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How Does Raven Know? by Margaret Wheatley

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How Does Raven Know?, the new book by Margaret Wheatley

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How Does Raven Know? by Margaret Wheatley

  1. 1. HOW DOES RAVEN KNOW? I‘) ENTERING SACRED WORLD I A MEDITATIVE MEMOIR wig: - . _ g W. ‘ . _ J , " ‘x < : ' . / xv » "Z. ”'-. .I‘’? 4%’ , JI’. ;"; _’I'! 'r -_ I, -f'‘ I . A I I I’ II» . ’.I'c¢'], /sz, LIKE . . A W5! _ )7.) I I ‘ "' ‘ ’} 1/ 77/ ’/ ‘. '9 _ 9“ V. MARGARETWHEATLEY 45$‘-‘
  2. 2. Opening Earth Mind Aspen Raven Rock Human Magic Sources Quoted Author U1 _. 37 67 85 105 125 129 131
  3. 3. . . . to see the ordinary as the extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite as infinite. Novalis German philosopher, late 1700s
  4. 4. 1'r nf
  5. 5. Listen close m in t -I 6 h t o 9 . m h t m o 5 the human mind is at play here. David Abram Cultural ecologist -1
  6. 6. l tread so delicately in the worlc these cays balancing between commitment anc cespair commitment to support those holding up the failing structures of institutions coing good anc just work in the mics! of disintegration cespair a too familiar companion whose triggers are everywhere so plentiful they cannot be avoidec news reports lriencs falling ill refugee photos outrages against good people Frightened angry protestors and our silence -«
  7. 7. I am not interested in being hopeful or optimistic or working diligently to reverse the patterned path of history we tread so reliably toward collapse I am interested in being able to stay in the midst of this terrible travesty that degrades the human spirit or denies we have one caught on the balance beam of meaningful work and terrifying times I want to walk steady in the world learning what balance feels ilce blessed by the active presence of corrpanions in sacred world
  8. 8. Just now the leaves with new rain shimmer a greeting to me and birds not seen this sum-ner come sit with me just for a moment in recognition as a slug rnoves majestically on the wooden deck they continue their greeting tell of us tell the whole story retum rediscover we have never left you
  9. 9. The power of ravens to console with their presence has astonished me into a world that is not new only forgotten lost in separation and domination as now we sit in ravaged relationship with the living world it was never this way in any other time with any other people a world focused only on us full of manipulation creating extremes of isolation loneliness grief terror we are driving ourselves crazy
  10. 10. how am I so visible to you raven at cillerent times with ciflerent neecs that in a moment of acute distress you ride the wins above my head hovering to teach me that to be stable in A violent wind is possible how co you know to fly so near arching your bacli to the wind just For a moment so that l learn strong back lacing gale gives power to my heart and then you soar out ol sight to a distant cliff giving what I needed gone
  11. 11. 56 We were together. I forget the rest.
