Texas, September 14, 2006
Whether organic or inorganic, “living” to me means conscious or aware. Awareness is what is essential to being “alive,” not the fact of having an organic body. The earth has both. Is the earth aware of itself? I believe the answer is yes. It is a conscious entity that can acknowledge and respond to human awareness. It is holistic and nurturing and cyclic.
I think it is very important we be aware that the earth is our matrix — the Latin root of matrix is mater, “mother.” The earth matrix has a protective intent for us, and this holistic intent should be naturally reciprocated. Protective attitudes and acts toward the earth should be the mainstay of our daily thoughts and actions.
Another prisoner brought up the fact that our recreation yard is all concrete and steel (no grass or dirt). Later that night I thought about it and realized that our cells and the hallways and chow hall are all concrete and steel also. I mean, my feet literally never touch the earth. This was disconcerting and produced a sadness and yearning to be in contact with that from which I come.
Later that night I was meditating deeply on my bunk in my cell. With my back to the window a soft and cool breeze flowed through, caressing my body.
“Hello,” the wind whispered. I realized the wind is the very breath of the earth. “Do not be so sad. I am your mother; tell me what kind of mother neglects her child? No one can take you away from me. Look around you. The concrete and steel was taken from my womb. I am all around you, protecting you, nurturing you. I have heard your yearning and sadness, your love for me is real. Be still, my son, and hear my lullaby.”
The wind, the birds and crickets, even the clatter of keys and steel doors slamming, now play a beautiful song of unity with earth.
Many times, we look but do not see, and though we listen, we do not hear. — Laurence Sunderland
(From Sunrise magazine, Winter 2007; copyright © 2006 Theosophical University Press)