Grounders were trained to siphon off the high vibration energy and pour it into the ground where it was distributed amongst the soil and the rocks and the roots and the insects and burrowing animals there. They had to be prepared for the heavy load of emotion they would channel. A brute force of high capacity sewage flowing through their fine fiber networks. They were trained to withstand the impact while dissipating and to do high capacity rejuvenation afterward. Grounders had to be laid in the ground for hours after channeling. People had to be prepared to sit with the Grounders after Calling Up the Past. Coming to places such as The Sign in the Clarifying Waters meant camping out, as the Grounders could need days to recover.
What humans had learned was that, if it took days, it was necessary to wait; to let the process complete. Ignoring the process was a relic of the past, as too many conflicts were the result of incomplete processing. The human body needed time to re-balance its chemistry or it would become self-harming and lead to a dysfunctional hormonal system which would damage the body, impair perception and block discernment, evoking harmful behavior. It was far better to take the time, now, than to experience and heal all the reverberations of ignoring the process.
The group standing in The Clarifying Waters, today, were a working committee assigned to consider life in The Drylands. Over 2000 years since the human race had been decimated by wars and a rapidly changing ecosystem, the population was growing again. Compassionate sustainability meant always considering how the human presence was impacting the flora and fauna which sustained them. They had come to an understanding of Impact Capacity – that the ecosystem could absorb and recover from a finite amount of impact from consumption and transformation.
Paved roads smothered the earth. Tree-cutting sent pain through the entire root network of a forest, requiring all the trees to redirect energy to heal the wounds. Too many feet pounding the ground caused animals and insects to die from the vibrations, which meant the soil was losing its life. Soil, it turned out, was the single most vital piece of the ecosystem. Humans had no idea, when they began plowing the soils and transforming the soil ecosystem, how they had set the stage for planetary disaster. Only when they had nearly destroyed everything would they make the realization of how their perception of soil was so misguided. How the interlocking web of humus and clay and sand and stone was the organism which founded, grounded, birthed and regenerated all of life. Digging and blasting of rock were gouges weakening the infrastructure which held everything, provided safety for the more obviously sentient life forms. Every act had to be reconsidered. They had to find ways to understand all the reverberations.
Every form of consumption had to be done with concern for what it would take to heal those inevitable wounds. Wounding was a part of life. It could not be avoided. If all consumption stopped, everything would simply die. There had been a time when some humans believed that the righteous thing to do, after having caused so much damage, was for humans to stop all consumption and die off. Some believers based this on a purely physical reconciliation. Humans were too damaging and could not be sustained in the ecosystem without destroying it. Others believed it was the highest spiritual calling to let go of attachment to life. This was predicated on teachings that humans were of a different quality than other beings; that this life was but one experience in a more expansive existence, which was described in various forms by various brands of believers.
There would be no proving whether this spiritual existence were real. In the end, it was a practical matter. Humans were an apex predator and it had already been demonstrated how vital apex predators were to a thriving ecosystem. Beyond the reality that it would be nearly impossible to get all humans to agree to just lay themselves down and die, was the harsher reality that their consumption was needed. That if the motivation was to do less harm and to pay reparations, they could not take the easy way out. They must do the work of curbing themselves and building a better connection to life with a fuller understanding of how to live it in balance.
This had been the conclusion, after decades of struggle in The Aftermath. The dwindling population was finally able to envision thriving, once they embraced the principles of balance. Then came The Transition. In many ways more difficult than the survival time of The Aftermath. The Transition was the struggle to change the ways humans interacted with their world. It was a time of great learning. It required discipline, the nurturing of discernment, the allowance for mistakes and anxiety with the cultivation of patience and grief and recovery. Almost everything humans had revered as essential principles of life had to be questioned and let go of. Along with new principles, they would have to develop new ways of perceiving.
Coming to an understanding of how they must live going forward was an arduous task. Figuring out how to stop themselves from falling into old ways when conflict or stress was present, took generations of exhaustive work. Coming to a general agreement that was lived in practice took over 250 years. They remained committed because their survival depended upon it. The earth would no longer brook their old ways. It didn’t have the resources to give them. They had taken too much before, leaving the earth in a state of depletion. Mutual survival meant figuring out to live while nurturing the earth back to health.
In the beginning, there was the very real work of survival. Learning to discern what was true need and how to meet that need without causing irreparable harm. In fact, they had to meet their needs while also fostering a flourishing ecosystem. Every ounce of consumption had to be weighed against its impact on the The Great Recovery.