To be in a state of formation as an earthy person, a nature-religious person, is to seek a dynamic balance and to reconnect with a sense of the whole.
Pausing for context: I am a twenty-three year-old earth spiritualist and this is my first post, an attempt to explain the larger context of my future writing.
From my perspective, this is an immanent world, where power, purpose, and love are manifested in nature -- not the "nature" that we go out to visit on the occasional camping trip, but the nature which constitutes our humanity. It's our biosphere identity, and beyond, to identify with the universe: we are beings of this world. We participate in its unfolding, and we are a piece of its reality.
The first step of any formation in a nature-religious way is to ground and connect with this sense of a Whole, the dynamic unfolding of reality, the collective happening. To know nature is to know ourselves, to know ourselves is to acknowledge nature. We are a part of something bigger than us, from the tiniest microbe to the furthest star. For me, to be an earth spiritualist is to know and experience what is already there. To really allow that fuller sense of reality -- beyond the interlocking stories of our day to day lives into the stillness of constant change, the dynamic balance of the seasons, the turning moon, the rhythms of human life.
It is a pretty happy thought, in my opinion.
In that context, everyone has the potential to lead themselves while submitting to a greater power of the collective being. Becoming a leader in the earthy community means to be a voice, to help others ground in that sense of the Whole. But it is still something I am figuring out.
I understand my self-education as, first, working internally. Growing in self-knowledge, facing and integrating your shadows, finding internal blocks and developing your inner strength. This is why I left the country a year ago to travel alone through India. It was a self-designed challenge, and pilgrimage, to learn new skills, especially around strong emotions and integrating struggles. I had grown comfortable in my roles at DePaul, and it was time to step back and grow as a person before I could consider community leadership.
Second, working externally. Which means to take the internal and realize its context -- that I have my own seasons and phases, and that my life (and ultimately, death) fits into a greater reality. It is to be receptive, to accept greater wisdom, and in turn, act in the world.
In the end, I strive to transcend thoughts of internal and external, to ground everything again in the idea that my existence is a piece of an unfolding whole, a bit of consciousness in the collective. And to become a leader is to transcend leadership itself, to empower community and receive its lessons.
To form is to transform and return. To live and take life. To ground and dance. To make a spiral of reality, living old practices in a new way, where discovery is to remember and to breathe is to come alive.
Photo by the author.