“Truth has to appear only once, in one single mind, for it to be impossible for anything ever to prevent it from spreading universally and setting everything ablaze.” Teilhard de Chardin
Before I describe evolution’s new invention, human hybrids, I want to tell a story. Settle down for a moment in a comfortable place and lean into a moment when humans return to the rights of the forest.
For eight years the McCurdy family in the tiny Texas town of Snook fought a lonely battle to prevent Texas state officials from cutting down an ancient stand of live oaks on land that had been family for 150 years. This outbreak of live oaks is a small appendage of a larger forest that stretches from Florida through much of Central Texas and displays some of the most majestic oaks the planet has to offer. Recent estimates place one Texas live oak at 2000 years, older than the Christian religion. Some trees in the forest shared with the McCurdy family date to 500 years, more than twice the age of our still immature nation. These dense families of oaks share a root system that connects them across large stretches of land, and to cut one is to slice into the life of the whole colony, including all of its partners in habitations. It is to this colony of rich existence that some hybrid humans are returning, but I get ahead of my story.
At dawn on February 22, 2014, a gathering of Earthtribers shivered around a fire at dawn in preparation for a purification lodge. I mentioned to the circle as we warmed our hands that I had just posted a blog on the question–Do Forests Have Rights? The question seemed to hang in the air for the remainder of the day. After the completion of the lodge, Lisa Dvorak(on the right in the above photo with a Snook live oak) explored Facebook and discovered a petition to save the Snook oaks. The link between and synchronicity of the question of forests’ rights and the McCurdy stand of trees grabbed her and would not let go.
Soon, she drove to the tiny hamlet and met Regina McCurdy(on the left in the photo), close friend of the oaks and, according to state law, “owner” of the land with her mother, Joyce, and sister, Phyllis. As the two women talked, the sad news that the Texas agency(TxDot) apparently had won the day and was set to grind the trees into oblivion. TxDot had slated the trees for demolition as part of a road project to ease traffic in the area. Traffic? In a town of 500? Go figure. The ways of massive organizations are mysterious, indeed.
Afire with the notion that humans are actually an aspect of the forest, Lisa, Phyllis, and Regina became partners and, together, stirred a mighty wind blowing across the land. The wind had been stirring for eight years, but now was the time for the Mother wind. These brave and persistent women were part of the kind of fire that might enrich and save the forest rather than destroy it. Soon two Republican state representatives felt the heat and, to everyone’s surprise, joined the human voices speaking on behalf of the oaks. Spirit doesn’t seem to care what a person’s political position is as long as she is willing to respond and become part of the Great Return to Earth’s community. Still, even with the political pressure,TexDot did not warm to the ever enlarging cry of voices or to the heat.
“What’s the fuss? They’re just trees,” was not only the state response but the consistent theme of mainline culture to any feature of nature that gets in the way of so-called human progress.
Meanwhile, Phyllis and Regina not only worked the political process with considerable savvy, but, with Lisa in the equation, also mobilized a variety of spiritual groups. These people signed petitions, spoke to persons-in-power, and, most important, linked into eco-fields where exchanges of information with all creation occurred. These hybrids of nature-based spirituality and political know-how utilized a form of prayer where they connected sensually with the field and trusted the larger intelligence of sacred entanglement to move the project along.
The three emerging hybrids and their communities work with the proposal that they are not so much stewards of the forest but rather the mouthpieces of the forest. They speak both nature’s mother tongue and the cultural language of political and virtual power.
I was surprised by joy.
TxDot relented, changed it course, and adopted a plan “to move forward with an innovative solution that would route around the trees,” so said a TxDot spokesperson in a press release. The agency’s engineers are now busy sketching up new plans more friendly to the centuries-old grandmother trees.
But Regina, Phyllis, and Lisa did not stop there. They have called for a circle of celebration that includes humans and trees on the Sunday following this post. I wouldn’t miss it. Earthtribers and Wisdom graduate students will be there. Folks from an alternative bookstore in the ordinarily conservative Bryan/College Station area will be there. Traditional Christians will bring their prayers of thanksgiving and “Our Fathers” to ride the sounds of drums, conchs, and native chants. We know this is a small victory. We are aware that cultural machines continue to clear cut forests and decapitate mountaintops.
But, in this shining moment, we also know Nature births a new breed of human, a hybrid capable of integrating the wild heart with the best of civilization. None of us sink fully into this new identity all the time, but, if we persist, some of the time may be enough. As I look around at the shining lights in the circle, I see a few emerging features on the face of the new hybrids.
A Shared Root System
Such moments when we humans return to the cycle of life assists us to remember that we, like the oaks, share a root system with all of the forests of the world. In the science of fields, we call this quantum entanglement. Briefly put, quantum entanglement means that all of the sub-atomic particles of the universe are so deeply related that if you split one into two parts, they remain related even if separated by a galaxy or two.
Respect the Forest, Respect Yourself
You disrespect the forest, you disrespect yourself. If you find a voice of deep respect for the trees, you find a voice of respect for yourself. After 40 years of practicing psychotherapy, I have concluded that there is no real and lasting self-esteem apart from a respect within the circle of life. Self-esteem might begin with interior psychology but can progress only with ecology. Put another way, Nature is birthing a human hybrid sprouted by psychology, ecology, and cosmology.
Nature Births Hybrid Through Ceremony
A turning point in this story emerges in an ancient ceremony of purification. Hybrid ceremonies not only connect with ancient wisdom but also become ever new through an intimate relationship with mountains, forests, rivers, and weather. Fresh from such a ceremony, key humans participated in virtual connections that provided 66,000 voices in the form of an online petition. These voices became those of the grandmothers and grandfathers of the forest.
Hybrids Surf Cultural Waves For Change
Phyllis and Regina connected with state legislators, media outlets, and, with Lisa, a variety of spiritual communities. These connections became accupressure on the points of Earth’s cultures to assist in the flow of energy and information toward healthy decisions. To apply these accupressure points on the body politic required the ability to speak not only the mother tongue of the forest but also the languages of Republican legislators, media capitalists, and energetic environmentalists. Politicians and state managers tend to pay attention to 66,000 signatures. Hybrids learn how to move through these various waves and facilitate communication.
Hybrids Embody Fresh Hope
Hybrids walk a fine line between being fully aware of environmental devastation and despair created by human civilizations and an immense possibility when humans reconnect to Earth’s profound sensuality and spirituality.
A Summary Thought
In future blogs I will explore in more detail the characteristics of Nature’s new hybrids–humans, coywolves, and others. Few of us are fully hybridized but rather have moments of deep connection and integration. We don’t yet grasp the larger identity to which we are drawn by forces beyond ourselves. For now, I invite you to bask in the gratitude surrounding grandmother oak trees as they reach out to us, saying,”At last we have, if just for a moment, humans we can trust to be with us.”