“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but its there. Like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”
—Morpheus, character in the movie, The Matrix
The Evolution of Knowing is the next chapter in my new book, Beyond Hope: Letting Go of a World in Collapse. It is part two of my three-part chapter release. You can read part-one, Introduction, at this link.
I entered the world on a chilly autumn evening in November 1963. I was born at the Grace Hospital in Ottawa, Canada. My entrance was not without drama. In the ultimate irony, the umbilical cord of life became the umbilical cord of near-death. Within moments of strangulation, and by the grace of the Soul, I drew my first breath.
Grace: a word that has defined my life, and a word I’m increasingly learning to embrace in these uncertain, tumultuous times.
Since my rousing emergence into this world, I’ve had a passionate love for Earth—for Gaea. I’ve consciously participated in the healing of Earth through ongoing activism, as well as mindful personal choices and actions. Although I’m hardly perfect, I have a tireless hunger for living as close to my essence as possible. With this in mind, I’m always willing to examine the conditioning that leads to inconsistencies in my life. I realized early on that this is the only way to express the infinite, immaterial, interconnected truth of what I am in a world of physical matter: the Soul.
Accompanying my love for Earth is a heightened awareness that allows me to feel and see what most people refuse.
My life has been defined by a “knowing”. I live with an amplified sensitivity to energy, which implores me to insulate from the claustrophobic nature of human civilization and liberate myself in the expansiveness of nature. My “knowing” is directly connected to Earth.
I’ve never fit in, and quite frankly, I’ve never bothered either. Instinctively, I knew that “fitting” was not only wrong, it was also destructive to the Soul.
Since childhood, I’ve known that something was amiss with our world. I had no words for it, but the feelings in my body and heart were unmistakable: Something was very, very wrong.
From early on, I couldn’t understand why people hated Earth so much. How they could mindlessly toss garbage into rivers, lakes, streams, oceans, forests, parks, and meadows. I couldn’t understand why people were so disconnected from such breathtaking beauty.
I could never understand the ease with which people destroyed mosses, ferns, fungi, trees, and entire forests. How they could swing their axes, drive their chainsaws and bulldozers, and saturate Earth with their poisons and pesticides with such blatant indifference. Did they not know how these mindless actions impacted the natural world; and the insects, birds, and animals who called these places home? As a young child, I knew these actions to be wrong. Were the adults who engaged in these destructive behaviors not supposed to be smarter than me?
I was confused about why so many people were fearful, indifferent or uncaring toward animals. Even more confusing was why most animals were “food,” others were pests, and a select few were pets.
I wanted to know who made up the rules that pigs, chickens, turkeys, lambs, and cows were edible; but dogs, cats, hamsters, robins, sparrows, and budgies were not. Nobody would tell me why, nor did they seem to want to explore the answers for themselves. More importantly, I wanted to know why people believed in the stories of edible animals versus inedible animals, and humans versus nature in the first place.
Why did men like my father, uncles, teachers, and male school friends believe that “manliness” was defined by the consumption of copious quantities of dead animal flesh? Who taught them this silly tale? And why were they naive enough to believe it?
I could never understand why people yelled at each other, fought with each other and said mean things behind their backs. Why was it so hard for humans to be honest with each other and just get along?
I couldn’t understand why people didn’t care about what mattered, and why they felt so righteous in their entitlement to be so indifferent.
Why was there so much fear? Why did people need borders, walls, fences, property, bolts, locks, keys, alarms, rules, regulations, “mine” and “yours”? I grew out of the “mine/yours” mindset early on. Why did adults confine themselves to such infantile thoughts?
Why were stupid things important and important things stupid?
Why? Why? Why? The persistent questions of a curious young mind who did not suffer fools gladly.
Nothing about this world made any sense to me. I could not understand why humans were so fearful of the truth.
Something within me has always felt completely at odds with, and out of resonance with the rest of the world. Intuitively I knew that how I was being taught to live, and who I was being trained to be in this world, was flawed. I refused to conform. I would not comply. I had to know why.
