Years ago, when I was first studying shamanism, we were working with the concept of “as within, so without.” A basic tenet of not only shamanism, but many, many religious and philosophical schools of thought. In a nutshell, it is known as a fundamental law of existence, where whatever is within you, can be found playing out in the world around you.
This was an enormous shift for me to begin to explore how what I harbored within me in terms of fears, resentment, anger, and imbalance was being expressed in my outer world. That it wasn’t being done to me. This challenged the victim in me. The one who got to both bemoan the atrocities of the world and stand separate from them somehow; believing that it all was someone else’s doing. Believing someone else was at fault. Believing that if the world of people would just get their shit together, everything would be better.
During the same time period I was exploring “as within, so without,” I heard a story about a village that was in desperate straits; suffering through season after season of drought. Finally, they called in a shaman to help bring the rains to their failing crops. He took a hut at the outskirts of town to stay in, and holed up inside for week after week. The people began to get agitated and restless for they could not see any change in their circumstances. To them, it appeared he was doing nothing.
Finally, when the villagers could take it no more, they sent one of their own to check up on him. To call him to task for the reason he had been called in. That being, to bring the rain. When the villager confronted the shaman with the lack of progress, the shaman took a long pause looking deeply into the man’s eyes, and said, “Before the outer world can bring the rain again to you, your village must come to balance within itself. I am bringing back the healing and the balance within all of you and among you that you have turned away from. That is why you have no rain.”
This is where we stand now with the Earth. She will go on with or without us. And whether or not we go on is up to us, but perhaps not in the ways we believe. For what if everything that you can see outside of you that you find unbearable, horrible, and excruciating is yours to do? From the inside out.
This is not the same as going on a crusade about what you want to fix in the world. This is the opposite of that. It is instead, going within yourself to find what you cannot bear, or are afraid of in the world, and locate it within yourself. And then, work to bring that into balance. For the Truth is, what we do to ourselves, we do to the Earth. However we violate our own precious Nature is exactly how we violate the precious Nature of the planet.
The real problem here is: We do not value Life. Not ours. Not others. Not the Planet’s. For if we did, there is much we would never, ever do. It is a deep and ancient knowing and practice to take on that level of accountability within yourself; doing what is yours and only yours to do.
If this resonates with you, watch your thoughts around what is happening to the Earth; your fears, your anger, your apathy, your blame. And then, look to find it in yourself as a direct path to bringing balance, peace, stability and harmony back into our world.