The deeper I look into the sheer magnitude and speed of climate change, the more I begin to doubt our ability to respond in time. Feelings of dread and grief are common to those of us who look directly at the research and the reality of what is currently unfolding on our planet. When it becomes too debilitating, many of us look away.
“The primary reason people look away [from climate change] is that they don’t see a way out and are afraid that the solutions to climate change involve giving things up.” –Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything
I have learned how to look directly at the severity of our crisis while simultaneously seeing much more than just a way out, but rather a way into our vibrant planetary future. It all came together when I remembered an extraordinary nighttime dream from over 20 years ago.
The dream summary: My friend and I are leading a team that is trying to save the planet. Despite our best efforts, we discover that full planetary extinction is imminent. A feeling of profound grief brings me to the ground. At which point, two human-sized entities appear, seemingly from the stars or another dimension. With a supreme presence of pure love connecting us, they telepathically convey the following message:
Forget everything you think you know.
We can heal anything in an instant.
Then I am teleported to a large auditorium, in which I repeat the message to hundreds of people.
It became clear that the “We” in “We can heal anything” is the “Us” unified together in the love of our planet. Together with nature, we possess an extraordinary capacity for planetary healing, far beyond that which any one of us can conceive of individually. “Forget everything you think you know” helps when you, alone, can’t see a way out.
Collaborating with nature involves embracing how she dreams forth life.
This makes sense when one considers that the climate is a by-product of a self-regulating and living system. Over 3.5 billion years ago, earth’s first ocean organisms immediately began the process of terraforming a hostile and oxygenless atmosphere into a life-giving “membrane” – composed of the oxygen and carbon necessary for blocking harmful solar radiation while releasing excess heat to outer-space. Since the sun was significantly cooler in prehistoric times, earth’s collective cellular activity helped maintain much more atmospheric carbon than today. As the sun became warmer, ecosystems and geology absorbed the extra carbon for the earth to sequester so that the atmosphere stayed neither too hot nor too cold for new life to thrive and evolve. (references 1,2,3,4)
Ecosystems evolve with their planet and local star to collectively create an ideal atmosphere. We can use the word “stellular” to illuminate how the star and the cell create planetary life together through a universal process that extends across all space-time.
Every atomic element in cellular organisms originates from the evolutionary life-cycle of stars. The atmosphere functions in concert with other life-giving membranes – such as the planet’s magnetosphere, which blocks destructive solar winds. Then comes the sun’s heliosphere and the galaxy’s magnetic field, both of which filter out gene-destroying cosmic rays. At every stage, nature evolves better conditions for life by collaborating with previous conditions.
From the stellular view, the living universe solely yearns to create ever more interdependent and magnificent collaborations. This eternal yearning draws together molecules of water, cells of organisms and communities of people. Stellular phenomena are not hypothetical. They are the key evolutions that nature builds upon when co-creating the next one. What magnificent collaboration will arise next on planet earth?
Today, our environmental crisis poignantly draws us to dream as one with our planet. When enough truly share the dream, it can miraculously come to life, just like how all other evolutions emerged before it.(1)
“Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us of nature.” –St. Augustine
We can trust that nature inherently provides everything we need, and that she perfectly evolved us for the opportunity we now face. The neocortex, which comprises 73% of the human brain, gives us the capacity to understand complex systems, and to creatively explore countless possibilities. We also have technology, which can be used for globally gathering and sharing vital information and inspirations.
Most importantly, we share the universal yearning to dream forth and live a more vibrant life. In this way, we are engaging our collective will to thrive, instead of just survive. Now is the time for us to discover and celebrate the planetary dreaming that connects us – regardless of the differences in our beliefs and cultures. Something truly wonderful awaits!