The red pill of truth has always been my “medicine” of choice. As a child, my father labeled me, “smart ass” because I challenged everything, including the petty jealousies he projected on my mother. He despised this.
I’ve consistently been able to see what others can’t see, hear what others tune out, feel what others negate, and express in ways that bring discomfort to the minds of the deeply conditioned. A relentless hunger for truth has always driven my life. From early on, I was able to see through the illusion of the “reality” that defines our fucked-up world.
By the tender age of seven, I knew—with steadfast conviction—that I would never bring a child into this world. In an act of youthful defiance, I boldly declared this profound truth to my father. He insisted I document this declaration to show me in later years, the error of my beliefs. With pencil and paper in hand, I complied. “I WILL NEVER HAVE CHILDREN,” I brazenly wrote in my childlike scrawl (he kindly helped with the spelling). My love for Earth trumped all. Instinctively, I already knew the burden of humanity on Earth. I knew that every child born to the world was a recipe for ecological disaster. Even if I were to change my mind for some foolish reason, I knew the odds were slim that I could rear an enlightened child in an unenlightened world. The weight of the collective consciousness was too heavy for all but the strongest of hearts and minds. I could not—and would not—add to the burden of Earth with another mouth to feed, another consumptive mindset … another human being conditioned into—and seduced by—the ugly monster I’ve come to know as the paradigm of separation.
I had an innate resistance to dogma. Although we were not a religious family, I threw inconsolable tantrums on the few occasions I was forced to experience Sunday school. I despised the conformity of Brownies (the precursor to Girl Guides) and made my mother’s life a living hell until she conceded that it was not meant to be. Groupthink was a terribly wrong thing for my wild spirit.
I abruptly ended the consumption of animal flesh at the age of 12. In my heart, there was no silencing the haunting cries of the ghosts in our destructive human machine. I could no longer stomach the dismembered, rotting corpses of living beings who wanted no more than me: respect, equality, freedom, and life. My father fought me. I won. Because of his authoritative manner, I learned early on how to fight for truth by speaking out and standing up for what I knew in my heart to be right.
I abandoned university when restrictions were placed on my freedom to study what moved my spirit. The rigidity of a standardized line of thought conflicted with my need for fluidity and independence. And so I let it all go, bought a backpack and a one-way ticket to Europe and immersed myself in the school of life.
My European travels were not about museums, galleries, and culture; they were about savoring the beautiful wild landscapes of Gaea. The Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps; the Bavarian forests; the lush, rolling hills of Great Britain; the French countryside; and the pristine Mediterranean beaches of Spain, Portugal, France, and Greece.
I traveled the Caribbean, crewing on sailboats and becoming one with the ocean I loved so dearly. I had no interest in what others my age held in regard: restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. I preferred swimming in the crystal clear waters of an ocean still teeming with life, and sleeping under the stars in the open cockpit of a gently rocking sailboat.
For much of my youth, I was radically different. In my heightened sensitivity, I saw, felt and experienced what the masses could not. I cared about life in a lifeless world. I cared about compassion in an indifferent world. I cared about truth in a world of deception. I pondered life in ways that few could comprehend. I lived in an alternate reality, surrounded by a civilization in denial.
I sometimes wondered if I was not of this world … an alien perhaps. My grandparents seemed to know better. Their profound love for animals and the natural world nourished mine. Through their loving guidance, I realized that my differences were my strengths. In a world that coveted the highly conditioned intellect, my allegiance was to the Soul. They made it clear to me that this was the right way to live.
I have always felt safer in the natural world than in cities and suburbs, far removed from the noise, busyness, anxiety, impatience, fear, and judgment of humanity. Into the nurturing safety of the trees, wind, rain, ferns, mosses, mushrooms, and the animal kingdom I so dearly love. Nature and animals never pretend to be other than what they authentically are. They never lie.
My outdoor adventures have brought remarkable experiences with animals, insects, birds and sea creatures of many different kinds. I’ve never felt superior or held fear or malice in my heart. I’ve only known reverence. I firmly believe that my choice to remain connected to Earth has allowed for this sacred, unspoken trust.
