I laid by the Medina River yesterday, in a place I call the Blue Lagoon, in a state between waking and sleeping, listening to the conversations around me. The topic steered into the “What is Wrong with the World” category, and I observed a piece of myself that wanted to shake the slumber from my body, take the topic like a fish would bait, and dive into the conversation. But I just laid there and observed that thought arise and then fall away, and simply listened instead. This topic excited me for many years, was a favorite of mine, in fact, and I used to love hearing young people discussing the [poisons of genetically-modifying food/patenting Life, governments outlawing rainwater collection, our corporation-owned government. And while it does excite me to hear us collectively becoming more aware of these ills, the manner of which the topics were being discussed made me sad. There was such anger and fear and hopelessness.
I heard someone say, “Well if we could grow our own food, then…” Attention to any and all of my brothers and sisters out there that do not know this: WE CAN AND DO GROW OUR OWN FOOD. I have visited places all over this country from Orlando, FL to Zion, UT to San Francisco, CA where we are growing our own food organically and communally, learning and practicing permaculture gardening techniques to work WITH the natural ecosystem instead of working against it or replacing it altogether.
When we get together and talk about the ills of our current state of Being on the planet, and when we do so through language of “what people don’t see” or “people don’t care enough” or “people don’t understand” or “people aren’t waking up fast enough,” we are perpetuating a falsehood. Because if we are having that conversation in the first place, then we, ourselves, do indeed see, we do indeed care enough, we do indeed understand (at least partly), and we are indeed waking up, so isn’t that proof to the contrary of the words we are saying?
Everywhere I have traveled since hitting the road, I have met people who are waking up to the illness we collectively have been suffering from as a species. It is an illness that allowed us to forget we are animals, too, and that we are integral parts of a whole organism we call “Earth.” It is an illness that allowed us to forget we are interconnected with EVERYTHING and EVERYONE, and that separation is only ever an illusion. It is an illness that allowed us to forget that we are divine, spiritual Beings, and that Life itself is the mystical experience of the Universe. It is an illness that allowed us to forget how to differentiate between true necessities and our own desires or preferences. It allowed us to forget what and how and how much to eat, and how to live in a way that does not destroy the very environment we are part of and dependent upon.
I won’t pretend to know the extent of the root of the illness, but what I know is resonant as true in my own experience is that it comes down to falling under the spell of the following false belief: We are not ok and we do not have enough to face the present moment, and the present moment is not ok and is not offering us enough to carry on. This is a lie that has led to a perpetual state of striving to be somewhere/someone I am not, and a perpetual state of trying to get more, and a perpetual state of trying to control circumstances and other people.
The truth is that we are ok, we always have been, we always will be, and we have enough to face whatever is Here in this moment. We always have, as evidenced by our continued presence as a species on this planet.
It has been painful for many of us as we awaken, because when we first start to see as the spell falls away, we see all the atrocious and painful symptoms of our illness in forms of violence and oppression and poverty and hatred, and we feel them deeply, and can hardly help but feel an urgency to change it. But it is changing, whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not. People everywhere are waking up and questioning, therefore casting off the spell. And there is no need for us to fear that “other people aren’t waking up fast enough.”
There is no such thing as “other people.”
I am waking up from that spell. I am making the connection between what I breathe, drink, eat, and create, and how well my body, mind, and soul are as a result. I am making the connection between living simply and close to the Earth and the easing of the ills of anger, addiction, and poor self-care that accompanies such lifestyles. I am making the connection that anesthetizing myself to Life is not a sign of something wrong with me, but instead that the need or desire to do so is a sign that there is something out of balance about the way in which I am living. And when I look around at so many of my brothers and sisters in this civilization and see us all anesthetizing ourselves via food or drugs or alcohol or technology or sex or shopping, etc, it tells me that something is not resonating on a large scale in this civilization we have created.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
So again, if I am waking up to all this, and you who are reading this are waking up to all this, why would we think we are the only ones? If I am waking up, everyone is waking up, for while we are individuals, we are also One, literally, and we are all reflections of one another.
There is no need for hope. The Tao te Ching says that hope is as hollow as fear. “What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear? Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?”
Hope implies that “it” might not happen, “it” being the evolution required for the survival of our species, i.e. the complete reestablishment of a mutually beneficial relationship with the Earth and all its parts, regardless of the details or specifics of how we choose to do that. That is pretty much the bottom line. Re-attuning ourselves to the natural harmony of the planet.
