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Desertification of the Soul Equals Desertification of the Earth

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Written with Meredith Hall

To be alienated from Nature is to be alienated from the Self, both the individual self and the universal Self manifesting as the world. As the Hindu Upanishads sing:

It is above, it is below

It is, indeed, this entire world

And when one knows this,

One knows bliss in the Self and in all worlds are free.

"It is the entire world," simply means you within everything else and everything else within you. Everything in the world speaks to the Self--your self and the universal Self. This is why Nature means birds, bees and coconut trees as well as Essence. Nature IS the Self.

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Today natural Nature has been overtaken by a cancerous growth of highways, deforestation of wild lands, and the pollution of waters, land and air. This is the result of corporations and individuals seeking a model of never-ending growth. To these people, there are no limits to profit or growth. It is interesting to note that the ultimate definition of cancer is growth without limits. Thus, where there is a cancerous growth in the body, it devours tissue to the point that its host organism dies. The cancerous growth is further revealed to be healthy cells whose growth has gone crazy. In other words, our corporate and civilized behaviors are the result of normal cells, i.e., human beings, who have taken their technologies and desire to conquer the world to the point of destroying the planet.

All of this is about attitude. As much as the Earth is polluted, then so are our minds. Our attitude is polluted by a false paradigm that our true Nature won't support, leaving us blind to our own destructiveness. In essence, we have created a desert of shopping malls, big box stores, highways, empty lots void of life and sky scrapers due to an attitude of growth-without-end. And, if someone comes along and says, "we need to limit growth," the result is often an admonishment based on the belief that saying we should limit growth is the worst of all evils. In other words, if you aren't cancerous like us, you must be the most pitiful being walking on this planet.

God forbid! Cancerous cells simply do not want anybody to get in the way of their feeding frenzy, which is the result of their own desertification. They have deserted the whole of the body and , thus, paradoxically their own well-being. This self desertification then causes the desertification of the host body. Thus, when we gaze upon the Earth and the monoculture cropping of billions of acres of land, and the miles of standardized houses infesting areas that used to support living forests, we are looking upon areas in which we have supported the growth of deserts. Indeed, even when we look upon (and perhaps admire) expanses of green lawn, we are looking only at virtual green supported by fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that are destroying the soil. Lawns are a mirage covering a desert! And, that desertification of the land mirrors the desertification of our mind that is bent upon profits and growth without limit.

We need to reclaim the diverse richness of our minds to reclaim the rich diversity in Nature. In other words, we need to let go of our "growth-without-limits" and technologies-galore mindset in order to kindle a healthier mind which will then result in a healthier planet. We also need to allow for the diverse actions of raw unbridled creativity in allowing for a rich diversity. Standardization must come to an end and make way to diversification.

As the ancients knew, in our diversity, we and the world are one. This is why She is Nature. As a fetus and her mother are one, then we are one with the world. Thus, when we gaze into polluted rivers and cities with mountainous nonliving buildings reaching to the sky, we are gazing into our own Souls. If we gaze into the world and see a rich diversity, chances are, we are also gazing into a mind that is rich in its display of thought, creativity and understanding. John Lennon apparently knew this in writing "Revolution" with Paul McCartney. As it is stated, "well, you know, you better free your minds instead."

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In freeing our minds and moving beyond our desertification, we can allow a rich and varied life on Earth as well as within and among ourselves and our culture. In so doing, we can mimic easily the work of Larry Korn who edited and translated Masanobu Fukuoka's Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration and Ultimate Food Security, interpreting it for the Western mind . It is only in allowing for the rich creativity inherent in each one of us that we can allow the rich creativity within Nature. The reason for this is that Nature is OUR Nature. She reflects us. Her being destroyed and turned into a desert is nothing less that our making Her in our image. Yet, beneath the surface, both in Her and us, there is a place of infinite potential and richness. It is there, in the infinite unknown that exists within and without you that the answer(s) to alienation and desertification will lie.

(To learn more about this wonderful work, listen to the interview of Korn by Burl and Merry Hall on 8/29/12 at 8 pm live at or listen later to the archived show.)


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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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