Vitam Edoceo Vitam

“Life teaches Life – We are a glance in a great eye watching “
Over ten years ago, my Shamanic Dismemberment featured a total absence of non-human animals, which is pretty unusual for this event. But listening to Terence McKenna on the subject of imagination, and a colleague’s recounting of the morning’s experience, have got me thinking about the reasons for this, and several other disfunctionalities of my life so far.

The colleague had related how she was made late to work yesterday by a Dachshund following her out of the gate – she had thought for a split second, deciding whether to be a heartless sod or to help the little animal. Most people in this culture would have gone for heartless sod – not that they’d think about it that way, as we’re expert in rationalising our actions, whatever they may be. I know I am.

My family of origin was perhaps typical upper middle class of the last century. We weren’t taught to be ruthless and selfish, as such, but the lessons which would have taught me that humankind is not the only animal worth considering on the planet were, frankly, missing.

“Life teaches life – through every mind the seed is passing”

But some seeds fall on barren soil.
I had to be taught that there is other life upon the earth which is every bit as deserving of consideration as the human form – perhaps more so.

Terence McKenna doesn’t seem to have absorbed this too well. A head case himself, he allowed that non human animals probably have their own language, but were not on the same level as humans in this regard. He spoke with plants, yes, and some of his teachings in this regard are powerful indeed. Terence was known for advocating the view point that anyone, however hopeless a materialist, would, if he ate the mushroom,‘meet his maker’, which I find both amusing and very deeply true.
But what he failed to understand is that it is not necessary to ingest an entheogen to enter into communication with it.

A few years ago, I had a dream in which the plant Coltsfoot presented itself to me by name. Less than ten days later I was bedridden with the first case of bronchitis I had ever experienced.

Certainly, the fact that Coltsfoot is sovereign against bronchial inflammation might have been known to me, somewhere in my subconscious. I was well-versed in the magical properties of many plants but not the healing aspects – and I’d certainly never made use of this one before, either.The fact that I couldn’t have known of my impending illness, however, puts a different spin on the whole experience.And of course the conversation has not stopped there – plants now regularly have something to say to me, both in dreams and in waking reality.

Yes, plants do have a faculty for communication with humans – something I now know but didn’t ten years ago.

“Four billion years of evolution – A lifespan’s the froth on windswept tide Peel off the fears and savage delusions / savaged illusions – And wave after wave of the old gods die”

Many people, human and otherwise, have been teaching me. A slow learner but a fairly thorough one, I can now pay tribute to some of those who have helped me along the way, and who continue to do so.

The plant ‘kingdom’, of course.

Also my partner, a man of few words,who shows through his actions that swerving for birds and stopping to attend a dying cat on the road is not remarkable, but rather what the human animal should be doing as a matter of course.

My canine friends all – Charybdys, Chippy and Bart all three of whom are now romping in Summerland; and Scylla their sister/mother who survived the traumatic holocaust of her kin, and of course Taranis, the 7 month old puppy who can knock a full grown human woman off her feet with his enthusiastic play.

Sparrows and Pied Crows teach me – and I, networking my mind, am attempting to learn from them.

Salamanders and bees in the garden also speak – and I listen.

Derrick Jensen and the people who stand beside him.

Friends, colleagues, voices on the wind and on the ‘net.

Christopher Bingham and Gaia Consort.

I conspire with you to educate myself. Eventually.

“Deep in the seed that moves between us
The shape of the meaning as cells combine
The weave of the dream before we see it
Leaves trace elements of your hand in mine”

Pic: Coltsfoot.
Words: Chris Bingham
Struggling Articulation: my own

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