[Sent September 7, 2011 to Encanto members. I realized it ought to be public here too.]
I just returned the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide back to the library. It was part of my research into the root causes of maternal health and girl's education (among the U.N. Millenium Goals I'd committed to apply ho'oponopono on behalf). It's just the mood I'm in today, and I'm sure another day I'd have quite another review. Right now, I'm frustrated so many of the solutions (mind you, I wasn't looking for any--just trying to deeply understand the root problem first, and that was my impetus to get the book) presented basically boil down to money--give us money and we can solve anything. But really, solve meant typically in this context, treat someone after they are sick in a hospital by a doctor. Rarely do people speak of preventing dis-ease or eliminating the issue at hand before anyone suffers.
Okay, coincidentally I noted Seth Godin's new ebook through his The Domino Project imprint today. It's a charity project to raise money for anti-malaria bed netting via sales of a book:
"At least $20 from each copy [book] sold by us goes directly to Malaria No More to send a mosquito net to a family in need and to support life-saving work in the fight against malaria. Malaria No More, an international advocacy organization, is on a mission to end malaria related deaths by 2015."
I noted the synchroncity because reducing deaths due to malaria is also on the U.N. MDG list (thus, my list too).
However, I am under no delusion that sending money for bed netting is wiping malaria from the face of the earth. Not to mention I don't have $25 to my name this sec--seriously. I just wrote a check for my storage locker in Arizona--owned by a nice mom-and-pop operation owned by Dennis. I know the folks (as best I can) that I exchange energy/money with, but that's another story--or is it? Again, the money goes to netting, not eliminating malaria. Netting is a stop-gap measure when looking at the core questions.
We give up. Sure it seems "too big" to tackle malaria, I was taught to say. But why resign ourselves? Begs the question too, where am I throwing up temporary nets to avoid the issue of a getting to the bottom of a potentially death-inducing dis-ease while it continues flying around me?
The last time I went to a country (Thailand, Sri Lanka 2005) that recommended malaria prevention measures and quite a few other vaccines, I didn't do anything of the sort. Yes, I used to get all the proper vaccinations. By 2005 I knew without a shred of a doubt that my certainty of mind and knowing of my self to be Well-Being Wholeness was and is my protection. (Sort of a take off from A Course in Miracles, "In my defenselessness, my safety lies." -- something that must be practiced as it depends on inner certainty, not knowing about how it worked for someone else... start with small things...)
Malaria. I see it as a message.
End malaria? One doesn't end a message. One grasps a message, understands it, assimilates it--then it's work is done and is discarded.
I'm not always chipper to hear messages myself. I recall a few months ago that loud, incessant knocking at the door here. I wasn't asleep--but had only awoken minutes before, I walk groggy to the door in my pajamas. The police officer says, "I'm letting all the tenants know that a tip came in, and there's a dangerous situation and everyone needs to evacuate from the building." I thanked her. I didn't fight her or protest the inconvenience. I could have asked more questions, yes but I was sleepy and she was very firm and adamant about the danger, now. Why? What's the tip about? What danger do you mean? But I quickly got dressed and left the building and then asked more questions once at the edge of the condo complex, rather than endanger myself. There had been a bomb threat called in.
(It's just an analogy.) Malaria is a message knocking, and I can ignore it and keep puttering around the condo. Perhaps it means nothing. Except the message isn't from a bothersome external entity, it comes from I, in a wave-form pattern (call it symbol) and later the pattern can manifest more tangibly as dis-ease.
Malaria: Out of balance with nature and with life. - Louise Hay
That's the message. And it's not collective. It's individual. (So that makes it collective... that's the paradox of oneness, of wholeness.) No one else there to blame. It sounds sort of green, not really. There are times I regret being an environmentalist in the 80s since I created influenced a few ideological monsters by handing folks books like Silent Spring. Folks like a family menber that won't speak to her next-door neighbor because they drive an SUV. That's out of balance. Our true nature has no rift with our neighbor which is One with everyone and everything. Malaria is not a message to blame anyone else for being out of balance with life.
Malaria's a very intimate handwritten letter. To me. (To you if this resonates.) Or consider it a whisper in the wind... be balanced with life and nature, there's no need to fight life, we ARE you, living through you....
NATURE AND LIFE
Two days ago, I stumbled onto a new blog at Ways of the Wild Institute, a wilderness survival and awareness school (interestingly in Vermont, yet unaffected by the flooding). In it, the founder, White Wolf, tells the story of his teacher and his teacher's peoples, born in 1896:
"You will not find most of their names on any census. Like hundreds of others in this land, they escaped the tagging that the government placed on all others. While others Native Americans were being horded into reservations or being killed under government policies, Meechgalanne’s people took to the wilds and disappeared. They refused to give their powers and freedom to the invading cultures."
That post is worth reading since it sets so much context for reading White Wolf's blog (if you do) since his teacher is the one who taught him the old Medicine Ways--ways of balance with nature and awareness. Also White Wolf has lived in some quite adverse conditions and survived and transformed through them. We are very different in that he goes the way of the purist warrior and survivor living in the mountains and wilderness, and I'm more the romantic magician and artist. Yet reading his blog I knew he knew much of the the same things I'd stumbled upon regardless of our diverse paths. The main difference on his blog is that he is willing to be (warrior) bold, plain honest (even if it upsets a few apple carts of belief systems) and outspoken (since what he shares are so secret and even denigrated as being primitive in our culture) about them.
