness – this idea that water is more than a good conductor, that water retains “memories,” of Doctor Emoto and his findings which he called, hado– the life force energy-consciousness of varying frequencies infused in all matter.

This begs the question: Given the high water composition of the human brain and body, if water is in fact conscious and receptive to energy frequencies, how can these positive or negative messages affect our bodies on a molecular level?

Probably – and paradoxically – the most important thing we can do to serve life is to guard and sweeten our thoughts, and the circular thinking of endless negativity we are fed by media. Friends, I hope you’ve taken a fast from the news this Lent. I highly recommend it. In fact, I fast from the news on most days, and it has changed my life.

 

To serve life starts with a foundation of thinking and acting with a mindset of healer, restorer, and returner of balance. Then, when faced with daily decision-making, we can ask ourselves:

How does this decision I plan to make serve my inner climate and the waters of my well-being?

How does it serve my community?

How does it serve life?

 

I’d like to end with this beautiful poem by Ganga White, Founder of White Lotus Yoga:

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words.
What if the temple was the earth
If forests were our church
If holy water, the rivers, lakes, and oceans
What if meditation was our relationships
If the Teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.

Happy Vernal Equinox. Happy World Water Day.

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1 Comment:

  • Rozanne March 22, 2021

    Thanks for sharing your musings on water and serving life on this World Water Day, Jen. And I’m glad to see you close your post with the poem by Ganga White, as I’ve always loved it. You are always so good at helping us all see the “What IFs?” we need to be asking ourselves! xoxo

    Reply

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