Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday, August 2: Our deep human need to connect to the Earth

In both the Feldenkrais work and the Body Talk system, there seems to be a missing element in their otherwise excellent pathways to greater health and well being. Missing is an explicit and clear recognition of our human need to connect to the Earth. This need is, to my mind, as real as our need to eat, or to loving relationship, or to moving in easy and enjoyable ways, be it walking, dancing or lovemaking. Let’s throw in our need to touch and be touch, to laugh and to learn.

Okay, those seem real human needs to me, and there’s this one: the need to get outside and connect with the Earth. To touch the Earth with our bare feet and our bare hands on an almost daily basis, and to be outdoors and at least walking or strolling under the real sky. Highly preferable, again in my opinion, is to be walking on non-cement and non-asphalt, which is to say on grass or dirt or sand or soil.

( If you are out in a garden or orchard or vineyard, a real garden or orchard or vineyard, the dirt is no longer dirt, it is soil; as I’ve said before, and will say again, the creation of and connection to soil is great for the soul.)

This making of soil idea reminds me of another human need: the need to be useful in some form or other. Useful to the Earth by getting out of our cars, useful to a friend by bringing them from self-dislike to understanding and laughter, useful to those we meet in our work in the service that we provide, this is all good and fine and wonderful, indeed.

And still, daily, we need to connect with the Earth. We need to connect with the present, the present of our breathing and our bodies and we need to connect with the Earth on which our species evolved. Without this, a life of indoors and inside the car and inside the office box, and our minds get small and our hearts start to shrivel.

This is not a pretty picture. This is not who we want to be, cut off from the big Mother, cut of from the source of our bodies and our earthiness. Without our earthiness, we become lifeless in a certain way. We are less than human if we fall prey to the over-all ethos of go, go, go and indoors, indoors, indoors, all the while never in the present moment, never really listening to the people with whom we imagine we are talking. Disconnection from now, from others, from nature. Not a pretty picture, indeed, and often, when things are getting us down, the absolute best action we can take, is to stop all the nonsense, talk and deep breath, sense ourselves and go outside for a walk or a bike ride or to putter in the garden.

This is life, slowing down, being present, connecting to the Mother. Let us not forget.


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