We are part of Mother Planet’s Living Layer

     I saw a picture on the internet recently: a human “fetus” carved in a rock-face.

     It is variously credited as being in the Mediterranean region, and in Colombia, and often it appears without a geographical reference at all. I have no certainty to offer.
     On the site where I encountered it, there were comments noting the evident maturity of the “baby” and many responses celebrating the concept that the human family is nurtured and protected by Mother Earth.
     Then, as seems to happen online, an angry commenter began a rant. This one was about the planet being made of rocks and dust, and expressed absolute refusal to identify as a “child of the Earth” for assorted (mostly religious) reasons. Human life, the poster insisted, is totally different from anything belonging to the planet.
     I am troubled by the dis-service which grows from teaching and learning theories of isolation and alone-ness. I feel incapable of living in a belief system where I am detached and separate from the miracles and wonders of the world I see in front of me each day.
     As spiritual entities having a human experience it seems to me rather vital that we that acknowledge and celebrate the physical aspects of our being
     Certainly there can be no denial that dust and rocks are parts of Mother Planet. A quick look outside, though, reveals that there is rather more. I am blessed to live in the woods, and I need make no effort to enjoy sharing my life with trees and deer and squirrels and beetles and wildflowers. With a little thought I can remind myself that all of this exists because of the unending cycles of the soil, fungus, insects and bacteria that I usually do not see.
     When I am in the city and surrounded by concrete, I need only look up to see clouds moving through the atmosphere and birds crossing the sky as I look. Even in the downtown core, deliberate gardens and ornamental green spaces become habitats for any number of organisms and eco-systems. They “happen” through no agency but Nature.
     Life insists in all dimensions and media of the physical world. As the seasons cycle by, creatures aestivate under desert sands and others hibernate under snow drifts. There are insects, amphibians, fishes and more in fresh water; diverse life in the saltwater of the sea. Life thrives near hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean where temperatures can reach 464°C. Mother planet is alive in ways we are still learning, and our physical existence is intricately enmeshed in the whole. Our human flesh is barely different from much other flesh that lives on land.
     We all, every last spider and sparrow and sprat and species sapiens is made of the solid-feeling molecules of Mother Planet. We are nourished by a web of energy transfer that begins with our sun, Sol.
     After circuitous routes through the atmosphere and various transformations in soil and in plants, the same energy is eaten by insects consumed by animals or fish. In some form it is finally delivered to my plate and I take it in to supports the existence of my physical body.
     When my Spirit returns home, the energies which have manifested my physical body, will return to nourish the soil and fungus and bacterial realms and maintain the ongoing cycle.
     I am confident that my spirit -- my psyche -- my me-ness is part of a non-physical Source-of-All. That does not contradict how I identify with the Earth-ness of my human-body-self. Instead I am motivated to engage my immortal spirit in actions which honour all the complexities and interactions that are present in every facet of this jewel that is my life.

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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