  12. 12. A . ,". . .5.) «. '~‘ , . gs. A—. e'. ‘.‘ L-‘ell. 4 r I ‘ . . J_. ..i. Js. ..4.. ..i. ,.. ,.rJl. ..n. ;.. .. . . . , ‘ . .. . . r./ J.»/ w.. .n. . . . Sire. .. .. M. .., ... ..a. .zu. ... ... v.. .. i.. ,nu: .uill U , . . slur», .. :..4r{. ..nNfulsl. : . ls. Fk;1lri 111 . C. .. ‘[7 Ila. . . i.t Lfil l , .. .i~. .LF. _.l». <,. .bli. .l. .u, ;. . .. a.. .. .» Ni. - . - / illh , l. . .. A rd J04 , Axx ‘l‘. l.illh‘)Ii it . . I) . .1 r. r‘ . .. ... vi. lh. h . .n. ... vwi. iu. ..r. .a. .‘, .Wi». ..s. ia. t T. -/. .i. tfi. ._i. ~.i 34 r i o. . . , . _ i. lJi. .. .n. i.n . - . .. .. ._: ~.. ..V . ..! » . li. ._s. ... ..v. n. r.. ir. «.tiil. _r r . . H. ._ i. ... .,. ".. .». .«. ..». .,. ¢.s. W., l.. .4n. i. . . 1.. . . /l ilk _, . :. J.n. Ih. Is‘: I._ViA. .|5.. ..U; .A. W .3 DUI .1. n . . . - e . . Jui. l. l. £.>s , . . ... .>rw. .r. .W. .3w. wn. ..c. v.twas. ..u. r.. NHI. . . .i. . it 1. 1A. ; . é.uC.4ruxHb. .. . ..<nu: ,_niJ>. ;| ,l¢. V MI sri . . my. .. E . . . ./. %wsi. ... ..H . .,. .lNi. _.. I . , I¢, .v‘c. . . . , ... .., :)a _ . .,. .‘pIIIII. H‘%s¢. lrJl%r£vtli‘ W1‘. >r. ... ~. ... ,LAWH. .4.Nr gv. r. I . _.. :._. .}w. k.. ... ... .__. .in. ... .tl. .» m. iu. rsiiimh. ,.n. r.L. o. ..si. ..e u ni. .r, .r. . V. .. . r.h. Il. lr . .Ir. . v. .,. r.. ., .r. i.. ... ... ... .l. .i iI; -.. i.. r . . . 4. ins. . slirvw lhraii i . . . . . . t. I.. w>r. , ...
  13. 13. aspens are graceful messengers For how to endure for how to persevere no matter what they are called qualting aspens because their heart shaped leaves rustle when the wind blows gently and they call out their invitation corne be present the oldest living organism on Earth is a large grave of aspen in Utah about two hours from where I live on Aspen Way it is said to be 80.000 years old which may be a conservative estimate before humans were ever on this continent aspens were flourishing here they survive underground as root systems bound together that ignore superficial calamities
  14. 14. the many trees are just one organism many shoots connected as one root system individual trees emerge from underground when conditions are hospitable we can't see the tree For the forest they travel through their root system a new tree appearing 100 Feet from home by root they travel underground ancient aspen roots still dug up by farmers 0 9 a 9 n b Y from their migration westwarc ver in large groves nourishment is moved from where it is to where it is needed sharing without question they are all in this together a green layer just below the white bark acts like leaves photosynthesizing even in winter elk deer moose who browse in shade in summer feed on this inner bark in the cold times individual trees die and the absence of their hormones communicates their ceath the root system responds by generating Far more trees than were lost
  15. 15. aspens crave instability they need fire to thrive after the old has been swept away and the ground is cleaved by Fire flood avalanche when the light returns to empty ground so do they aspen: are called a pioneering species
  16. 16. I am in a grove ol aspens in the midst of hundreds of trees that wander all over the mountain I take strength from being among them straight standing trees seeking sky many groves l once walked in are now dying or so it appears I look for the young shoots so as not to grieve I con't remember when I first learned of aspens but I fell in love with them when I knew to look below ground for guidance rustling leaves invite me to be present and ask how does it Feel to be this rooted in community? what stability what confidence what strength is drawn from knowing your roots’ what coes it feel like not to be consumed by worry for individual existence? AI-
  17. 17. what does it feel like to live in community where one does not fear living alone or dying alone many indigenous people knew this well whatever their grief and loss they are connected severing their communities moving them from ancient lands has caused deadly ham: in all hm-ran history exile has always been a terrifying punishment
  18. 18. What do you say in Athabasca! » when you leave each other? What is the word for goodbye? . . . She looked at me close. We just say, Ttaa. That means. See you. We never leave each other. When does your hand say goodbye to your heart? Mary Talllvlountain Koyukon Athabascan
  19. 19. I should like to think that prehistoric mans first invention, the first condition for his survival, was a sense of humor. Andre Leroi-Gourhan Paleoanthropologisl 84
  20. 20. it is not known how many years ago we humans set out to occupy Earth ifwe include Neanderthals who 150,000 years ago were caring for their sick and burying their dead with flowers and ritual perhaps we as Homo saplens sapiens our formal name says we are doubly wise left our African homeland 90,000 years ago it is not precisely known when we left but we journeyed forth as other hominids had done one to two million years earlier we settled every continent except Antarctica surviving setbacks and natural catastrophes that nearly extinguished everyone about 40,000 years ago our Neanderthal cousins disappeared perhaps because of us and we took over Earth sapiens sapiens? ,4