For most of my life, I’ve moved against the dominant flow of consciousness. While the collective has mindlessly chosen to zig, I’ve preferred to zag. It’s a lonely place to stand and one that doesn’t garner much support, but it has shown me the important things in life: equality, integrity, respect, autonomy, simplicity, compassion, presence, and truth. I’ve often wondered why this was so hard for so many to understand.
It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I discovered the answer. I became aware of a collective psychosis of which I seemed to have immunity—a psychosis deeply rooted in the belief of human superiority over animals, the natural world, and the Soul.
In so many ways I’ve struggled with the myth of human superiority. I’ve longed to live in a world that feels more, cares more and loves more. I confess to holding a lifelong disdain for the toxic civilization deemed “real”; a world that has separated the masses from life, love, and truth.
For much of my life, I was ashamed to be a member of a species steeped in such hatred for the sacred. I wondered why a species so unconscious to itself was gifted such a beautiful planet to destroy. It baffled me how humans could defy the laws of nature for so long and get away with it. I wondered why the few who loved Earth so profoundly were forced to co-exist with the inculcated masses who didn’t give a damn.
Even though it seemed that everyone around me was hell-bent on destroying life, I couldn’t live as if life didn’t matter—even if I was the last one standing who cared.
I became an activist for animals and Earth. As I began exploring more of the truths so skillfully hidden from view, I was enraged. Behind the culturally accepted lies was a bloody, horrific sight. I wanted for everyone to see what I could see; know what I knew, and feel what I felt. I wanted to shout from the rooftops for everyone to wake up and stop the madness! Where I could so clearly see what was blatantly wrong, few others could. Even fewer cared. They were too entranced by the illusion.
Humans are a prolific species with no natural predators and a voracious appetite for consumption at every level: mentally, emotionally and physically. In my birth year of 1963, 3.2 billion humans were gobbling up Earth. In the short 50 plus years of my lifetime, we’ve more than doubled ourselves, with over 7.6 billion humans rapidly devouring what remains of the planet. Our global crises have escalated in direct proportion to our runaway population growth. Collective awakening has always been our only salvation as a species, but this has proven to be an impossible task with the explosion of culturally programmed humans now infecting the planet.
When I finally allowed myself to see the truth of this bleak reality, I was disheartened. In 2010 however, I had a paradigm shift that revealed to me the unifying power of personal evolution for the greater whole of life.
The pivotal death of my mother in that year and the painful dark night of the Soul that followed, inspired a profound hunger to know myself as Soul embodied. The deeper I delved into my evolution, the clearer my inner vision became, and the more I felt myself letting go of the material world.
I began to see the writing on the wall: our world, our biosphere, our planet is in a massive state of collapse.
Admittedly, collapse has been in my consciousness for much of my life. I’ve always known something was terribly wrong with a species that so flippantly—and so callously—normalized the abnormal to preserve an inert, unyielding and destructive status quo. I knew this could never end well.
When I look back on my life, I see the undercurrent of knowing that has been with me since my earliest years. This “knowing” has never left me. As I grew older, however, it receded into the background of my consciousness so I could do my part to “save the world,” and live some semblance of a “normal” life. But in the autumn of 2014, I was struck with repetitive premonitions about ocean collapse that made it entirely clear to me that we’ve crossed the line. Two words accompanied these warnings: It’s over.
There were many times in my childhood when I remember sobbing to my mother in gut-wrenching despair, “I just want to live long enough to see the healing of Earth.” Little did I know the profound truth of these painful words.
I’ve known about these times of collective demise all along.
With my recent startling remembrance, all remnants of resistance dissolved and I finally accepted a reality that I’ve worked my entire life to change.
I confess that as I share my story, I observe myself resisting the desire to self-edit to not cause despair. As much as my inner truth is painful to absorb, it does no good for me to edit myself for fear of the ridicule and judgment that dominates our world. In speaking my truth, I allow space for those who are no longer willing to silence their own truth about these profound times. I now know that I’m far from alone.
