Where I live is what I call a New Earth community. As a healer working with humans as well as the Earth, I realized that to heal the human world, we are going to have to re-root ourselves in the Oneness still found in the natural community. To explain how the land here taught me this, I will tell my story of coming here.
I moved to this valley in 2005, along with the other three members of my household at the time. We came to be part of an intentional community, Egrets’ Cove, dedicated to “living more lightly on the Earth”—by sharing resources and building small and efficient homes, so as to live in greater harmony with the Earth. It was a good group of people. We had good intentions, but a poor foundation, as it turned out. Over the years, it became an unpleasant place to live because of our inter-human dynamics. The community disbanded, and everyone except me moved away and settled elsewhere.
I began to sense that my deeper commitment in moving here was to the very place itself, which was all the time bringing me into greater wholeness. I was in the right place, which meant that I could thrive here. I began to listen to the animals, rocks, and trees, and do what I could to empower and awaken them (such as singing and drumming). I was lonely, having exited all my existing human communities because of dysfunction and stress. I longed desperately for community.
One day the bobcat spirit said to me: “You think community is something you have to create out of nothing. In fact, the community is already there. You just have to find your place in it.” I was baffled by this, because I did not like the foundational dynamics of any of the “communities” of people I saw around me. That is why I’d been trying to “create” a new community.
Spirit (the voice of the Oneness, the energy flowing through all things) began to show me that the community that is “already here,” is the community still alive in nature—in the rocks, trees, plants, water, soil, and in many animal species. It is the community that remembers its Oneness in Spirit. I could not find wholeness in any existing human communities I knew of, because they were all disconnected from the Oneness. Humans have forgotten that everything is alive, and that Spirit moves in all, and so we have conducted our affairs without giving voice to other living things. This is why we cannot experience true, healthy community in the existing human world. We have fallen for the illusion of separateness; we think it is possible that we can thrive even if our neighbors are miserable. It is not so.
I realized my original human community out here had failed in part because we had no real, on-the-ground, communal concept of Spirit/Oneness. Our entrenchment in our rational minds could produce division only. We had no collective access to the harmony found in Spirit. Additionally, we did not take seriously the aliveness of all beings, so we were just imposing our wills over other life forms without listening to their voices–the same pattern of violence and power-over that is destroying the planet in all corners of the human world.
As a healer, I hold the door open for other humans to exit the old world and step into the new, which is characterized by relationships that empower instead of power-over. And I mean empowering all life forms, not just humans. While I go about my work, I am learning how to listen to the other voices. Rocks, water, eagle, trees: all speak with the voice of Spirit, from their own unique perspectives in the community. I take seriously what they tell me, because they are yet more whole and attuned than I am. I hope that more humans will gather here because Spirit leads them and they are listening, and that we will begin to rebuild human community on the hard-to-beat foundation of reality–the reality of Spirit flowing through all life. We are energetic (“spiritual”) beings, not just mind and matter: we are all part of a great web of interconnection that could be harmony, if we start paying attention to it.