The first blog of this process of being mycelium was an experiential one. This was because the first move of social sculpture is always on the level of experience, of embodied knowledge and impulse, rather than purely intellectual, logical knowledge or reasoning. Part of sculpting a more sustainable society, one in which we might more fully live, is recognising the rich complexity of human experience, understanding and knowing – and therefore the rich complexity of humanity – and so the first questions of social sculpture is always, ‘What do I love? What am I passionate about? What enlivens?’
When I answer these questions, my deepest answer is always that I love the earth, I am passionate about the earth and my / our relationship to the earth, and that through experiencing that, and sharing that with others, we can create ‘enlivenment’. By enlivenment, I mean a fuller experience of our selves, our shared humanity and our oneness with the more-than-human world, a restoring towards fuller life of all the beings that form that more-than-human world and a rejection of and movement of all those processes that bring death – that lead to something other than life – within that sphere. I have asked in previous writing… if we knew experientially that we were absolutely and inseparably one with all the beings of that more-than-human field, with the earth and all its expressions, would we experience the levels of desparation that so many of us do? Would a sense of isolation be perhaps -ironically – humanity’s most unifying aspect? Further, would our social, political and economic systems work as they do, or in more organic, life-enhancing ways? And would we be fracking and exploiting our planet home in any of the myriad ways in which we are?
No, is my belief, we wouldn’t. And I base that not just on my own experience, of the times when I have felt both at one with another being (human or otherwise) and fulfilled (deep and inspiring as that is, and maybe material for another blog), but on my (admittedly limited) understanding of other cultures, in which remnants of that understanding of our interconnectivity remains.
I believe that thwe have forgotten what a human being is. We live according to a notion that we are self-determining, self-sufficient, autonomous individuals. This is not wrong: It is part of the gift of humanity that we are, indeed, more self-actualising than many other beings (though who knows? Maybe there are many more species that have a greater degree of abilities similar to our own than they are able to communicate to us self-referential humans) but this is only part of the truth: we forget that this experience or reality of self is rooted firmly in the oneness of our true deep self with all other beings, without which, physically as well as philosophically, we and any notion of self simply could not exist. To return to our self, therefore, to return to our senses (through which we experience our relationship to all beings) as individuals and as societies, we need to return to that deep, tacit, inner knowing of our interconnectedness. If we remembered this, I believe, many of the ills that I have spent so long working, marching, and getting arrested for would simply resolve, far more naturally, organically, holistically and completely than through myriad attempts at more superficial change.
I could go on …like I say, this is rooted in my passion. But this brings me (finally!) to the question:
What is it that i hope to get out of this means of learning, this group?
Certainly, it is not the case that I want you to help me with my MA, the one I don’t really need. My hope is that this can, for all of us, not just myself, become a genuine experience of listening to and learning from the earth. It is necessary to involve people in this for two reasons:
One, because, vitally, we ARE the earth. Each of us is, whether we recognise it or not. So in any attempt to listen to and learn from the earth, it is essential, as a first stage, to initiate and propagate learning between each other, those beings with whom we are most readily able to communicate. Not only in order to learn, but then to share and disseminate (to sow seeds in the earth) that learning.
Two, because it is nonsensical and pointless to explore interconnectivity with all things by yourself.
I don’t see this group therefore as a means of me teaching you something (I’m a learner here, not a teacher), or of me leading you somewhere. I have initiated the process, yes, because as I say I have been fortunate enough to be able to gift myself time for this. And at this point, I hold the intent of the group, though that will, hopefully, change.
The intent which I hold is that this will become a place in which all of us can learn – from all of us – what it means to live as if we were one with the earth; in which we can all share the wisdom we have as part of the earth with the wider whole, and it can be recognised, received and responded to as such; in which we can share and develop meaningful practices that enable our selves and others to engage with and experience that oneness; that through doing so, and via the actions, insights and intents that arise through it, that we can begin to create small – or even large – catalysts within our selves and our wider communities; that we may begin to realise something of that sustainable, equitable world we would all, I believe, chose to live in.
To do this, it is not enough that an individual holds an intent, but that others share it and carry it too. Many of you have been doing so far longer – and are far more skilled in it – than I. Others may be intrigued by what seems like a new idea, but perhaps one that seems to resonate with something you hold inside yourself.
So I invite you to share in this ‘mycelium’, this living, enriching, protecting, nourishing, enlivening network; to share your ideas, thoughts, beliefs, imaginings, practices, passions – and also your concerns and pains – we cannot, in this era, relate to the earth without an experience of both its and our own sufferings. You can do so by responding to the blogs, by feeding back your own insights and practices, by coming to the gatherings or sharing from afar (more on how you can do that soon).
But also, primarily, by sharing the intent:
by recognising, exploring, and LOVING your own, unique oneness with the earth.
How cool to be doing an MA in this shit, hey?! ,)
I thank you so much for what you are and what you do.