ecospirituality - a woman's rebirth experience
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DESCRIPTIONIntentional rebirthing experience from a microcosmic experience to a macrocosmic one and becoming the conduit, the "middle voice" between the two - committing to sharing the messages received.
- 1. REBIRTH:Re-union of Spirit & Nature Copyrighted Material: Chrystal Lynne Spencer-Churchill 2011
2. My Wilderness Quest, the papers I wrote, the booksI read, the images that arose from the paintingswith saran wrap, my dreams, and intuitionalldroplets gathering together to form a river thatwould wash over me.Reborn in these baptizing waters, my spiritual liferenewed with a sense of wonder for thelandscapes of the natural world. I find myself aconduit speaking from the middle voice,weaving threads to unite Spirit with Naturehoused in a practice of attentive intimacy. 3. Premise: EcoSpirituality is the Re-union of Spirit with Nature There is a strict dualism between Spirit and Nature. Every human being is acombination of these two principles. ~ Patanjali The Hopi tradition speaks of a fall from grace in which human beingsexperienced themselves as progressively more separate from earth, animals,and other humans. The return to grace is through reunion. The cause of the fallis ascribed to peoples forgetting their true nature and purpose. ~Arthur Deikman There is a Cartesian split between the knower and the knowna spectatorknowledge about things. ~Abraham Maslow two important kinds of knowledge exist, one based on reason and empiricism,and the other, no less important, based on intuition and noetic understanding.~Henri BergsonA human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited intime and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as somethingseparated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Thisdelusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and toaffection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselvesfrom this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all livingcreatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~Albert Einstein 4. A possible resolution to this split, this fall from grace and the resultingimbalance and fragmentation we now witness lies in developing a newmythology around EcoSpirituality a reunion of Spirit with Nature.Myths have provided the major cultural guidelines for the conduct of life. It is onlyin our own time that major cultures have lacked a common, coherent mytha grand,unifying picture, story, and explanation of the cosmos. Indeed this lack of a commonmyth may be a major factor in the fragmentation and alienation that haunts so muchof the contemporary world. Much may depend on our ability to create a new mythappropriate to our time and needs. ~Roger WalshIn the West, our present underlying mythology is housed within the Judeo-Christian tradition and its values. Built into the tenets of monotheistic religionis an admonishment of intimate bodily connection (embodied spirituality) as apathway to the sacred. In its texts, Genesis 1:28 for example, God gave mandominion over the earth. This, along with other examples, set up aconditioned distancing, a pattern of control and disconnect from nature.Overtime, this developed into economic and technical mastery failing to takeinto consideration the health and welfare of all the Earths creatures as well asof our future generations.Thousands of years of literal adherence to this mythology has played a part inthe rampant unearthing of Gaias treasures, depletion of Her resources, andblatant disrespect for the land via technological advancements focused oneconomic gain. 5. MY PERSONAL WOUND: LACK OF A DIVINE FEMININE ROLE-MODEL TO BALANCEWithout strong role-models of a Divine Feminine presence underfundamentalist monotheistic religious systems, women, as well as theanima in men, have been conditioned to distance themselves from animmediate, personal experience of the sacred, and taught to seek atranscendent presence of the Divine most often through an intermediary usually male. This sets up conditioned patterns of distancing, and my lifewas steeped in themthus, perhaps, my passion. The wound becomesthe gift, but first I had to experience it fully.I am a child of Western conditioning supported by a patriarchalunderpinning and immersed in a collective psyche whose attention is toattributes arising from the left-brain while negating the validity of theright, and a society that continues to be subconsciously influenced by thebiblical Genesis creation myth. Until another mythology arises to infusethe culture with a new foundation other than Descartes machine which is yet another form of distancing, as a Spirit having a humanexperience, I intend to seek deeper, intimate connection to the GreatMother as Gaia. In the bear caves at Pinnacles, I sought to re-membermyself through intentional rebirthing: a ritual death of the old paradigmsgrip on me, and a rebirth into balance as a conduit between duality. 