"from what state of   being

 

                    do    we

                 

                                   

                                     
                                  
other species


         
     
ruiN

 

 earth and sea
 
                     and treat Nature

 

as a 'collection of resources'


         to be exploited

  for short term benefit?"

                                                                                     

                                                                                       -Charles Eisenstein

EXTINGUISH


We don’t want to be told that we can’t have something. We no longer respect seasons of any kind - of weather, of produce, of bodies. The insatiable thirst for material gain has become the model of our time; we've forgotten, that things that are intangible are the most crucial for the survival of our souls.

We build indoor ski parks when it’s 40 degrees outside. We spray exotic fruits with poison so they can reach the other side of the world. We are told to buy and buy and buy some more.

How long can this way of living really last?


Our incessant consumption and desire to triumph as the most intelligent species speaks to a much bigger phenomenon inside ourselves. We can trace it back to every story in history - we are always searching for something.

Is it happiness? Peace? Connection? Is it longing for a culture and community that is rooted in infinitely more profound philosophies that can guide us through all facets of life?



“Traveler, there are no paths. Paths are made by walking.”

- Antonio Machado





Indigenous Thinking



When we think about the time that Indigenous peoples have had to develop their cultures, we can begin to understand how profound and intertwined the roots of those beliefs are.

They say their land and water is important... but why?

Isn't there other land they can occupy, other water they can drink?


To understand the grandeur of its' significance, we must first map out the philosophy.

The cumulative love, respect and wisdom in lessons passed down through generations mounts to a seemingly unfathomable notion to those of us who have not experienced it directly. But we can try.


Take the love for our birth mothers. We’ve only known her in our lifetime, that bond runs only for a few decades. But in Indigenous Australian culture - over 60,000 years of bonding with the Great Mother, this connection goes far beyond a notion that sits in the background of your life. It goes beyond being 'environmentally conscious' or thinking trees are nice. It goes beyond thinking nature is important, but you can't really describe in exactly which way and why.


No, this connection with the Earth is not just about the physical livelihood, but the sustenance of our souls. It illuminates meaning and purpose through this ceaseless, wild journey of life, by interpreting all physical and non-physical parts of existence as forming one single phenomenon. And this, in itself, is the most precious and divine gift that there is.

So to harm a tree, to blow up soil, to poison rivers - is beyond a disgrace - it is destroying a part of ourselves.


Clarissa Pinkola Estes, writes: “It’s not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner nature fades."





Forbidden Lessons



It 's optimistic to say that we are perhaps in a phase of transition, of stripping back after having gone to the extremity of consumption of material goods. Of re-connecting with ourselves, in new and familiar ways, a phase of redirecting our path towards a future that bears flowers and fruit. Is this extreme pressure what's necessary to guide us back to a natural way of life? And can it all be taken in such a way that doesn't dampen our spirit or make us lose hope... Is it all just part of a bigger lesson, on how to find our way home?


Tyson Yunkaporta's latest book: Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, offers a title that adequately matches the urgency with which we need to change our ways.

Yunkaporta inverts the lens from outside looking in, to inside sharing outward.

Written from an Indigenous perspective, this book is honest, and it doesn't provide answers.

It provides us with the basic - not as in simple, but as in crucial and fundamental - tools to decode the universe for ourselves. The arts of listening and learning, of talking and feeling and finding meaning; of rummaging through the remains of old teachings, dusting the bones and putting them back together, hopefully to learn something that those wiser once knew.


Other books like:

Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People by Karl Erik Sveiby, Tex Skuthorpe,

Deep Time Dreaming by Billy Griffiths, and

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer,


and thousands of others you may have found published in recent years, have all been on the journey of collecting these old bones, the bones of stories that were once forbidden and in most places still are, forbidden to contradict the farce of modern society.


We may hear some stories of love and death and life and pain, and think of them as myth, or far-fetched, but they do something beyond than recount literal events. Stories attempt to clothe the complex phenomena of the creation of life, of us, into language that we humans can understand.

Symbolism is a language in itself, one that magnetises our attention to a different dimension, beyond where words are made. In recent times, the concept of the self has morphed into an unnatural and extrapolated interpretation - I am me. You are you. I win. You lose. Every man for himself.

Ancient knowledge tells us: we are in separate bodies, yet we are not separate.

Polarity, an illusion, represents the different aspects of ourselves.

This knowledge is dressed in stories so we can understand and relate to them in a more simplistic, digestible way.


In many ways, Western culture can be seen as developing and Indigenous culture: advanced.




------------


Despite all the words in the world, the only true compass lies within us.

We are the ones who feel. We feel that a cymbal played in celebration is different to a 'ping' from a cash register, we know how having sex is different to making love, we know the sharp burn of betrayal and the weeping wound it leaves behind.


We all know our mother too. We just have to remember her.








Updated: Sep 1






On Thursday 20th August, something monumental happened:

A new wave of resistance was born.

Generations of systemic injustice, Indigenous oppression and neglecting climate change has people uniting like never before.


The Wangan & Jagalingou Tribal people - one of the nations which Adani has stolen from to build their archaic coal mine issued the company with an eviction notice demanding they leave the tribe's sacred ground.

