Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mind is a luminous quality of the earth itself

Marin County, CA: June 2009            J. Stimmell©2011
I'm aware it’s an affront to everything we stand for in our hyper-cognitive, ultra-individualistic society, but what if our precious mind is not unique to us and – even more counter-intuitively –  does not reside inside the squishy gray matter of our fleshy, three-pound brain? What if, instead, what we call mind is not inside our head but a luminous quality of the earth itself . This sentiment is beautifully expressed by David Abram in his latest book, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology:

“As soon as we breathe out, letting mind flow back into the field that surrounds us, we feel a new looseness and freedom. The other animals, the plants, the cliffs, and the tides are now participant in the unfolding of events, and so it no longer falls upon us, alone, to make things happen as we choose.

Since we are not the sole bearers of consciousness, we are no longer on top of things, with the crippling responsibility that that entails. We’re now accomplices in a vast and steadily unfolding mystery, and our actions have resonance only to the extent that they are awake to the other agencies around us, attuned and responsive to the upwelling creativity in the land itself.” (pages 131-132)

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