Above the Earth, Within the Sky: You are the living dream of Paradise
by R. Ayana
We all came down from the trees – the original fall, our primordial landing on Planet Earth. Now we’ve climbed higher than the highest forests and surmounted the tallest mountains. We scale far beyond their once-remote summits to soar past the wide blue sky.
Our tribes and nations are subsumed by wider allegiances as we transcend our clannishness and commune with all humankind. We’ve become parts and bits of our own technologies, cogs and chips in a global hegemony, where the human mind is made concrete and plastic, a simulated world surrounding us wherever we look.
Yet still, to this day, before nation or tribe, country or clan, species or family, above all we owe prime allegiance to the arbors that bore us, our original forest homes. Now, in our time, on our watch, the hearths of our original homes scarcely survive, poised on the brink of our pseudo-godlike whim to preserve or destroy them forever.
Do gods have the right to murder their mothers? The whole from which we emerged is far greater than our paltry dreams of deities.
The forests are filled with spirits. Self-aware consciousness is everywhere, mirroring and refracting through myriad forms and substances. Every insect is a fragile being, replete with a complex destiny and discrete personality. Every bird is a species of angel, every animal a repository of particular wisdom and precise ability. Every tree is a spirited being, sharing and caring with families of friends who dwell as one, interleaving; interweaving awareness of land-spanning tapestries, songs and memories, thought and passion without limit or end; the whole far greater than any number of parts.
The forest is a mind, a great nervous system of intertwining interlocked roots and branches, laced together with fungi and viruses, moulds and mosses, a massive cortex of wood-clad neurons, dendrites, axons – a giant fractal representation of a godlike brain and the very DNA that mirrors it, reaching far beyond the ken of men or any of their artifice.
The animals are its messenger molecules, and much more besides, distributing seeds and nutrients far and further lest the apple never fall far from the tree. They carry the seeds of negentropy, overcoming the bounds of gravity, carting their watery selves uphill, pruning, fertilising, shaping and sharing in a wondrous cacophony of enlightened self interest.
The trees commune with each other, other plants and different phyla through interlaced tendrils within the soil, nourished within a profusion of carefully nurtured and transported elements. Immeasurable networks of fungi distribute information and resources throughout the biome, now dubbed a ‘biological internet’ (but really much, much more) comprising trillions of miles of intricate networking tendrils and connexions.
Trees also commune above the ground through flowing, flowering ectohormones – the same pheromones produced and received by animals of all kinds, from insects to humans, interpenetrating all those different bodies of flesh or cellulose, being transduced by each unique being and passed on through the living tapestry of the biosphere in an emotive and evocative universal communication system.
The forest does its invisible work, creating rain by drawing water from the sky onto acreages of leaves that grow on each large tree, altering the albedo (reflectivity) of the canopy to raise or lower clouds, changing the ionic composition of the electric atmosphere, and pumping huge volumes of water vapour into the air in return; creating biotic surfaces for rain to be absorbed and condense around; and maintaining planetary life in other, even less obvious ways.
And all this life, this song, this symphonic conversation is water shaped into different forms; minerals suspended in the menstruum of life – water.
And the water is shaped by energy fields and the field of mind itself.
Like everything else in the forest, the trees are mostly comprised of water. Huge columns of standing water, tens of meters high, suffuse water from their crowns throughout layered forest canopies. Uncountable tons of water. Everything else in the forest stores and is shaped of water – water maintaining its liquid form against all odds, between wind-scoured, sunbaked burning air and frozen graves of stone.
Everything living on Earth is made of sunlight, minerals, gases and water, juggling forms and transforming substances, all shaped by mind in the menstruum of water that is a liquid crystal, responsive to thoughts and dreams, hopes and fears, shaping all life from mind – a global consciousness, sensed and transduced and retransmitted by every being at every scale, including the vast receptor-retransmitter of the mighty living forest.
Each species is a dreaming, wilful soul within the world-mind, all wishing together in various phases of harmonies – all spirits united on a wider plane that interpenetrates the manifest whirl of the visible world.
Some of these beings are older, with broader perspectives. Some, like trees, see far and further in space and time. Formed from minerals suspended in water, their fractal, branching, feathering shapes make fine antennae receiving and transducing, transcending and rebroadcasting signals that travel through aeons of timespace, to and beyond the stars themselves. Trees are the greatest transducers, singing and sifting though trances of dreams and realities; a global brainforest tuned into the cosmos.
The oldest trees are deeply rooted in time and space, vast, sensitive antennae that resonate with lucid memories written on water, linked to and through wide regions of cosmos, accessing times and places beyond the perspective of unaided lesser animal beings.
Let your mind travel back through time and space to places of earliest memory in this life you consider your own. Recall the being who peered through your eyes when childhood visions and vision were one. See the montage of nights and days displayed in your mind’s sight, on down the line to the place you reside in the here and now.
In all that time, through all those experiences a seed has grown into a youthful tree. It’s stayed in the same place all along, gradually becoming the landscape itself, molecule by molecule, cell by cell, until today it may well be old enough to drop seeds, fruit or nuts of its own.
