Posts Tagged ‘earth’

A Blue Cup Presence

May 10, 2014

Material objects sometimes represent more to me than their momentary utility. A psychologist would tell you that I project myself into these objects, giving them my personality and attributes, a process called personification.

A shaman would tell you that everything has a spirit living in it, including material objects because those materials were made from earth’s resources, and the earth and its resources are nothing but living spirits. And, just like any other spirit, we cannot own them. They only agree to be borrowed for a time in our lives.

Some years ago, my daughter and son-in-law were struggling with their lives. The details are meaningless to anyone but me and them; the consequences, however, could have been so very costly to the person we care about more than anyone else: their daughter and my granddaughter. All of the responsibility for my granddaughter fell upon my son-in-law. He was a very young soul then, barely past the age of 20, and he had to make the commitment to save his own life first.

My resources were limited to taking care of me. While I could cheer him on and babysit, I could not step into his life and fix it for him. I could not run his race or lift his burden. It was his battle, not mine.

A day came very early into this battle . . . a very hot day, where his struggles brought him to my door while running the numerous errands that were his life at that moment. He asked only for a glass of water, and I gave it to him in a cup exactly like the one shown in the picture. bluecup1 (2) He swallowed the water in what seemed one gulp, so gave him another, but this time filled with ice. He was close to being late for his next appointment with destiny so I told him to take the blue cup with him.

I never saw that blue cup again.

Ten years later, I see my son-in-law and granddaughter all the time, and the blue cup in the picture is the mate to the one I gave away that day. My granddaughter rocks the world with her presence and my son-in-law has discovered grace and gifts within himself that amaze and comfort me.

When I look into my cupboard and see that lone blue cup, I am reminded of that day, what preceded it and what has come after. I don’t long for the presence of its mate. I don’t ever ask my son-in-law about it and I don’t want to know where it is. Instead, I imagine that other blue cup still out there offering a long, cool drink of water to a thirsty world.

©2014 by Barbara L. Kass


Divine Presence

August 28, 2011

All of us came from the same source of souls – that Divine Presence which is all-that-is. We are the invisible energy that permeates every atom of existence. In my struggles to reconcile the violent nature of our existence, I am seeking to connect with the divine in everything: people, animals, plants, insects, air, earth, water, and objects.

There is a divine presence in a tornado, in an earthquake, in a flood. Each of these can steal away our living essence forcing our souls to move into the next iteration of our existence. The earth holds its own divinity. What appear to be weapons to us are tools the earth uses to sweep its air clean, keep its core stable, and refresh the soils that blanket its surface.

There is a divine presence in the grizzly bear who takes down a hiker. To that grizzly bear that person is a threat to cubs as well as nourishment. There is a divine presence in a wasp’s sting and the bite of a spider. There is divine presence in the fresh water springs and salty ocean depths. Without either of these, humans cannot survive.

Objects are created from atoms – the same atoms that are in living beings. A book, for example, is made from a tree and is imprinted with the life force of that tree. This plastic computer I am typing on is connected to the divine by way of its electric energy – energy that comes from wind, from coal, from oil, from natural gas. Even its battery stores the energy of those sources.

I’ll not be having conversations with books, tables, or televisions, though. My point is to recognize that all that exists has a connection to the Divine Presence that is the universe of existence. Nothing is created that comes from outside this universe. Everything that is destroyed continues to exist in another form within this universe. This is a fundamental law of physics.

Any one of us can die as the earth goes about its business. Any of us can die as humans go about their business. All the while, we are part of and within the Divine Presence. My difficulty is remaining consciously connected with my divine presence as I go about my human business. It is even harder to remember to connect with the divine in another person. There is only an infinitesimal margin of ability when I try to connect with a person who has been violent.

The violence I am discussing here is that which makes the Web headlines and front page news — the atrocious violence that harms other living creatures: our wars, our crimes, our retributions. There are subtler forms of violence such as the emotional warfare that a parent plays with a child to coerce the child into behaving and being in a prescribed manner. I don’t even WANT to find the divine presence in another when that person has harmed me or someone I love. All I can look at is their human failings and fret about how they did not meet my expectations, my prescribed way of being in the world.

I suspect that this kind of violence must come from a complete disconnect from divine presence. How can I connect with people who cannot even connect with themselves? I have to trust that the divine presence in me will recognize and connect with the divine presence in others.

It’s a place to start.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of cycles

May 12, 2011

Last week, I had a birthday. My best friend from high school sent me an e-card that encouraged me to celebrate completing “another trip around the sun.”

All this time, I have been doing nothing more than running around in a big circle. Two circles, actually.

It’s a pretty fast ride. First, the earth is skyrocketing around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour. Second, our solar system is rotating around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at about 490,000 miles per hour.

At the same, time we are spinning on our axis at about 1,070 miles per hour (although the people at the poles travel slower because their circle is smaller . . . and, no, it does not make you age any slower).

Motion on such a grand scale feels as if I am standing still, yet I am attached and very much a part of these cycles. Motion on a molecular level (my cells dividing, consuming, dying) also feels like I am standing still. I can honestly say that I have never felt my body produce a skin cell.

But I can feel the momentum of one brilliant flash of insight and I am never the same again, no matter how hard I try to go back to me. I am simultaneously more and less than I was the moment before. Some neural energy reached across a synapse and sealed my consciousness to something new . . . something more than I used to be. At the same time, that connection loosens its hold on something I no longer need to be.

