On encountering the destructiveness of European colonialists, Native Americans concluded that the invaders must have a disease. They called it Wettiko: a delusional belief that cannibalizing the life force of others is a logical and morally upright way to live. The Native Americans believed that Wettiko derived from people’s inability to see themselves as enmeshed, interdependent parts of the natural environment. Once this disconnect has occurred, nature is no longer seen as something to be emulated but as something to be conquered.
— Douglas Rushkoff
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.
Finding the place where we belong is the soul’s quest, a return to love. Sometimes as we walk down life’s pathways it can be good to ask, “Does this path lead to love?” If it does, follow it, because this is the bowl of honey waiting to be tasted, known also as “the sweetness that was before honey or bee.”
For some the journey is through silence, for others through sound, or a combination of both. Always the mystery is in the space, like the doorway into the secret garden. If one can have the courage to hold the space — which for the mystic is a place of prayer — then one can live where the worlds meet, where mystery comes into being, formless into form, where the heart is open, where the song of the soul is present.
— Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Early settlers from Europe brought many diseases with them, the most dangerous being their sense of separation from the natural world. That logic of exploitation is now bearing its fruit in our climate emergency and poisoned earth. We bequeath a degraded earth to our children. It will be up to them to repair the web of life, if they can learn to love it and see themselves a part of it.
Do love and science go together? Not usually. Not in our culture. We have such a long tradition of blindness to our fundamental natural connections that we have become rootless in the world. We lack the spiritual eyes and vocabulary to feel those connections and act on them.
The natives who lived on this land managed to not destroy it in thousands of years, not because they couldn’t but because they cared for it. Respect, a duty to protect and even love operated in their culture more than power and profit. They kept hubris in check. We, on the other hand, are not so mature.
The emergency we have created is a mirror showing us our shallowness. And yet we persist, in spite of the widespread suffering involved in our system and our way of thinking. That huge blind spot is poisoning the world right now and we don’t seem to be able to feel any urgency to deal with it. At least half of the American population refuses to see any problem with how we think about who we are and how we live.
Business as usual won’t change until our vision of existence and our place in it changes. We are hypnotized by our little vision of existence. Some of us are beginning to notice that everything is dancing with everything else. It’s becoming obvious that love really does make the world go ‘round, not in the romantic sense but in the familial sense. Natives used the expression “all our relatives,” referring to our familial connection to everything in existence.
If we are going to heal the world, we are going to need to see the suffering we cause by not loving it. We must learn to love it and teach our children to love it too.