The Listening Universe
Everything, every-Thing is real.
I am real,
is anything other
“The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the Whole Universe.”
-Sri Ramana Maharshi
Once upon a thought, long, long ago, the universe was born in the breath and flurry of God understanding herself. Long, long ago in a meta-verse not unlike your own heart, conscious life began, coursing with the life-blood of light and energy, beating the rhymes of time, condensing through the forces of love and gravity. Once upon a desire, spirit birthed soul and was found in the arms of her own creation.
This creation expanded and grew. It formed and furrowed. It danced and wiggled and learned about spirals. It seeded and sprouted and grew flowers that became fruit that fell to the ground and became seed again. It composted. And one fine, star-filled day, it listened. It opened its innate sensitivity to receive itself and began to understand it’s own heart. It reflected on its own music, and on that sweet day, consciousness became aware of itself.
Eons later, on a crisp, late autumn day in the Earth Year 2009, somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, an activist, a mystic, a scientist and a social entrepreneur sit down to counsel. Each from their own angle is deeply engaged in the hard and heartful work of Climate Leadership. Each has lived enough life and looked far enough into and out of themselves to see the integral confluences between their individual work and worldviews and those of their colleagues. They agree that they all share one fundamental reality: “Everything now is at stake and everything is possible.”
From this foundation, they begin to ask questions. “What is a conscious life? How does one live it? What is soul and what does it have to do with the evolution of consciousness? What is pain, and how does it motivate evolution? What is the connection between our capacity to survive and our capacity to thrive?” They settle into their chairs a bit deeper. “How are survival and soul entwined in the process of planetary emergence? Could soul be a key to surviving the fires of Global Warming, Economic Collapse, Species Decimation and Overpopulation? What motivates a whole and soul-filled approach to being, becoming and participating in a world on fire?” Falling silent for a moment, they arrive at one final question: “What ignites compassionate action?”
“Perhaps,” says the activist, “it is the sheer compression of suffering.” “You could say that it is the quantum increase in turbulence is revealing new capacities for resonance and synergy,” says the scientist. “Yes,” says the activist, “But that compassionate ignition comes through something mysterious, something bigger than movements or parties or creeds. It comes through some deep response to the world, to humanity, to the planet. It descends like grace and flows like water. I don’t understand it, but I see it everywhere, particularly in the youth. It’s a force for collaboration and innovation bigger than anything you can wrap your mind around.” “It could be that we are learning how to listen, and that what we are responding to is the calling of the World Soul to the hearts and minds of individuals,” chimes the mystic.
“This pressure cooker we are in is the greatest opportunity ever to choose to love what is. That’s the beauty of it; it’s not easy so we are confronted with the choice to suffer or embrace, to resist or to co-create with material reality as it is. No one has ever done this before. All our previous models were based on what seemed expedient and profitable at the time, leading to dominance and expansion at the expense of people and planet. Now we are learning how to work and play soulfully, how to include people and planet in our value systems and bottom-line equations and thus transform what is from a greater space of inter-relatedness. We are learning how to do this by working within – not separate from – broader ecological, social and structural contexts and exercising our capacity to choose sensitively,” says the social entrepreneur. Taking a breath and looking around the circle, the mystic offers, “We are learning to collaborate with everything. In the emergent context, the motive for living with soul meshes with the innate desire of life to seek conditions favorable to life.”
“Yeah, I love to quote Janine Benyus on this one,” says the scientist. “’The answers to the questions are everywhere… The important thing is that these are solutions solved in context, and that context is the earth – the same context in which we are trying to find solutions.’”
“Let’s back up. What is soul, anyway?” says the activist.
“Recently, in my work, I have been exploring the mathematic reality of the singularity contained within every atom. This singularity is a mini-black hole within the nuclei of every atom in the universe. The same is true for the heart of every sun, and for your own human heart. It’s unbelievably beautiful. I believe it proves the existence of soul.” “It’s what Celtic wisdom teacher John O’Donohue calls ‘the point of absolute non-connectivity with everything else’”, says the mystic. “But, what’s so cool,” replies the scientist, “is that each and every one of these points is connected to each and every other point in the fabric of space and time. That means that everything is both completely distinct and interdependently linked with everything else.” “Exactly. Dependent co-arising.”
The activist pipes in, “So, that’s what Lovelock was talking about in earth terms when he published the Gaia Hypothesis?” “Sort of, yes. His work described, a profound inter-related intelligence that manifests through the biologic cycles and systems of the Earth,” says the mystic. “This interdependent intelligence is what ecologists, biomimics and neurobiologist know intuitively, and it is what the eco-psychologist Bill Plotkin writes of in Soul Craft and Nature and the Human Soul. For him, and for most indigenous peoples, soul is a category inseparable from All of Our Relations. It is both a suchness unique to each and every created thing and a divine field of intelligence arising through the interconnectivity and intersubjectivity of all things. It is real, and it is in, and runs through, everything – not transcendent or ephemeral, but actual and profoundly manifest. It can be contacted through the senses, through the body and through the heart. One cannot find it through thought alone. One must find it through dedicated engagement in the World and the More Than Human World.”