  21. 21. this is not to romanticize our species which merits no curent honor but to notice who we've been and what we hominid: did in deep history I was introduced to this ancient world in a local museum in Tuscany here there was a case of implements 500,000 years old I stared down into this display willing my imagination to take me there Home erectus began using fire for warmth then cooking at least 800,000 years ago fire hearths still visible today from ancient ancestors who sat in circle round the fire so that no one was left out in the cold I cherish this image as now we sit in circle regaining ancient intimacy --0
  22. 22. If there is no sense of rejoicing and magical practice, you find yourself simply driving into the high wall of insanity. Chtigyam Trungpa Buddhist teacher 104
  23. 23. u , 1,51 . .-PU. // : -I. #.a . .a. . . tux W pr
  24. 24. all living beings through all time have needec to know the world well knowing life depends on this most peoples throughout time have seen beyonc the V| $ll. '>le world they and still we rely on symbols objects rituals to summon forces of protection and plenty knowing to respect and evoke the unseen world with offerings modern culture is an anomaly to the pattern of human cultures withdrawing from everything except our five material senses arrogant with VlSl0i'1 that sees about ‘i percent of what the light spectrum reveals seeing so little we grow more frantic to know what is out there yet push aside those who see no woncer we are fearful of being harmed as we harm the world scared humans scarring sacrec‘ world
  25. 25. many years ago when studying A Course in Miracles I was puzzlec by the teaching there is no orcer of difficulty in miracles I remained perplexed until my Tibetan teacher explained those who perform miracles are those who know the true nature of reality all miracles display that knowledge oFlering a glimpse into the inner workings of this world and what's possible here stories of miracles are venerated in all cultures except ours yet we are the champion purveyors of magical thinking believing we can be saved by the very thinking that created all this destruction denying the way things truly work denying the fact that nature demands obedience denying she has welllunctioning laws magical thinltirtg is to believe we're going to get away with this
  26. 26. we are told how wrong it is to impute our intelligence to animals building them up raising their ranking attributing behaviors meant only for us but what if we were as intelligent as animals? ifwe had their intelligence we would not push away what we don’t want to know we'd know denial is a form of suicide ifwe had their intelligence we would notice who's around us no longer duped into thinking we can make it on our own ifwe had their intelligence we would engage with everything mincfulness not a fad knowing staying awake means staying alive we are a young species we would be wiser if we recognized our immaturity and used our intelligence to take our right place on the planet -A) --i
  27. 27. when I first moved to the mountains a home of peace anc plenty what I wish for everyone l remember sitting in an alpine meacow overwhelmec with gratitude that soon celotmed to guilt as an activist l lectured myself you should be living in the real world not hiding away here a crowdec city somewhere coping with pollution tear and violence from the grasses of the meadow anc the duaking leaves of aspens a voice sounded silent and clear what riiakes you think this is not the real world7 the other world is painfully distortec this is what life is peace that pervaces through the cycles of creation and destruction harmony maintained as great change happens relationships recognizec as the life force of creation this is the real world others have tolc me of receiving a similar message A I
  28. 28. I am standing by a window in what seems my darkest hour my teacher standing with me as we gaze through trees to see the sea that turned to ice this winter she and I are weII—cared For by raven we have often shared stories of their presence and how in turn we care for our trustworthy totem she has come to help me walk through my despair to the unshakable confidence revealed the other side of darkness but here at the window with her I have yet to know the good that awaits from my dark descent and then the ravens appear all seven that have hovered round this winter in past years there had been more but this year only seven and here they all are settling in the trees a raven circle of comfort my teacher touches my back tenderly saying this is a good sign isn't it and I can only ask how does raven know
  29. 29. Excerpted from HOW DOES RAVEN KNOW? ENTERING SACRED WORLD | A MEDITATIVE MEMOIR Copyright 2014 Margaret Wheatley. Copies can be ordered at http: //www. margaretwheatIey. com

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