How does the energy of a stone differ from that of a piece of wood? What does the river say as it flows past? Where are the secret shrines of the Earth Spirit? Few of us know anymore. We have become divorced from the natural world, from its ever-shifting fluctuating energy.
What fools we are. Despite our attempts at taming it, it is still a beautiful world. Think of the dappled green of a forest with shafts of sunlight glancing through the trees. Summon up the rainbow shimmering through a waterfall. Remember the awesome power of the mountains; the heaving fastness of the sea. Visualise smaller beauties too: a fresh new bud, full and sticky; a butterfly alighting gently on a flower; a young puppy bounding with sheer joy of life.
Our ancestors would have laughed at the idea of having to search for the energy of the natural world. To them the world was their soul, just as they were the soul of the world – there was no distinction. Then came civilisation and an awareness that here, on the one hand, stood us humans, while out there, apart from us, stood the world, foreign and dangerous. Our perspective changed: instead of feeling ourselves a part of the natural world, we came to view ourselves as outside the natural world, above the natural world. Nature and its resources began to serve us, to be moulded to our needs and desires. Worse still, we began to almost ‘punish’ Nature, to put her ‘in her place’, to show our dominance and our superiority. It’s as if we are trying to deny the fact that, for all our intelligence, our ‘wealth’ and our possessions, in essence we are creatures like any others – we are born, we live and we die, according to Nature’s rule, to the spinning of the thread.
There is a huge rift between us and the rest of nature. If we want to reclaim our birthright as energy beings in an energetic world we have to do something to change this. The only true way to heal the rift is to accept, truly, that we are part of the great cycle of Nature, no more or less than the other denizens with whom we share this planet. When we are cast adrift from earth energy we are dimly aware that something momentous, something intrinsic, is missing in our lives.
We need to start, in the smallest of ways, to heal the rift, to begin to sense the whole other world ‘out there’. Try seeing everything – the grass, a bird, an insect, the earth – as if for the very first time. Don’t just look – use your other senses too. Listen to the sounds of nature – even in the heart of the city you can still hear the rustle of trees, the bird-song, the hum of bees, the trickle of water. Go out and touch a tree, stroke a leaf, plunge your hands into the soil. Just begin to be aware of the world outside our houses, offices and cars. Start, just start, to think of yourself as part of this great cycle.
Let’s start small. Pick up a stone and a leaf. They don’t have to be anything exceptional – any stone and leaf will do.
• Feel the weight and texture of the stone, its coolness perhaps. Sense its age. Imagine what it has quietly seen.
• How would it feel to be that stone? Take your time. What is ‘stone energy’ like? Try to feel its pulse, its rhythm.
• When you feel you know your stone, place it to one side and pick up the leaf instead. Feel the difference. Smell the difference.
• Trace the veins of your leaf. How would it feel to be a leaf, delicate yet attached to the strength and flexibility of a tree? How would it feel to have the sun falling on you; the sun you convert to energy and food? Imagine your life cycle as a leaf – concentrated inside a bud; then slowly pushing out into the sunlight; unfurling, growing, spreading; then slowly fading, drying, dying. Falling to the ground and slowly returning to the earth. It’s a very different cycle to that of the stone. Keep your stone and leaf with you – perhaps on your desk or in a drawer.
Condensed extract from The Energy Secret, available in hardback or e-book in UK and US versions.
Illustrations by Amalia Wahlström, from The Energy Secret