Dear Companions on the Quest for a Viable World
A dream took me to a soul vigil, a walkabout, 100 days of listening, 10 days of silence. The blueprint that follows is the result of that retreat.
Originally, I called this a program as a short hand, but in reality a program is far from my intention. I am not suggesting anything that can be written in stone but rather formless forms, dynamics, improvisational connections between our circumstances, all beings, the earth and each of our precious and peculiar selves mediated by Spirit's hope for the future and Creation.
I am hoping to be able to cohere some of the understanding and vision that has arisen around Dare' in the last 10 years so that it will continue to inform and sustain those who have seen the possibilities of community in these times. My intention in offering classes, mentoring circles, councils, etc. is to work with people involved in Dare' so they can carry it into the future, with others from across the country, with those who have been called in many different ways on behalf of us and all beings.
When I followed the imagery of the dream, I expected to be led from the old, grim darkness of imperial mind and human hegemony to sanctuary in the red, light-filled sands of southwestern cavers, kivas and holy places. Still, I was not surprised to be asked to bear witness to the extremity of our global tragedy. Awful as some of it was, I simultaneously experienced, as I have so many times in my life, the Presence alongside me/us, offering ways to heal ourselves and the great earth wounds that call for restoration and peace.
Attributing having had breast cancer to being over-radiated by fluoroscopy as a child, I understand why a dream would call me to behold radioactive waste seeping into the watershed of the Reservations. But, also, each time I went to a site or did ritual, it rained.
This was not the first time I made a pilgrimage to the Four Corners area of the Navajo Reservation. In 2008, a group of us accompanied Ki'na Dark Cloud, an Arikara-Navajo woman, to Tuba City. She had lived there as a child, had played in the uranium tailings and had contracted leukemia. We went to help her recover her health and to see what healing we could offer the earth. That time we were also accompanied by a 'dark cloud' guiding our ritual activities.
Illness calls forth its right medicine. We make the offering and become the remedy. Affliction is one way we learn the story we are called to live; each of us has been given a path to walk. Everyone is called to bring healing to this time. How do we do it?
I emerged from silence, asking the unavoidable question: How, now, shall I live? What is Spirit asking?
Within the last days, the questions were refined: How shall we live as we approach the opportunity and portal of 2012?
Many different traditions describe the end of one cycle and the beginning of another: the Kali Yuga; The end of the Piscean age and the beginning of the Aquarian; the millennium; the Hopi prophecies; the Maya Calendar Cycle - 2012, etc. Each transition challenges us. Who shall we each become in order to align with the possibility of the 5th World?
Sitting with such questions, this offering manifested.
When I first began following the dream, I thought I was being called to silence and solitude. I thought my offering was to step away from community life toward the austere, but blessed life of a crone at the edge of the forest, and also toward the hermetic pursuits of a writer. Much of my time during these hundred days was spent completing a novel, La Negra y Blanca, about the Conquest. Then future books calling to be written began to present themselves to me.
But Spirit's wisdom came through friends, who commiserating with me, also said, "You can't write about Sipapu, unless you go through it yourself. Sipapu is the corridor between the worlds. To pass through it from one world to another, one must be entirely broken down in order to be reconstituted as another being, attuned to the new reality on the other side. You, Deena, cannot escape this process of transformation if you wish to write about it, if you hope that we will all be able to journey from the 4th to the 5th World."
We are moving toward the end of a 5,125 year Great Cycle of the Ancient Maya Long Count Calendar. In three years there will be a strange and powerful alignment of planets with the black hole that is the exact dark center of the Milky Way, both the birthplace of our galaxy and the mythic entrance to the underworld, the sacred site of birth, death and rebirth. Shouldn't we pay attention?
Spirit in its coyote way has divided my life in two, insisting on a stringent regime, on dedication to a double path: two weeks a month of listening, writing, solitude, solitary spiritual practice and two weeks a month of teaching, mentoring, invoking councils and circles entirely engaged with community on behalf of healing this time. Two weeks of engagement with the world, but no more; two weeks devoted to the inner life, and no less. Also, no conflict between the two. And, finally, a model for each of us of the necessary integration of the spiritual and the secular life for the sake of clarity and sanity.
This proposal is the realization of many of the teachings that have come to me in these long years of being trained by Spirit. Surprised by the inevitable, I yield, happily, to the work.
Just as I was writing Training for the 5th World, hopefully designed to help us honor the obligation to 2012, I received an email relaying a dream from the same Ki'na Dark Cloud with whom we had made a pilgrimage to the Four Corners Reservation.
I dreamt that I had been walking for days, wandering perhaps, and came upon Creator. …I was simply in the presence of Creator … I had been brought her to ask my most urgent question. …I was standing in air, no ground beneath me, no shoes. I asked “What is the 2012 meaning?” I felt that my question had been awkwardly phrased, but I could not phrase it any other way. Creator answered me immediately with “it is the point of no return.”
I was fearful then, and asked how we could bear this; how we could even imagine trying to heal in this. Creator reached out with a foot and traced the word KNOW in front of me. I had been physically unable to lift my eyes to look at Creator, so I was looking down as this word was written. The point of KNOW return. That was my answer.
In a well paced lecturer’s voice Creator told me that at this time, 2012, the knowledge that we indeed have the power to destroy creation would be apparent, that at this time we had our last chance to cease and desist the destruction before the planet could no longer replenish anything. Even air.
Creator was not calm when telling me that to destroy creating for convenience and money was insanity. It was not what was expected of such soul-carrying beings as humans. I said that I did not know how to climb up this mountain of responsibility with no map, no shoes, no steps. I could feel a breeze on my feet and knew that I would be lifted and able to climb the unseen mountain.
I received the dream and took it as confirmation of the work. I trust that our efforts will be guided and received.
Immediately, another email arrived from environmentalist Carolyn Raffensperger who states that saving the earth, providing for the future, must be a community event if it is to succeed. Reading her words, I understand that through facing the challenges together, community, itself so ravaged, will also be healed.
If it is just one person – me … or…or Deena, or any one of you who can fix it all, there is no need for the Community and for the reliance on the Divine, although it seems that the Community and the Divine is redundant. As Thich Nhat Hahn said “It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth.”
Many years ago, a dream voice charged me with a task: Teach the pattern; put the forms in place."
Here is another effort to meet this request. I hope it will help prepare some of us for the realization of the 5th World.
I offer myself to meet you here.
Peace and Blessings,