TL;DR: The Language of Earth-Walking gives us the tools to enact a vision beyond the old reliance on "common ground" modes of relating. That new vision says: as individuals, we are responsible for the burden of extremes within ourselves. For our need fulfillment, we must learn meaningful communication. For developing our capacity for expansion, we must find it inwardly, by first understanding how an individual’s creative potential relates to the collective. All individuals benefit from humanity’s shared light of admiration shining on these processes.
Introduction • Creative Potential of Being • Language and Creative Connection • Table of Contents
Expansion-minded cultures one and all sprang from a visionary seed cultivated long ago from humanity’s collective imagination. It spurred cultural and technological developments and creative endeavoring of all kinds. It's urgent now that we question it. The product of our collective imagination has been (by way of metaphor):
Humanity is a mighty tree. Its branches sway in the powerful winds of goals and dreams. Its trunk, standing upright and efficiently shuttling its resources, is a symbol of humanity realizing its potential. Its roots, sunk deep and wide into the Earth’s rich soil, are its means of ongoing attachment and nourishment.
At base, the form of this shared vision embodies a sense of common ground. Most people relate easily to the experience of seeking common ground and often find it essential to their own willingness to participate meaningfully in human circles. More broadly, having shared vision and awareness, which we communicate through language and metaphor, is the relational core of being human, or as some like to put it, of being “social creatures.”
In our shared vision, when common ground, goals and dreams, and realizing potential are the focus, humanity accepts a fate of being tied to each other through our reliance on the Earth. Unfortunately today, as Earth distress increases to the level of crisis for a variety of reasons, we find ourselves plunged into lack of acceptance - for instance, of each other, governance, regulation, or media. On a personal level, people in much of the world today find that failed attempts at reaching common ground outpace successful ones. Some days wildly so. Finding common ground with those we disagree with has become more of a frustrating burden than an exercise in visionary awareness.
Culturally too – from town meetings to social media – humanity finds itself overrun with the opposite of inner balance coming from peace or acceptance. Extremes are the norm, and common ground beyond social circles is hard to come by. Extremism in dangerous and out-of-control forms ever more constantly pulls at our attention and drains our resources.
Humanity’s common ground vision of itself seems to be failing. Why? If you have a one-word answer to that, think again. I bet you can come up with another! And another! And another! Righteous indignation hugely multiplied seems the only personally satisfying remedy, but there is another and I present it in part here.
Our common ground vision is failing because of the genuine and age-old difficulty of finding real and lasting positive potential in a challenging environment. In that light, the Language of Earth-Walking makes the impossible possible. With it, we have a tool for creating first the intention to relate differently to humanity's potential. That said, the difficulty remains that extremism has us in its grip and must be addressed along with positive potential.
Humanity expresses itself through a wide and sometimes dizzying array of shared media and personal circumstances. On top of that we, as individuals and collectives, tend not to take responsibility in new and courageous ways unless we absolutely have to. When extremes get loud, the challenge with responsibility is to accept it as "the ability to respond" rather than "the need to react."
Add to the difficulty that circumstances are complex and slippery, increasingly so due to globalization. The only easy path is to succumb to doubt and despair through clinging closer to our dogmatic attachments and orderly ways. Setting aside dogma and orderliness, we are likely to face disorientation within the constantly changing shared landscape - our "humanity-scape" - with no sense that it is possible to deal with it, personally, collectively, or both.
On a given day, we consider what it would take to participate responsibly and are likely to 1) not understand how to, 2) not have the freedom to, 3) fear retaliation if we do, or 4) all of the above. When we do take responsibility we find ourselves at the mercy of other people’s extreme reactions and behaviors. This is precisely why we must invite a new shared vision for creative participation to inform and inspire our ways of relating.