As the destruction, violence, and decimation of the sacred continues unabated, the world becomes increasingly foreign to me. I often feel like I’m living in an elaborate science fiction movie where I know, and a handful of others know, yet the masses are so stupified by the illusion of the dominant reality that they’re incapable of seeing beyond the trivialities of their conditioned minds. I now live on a different timeline; an aggressive timeline that continually accelerates as I allow myself to move deeper into acceptance of what I already know is.
As I move through my fifth decade of life on this Earth, I find myself feeling increasingly alone. Despite the pain of personal loss, it’s not the deaths of family and friends that incites my sorrow. It’s the heartbreaking aloneness that comes from the obliteration of birds, fish, wildlife, forests, mountains, and life in the ocean. It comes from men with their high-powered rifles, crossbows and fish hooks destroying the sacred for self-serving bloodlust, “trophies” and “sport.” It comes from plasticized oceans, fishing farms, and massive nautical fleets that indiscriminately annihilate life. It comes from the absence of biodiversity and birdsongs decimated by men with their chainsaws, bulldozers, explosives, machines, highways, and trucks. It comes from the feedlots, battery cages, gestation crates, veal crates, and slaughterhouses that explode with suffering and blood. It comes from endless wars, smokestacks, nuclear waste, oil spills, tar sands, and dirty transport ships that bring us an endless array of throwaway trinkets to feed our addictive, psychotic ways.
Soon there will be nothing left but us, the most destructive species ever known. The damage we engender is eating us alive, no matter who we are, what we do, or where we live.
Contrary to indoctrinated belief, we are not more valuable than any other living being. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. No earthworms and we perish. No bees and we are gone. No trees and we suffocate. No living ocean and we fry. Biologist Jonas Salk summarized it well: “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” What a profoundly tragic statement.
Whatever the future may bring, in my heart I know that life will prevail. In the billions of years of her existence, and in the expanse of her great wisdom, Earth has healed from several extinction events that have preceded our own. I believe the scars of humanity will persist for several million, perhaps billions of years to come. My allegiance, however, is to the healing power of Gaea. In this, I have faith.
Authenticity requires that I give voice to my truth. Whether you agree or disagree with me is unimportant. If you are courageous enough to be reading this book, I know we can both agree that we are living in unprecedented times.
Throughout this book, I do not paint a false picture of myself as a lover of humanity. My greatest pain and heartbreak has always been at the hands of my species. I do, however, paint a picture of myself as a lover of the Soul—the interconnected, infinite, non-separate aspect of what we all are: human and non-human alike.
I don’t write this book to offer false hope or a trail of despair. I write it to shine a light on a civilization gone wrong, and what we’ve allowed ourselves to become as a result. This book offers reminders that reach into the heart of who we are so that we may choose to think, behave and act in alignment with what we have always been meant to be.
As the Great Dying unfolds before us, I refuse to be a silent witness. From global social unrest to nuclear annihilation, to pollution soiling every inch of the planet (and beyond), to mass animal and plant extinction, to runaway biosphere decay; many powerful forces are converging to create unprecedented chaos and breakdown. For the longest time, Earth changes have been incremental. But incremental becomes exponential at disorienting speed when rot overtakes the foundation. With our deluded mindset of superiority, we have reached a point where we are now eating our tail. In eating our tail, we eventually disappear.
Ultimately the choice to awaken is highly personal, which means there are no guarantees. The greatest power in choosing is in knowing that we have choice in the first place. Ironically, we’ve had had it all along. Choosing from the Soul is the ultimate act of revolution in our collapsing, dying world.
These are deeply spiritual times.
I’ve done everything I can to serve a better world with the desperate hope that I would live to see the “more beautiful world my heart once knew was possible.” It was a lovely dream.
There is no new world. It’s over.
We are living in significant times as the biosphere collapses at dizzying speed, and we hurtle toward the dystopian world that was once only the theme of science fiction movies. As tragic as this is, it can also be a profound time for awakening to the Soul.
Holding this in my consciousness, my devotion to living awake and present is unwavering. Few on this planet are willing to be sacrificed by Gaea, for Gaea. I am one. This is the path of the Soul warrior. This is the path to liberation.