The following Monday, W&J went on to occupy their Country for 5 days, physically impeding the movement of trucks in and out of the mine site, and calling Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to meet with them out on Country. With the support of other non-indigenous folk, the tribal warriors launched their new campaign; #StandingOurGround, a last resort following decades of pleas through the legal system and exposing the neglect of State and Federal governments. Powerful imagery has travelled far and gained support from all over Australia - you can check out the progression of events here.


After days of negotiation, the Queensland Police had promised to arrange a meeting with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Yesterday, they broke that promise and instead, brought in more than 50 police officers to break up the peaceful stand issuing a move-on order to those on site.

Despite that, the Wangan and Jagalingou people remain on their Country - legally untouchable on the grounds of being able to perform cultural ceremonies on land pertaining to a pastoral lease. That means: they're not going anywhere.

The red alert is now blaring loud, fuelled by the fire of our dedication to stand in solidarity as First Nation warriors claim back their land.


'We're taking back control of our land, that's what we're doing here,' says Adrian Burragubba, key spokesperson for the tribe. 

'We're doing it because we've been ignored, as the original Wangan and Jagalingou people, we've been ignored through this whole process.'







A BIT OF CONTEXT



Adrian Burragubba has been an activist for Indigenous Rights since young, but for the last 10 years has been fighting for his very home. Disputing the validity of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) obtained by Adani has been the focal point of W&J's legal case - to which direct legislation was quickly and quietly changed to override that all members of a Native Title group had to approve of an agreement for it to be valid.


All actions filed by W&J against Adani have been dismissed, A. Burragubba has been forced to declare bankruptcy, the 30,000sq km of land have been forcibly taken and given to a multi-billion dollar coal giant, and the people that have taken care of our Earth have been declared as trespassers on their own home. This is why, right now, drastic action is needed and support is being called worldwide.


Looking at those facts alone, one very grim picture paints itself.

It's hard to get your head around ordinary people fighting against a modern power such as Adani, backed by the government. Our own, Australian government. It's even harder to filter through the grossly misleading information that they provide, fooling the masses with their elaborate media, empty words and blind arrogance.


(JUST THIS WEEK, Adani have pleaded guilty to two separate charges: providing false and misleading information to authorities and ripping off four other coal mines, and ordered to pay $106 million and $20,000 in fines respectively.)



But that's not the whole story.



Adani began boasting a monumental $16.5bn project when it purchased its mining tenements in the Galilee Basin back in 2010.

Enter: Stop Adani - a grassroots campaign that has turned into a legendary global movement. Targeting contractors, insurance companies and spreading awareness, in combination with protests led by Frontline Action On Coal and Galilee Rising, the campaign gained so much momentum that Adani was forced to downsize to a $1.3bn budget in 2018; the public being exposed to the project's vile approach and educated of it's damning repercussions led to it being unable to get the funding!

So Gautam Adani reached down to the family's deep pockets and announced that it would be self-funding, in 2018.

But the pocket's are getting shallow.

Only this year, $294m have been lost on the coal project, bringing their total losses to nearly $800m to date.


In addition, over 70 major companies have ruled out working with Adani.

All domestic insurance companies have publicly shunned the project and refused to take it on. Currently, four insurance companies are backing the project, but three (Liberty, HDI and AXL) have said they will not provide insurance on the project after their current residual policies come to an end, in 2021.


Now the picture shifts, it's not so black and grey anymore, we can see brighter streaks shining through. This has been a result of the powerful, constant pressure that various groups have been putting on stopping Adani, with supporters from all over the world.


There is a lot more to the tip of this iceberg - If the Charmichael project went ahead, it would pave the way to potentially 6 other neighbouring mines, four of which are owned by thirsty billionaires Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart. A lot is on the line.




Without Non-Violent Direct Action, this mine and possibly others would have been built years ago. The resistance has managed to dwarf and delay what otherwise would have been a smooth-sailing development for these 1%-ers that have tunnelled the world into a wasteful machine of consumption. And the hard thing to admit is that; it's been on our watch.

We have enabled and fed into the loop of capitalism, consciously or otherwise. We share the responsibility for the state of the world, and if you've been unaware, blasé or silent your whole life, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we act, now.


Using our bodies, our voices and the global network, we all have the ability to support the movement in the most crucial point in time in modern history.

We are calling people from all nations, everywhere, to stand in solidarity with the First Nations warriors as they claim back their land.


We have the ability to work with nature and replenish, elaborate and create life, in ways that are now not viewed as undeveloped and primitive, but as our answer to a fulfilling life, and harshly: a life at all.

To consume less, to rush less, to need less.

To talk to each other more,

to grow our own food,

to have time to lounge,

to know how to light a fire,

to plant trees,

to share,

to have space,

to walk barefooted,

to be wild,

to have a caring community,

to give back,

to create,

to be heard,

to look and truly see,

to connect to our roots,

to revert the damage we've done,

to untangle the confusion that is our mental health,

to feel what it's like to be physically, just well,

to breathe the peaceful air that oozes through our spiritual health.


To return to the Earth.





Join the movement:


- Wangan & Jagalingou People

- Stop Adani

- Frontline Action On Coal

- Galilee Rising



*Images via Wangan and Jagalingou - Standing Our Ground*




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