132: THE WAY IT IS?
FRI 12 AUG 02:35 - This month's moon howl supersizing reality....
The northern hemisphere summer of 2022 is proving to be a scorcher in more ways than one....read on for full details. This week's Aquarius Full Moon provides a sizzling hot spot of intellectual rigour in which to simmer our reasoning. It’s a great few days to examine where we find ourselves individually and collectively, the lessons learnt on route and where we want to go from here.
Aquarius is the sign of the independently minded individual. Rebellious (and stubborn) to the last, Aquarius seeks to apply its creative, occasionally extremist, brilliance in seeking humanitarian solutions to collective problems. Ironically at this time of widespread drought, Aquarius is also traditionally represented by the Water Bearer (a bloke carrying a pot full of H2O) symbolically and eternally giving life and spiritual sustenance to the world. The water from the vessel is said to wash away the past, leaving room for a fresh, new start. Liberty and equality for all is the name of the Aquarius game, which many of us might associate with avoiding a hose pipe ban in the coming weeks. There are thirsty tomatoes and zucchini to nurture.
So where do we find ourselves under this Aquarius Full Moon? How are we faring? As mentioned earlier, this summer's weather extremes, wrought by the accelerating climate crisis, are in eviscerating effect. Drought is proving to be a burning issue (literally) and the subsequent wildfires worldwide are decimating swathes of precious forest, from invaluable carbon sinks to primary carbon emitters in the blink of a carelessly discarded disposable barbecue. (Sign a UK petition to ban these monstrosities of modern living here)
Temperatures across the planet are reflecting the worrying speed of climate collapse. The UK saw its highest recorded temperature of 40.3C on 19 July smashing the country’s previous hottest temperature, 38.7C in 2019. Elsewhere, ice caps, glaciers and layers of arctic/antarctic permafrost are melting at an alarming rate, releasing further massive greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane. In the southern hemisphere drought, torrential storms and floods work in tandem to make areas of previously populated terrain uninhabitable. The loss of life, livelihoods and biodiversity mounts.
This week, Hothouse Earth, the latest book by scientist Bill Maguire, is published detailing the already irreversible effects of climate breakdown manifested in less than one generation of human behaviour. Maguire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, is less prepared than many of his climate scientist colleagues to water down the catastrophic message. Most other climate experts still maintain we have time left, if not much, to bring about meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. An accelerated drive to net zero and the arrest of global warming is still within our grasp, they say.
Such claims are dismissed by McGuire. “I know a lot of people working in climate science who say one thing in public but a very different thing in private. In confidence, they are all much more scared about the future we face, but they won’t admit that in public. I call this climate appeasement and I believe it only makes things worse. The world needs to know how bad things are going to get before we can hope to start to tackle the crisis.”
The bottom line, he argues, is that there is now no chance of us avoiding a hazardous, all-encompassing climate breakdown. The point of no return has been passed and we can expect future lethal heatwaves and temperatures in excess of 50C (120F) to be a regular occurrence in the tropics. Even summers at temperate latitudes will invariably be baking hot with oceans destined to become warm, acidic and less hospitable to already diminishing sea life. “A child born in 2020 will face a far more hostile world than its grandparents did,” McGuire insists.
The news ain't great obviously, so how do those of us that value maintaining a consistently positive outlook on life's limitless possibilities avoid falling into an abyss through the trap door marked, 'We're fucked!'?
Maguire suggests there are still things individuals could and should do. The book, he says, "....is a call to arms. If you feel the need to glue yourself to a motorway or blockade an oil refinery, do it. Drive an electric car or, even better, use public transport, walk or cycle. Switch to a green energy tariff; eat less meat. Stop flying; lobby your elected representatives at both local and national level; and use your vote wisely to put in power a government that walks the talk on the climate emergency.”
Another eminent climatologist, Jonathan Foley, at Project Drawdown,was quoted this week: "There are huge climate challenges facing us, but also some tremendous progress to build on. Instead of giving in to catastrophic doomism, we can redouble our efforts now, and bend the curve even more. It’s not game over. It’s game on!”
Under this moon, can we apply some Aquarius influenced, intellectual rigour to our own individual responses to the crisis at hand? From the macrocosm of Planet Earth's predicament can we read a breakdown in the microcosmic reflection of our own lives. Where exactly did we lose the plot? At what point did we become so separate from Nature and each other that we blithely gave no consideration to the consequence of our thoughts, words and actions? Unequivocally, those life threatening consequences now surround all of us.
Have our once fertile souls, that unified aspect of ourselves inseparable from everything else in existence, become isolated, denuded deserts, desperate for sustenance - those literal and metaphoric healing waters? Has the illusory allure of material consumption, of predominantly western 'lifestyle' choices, traded our innate interior understandings for the perpetual battlefields of exterior validation?
Can we wake up from the self serving 'importance' of our ego dominated lives and activities to our truly vital part in the unfolding story of universal evolution? We are not who or what we think we are. We are not the body. We are not the career; the parent; the child; the partner. We are an integrated aspect of All that is, manifesting ever changing patterns of energy into form that appear to be solid but, as quantum physics has evidenced, are anything but.
“Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated "building blocks," but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole.”Fritjof Capra
What we appear to be is, quite simply, a seductive construct of perception, a bunch of self imposed, illusory ideas that have us trapped in the limitations central to our current planetary predicament.
Many wisdom traditions suggest there are ways to bust the illusions and reconnect with the unity that never actually deserted us. To align with the holistic intelligence of evolution, its unified energetic field of existence, is to reclaim our forgotten birthright to eternal life… the essence of our being.