If it’s a real tree – not a domesticated fruiting shrub or extended vine with a lifespan curtailed by and for the needs of human vitality – it will still be a teenager, even though you may be an octogenarian. It will still be growing, and may keep on living for longer than any terrestrial civilisation of women and men.
Real trees have lives lasting centuries; millennia. The older ones see very far in time and space, holding a record of all that’s transpired near and far, and maintaining a vision of timelines yet unborn.
How long do concrete buildings last? Nowhere near as long as a tree. All domesticated primates on Earth are the bastardised grandchildren of these ancient dreaming ones. Minds with mayfly human lifespans can’t easily conceive of the mind of a forest. Few humans even consider the ages of trees they approach with an axe or a chainsaw in hand. Few can imagine something greater than themselves, even when faced with the brazen reality.
And many or most of those who can see the truth will simply destroy these Brobdignagian representations of life itself anyway, not from sheer ignorance but from simple egocentricity and the pointless will to dominate, when no real predators or competition survive to challenge their abysmal self-aggrandisement.
It’s impossible to truly know what you’ve lost when it’s gone. Once upon a time most of the world’s land surface was covered by a global brain comprised of innumerable types of diverse forests, perfectly evolved to maintain the planetary ecosystem – a planetary cortex communing with orders beyond our pared-down modern ken. An eyeblink ago in the life of Gaia almost all of Europe, Asia and the Americas was clothed in vast arbours of trees, rich in endless varieties of fruits, nuts and types of wildlife unknown today. In many places it was possible to cross entire continents without touching the earth, passing from tree to tree.
The world of yore was richer by far than can be visualised in the wildest imaginings of most of today’s domesticated primates. Catastrophic events denuded many magical places, yet most of this global brain was utterly annihilated by subsequent perverse destructions at the hands of desperate human beings; refugees who’d become blind to the reality of life, the world and themselves. Their only light was shed by fire and they wielded the flames of their greatest weapon, slashing and burning indiscriminately until they’d scorched the Earth bare and dry.
These blind damaged zombies are still wrecking the last seed sources that can make regeneration possible, even as these words are writ.
We children of Earth all live in the desiccated ruins of a Paradise that can still – just possibly – be renewed by people who share, care, and dare to be different.
Regenerating nature means regenerating the forests – not reafforestation of a few monoculture ‘plantation’ varieties sprayed with biocides in perpetually depleting soils, but live, vibrant ecosystems designed by nature to thrive forever in varied locations and varying climes.
We need to rebuild diverse ancient rainforest, not harder, now prevalent, self-regenerating second-growth regrowth remnants that burn like matchwood, but cool, dim, water-generating and preserving, relatively fragile ecosystems that provide maximum diversity and long term stability and robustness.
Pioneering plants need to be able to handle sunshine and wind and provide maximum leaf surface area for condensation. A single large broadleaf tree provides many acres of surface area – and vasty enriched ‘throughfall’ rain to canopied understories and the ground below. Forest subsoil nutrient transfer systems provide the basis for all real, natural soil regeneration. Minerals are shunted from one location to another via root systems and the mycorrhizal fungal transport mechanisms without which real organic long term luxuriant growth is impossible.
In turn, streams and rivers are recharged, refilled and purified by forest ecosystems. Without healthy forests our watersheds die.
Economies and populations prosper until they run out of naturally replenished and carefully conserved resources. Some resources are easier to protect, maintain and recover than others. Old growth forests are our only real major sources of terrestrial genetic resources; infinitely better to nurture and protect them than to try to start from scratch in an impossible effort to recreate them.
Recreating forests from the scratch of sterile soil has been attempted, and these attempts have always failed. You can’t grow a chicken without an egg, or a forest without all of its constituent phyla of parts. We need to protect and preserve the little that remains, now and forever.
We need to embark on a task that will take centuries, nay, millennia to complete. A Great Work awaits us – the regeneration of Paradise on Earth. Let’s become the mediators of life that we’re obviously destined to be – not mere destroyers and carvers, but shapers and weavers of a great green planet.
The world is made of mindstuff, a skein of mind patterned by, with, and for want of a better word, spirits. Some spirits are alive, encased denizens and co-creators of the physical here and now – like you. Others inhabit coeval realms that interpenetrate our own. Only the most obvious are perceivable to the mundane senses of minds lost in the hubris of materialistic thinking. Only by accepting the existence of forms and forces beyond our daily ken can we hope to find and perceive them.
All this living, this unending activity is taking place within mind; your mind, the collective mind that birthed you. You’re here, now, reading this for now. Yet what are you, really? What will you make of this life?
Will you spend it in a darkside termite mound of toxic concrete clay and ash inhabited by brainless destructive zombies? Or will you embrace life and transform the world around you, aligning with the Force of life?
There’s no time but the gift of the present. What do you do to save our world – today? You can only clean your karma by getting your hands dirty. Plant the planet. Do it today; it takes a long time to grow a thousand year old tree.
Live the dream and dare to dream of Paradise – for all!
– R. Ayana
How to Save the World
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