Do humanity in part benefits from being globally connected, yet we also share in heightened challenges to our physical, mental, and emotional environments. Taking responsibility with grace and courage in light of the emerging complex humanity-scape will mean moving forward as catalysts (making positive change easier rather than more difficult) rather than by wearing badges of martyrdom. The same opportunity is true for all, regardless of particular special categories within humanity that you may represent. Overall, humanity’s challenges will fail to resolve in our own experiences when we resort to clinging, and resulting control, fear, and attachments. In those, we tend to create nothing of real value other than failed common ground that we must then defend.
Our expansion-minded predecessors clung to an unflappable Earth for their creative potential. In this immature position in relationship to the Earth, humanity finds itself trapped in doomed extraction-oriented futures. Yet we seem content to rage against or lament the limits we face. We are behaving in extremes like a collective of unhappy babies at a drained breast. Largely unawares, humanity’s disgruntled ways and collective fatigue are also about seeing ourselves only in terms of our dependence on Earth's abundance.
According to humanity’s current shared vision, individuals are dreamy creatures, full of realized and unrealized potential, being provided for directly by the Earth. From the perspective of the creative potential of being, we are ready to ripen from our helpless positions, where we are wrapped in a dreamy fog of swaddling clothes, limited to receiving only the potential let through by our comfortable common ground territory, and paradoxically being reduced to the sad condition of constantly losing our cool over our quite reasonable and unavoidable lack of control.
In our extremes, we show that we have not surpassed the vision of our relationship to Earth where it is acceptable for mature adults to cry like hungry, tired, cold, dirty infants when we do not get what we want. The fact does remain that for many adults and too many children, what is wanted is little different than what is needed: basic food, rest, warmth, and a clean place to receive them. In these cases, the crying out will continue, a good sign that such folks have retained the will to get their basic needs met! For the rest of us, there is no cause for all the noise other than our habits of being needy, dreamy, unrealistic, and dogmatic in our relationship to humanity.
To this, Earth Mother is saying, “You are mature enough to walk now. You can and must sustain yourselves on the fruits of your own potential. They offer sweetness but, if ignored, will rot - a symbol of the creative potential of being that is available to you all. You must be caretakers and creators for one another instead of relying on me for that. Step into a dynamic existence for yourselves while I rest and recharge. Be Earth-Walkers.”
Creative Potential of Being
For the foreseeable future we remain Earth-bound – at least in bodily form. The call to Earth-Walk is not about abandoning, in body, mind, or emotion, our own or humanity’s Earthly existence. To extend the metaphor, it is about finding our legs.
The moving vision that humanity embraces with Earth-Walking says:
As individuals, we are responsible for the burden of extremes within ourselves. For our need fulfillment, we must learn meaningful communication. For developing our capacity for expansion, we must find it inwardly, by first understanding how an individual’s creative potential relates to the collective. All individuals benefit from humanity’s shared light of admiration shining on these processes.
The next step after intention is to inspire us to relate in new ways to communication and understanding. That takes us into language, the subject of the next section.
This Earth-Walking scheme might sound like a remote possibility given the extremes of all of the fantasy and obsession-driven realism that fuels the external conditions of day to day life we find today. Ironically, the common ground model makes a comfortable position from which to protect our egos from criticism. By deferring to the abstract lack of common ground, no one of us need be responsible. All of humanity (“human nature”) is generically responsible, or the Earth is, for not being able to serve all that we imagined possible from a place of immature common ground.
In Earth-Walking, we blossom by taking on the responsibility for our own creative potential as it relates collectively to the capacity of humanity. We free the Earth to heal and renew and free humanity to change for the better. Any skepticism or cynicism about doing so makes sense in the context of reasonable attachment to, fear of, or regrets about the failing common ground vision.
Cultivating the seed of humanity’s potential directly in the Earth’s capacity has brought us to where we are, which includes amazing advances, technologies, and feats of wonder. We and our ancestors expanded, through our realizations of growth within the Earth’s giving presence, over and above getting our basic survival needs met. This way of tapping into our creative potential however has been indirect. Receiving the metaphorical light of her admiration in this way, humanity has basked in ever greater dreams rich in shining approval, protection, and the promises of more. Our expanding presence channeled that potential, rooted in Earth’s generosity, to develop both useful and cunning influences over each other and her potential by enhancing a variety of human capacities.
