Seems relevant to recent conversations:
A section, but the whole thing is worth the read:
“The world is being built. It is growing. It is on fire. It is collapsing. It is in bloom. It is in decay.
And it is all these things at once.
Sitting with the grand simultaneity of it all, with the direct perception of boundless, kaleidoscopic global change, one begins to feel something new: the possibility of a planetary sense.
And here is the crux of the matter: Earth observation, if entered into deeply, can be not only a psychological experience, but a spiritual one, too.
This requires not just looking, but beholding — to sit in deep and focused awareness, in full presence, without judgment.
Through this practice, we can begin to internalize the complex and subtle array of connections, patterns, and rhythms that dance upon the Earth. With practice, one can induce a kind of “perceptual flickering” — the rapid switching of awareness between radically different scales of time, space, and organization.
As this awareness grows, so too do a host of simultaneous emotions: joy at the breathtaking beauty of the world; wonder at is occasional, deep strangeness; empathy with its suffering; urgency toward the relief of that suffering. These, in turn, reinforce an abiding solidarity with the planet and its many inhabitants.
Still deeper, this solidarity gives way to a sense of unity. The subject-object distinction collapses, and we discover that the dynamism of the world does not end at the water’s edge of our senses. It continues inward. We contain, and are contained within, a great multitude of systems and processes — flickering into being, growing, ebbing, and renewing.
Such an observation should not be paralyzing, but liberating. The world has conspired to produce consciousness at the human scale, but it hasn’t limited our ability to sense or act solely to that scale.
Language sometimes fails us. It is predicated on syntactical rules that often reinforce our separateness. We read “Earth Day” through the lens of this linguistic separation — as if we were somehow outside of the Earth, and not, in reality, utterly cradled within it.
By cultivating our planetary sense, to look more directly at the world, we can push past the illusions of syntax, toward a deep, contemplative ecology, of which we are an integral part.
Now there’s a project that seems worthy of Earth Day.”