Life and evolution always win. We are such impatient creatures. We have only been living in what we call “civilization” for about 10,000 of the roughly 6 million years we have been an evolving species. That is 1/600th of our life as a species. We pretty much just learned to talk, and the divine sacred gift of conscious awareness was essentially JUST given to us. We have been stumbling under the weight and cutting ourselves on the blade of this new gifted tool. And it has not always been pretty, and there is much destruction we have reeked upon ourselves and the Earth. And, we are learning to wield it. One cannot create if it cannot destroy, and we have had to learn just how destructive we could be before its novelty wore off and that energy could be channeled to creating a new path forward.
Of course with the brilliance of our minds we are currently in the process of creating transportation and other technology that can serve our freedom to navigate the world AND that is in harmony with the natural rhythms of our planet instead of disruptive to them.
Of course we are learning to build homes that still keep us warm and safe and comfortable AND that are made of sustainable materials and energy.
Of course we are learning to procure real, whole foods in natural ways that support the wellness of our bodies and our ecosystems, remembering they are connecting and one and the same.
Of course we are learning to heal the man-made ill of poverty as our greed falls away.
On my 27th birthday back in March, Skye and I held a beautiful and powerful mushroom medicine ceremony in the woods of California and I was gifted a realization that has brought me a deeper sense of peace than I have ever known. All the anger and urgency and fear that I have felt for most of my life when I see the pain of the current era of humanity is really due to my own self-centered, immature and impatient ego. That is not to say the pain and sorrow isn’t real, for the heart feels all joy and sorrow equally, and it is feeling those joys and sorrows that allows us to Life fully and Love fully. But the fear and anger is ego. I had been wanting to see the full turn over…the full evolution from a civilization that hurts the Earth it depends on and values money over wellness into a global community of Life in harmony and mutually beneficial relationship. I wanted to see it all in my lifetime and was willing to fight as hard as I had to and as hard as I could to make sure it happened. And the mushroom medicine showed me just how ridiculous that is, and just how narrow and self-centered a vision I was using to look at Life and humanity. Evolution and transformation and waves of change take hundreds/thousands/millions of years. I live this life as this entity known as Gregory Richard Kozicz for 80-120 years, tops, if so blessed. That is a blink of an eye in the life of a species or a planet or a Universe. Our job is not to “finish” the work, for there is no “finish.” Our job is simply to keep the fire alive, as our ancestors did for us. Tend it and keep it burning as consciously evolving Beings and that is enough.
This lens is not always easy to look through, and it is not always appropriate to look through, for our individual, short lives and experiences are special and important, too. Yesterday, my friend informed me that a gay refugee from Cameroon who now has asylum in this country after being abused and mutilated back home has just got word that his 4 year old grandson was attacked and has had his penis removed because his grandfather is gay. Stories like this, and all stories of war and violence and hatred, shatter my heart for sure. And when I hear them or see them or feel them, it puts these thoughts and beliefs that “all is unfolding as it must” to the test. We cannot downplay or cast off the inherent devastation simply because of the larger picture that unwaveringly says “We are all ok and we have enough to face this moment.” We must feel these horrors, let our hearts break, for that is what makes us One family, the truth that what happens to any of us happens to all of us. There is no justification or explanation for such brutality, and you bring me that little boy, or his grandfather, or the families of children killed in war, or the young children that are raped, or the elderly who are neglected, and I will hold them and weep with them. And at the same time, the only truth i know for sure is that all is as it must be right now, whether I can understand that or not, and what is occurring now is exactly what needs to happen in order to deliver us into the next phase of our humanity. The sacrifices of Life and innocence and purity and youth are heavy sacrifices, and none of us “deserve” them. There is no “fair” in it all, but by refusing to become calloused to them, and by saying yes to feeling it all, our hearts are able to grow and evolve into more compassionate Beings and it allows those that bear the heavier and more painful burdens to not do so alone and not do so in vain.
Someone asked me recently, “How do you define your work?”
That is a question that I will continue to always shift and explore and play with, but one thing is clear where I stand today. My work is to share the message I most need to hear, and to teach the lessons I most need to learn.
We have enough. We are all waking up, and we are doing so just fast enough. Not only are we going to be ok, but we already are. Here. Now. Together. In Love.
Blessings to all on this path, may we Love each other fiercely as we walk through Heaven and Hell together.
Two more readings from the Tao te Ching:
“Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”
“If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.
If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.
This is called the subtle perception
of the way things are.
The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.”