Seeing with Ancient/New Eyes

When in the Work that Reconnects (WTR) we go through Gratitude and Honouring our Pain for the World, something shifts inside: we no longer perceive “nature” as something “out there” that we may be able to replicate, substitute of live without: we start seeing nature and all her elements and beings as an inseparable part of ourselves…and we also start seeing ourselves as inseparable part of nature.

We also see how “others” may have similar doubts and fears and may need and want similar things from Life. We see how those who seem so far apart may be under the spell of centuries of colonization of their minds and hearts and are acting the way they are because of long-term inherited patterns passed from one generation to the next through traumatic events.

This is not a completely “new” way to see the world: this is the only way indigenous peoples from all cultures have always seen the world: as an animate, interwoven and interdependent being, place or Mystery where every single piece is alive: from frogs and forests to clouds and water and all in between, there is life and intention everywhere and whatever we do to one it has ripples in all the others.

Seeing with these ancient/new eyes change the way we perceive ourselves: from being alone, isolated, small and powerless as being part of a community. It allows us to see that we, same as the ants in our gardens and the grass, the water we flush down our toilets and the precious metals we mine for our cellphones, all come from a same origin and that what happens to one, happens to all. We start to see that our thoughts, emotions, relationships, the choices we create, the things we communicate, our dreams, our plans and the things we choose to take, do, change or relinquish have a consequence: first in ourselves, then in our loved ones and our communities, and later in the whole world, both “human” and “nature”.

There are many practices that help us to see with new/ancient eyes, here are some you can try:

  • With the power of your imagination, travel back from your time and place through the different ages and places your ancestors lived, go through the times until you reach the original Mystery when and where the universe was formed. Look at the variety and creativity, the life force and the energy, the struggle for survival and thriving of all of them, and the many wrongs and goods they engaged on to produce the future that ended up being this and you: take their many gifts with you, these are your best tools going forth
  • With friends, family or community members, create groups of four and each take turns to speak from the point of view of a person with one belief (example: abortion is necessary) and a person with the contrary belief (example: abortion is an aberration and should be banned, people who practice it, jailed), another would adopt the place of an animal or plant (preferable affected by the actions of either of the first two, like trees may be affected by those who support extraction and those who oppose it) and the fourth participant would take the voice of a person from the future. Try not to judge or be sarcastic, allow this being speak through you, while each person does this, the others listen. No questions, no judgement.
  • Take deep walks in natural places: ask the place for permission to be there and try to go by yourself, with no gadgets to distract you. Sit for 10-30 minutes each time and focus on listening, observing and feeling the smells, textures and temperatures. Journal about your experience and do this at least once a week, if possible once a day.
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