“I and my Father are one”Jesus
That might all sound a tad spiritual but with just a smidgeon of Aquarius Full Moon self-awareness, can we stretch our imaginations to see things as they truly are, not how we might think or want them to be?
Humanity is a very brief evolutionary development on a speck of dust in a tiny solar system, in a minute galaxy, in a far flung corner of a universe that apparently continues to expand. Current scientific approximations suggest there are more than 4.1 billion such solar systems in this universe doing their thing. The human evolutionary experiment continues here, through its current Anthropocene ('shitting on its own doorstep') epoch that, in all probability, will soon mutate into something else.
Science asserts that the energy that we are cannot be destroyed, it simply adapts and emerges in different forms. Our own personal narratives, the story lines on which we constantly fixate, are a set of largely irrelevant, socially conditioned, distracting falsehoods that have no bearing on reality whatsoever.
This is not to explain away or deny the importance of what is currently unfolding for humanity here on Planet Earth, but from a wider, cosmic perspective the living experiment we embody has some interesting choices to make. Does human consciousness want to keep living the big fat lie of separation or realise that it connects with everything else - that in hurting one another and our planet we ultimately hurt ourselves?
“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”Gautama Buddha
Our mental divorce from each other and Nature severs us from unified reality and the unlimited benefits for All that reality has provided for 13.8 billion years - at the last count. As we see lack, so we create it…sadly, with a side order of fear. As we recognise, honour and respect natural abundance so we align with it and fear dissolves. If we choose to see correctly, there is plenty to go round.
The sign of Aquarius is forward-looking and growth-oriented. It is also stubborn. As we contemplate our place and purpose on Planet Earth under this Aquarius Full Moon we are perhaps faced with our own obdurate inability to change our thoughts, words and actions despite realising the desperate necessity for that change. The choice for change is currently still available to us, change that can still prevent destruction and suffering across this planet, but for how much longer?
As we bring our minds and bodies back into balance with reality (no less than a spiritual awakening folks) so our planet (our greater body) may yet reflect that balance.
In an informed acceptance of the way life is, however catastrophic it appears to be, we open the opportunity for aligned, constructive change and growth - intelligent evolution by any other name. If you can tolerate the overtly woowoo metaphor: under this Aquarius Full Moon let’s fill the drought dry buckets of our Soul from the eternal well within and carry the sustaining spiritual waters of life to finally extinguish the wildfires of uncontained materialism in our deluded and distracted minds.
A few do’s and dont’s to help fill your Aquarius water bearer buckets:
DO try a little mindfulness. It’s dead easy. Just concentrate on your breath and nothing else for five minutes a couple of times a day. Watch your chattering mind quieten and make room for conscious choice almost instantly.
DON’T worry what others think of you. Make a stand. Speak your truth. Shine. Be the change you want to see…. and all that…
DO inform yourself about the current climate crisis. The Guardian online coverage is a great place to start. This is not about encouraging fear, more a process of tuning in to our beautiful planet’s plight. Remember: her body is your body. Treat it with care and respect.
DON’T play the guilt card. Feeling guilty doesn’t serve anyone. More often than not it results in inertia. What’s happened has happened but the lessons learned inform our choices from this moment on.
DO what you can. This is not restricted merely to eating less meat and taking fewer flights but more an invitation to extend an attitude of caring compassion for everything and everyone you encounter.
DON’T think that even the smallest changes you make don’t have an accumulative effect on the whole. Everything connects to everything else. To simply dispense with fear is to allow space for Love to resume its rightful place in our hearts, simultaneously throned at the heart of all existence.
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein
watercolour 12 X 10cm 2020
A few people have asked me to include a practical, step by step guide to mindfulness/meditation. I maintain that the process is very simple. The stumbling block for most folks is not how to do it but how to maintain the discipline to really attain full benefit. Regular practice, even for 5 minutes morning and evening will bring almost instant results. Further progress naturally comes with further discipline - a few extra minutes each day as feels comfortable.
Recommended as you first rise in the morning or just before you retire to bed in the evening...or both.
Switch off the devices - no distractions.
If necessary, let others in your household know that you do not wish to be disturbed for a short while.
Create a quiet, relaxed space with a chair in which you can sit comfortably with a straight back (option to light a candle/incense should you wish. Wrap yourself in a blanket if it feels right).
Sit with a straight back and concentrate solely on your breathing until your thoughts start to slow down.
Don't beat yourself up if your uncontrolled thoughts keep distracting you - just acknowledge those thoughts, observe their origins and swiftly return your concentration to the breath....quite literally the physical sensations of breathing in and out and only this.
When the mind finally calms (5 -10 mins), i.e. when the gaps between thoughts get noticeably longer, a spaciousness may be experienced.
Where are you in relation to that space?
Listen carefully for any words, messages or feelings that may (or may not) arise in the space.
Relax and dwell in the spaciousness as long as feels comfortable, returning concentration to the breath when thought intermittently arises.
To finish, gratefully acknowledge that spaciousness as your own: a safe, happy, healthy and, above all, peaceful space to which you can return at any time simply by focusing on your breath.
Return to the awareness of your body, surroundings and your day to day activities, hopefully imbued with peace.
You have begun to enjoy and picture "a love of already satisfied desire." (Albert Einstein)
It's better than telly.
DO give this practice a regular spot in your daily digital diary.
DO make a quick note of anything unusual you experienced during the meditation (always have a notebook nearby).
DON'T fret if you miss a few days. Just return to the practice as soon as possible and reaffirm your commitment to the positive change it brings.
JUST SO YOU KNOW....
Versions of these writings are sometimes available on the website www.markweighton.com. Your comments and kind support are always welcome. Don't hesitate to get in touch should you feel the urge. Collaborations and commissions always considered...apart from portraits of pets and children.