In another article, White Wolf shares my own ways of self-healing. This is a topic that only became appealing to me to learn when my health insurance ended with my divorce in 2002, and I couldn't afford a policy being unemployed at the time. The strange thing is the more I delved into healing by applying experiments and such (book smarts don't count here--it either heals or it doesn't) the more I realized my health is your health....
"In the way of the Medicine Healer we use our minds to heal."
"Chronic pain is a messenger. "
"Remember that the pain is not your enemy, but a warning guide to something deeper that you need to find. It does not have to be cancer- it could very easily be that you are not living your dream and truth in life and so need to switch pathways."
In another post, on Reiki, he shares:
"Meechgalanne and Kikey Gawi always said that pure energy of life comes from the universe itself and is there for everyone to use. They had been tapping into the pure universal energy for their entire lives without Reiki training and without secret symbols. I saw them use it many times with great success.
. . . .
I have the training of a Reiki Master but I do not use the symbols that I was originally taught. After I began using Reiki some time ago, I realized that the deep feelings and energy that radiated from the symbols were anything but pure. After deep searching I recalled Meechgalanne and Kikey Gawi using universal energy without symbols. So I went back to my teaching with them and how they did what they did surfaced in my memory as clear as mountain streams. They would open themselves to the universal energy by allowing it to flow through their High Spirit Self ( also called Oversoul, High Self, Pure Self) and then down into their physical and energy bodies. This way it was pure, untainted and truth. Nothing imbalanced could interfere or touch this pure energy flow. They knew exactly were it came from and the path it took to reach them."
Below is a full copy of the post which affected me the deepest and probably the one I read first, and has much there to say about the balance of life and nature grounded in trust.
Unfortunately so much of these topics come under the subject of paranormal, supernatural or simply "that's impossible" when I've tried to broach these same subjects myself in our culture speaking from my OWN experience.
(White Wolf is speaking from his.)
A LESSON IN SELF-BELIEF
Meechgalanne said to me, “Animals can survive in their natural habitat with nothing but themselves and the environment around them. Most humans can not. The key to surviving in the natural world is knowing survival skills and trusting in nature to provide. Meechgalanne told me this many times.
One day Meechgalanne decided to show me just exactly what he meant. I, as usual, was unaware of his plans. He took me out one weekend when I was still fairly young on a bare necessity camping trip. We went out in an area I was not familiar with. We moved so fast and in zigzags I became disoriented fairly quickly. We stopped and made a quick and basic survival camp. It was fall and most of the plants were gone for the winter. We sat around a fire that night talking about all the spiritual things that pertained to my present training. We went to sleep on our earthen beds of leaves and moss.
I awoke the next morning to a cool brisk breeze rushing through the forest. I sat up and realized Meechgalanne and all the things we had brought with us were gone. There were no tools, water, food, clothes or sign of anything left. I was alone with nothing but the very light layer of clothes I had on. I was cold so I tried to start a fire with any hot coal that might have been left, but Meechgalanne had snuffed them all out. I tried to start the fire, find water, find food, build a windproof shelter, and find Meechgalanne’s tracks and to tell direction on that cold cloudy day. Nothing worked because I was nervous and had not practiced my skills enough. I was miserable!
Cold, thirsty, angry at myself and lost, I saw a squirrel go by as I sat shivering. It stood up and began yelling at me, probably for being so stupid. I told it to shut up and leave me alone. It looked at me some more and ran off. I watched it for a little while and was amazed at how such a small animal could survive with ease out here all year. I saw the amazing strength of the trees and the tiny little plants under the leaves. I was almost sad to be a human once I fully realized how weak we actually were. The day was getting colder and I realized I had to do something before I froze sitting at the bottom of a tree. A crow flew over and yelled at me for a while before gliding away. At the time I thought it was yelling at me for being stupid as well. I was so miserable I could not understand what anything was telling me. All my training so far seemed like a waste.
Then I started to meditate. After a short while I became warm and relaxed. Soon I heard a cedar tree tell me to use its bows for shelter. A rock at my feet said that if I used it, it would give me sparks to make a fire. A voice on the breeze told me there was water not far to the west. A ancient looking wolf with matted fur the color of northern birch bark walked out of the woods and stood before me. I was amazed! I looked at him and knew that we had met before. He said to me, “White Wolf, I am an old one that has been beside you for many lives and we have shared much. I have come forth once again so you can learn from me. You must remember, child, that you have a very old spirit and you are not weak in anyway. Your only weakness is nothing but an imagination of an illusion placed before you by the technological world. You are of the wolf, my old friend, and you know our ways. You and I are one. Look within your spirit and feel the power flowing through your blood. The knowledge of ages courses through you as we speak. Reach in and take hold of it.” The old wolf turned and loped away. I quickly got to work and within a short time I had a very comfortable survival camp with fire, shelter, seats, water in bark containers and roots to eat. I was happy and thanked everything around me for its help. I realized my training was not a waste and Meechgalanne was right. Survival skills were the key to being able to comfortably live in the wild. Survival skills, awareness and belief in the sacred way of all life were all necessary.
Meechgalanne returned a while later with a big smile and said, “You have done well. You believed and so you were given the gifts you needed.”
I was so happy I had done the right thing. It made me proud when Meechgalanne complemented me for using what he had taught me.
Meechgalanne read my thoughts and said. “I have not taught you anything. Everything you will ever know in your life you have always known. I am just showing you how to find what you already have deep within so you can be who you truly are. ”
ART CREDITS: White Wolf Walking in Forest by Steve Somerville - available as greeting cards, etc.