6. In her book, To Be a Woman: The Birth of the Conscious Feminine, Connie Zweigstates, Growing up as young girls, we are told by adults that we were made inthe image of God. From the outset we are given an image to which we, aswomen, can never aspire, merely by the simple fact that we were born female.Jane Wheelwright says, A baby girl born into a society that believes in this ideal,even if only implied, will inevitably be affected my it. Having no feminine heroineto inspire us, we are forever designated to a lesser role, to the status of helpmateto the more powerful and authoritative male. Christine Downing, author of thebook, The Goddess, explains, To be fed only male images of the divine is to bebadly malnourished. We are starved for images which recognize the sacrednessof the Feminine and the complexity, richness, and nurturing power of femaleenergyWe long for images which name as authentically feminine courage,creativity, loyalty, self-confidence, resilience, steadfastness, capacity for clearinsight, inclination for solitude, and the intensity for passion. In her essay, WhyWomen Need the Goddess found within Womanspirit Rising, Carol Crist says,Religions centered on the worship of a male God create moods and motivationsthat keep women in a state of psychological dependence on men and maleauthority. The earth is my Divine Feminine: the Great Mother, the GreatGoddess. Her voice waits to be heard. Through cultivating attentive intimacywith the land, a form of EcoSpirituality, we are able to hear Her whispering. 7. UThe path of evolution isnt a straight line; it is much more like a U. The left hand of theU traces the path from original participation to our current estrangement from nature.We are just beginning to make our ascent back up, this time on the right hand of the U.Now we can begin to participateby becoming conscious of the power of ourimagination in creating the world. The world we see is a result of thousands of years ofwork by the human mind. ~Owen Barfield(identified with participatory epistemology, the knowing that occurs when perceiver and perceived are united as a single consciousness) 8. WALKING BAREFOOT ON MOTHER EARTH 9. MY YEARS SOJOURN BEGINS AT PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENTSAN ANDREAS FAULT LINE THE RING OF FIRE: INTIMACY AND ENERGETIC CONNECTION TO THE ARCHETYPAL VOICE OF THE EMERGINGGREAT MOTHER 10. Chrystal Lynne 2011 Arrow pointing the way into the bear cavesIt took me awhile to connect the dots, but with afriends feedback concerning the images that magicallyemerged in my second saran-wrap painting, I began tosee how the puzzle pieces fit together. She saw that theform in my painting showing me the way to my ownrebirth, was the Mother Mary. Her suggestion triggereda connection to a dream Id had a month earlier whereancestors, one of them the Mother Mary, were guidingme.One cannot set intent, call in the ancestors, and thennot take heed and open to their guidance when they The Mother Mary was is oneactually do show up! of my guides. 11. An excerpt from my dream: On the edge of sleep, in a hypnogogic state, I felt myself sinking downward. Suddenly, the ancients, their forms rather iconic, encircled me. They looked as if theyd been carved in linoleum. Robed figures with their deep-set eyes, long noses, and pursed mouths looked down on me as I lay deep in this grave- like hole, curled up in a fetal position. It was dark and I felt so alone. They stretched their arms toward me. I sensed that they had always been there, but that Id been too focused on having sunk to the deepest depths and was too mired in the muddy darkness to notice. . . .lying at the bottom of the pit, I felt warmth coming out of these ancient hands, so many hands, reaching down to me to help me up. Shrouded in light the Mother Mary stood out amongst the others And here she was, shed shown up in my painting. This was a HUGE epiphany! Although not a Catholic, who better for me than the mother of Jesus, the Christ to point the way to the Great Mother Gaia? Throughout SouthernFrance where Id made pilgrimage in 2000, the Mother Mary is veneratedalongside the Black Madonna, representing the total woman. Approached with reverence, I knew She, as Gaia, would reveal Her healing power, Her ability tonurture, feed and care for Her children and would once again be given the honor and respect She so deserved as representative of theDivine Feminine. 12. Chrystal Lynne Feb. 13. Though so much activity is happening all the time, it is very difficult to be attentive to thepoint of intimacyintimacy depends on serendipity, but also on attention. ~ Stephanie Kaza Field of Bright Spirit: Intimate Relations with the Natural WorldAttentive intimacywith the land as the focus of my spiritualpractice became theunderpinning for myyears sojourn. EnteringPinnacles National Park,I wondered why I feltso strongly that THISPLACE was to be thebase-camp for my journey. Why Pinnacles and not Yosemitewith the megalith ElCapitan and Spirit in the Land a source of inspiration for so many. Walking the land, myhair, like fine antennae picking up frequencies, caught the whisper floating bynot thewhisper of Great Spirit, but the voice of the