I Am Earth
One of the greatest of the negative effects of the teachings and worldviews of the received religions is the idea that humankind is separate from the earth. We are taught that we are “masters” of the earth, and “live on” the earth, and we are surely not here for long, so we must not be of the earth – merely visiting. We have a manifest destiny, they say, to dominate the earth and to use it as we will. If we should deign to care for the earth, then we are doing so as external service providers (in residence).
Many in the shamanistic nature and spirit community also tend to see us as “connecting with” the earth and sense it as a separate holistic being: a Gaia or a Pachamama – a Mother Earth. We are like children, perhaps, or stewards or guardians or even tricksters. We are those who do not know; those who look upon the earth with wonder; those who are sometimes selfish and other times simply happy, sometimes very aware and observant of the earth yet often lost in our own sense of Self.
In almost all human philosophies, however, there is this distinct sense that we are somewhat apart from the thing we admire and that we emerged from – the earth itself. It seems to be a distinction we attach to animals.
Rocks, water, and even plants all make up what we rightly would call “the earth.” They are earthy in nature and tend not to move about very much. Animals roam around and though associated with and coming from earth, they are not usually described as “the earth.”
It might be an interesting idea to play with then, to understand that everything that has ever manifested upon this beautiful spinning ball since it first twirled out of a dusty cloud is properly named Earth. Every dinosaur, every volcano, every breeze through a palm frond, every bug and bunny, and every human being that has ever been are all not only of the earth, we ARE EARTH itself. We are far more than just earthlings. We are as much the planet as any stone or leaf.
Try that out for a while and see if it changes how you think of yourself. “I am Earth.”