“Because they did not know God, therefore, in their error, they worshipped every creature as divine, namely the Sun, the Moon and stars, thunder, birds, even four-legged animals, even the toad. They also had forests, fields and bodies of water, which they held so sacred that they neither chopped wood nor dared to cultivate fields or fish in them.”

~ Peter of Dusburg, Chronicon Terrae Prussiae, iii, 5, 53.

This quote is taken from a chronicle detailing the activities of the Crusaders against the Old Prussian pagans of Baltic Europe in 1326.

Yes, there was (and still is, in very small pockets) a time when even European ancestored people’s recognised that everything possessed an innate soul – a kind of numinous interiority, a shining wisdom from within…

And many young children, left to their wildness are still able to perceive this porous consciousness, this scintilla of aliveness reaching out toward them.

Unfortunately, most of us are coaxed out of this wider conversation as we grow into adulthood (and tragically, many well before even that).

We trade away our Entangled Self for an Economic one and then spend a lifetime trying to stuff the gaping hole it leaves behind with sweet treats, trinkets and shining screens (and war).

I can say here with confidence, that there is nothing that this Empire of Emptiness can sell you that will make the pain, loneliness, anxiety and deep nameless longing disappear.

I see the restoration of our perception of the Anima Mundi (Soul of the World) as one aspect of the journey toward being fully human again… But for me, this begins with naming what has been missing and then really slowing down enough to feel the implications of this loss. To let the grief and outrage pour through my tears, my shouts and the spontaneous lament songs for the lost children, breaking this beautiful world apart.

It is this rupture of composure, this sharp, dark love that speaks to something so precious being lost that it finally opens the way to a forgotten mutuality being first recognised and then slowly… Maybe over a lifetime (maybe many), re-entered.

There is such joy in working alongside others towards this dream of aliveness restored, and yet such pain in the knowledge that I won’t likely live to see its full fruition…

And yet this tragic truth is in and of itself, an invitation into participation with that wider, wilder body… because in order for me to commit to mending my corner of a ripped fabric without grasping to the hope that I will see such a job complete (or at least resembling some sort of fullness)- I am asked to live on behalf of something so much larger then this individual self I have been told is “what it’s all about”.

There is something so deeply liberating about releasing myself into an emergent pattern I’m too small to see the shape of.

To say yes to taking these slow, tentative steps through the rubble of these times, toward some impossible feeling dream… especially as they co-mingle with numberless others stepping in the same direction.

May we find the courage to keep walking along this wild edge of uncertainty…

May we keep committing to the flourishing of life, even as it’s dying…

May we apprentice to the cracks in modernity and let this collapse take all that is unwell within us down with it…

May we open again to the Dream of the Earth…

May we remember to live in right-relationship with this Dream again..