The earth is never the same from one day to the next either. The sun has spent energy that it can never recover. Minute by minute, the sun is diminished. I say this, but it would not surprise me if someday we discover that the sun is actually refueling itself. We are just so limited in our human minds that what we cannot conceive must not exist, and that is why we come to many of our erroneous conclusions about our existence.

Back to my point. My cycle of existence is very much a part of, within, connected to, and sustained by the cycles and circles of galaxies and a sun that burns so fiercely, it sustains life 93,000,000 miles away. This immense power has always sustained me and always will. I am changing, evolving, becoming just the same as any star in the universe.

To complicate matters, our Milky Way is zinging its way toward a specific point in the universe. I hope I am ready once we get there.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of wind

September 4, 2010

I had the good fortune to be on a Shamanic journey the weekend after Magic died where I connected with the spirits of nature: fire, wind, water, earth, bugs, and plants. Connection with nature is available all the time and requires only that I focus my attention to use my senses to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

Fire is probably the only spirit that one might not want to taste in its burning naked essence, but we taste and ingest fire anytime we have eaten a plant or an animal cooked over an open flame. I doubt that I would ever lick an insect or eat dirt, and I remind myself to admire poison ivy from afar and only taste water that I know well.

The wind is an entirely different matter. Wind is air molecules who have caught the energy of the sun and use it to travel the earth. It is with us all the time. Can you taste the wind? Of course we can. We can measure its strength with our bodies, watch its effects with our eyes, smell its fragrance through our nostrils, and hear its journey as it passes through tree branches and lifts the eaves of our homes. Most of us don’t stick our tongues out to taste it as it passes by, but you might try it sometime.

Because it is always available, I have begun to pay attention to wind while walking. The west wind visited me the other day, bringing with it the promise of autumn. I felt its breath of coolness against my skin even though the temperature of the air was well over 90 degrees. As I inhaled, the air tasted and smelled faintly of dusty leaves and earthy soil. It was easy to see and hear the trees ruffling in the breeze, but that was not all I could hear. Beneath the quiet trembling of tree limbs, the wind offered me a whisper of advice: look to be happy.

I’ve been pondering this advice. It is not so much that the wind advised me to be happy. It clearly said “look” to be happy. If I expect happiness, I will seek it – I will look to find it around me. I can expect that if I desire happiness, I will find and experience happiness within myself. Even if there are some present circumstances in my life that I am not totally happy with, I can look within my being and find much to be happy and joyful about. Being happy is a proactive way of life.

When I quiet the monkey chatter in my head and connect to these ever-present spirits of nature, I realize my more complete oneness. The wind is always inside me filling my lungs, providing my cells with precious molecules of oxygen. My contribution is the carbon dioxide I exhale which the wind then carries to all the plants of the earth. They, in turn, sustain me with their nutrients when I ingest them. The wind even captures the molecules of water on my skin when I sweat and lifts them high into the atmosphere where they become clouds of rainwater. Those molecules carry an essence of me to share with the world.

The next time it rains, I am going to imagine I am being showered with happiness.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Earthquake Presence!

July 16, 2010

The earth moved today.

Really. It moved right under my feet.

There was an earthquake here in Maryland at about 5:05 a.m. About 3 miles beneath the surface, the earth readjusted itself, released a little pressure, and sent shock waves through the rock and soil. Its epicenter was about 10 miles up the road from where I live. It registered 3.6 so, in the larger scheme of things, a mere hiccup of the tectonic plates.

Yet, it was some of the more powerful trembling I have ever felt and a noise like thunder that went on for about 10 seconds . . . just a bit too long to be comfortable.

The Magic cat yawned through the entire thing, but I have been mesmerized all day by the fact that the earth moved. I have come to depend upon the earth staying in one place and remaining stable. Yes, I know we are spinning and hurtling through space at a bazillion miles an hour, but I am spinning and hurtling along at the same speed so I don’t really notice. Today, a part of the earth moved out of sync and reminded me that none of this is as secure as we want to believe. That it is forever is just an illusion.

There is a more powerful presence in the universe. It is the presence that sends things into motion. It is the energy that creates. We are that energy, too, along with the earth, the stars, the moon, and distant suns. We were set into motion by the same power that allows the earth to shift its weight to bear its burden.

For all I know, we are that power.

Think about that the next time life shakes you up a little.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Earth consciousness

March 31, 2010

If you want to help the earth, you need to develop an earth consciousness.

The Gaia hypothesis holds the belief that the earth is a living, breathing creature. Designed to support a diverse population of other living creatures, including humans, the earth can cleanse itself, feed itself, nurture itself, and protect itself. It also provides those same life-giving attributes to all that live here. To develop an earth consciousness, you need only adopt the role of nurturer and understand that if you fail to provide, those who are dependent upon you will fail to survive.

And there is no back-up earth to help out.

You have to construct flawless systems that are self-regulating.

You have to adjust and recalibrate those systems based upon the demands of an ever-growing population of creatures.

You don’t get to sleep. Only parts of you get to go dormant for 3 to 4 months out of the year.

You depend upon the creatures to willingly give back what they no longer need so you can recycle and use those resources again.

You have to be ready for them to give you back materials that have been so distorted you barely recognize what they were in their original form.

And, when those who depend upon you take so much that you have an insufficient supply to use for your needs, there is not much you can do about it.

Except, perhaps, pop an earthquake or two.

Send around a few hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes.

Rain endlessly so that rivers burst from their boundaries.

Just to let the creatures know that you will eventually reclaim it all, including them.

That is the way of things.

I believe we (the universal consciousness that we all are) designed the earth to be just as it is to help us learn, become more, and transcend our fear of being so temporarily human. Nothing we do here lasts forever except that which we learn and become.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass