“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
– Joseph Campbell
Some people are content to live their lives without posing the questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? I am not one of them. Even as a small child I would stare into the mirror, probing deeply into the reflection of my own eyes, wondering who or what was looking back at me. Neither the old Judeo-Christian myth of God creating the world in 6 days, nor the newer myth of a basically meaningless materialistic world of random chance made much sense to me. Then I heard Joseph Campbell state that we need a new mythology for these changing times. And I saw the quote by another one of my heros:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
– Albert Einstein
I spent countless hours in "Deep Listening" to Nature – my Inner Wisdom, and whom or whatever informs my imagination. It is still a mystery to me. This is the story I dreamed up. You are welcome to enjoy it, and then be bold and make up your own.
A few billion years after the Big Bang, once countless galaxies and star systems had formed, a small planet circling a minor star in a remote galaxy put out a request to the Universe: She wished to become self-aware. She wanted to give birth to increasingly complex life forms that would allow her to regard herself with love and admiration through her children's perception.
Her request was received with enthusiasm. What a wonderful idea! Sun was happy to supply the energy needed for this project. Souls from across the Universe gathered around the little planet, some with previous experience in this kind of venture, others new to the game. All were equally delighted at the opportunity for endless creative expression. Earth would supply the matter to form bodies, souls would provide the creative spark to make matter come alive. One without the other was potential only, unable to manifest. As any one body cannot contain all of Earth, so any one life form cannot contain all of the soul that inspires it.
The mother planet had decided to give birth to carbon based, biological life forms. So the first thing on the creation agenda was water. Forces seen and unseen worked together to direct enough icy meteorites out of deep space to Earth to fill the oceans. In their waters the first proteins clustered together, and the first living cells formed membranes and nuclei with an ability to replicate their own design. Gradually, single cells clustered together for more efficiency and longer life expectancy. Within those clusters, cell communities started to specialize. Cooperation was the key to success.
Locomotion became intentional for some forms, while others developed attachments to remain in advantageous locations full of nutrients. From the beginning, life was feeding on life. It only made sense to recycle and reuse life-supporting components. Innovation required change, so the life span of organisms was short, and growth exponential. Greater levels of locomotion required much more complex information processing. As some life forms grew more complex, they started to form specialized sense organs and nervous systems to gather and organize the information from within and outside the body.
To populate the land masses as well as the oceans, an atmosphere was needed. The ocean dwelling plants were able to accomplish most of that task. When the atmosphere was stable enough, some life forms moved from water to dry land, and some to the sky. The requirements of life-out-of-water further pushed evolution towards more complexity and adaptation. Some experiments worked out well, while others failed to adapt to changes in conditions, and they disappeared.
Plants and plant eaters developed, depending on each other in the circle of life on Earth. Grass feeds gazelle, gazelle droppings feed soil, soil feeds grass. To avoid depletion of plant life on land and in the water, another form of balance was needed to maintain the right number of plant eaters. Carnivores evolved to keep herbivores from wiping out their own food supply. Predators are the guardians of plant life. Also, gazelle would not be as swift and alert as she is today without cheeta. Cheeta would not be as fast and stealthy as he is without gazelle. They evolved together cooperatively.
Having come this far, Earth was very pleased. She could see herself through the eyes of eagle, hear herself through the ears of deer, and smell herself through the nose of bear. But to become truly self-aware she needed to increase the complexity of mind even more. In council with all participating souls it was decided to risk the creation of homo sapiens sapiens, the human who knows that s-he knows. Earth realized she would have to be more patient and tolerant with humans than with any of her other children. Many souls decided they would rather not participate personally in the development stages of becoming a self-aware human. Only the bravest of souls dared to commit to the journey.
Homo sapiens did not have the fangs and claws of cheeta, nor the speed of gazelle or eagle's ability to fly. Homo sapiens depended on communication and cooperation for survival. She developed language, he invented hunting tools. They learned to preserve food and fashion clothing and shelter, which enabled them to spread out over parts of the earth that were not ideal for their survival. While their cousins, the whales and dolphins, adapted ideally to their environment, humans learned to modify the environment to their needs. Soon they were raising crops, inventing trade, building great cities, atomic bombs, and the internet. In terms of Earth ages, it all happenend in the blink of an "I".
Homo sapiens today is capable of sending robots to collect soil samples on Mars, but we are still using most of our intellectual and material resources to kill, exploit, or control each other. We are mighty proud of our technological advances, which enable us to dig humanity's grave with ever larger excavators. Earth is patient with us. She knows that evolving as an "intelligent" species includes growing pains and dangers we are unaware of in our immature self-centeredness. For those of us who have made the journey through human incarnations again and again, it has been a trying as well as rewarding experience. We are well on our way to becoming aware of being aware. This is often devastating at first, when we realize the damage we have done to ourselves, each other, and the mother planet in our ignorance. We are forgiven. One cannot blame a child for being childish.
We had the opportunity to annihilate our own species in recent history. We chose not to go there. The tides have turned, and our rush to evolve has brought us to the Here-and-Now where there is a universal shift in consciousness under way. I do not know what is happening, but I feel in every cell of my being that something is moving, shaking. Now I believe that even the impact we have on the climate of Earth is timed precisely to an event beyond our comprehension. Earth remains loving, patient, and compassionate with us as a species. Yes, many are suffering. But these are the labor pains of a new world being born. We are born to die and live again. So is this world. Embrace the changes and suffering subsides.
This is my private myth for now. Like everything else in life, it is bound to change again. Whether any, all or none of this story makes sense to you, please take it as intended: As inspiration to contemplate your own private myth and dare to formulate it.
May the Force of Imagination be with you!