What we experienced at one time or another as the light of her admiration has turned into a spotlight of interrogation – of ourselves and each other. Humanity’s extremes have been unearthed, and extremism is the undeniable cry of humanity's journey to Earth-Walking ready to find its legs.
Language and Creative Connection
To inspire creative potential in a dynamic way, first tap into language in a way that is in keeping with both natural laws and experiential truths. Consider these your right and left legs as you work to integrate and learn from this book’s contents. You can learn to relate to these through the key forms that The Language of Earth-Walking takes.
The pages herein are filled not with strings of words as narrative sentences but of groupings of regular, angular diagrams, some of which include circular diagrams, into sections. Each section is a series in which the same diagram is displayed but with a unique collection of words at its vertices (in the angular diagrams) and, when present, its arcs (in the circular ones). Consider each like a prism that separates and displays the full spectrum of colors present in light of the diagram’s theme. Or you can think of each as the emergent, creative potential as it is expressed for the stated theme.
The diagrams, which appear in groupings of eight, four, or three, have consistent qualities and are related to each other. Thus, the forms the diagrams take are themselves both meaningful and understandable. Exactly why that is so however is beyond the scope of this book.
The figures themselves represent an achievement in understanding about natural laws in relation to the creative – or from the perspective of the whole universe, emergent – potential of existence when transcendentally observed, that is, noticed with an appreciation for the presence not only of what is necessary but what is possible in a creative sense. For this reason, two of the book’s sections begin with a diagram and a theme that evoke what is cosmic. Those sections move directly from there to bodily, relational, and culturally expressive diagrams.
The cosmic perspective that comes through in Earth-Walking is not a substitute for Creation stories, such as from world religions or cosmology-based literature. Its value is in the here and now and is what is needed to ready humanity for its shift from a shared vision fixed in common ground to one of shared, dynamic creative potential.
Extraordinary feats of human achievement and lows of human depravity remain possible and defy rational justification. Yet at the deepest levels all of humanity – within all of creation – still abides by the same natural laws. The same gravity. The same heat. The same photons lighting things up. The same elements sweetening our tea (“and flowers,” say the bees).
This points to a level at which our individual existences are at once shared and unique to us and our circumstances. We are right in thinking of humans as “the same” because we are genetic isomers that sense the world in the same ways. But there is another subtle sameness that transcends tangible definitions.
We are the same in the naturalness, the “yes” we experience, when meaningfully relating to our shared reality from within one of humanity’s diverse languages. Some people use the word “truth” or “authentic” to describe what a clear relationship to shared reality itself means. Such a state is itself real and possible because, from the cosmic level up, our constantly emerging shared reality is subject to a kind of subtle, dynamic structuring-restructuring that makes it both mechanistic and alive with possibility. Thus, the “yes” experience, properly interpreted, can be understood as our direct line to humanity’s creative potential. The Language of Earth-Walking is its form.
Consider too that creative potential is nothing without meaning, and language is our way of expressing it and thus sharing it at one level or another. Awareness of both begins with finding and expressing what is happening at the level of “here” and “now.” Sets of bodily conditions like these can be used to characterize ourselves and others and set our creative potential in motion in meaningful ways. To fully unpack meanings, we recognize and characterize phenomena as consequences of creative potential and do that by tracking changes, recognizing patterns and novelty both in and around us, then using both the tangible and intangible meanings we find to both inform and express our languages.
The Language of Earth-Walking blends inner and outer phenomena. It marries the interior “yes” experience of the individual to humanity’s creative potential. Without it, endless distractions and frustrating extremes await, without clarity or resolution. With it, every experience becomes an opportunity ripe for both.
Table of Contents