Introduction Editorial

Resonance and Relationship

We are losing treasure – species, ecosystems, and the essential fluids of our planet. If we think of these as separate elements – a species of turtle here, a rainforest there – then we are missing the greater loss.

Plants, animals, and minerals are interdependent members of their eco-communities and the family of Life. Everything exists in relationship. This is biology, not just philosophy. And now, biological and quantum theories of consciousness are reinforcing what the mystics have always known. Matter and mind are co-equal sides of the same coin. A new theory of resonance (Tam Hunt, Jonathan Schooler), suggests that vibrational relationships underlie all physical processes, on a continuum of increasing richness, from sub-atomic to complex neural processes, and may be the very basis of consciousness.

This means all matter is conscious at some level. The consciousness of sand may be different than the consciousness of a panther…or a rainforest, but the creational energy of the entire universe vibrates in every subatomic particle that comprises it, and all matter resonates with this immanence.

We might even say that that consciousness evolves through resonant relationships. That is why, when we lose a species, consciousness itself is diminished. You can feel this reality in your own heart, when you learn that a species is gone. It’s like losing a part of yourself. Imagine the collective consciousness and ‘nature wisdom’ lost with the extinction of the West African black rhinoceros, after 8 million years of evolution. What community of relationships vanished? Will songs of the black rhino still be sung?

When we think about ecocide, we often forget cultural ecocide. When places are poisoned, blasted, clear-cut, or turned to deserts, the people of those places – their stories, language, traditions and intimate knowledge of the land – disappear along with the plants, animals, and minerals. All of that connective tissue, where resonance resides, is obliterated.

These losses can be subtle. Urban expansion and hunting have pushed chimpanzees, into shrinking preserves. Compared to chimpanzees in pristine forests, these ‘refugee’ chimps demonstrate far less learned behavior. Since their DNA overlaps with humans by 98 percent, what do we suppose happens when humans are disconnected from nature, imprisoned, or forced to flee their homelands? Wisdom will tell you: our destruction of the Earth is damaging us – mind, body and spirit.

The articles in our summer edition of Kosmos Quarterly speak to these deeper issues of relationship. ‘All My Relations’, or in the Lakota language, Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ, is an important ceremonial prayer of harmony and oneness with all beings. It is a prayer that honors Life.

And there is so much Life still remaining to love, honor, and defend. Wherever damage is occurring, we can still work to reverse it. And what is intact, we can still protect. That is the spirit of the selfless work our beloved contributors share here.

Pachamama Alliance and PARCA are working to protect the Amazon rainforests and African rhinos respectively; John Liu describes work to restore the Sinai Peninsula; Sam Teicher, the coral reefs; and Laura Williams, forests in Portugal. There are stories of inter-species cooperation with wild boars in Pakistan, and not one but two talented musicians collaborating with nightingales: David Rothenberg and Sam Lee.

Two articles – Farming While Black and Plant-Based Medicine is Diaspora Communities – remind us of the relationships between climate, food, race, and historic trauma, and the great healing potential that empowerment unleashes. Two more paired articles on Earth justice and Plant-based eating, offer mindfulness perspectives to help guide us in right action.

This edition is also a special collaboration with Tamera Peace Research & Education Center in Portugal. They are calling activists from around the world to attend their August conference on resistance and regenerating the community of life. Join Tamera and their work to build a planetary community of trust, shared ethics, prayer, vision, and action to serve global system change.

All of this, and our beautiful poetry and art galleries too. Beauty will always be the heart of Kosmos.

A common prayer of oneness in Buddhist traditions is, may all beings be happy; may all beings be free; may all being be at peace. It might be useful to add: may all beings be in right relationship. When we are in right relationship with the Earth and all beings, then peace, happiness and freedom are natural outcomes.

Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ! Let us return to right relationship with the Earth. Aho! May it be so.

About Rhonda Fabian

Rhonda Fabian is Editor of Kosmos Quarterly. She is an ordained member in the Order of Interbeing, an international Buddhist community founded by her teacher, Thích Nhất Hạnh. Rhonda is also a founding partner of Immediacy Learning, an educational media company that has impacted millions of learners worldwide.

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