Bridging Worlds

Bridging worlds is a concept that actually caught me by surprise and I found myself plunged into contemplation for weeks. In the context of my own life the idea was somehow foreign to me and even within that context I couldn’t for the life of me grasp what it actually meant.

Certainly we build bridges everyday with our various chores and responsibilities to maintain decent lives. When we need clean clothes we build bridges that make that happen. When we are hungry, unwell, or faced with financial challenges we are bridging worlds with problem solving.

Then there are other things, spiritual or esoteric matters that require greater attention, protracted devotion, and far deeper awareness. Such affairs become lifelong investments. We grapple with creativity, without a doubt that can be a quest of near misses. And enlightenment. It is an undertaking equivalent to building a bridge across the Milky Way thought to require many incarnations to complete. As you can see, I was in a quandary so I narrowed the field to my own work. Then it clicked.

By the time I was thirty I had already acquired an enormous amount of knowledge about all things Earth. I had years of study under my belt about bio diversity, gardening, and soil science. I was well versed in ecology, geology, physics, and even environmental politics. I researched hunter-gatherer groups as though my life depended on it and studied anthropology, archaeology, and mythology. I would have been well on my way to becoming an ethnobotanist had any such field actually existed at the time. Nevertheless, one would think that I would have actually gotten a career out of all that but I didn’t because of one simple thing: I wanted to know my own tribe. I figured, just go to the library and take out a few books. No big deal, right? Wrong. There were no books, which meant in the end that I would spend decades in research before I could write the book I wanted to read. How does one build a bridge between what was then the 20th century and a six thousand year old Mesolithic culture in the British Isles?

For centuries we have been taught to think compartmentally; it is hardwired in our DNA. Now we have strict guidelines, fields within fields, defined and governed by prevailing opinion. I call it the good old boys club. And when someone strikes out to pioneer beyond prevailing opinion they are often laughed to scorn. Fortunately, I had no career and didn’t have to answer to anyone to keep it. I set up my own study curriculum and shot for stars, all the while trapped in those damned boxes that I now know continued to control my thoughts. I had to consider five distinct areas of hunter-gatherer life: food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and ritual. This became the first step to making the bridge something tangible with its voluminous amount of research in each area. After some years all I could think was that such a pursuit was utter madness; that I was building a bridge of illusion, perhaps even delusion instead of having a life. But I am above all else stubborn and I persisted. As my perception changed my view of the multiverse expanded. Witnessing unexplainable things became something of an everyday affair. I was evolving, and although unaware of it at the time I was abandoning the framework of provable reality dictated by society and science.

Without going any further with this somewhat tedious background I thought I would instead share what became a pivotal moment in my life. It took place one sunny afternoon in my garden about twenty years into my improbable journey. I was overtaken with an alarming sensation in my head. For a moment I thought I was actually having a medical event. It felt as though the membrane that divided the hemispheres of my brain had suddenly disintegrated. I felt it and it was as real and rasping as anything I had ever experienced. Within moments nearly a half-century’s accumulated knowledge simply sloshed together, a great mish-mosh of neatly divided stuff was flung together. My brain felt like the aftermath of a tsunami. I was stunned, realizing that compartmentalized thinking was clearly and catastrophically wrong. Everything I had worked so hard to learn, that I had kept so meticulously separated became a crescendo of integrated, interwoven knowing. I have never again been able to think any other way. The bridge was built; all I had left to do was muster the courage to cross it.

I finally understand on some deep molecular level that our most ancient ancestors had for countless millennia viewed the multiverse and their harmonic place within it with a perfection of spirit unrivaled by anyone since. They took holism to a height we simply cannot comprehend today. Even the most mundane necessities were infused with reverence and mystery. Every single thing in their world held a sacred imperative from creating an arrow for a hunt to a ritual where spirits were entreated for guidance. Our ancestors walked softly on the Earth, regarded Her as the mother of all things, and placed the well being of their community above all else. Ancient people perceived things like greed, anger, conceit, personal ambition, and the array of human failings as spirits that required ritual exorcism. We shroud them now in self-aggrandizing words such as confident, successful, powerful, famous, rather than cultivating humility and wonder as our ancestors did.

I now know this in my bones and it is a heavy burden. I can stand in their world and look across that bridge into ours and see just how far from grace we have fallen. For five million years we lived our lives and left without a trace. And yet in a mere eight thousand we have brought our Primordial Mother to Her knees, to irrevocable collapse. I believe in the deepest recesses of my heart it is time to repair that bridge back to the knowledge we once held as sacrosanct. We know how to do this; the knowledge runs in our veins.

Ancestral Airs is the story of the very personal bridge that took my lifetime to build, back to my ancestors, back to that divine knowing, and the inexplicable beauty and mystery that was once ours. I call it the Infinite Present.




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