“Have you done this?” asks the activist.
“Well… yes. And you?”
The circle takes a collective pause, a breath, and another breath. All at once, all four people realize that each of them has passed through the valley of fire more than once and come to the other side more loving, compassionate and committed than before. All at once, a kinship is born that can move mountains.
All four hearts start to “think” together. The social entrepreneur softly offers, “When I live in accord with my soul, when I listen to the world as the greater Field of Soul, then everything I see and experience, everything I sense and feel, becomes a living foundation for my responsivity and action. Everything speaks to me of its rich capacity to collaborate and share value. What I do as a businessperson is not separate from what I do with and for the earth, with and for my daughter, with and for my community, with and for the Divine. When I, and thousands of others like me, start to aggregate this kind of thinking and action, markets become a function of natural limits and intelligent flows of energy. This is how I apply my passion. This is how I want to work and play with each of you. I experience it both as my joy and as my duty.”
“So, here is hope,” says the activist. “The soul is the key motive, the deep voice within and through all things, that can empower our survival and our eventual thrival in the next evolutionary spiral for humanity. Conscious living is the outcome of an ongoing practice of sacred activism arising from this felt sense of compassionate connectivity with all that is.”
Talking late into the night, they coin a new word: Soulvival – survival and thrival emergent through a deep and engaging relationship to the animate soul within all things. Soulvival means the capacity to survive and to thrive through the continuous practice of living in accord with soul. Soulvival means engaging life through the fierce grace of loving what is and choosing to act as a force for regeneration, beauty and justice. Soulvival means asking the hard questions, doing the home work and the due diligence, and then collaborating with other humans, with nature, and with everything, to create a life engaged in a net-positive, creative, cogeneration of the evolving world. It is the ultimate prayer – a non-secular invitation to engage every aspect of life as sacred. It is an invitation for us to reconnect with that far off (and near) impulse of the universe to listen to itself and so become conscious. It is us becoming the universe evolving as it listens to and co-generates itself.
In and Beyond Time
In oneness, through me.
Words fall on my side of the cosmic divide between this “one”
and “everything else.”
It is for me to hear through my soul channel,
As it is for you to hear through yours.
We are not alone in the hearing
Because the listening itself is a fabric,
a verb that is a tissue,
of gossamer connectivity between all things
In all time
I no longer forget.
I no longer remember.
I act or be
Be and act.
Noun into verb,
Verb into noun
All subject to the rulership of divine harmony,
All in service to the sweet channel… of love.
And, in this, I have chosen.
I choose to dance the violet pentacle at the center of the flame,
At the center, where all hands grasp through the fire,
I choose a creativity
Which is uniquely peace.
I chose embodiment that is universally peace.
That is what is.
We are bowls of water.
Half and half is for beginners.
Take it all and leave it all.
Don’t forget skillful maybe –
the open portal to what is beyond imagining.
leave ambivalence at the door.
In this fierce storm of yes,
this sweet autumn of wind,
this quiet knowing of the path:
Begin in the Body.
Let it live.
Let it breath.
Let it feed.
Let it be soft, animal, instinctive and
Begin in the body, and connect.
This is where peace lives.
Peace acts, one gesture at a time.
Begin in the body.
Live in the heart.
This is not a choice.
This is a fact.
ACT from this fact.
And through this align in and beyond – space and time.
Benyus, Janine. “Janine Benyus Shares Natures Designs.” TED, filmed February 2005, Posted April 2007, http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/janine_benyus_shares_nature_s_designs.html (accessed November 24, 2009).
Casey, Caroline. Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998.
Gore, Al. Our Choice: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, Inc., 2009.
Harvey, Andrew. The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism. Carlsbad, California: Hay House, 2009.
Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest. New York: Penguin Books, 2007.
Haramein, Nassim. “The Schwarzschild Proton,” Paper presented at the Mystic Garden Party, July 27, 2009.
O’Donohue, John. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997.
Andrew Harvey, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism (Carlsbad, California: Hay House, 2009), 61.
 This thought is echoed throughout the work quantum theorist Nassim Haramein. http://www.theresonanceproject.org/ (accessed frequently, most recently November 28, 2009).
 Visionary Astrologer and Jungian Scholar Carolyn Casey speaks with great consistency of the mystical, shamanic choice to “partner or collaborate with EVERYTHING.” I have been to over 10 of her talks over the last fifteen years at Bioneers, Greenfest, Harmony Fest, in bookstores and at community performances, and this is one of her most consistent messages.
 An often shared quote from Janine Benyus, founder of Biomimicry
 Janine Benyus, “Janine Benyus Shares Natures Designs” TED, filmed February 2005, Posted April 2007. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/janine_benyus_shares_nature_s_designs.html (accessed November 24, 2009).
 Nassim Haramein, “The Schwarzschild Proton,” a peer reviewed and award winning paper presented at the Mystic Garden Party in Ashland, July 27, 2009. Here I paraphrase both the basic thesis of the paper, that there is a mini-black hole within each atom, but also Nassim’s larger theory on the implications of this for how we understand soul and resonance.