The Origin Story
The Origin Story
Or, How the People Got Upside Down and What We Do About It
Gather round my friends. Stand close to the fire. The fire is warm, and it is cold outside, here at night. Hear the crackling of the wood, watch the sparks leap up. In the desert the temperature drops when the sun goes down. I have been waiting a long time to tell you a story. It is my story, and it is the story of us, all of us, our human family. I will tell it now, but as I am telling it you will begin to remember it, inside of your body, and then you will begin to tell it too. It includes you, this story: it includes us all. It is a story that is deeper than time: a story out of which time comes, from the eternal present, flickering, like the flames against the midnight blue-black. Do you remember it? Already it is within you, this story, I am going to remind you, I am going to help you remember. This fire, is it not familiar to you? Is it a campfire, yes? No? You remember it, from your youth, but before your youth, through your youth. You have been here many times before, you have sat here, around this fire, ancestrally. Where are we, you ask? It is dark, but you know. You remember this place, you know it in your bones. Think, but not with your head. Think with your feet, feel the earth beneath you. Think with your skin, feel the wind pricking up around you, listening, watch the sparks fly. Think with your eyes, your ancestral eyes, watch the sparks swirl up into the wind of the Kalahari. Think with your ears, remember the roaring: what it feels like when the lion calls beneath the moon. Now you are shivering, but it is not from cold, it is because you are beginning to remember where you come from. Who am I? You know who I am. I am the storyteller and I am as old as the story itself, because I am you, and I am the memory of the tribe, and I am one who receives the story that is birthed in all of us because it is our story, and I am the neurosurgeon here who is already with love and precision re-implanting in you the ancestral memory, entering into your mind that is actually your heart and placing once again the sacred seed, because we have collectively forgotten and now it is time to wake up again.
For many years we were here, we were gathered around this fire. In the days of ancient things we were here, and in this circle as we are now, and there were many hands pressed against the soil, and there were many hands pressed against one another, and together we rejoiced and remembered the song and it was good. Together we sang and we danced and we tracked, and we called forth limitless plateaus of music from the fecund soil, we hunted and we foraged and we rocked the children and held them close. And the children were warm and their sleep untroubled, their faces at peace beneath the gaze of Grandmother Moon. This was after we came down from the trees, do you remember? Before this we had lived in the trees. Before this our nests were in the trees, but then we came down here, to the grasslands. We came out of the trees, in a single file line, and it was more vulnerable out here in the grasses. Why did we come down? The weather changed, it seems, and now to find food we needed to be out here, in the Kalahari, and it was so. Aeons ago. Deep time. We were here, and we stopped in this place and we made the fire.
Do you remember the first fire? That first fire we caught. We didn’t make. We snared it, like a rabbit. That one we caught from a burning tree, after the lightning. From the High Place came down the streaking light, and it struck a tree nearby, and it burst into flames. When we caught our breath we approached, and the bravest among us coaxed it from the tree onto a stick, like a living bird of fire, we watched it step onto the stick, and we brought it down from the Higher place like this, and we built a house for it out of wood and we came round it in a circle in reverence. And it told us, take me with you, I will be with you at night, for we could see by it. At night, out here, the howling of the darkness around us. We sat around it and we studied it and we saw things in it, we learned. We saw one another. And the shadows licked our faces, illuminating us from beneath, bathing us in yellow and orange light. In the circle we sat, and I looked across the fire and over your shoulder and you looked back across and over mine and in this way, all together, all round the fire, we saw in every direction out into the dark. This was before the treaty with the lions, before we had built ropes with them, and we were still afraid. But the fire comforted us, it reminded us of the great fire in the sky during what you call day. It reminded us of the white and yellow and red fires in the sky during what you call night. And we told stories and we laughed and we sang and this was the beginning and the ending of the first day and it was good. Breathe child, breathe in the sacred smoke, breath in the medicinal herbs–be not afraid. You are beginning to remember. Your body is beginning to come back together. I see the fascia re-awakening, you are coming back together, the biological fabric re-weaving itself: a living sheath. Remember who you are.
We knew then, in the days of ancient things, that everything was One sacred song. We felt it run through us, real as anything in the dream, when we breathe in we feel the hum, the shivering shaking wave of the life-force, the universal stoke, what you call prana, the Breath of Life. We feel it and we see it running through all: the springbok prancing, the scorpion, the wind in our faces. It is not veiled. It is apparent, obvious as that nose on your face. It is the Force of Life itself. We feel the snake coming towards camp long before she arrives because the slither, the vibration of her is radiating in all directions, as it always is/was/will be because she is alive and cannot disguise herself, why would she? We know things directly: this is the original knowing, because we can feel. And we didn’t name this something, we didn’t call this embodied cognition, we didn’t call it the felt sense, we didn’t distinguish interoception from extero-ception, nunchi from la facultad, we didn’t need to because we all knew it, we could all feel it, together. Most everyone felt the same thing all of the time, because there was no separation, this is before the walls had been built within us or between us, before the veils had come down, before we’d gotten out of tune, many of us. From this original feeling, this original knowing, which was simply–our feet on the ground, our hands towards the fire, our eyes towards the horizon, our thoughts towards the stars– we listened, and told to us were the stories of all things in the Creation.
Creation, my brothers and sisters, The Great Creation is what this place is. The Highest Artistry That Exists in the Universe. The Uni-verse: the one song–there, even in your language, held in the word, a hint of the Mystery. The story of Life lives here–breathed, thought, danced into Creation, descending out of the hyper-complex omni-dimensional manifold: the inter-penetrating beyond-behind-through-space-occupying Superior-Love-Intelligence. A mouthful in your language, but I have to say it so you can understand who I am talking about, I have to meet you in the language of your science, or beyond the leading edge of the event horizon of your science’s yearning to know itself. This Being-Force-Awareness-Parent-Supervisor-Container-Observer-Weaver. In our language: Pasabhala. What/who you used to call God before you became too complicated to feel the presence and know it directly. The Holy Mysteriousing.This place–this plane–this garden, it is where the story of Life unfolds. It is a singularity. Life chooses to unfold its story here, in this place. It is the Great Song, and in its honor we dance the Great Dance. We are Dancers, all, around the fire, listening. Everything sings its story. The stars, the Lions, the grass, the wind. We listen, we study, we imitate, we learn. We beat the great drums, and we sing, and we dance and our voices rise and co-mingle with our brothers and sisters the stars, and for the first era we danced and we sang like this, knowing What Is. We know all about the Creation, through love. We have what you later would call ecological knowledge of place, but it is love and rigorous noticing and memory. We have to remember where the honey badger passes, and to know his tracks, because he leads us to honey and we like honey. Every plant we have to know, because we use them. How do we know some things–to us it is not even obvious. That grub we make the poison for the arrows with? The ancestors say it told us about itself. This is how careful our listening is. If you become still enough, if your breath becomes deeply enough harmonized with the universal breath, you can hear the grubs two feet underground whispering their secrets to one another.
For thousands upon thousands of generations it was like this, 1.94 million years in time as you measure it. Two million years since we came down from the trees, 2 million years the human genus existing. Sometimes during this era, someone fell, or someone was stung by a hornet, or someone was bitten by a snake. Sometimes, during this era, there was a mighty storm, or the earth shook. A hunter was eaten. A mother died birthing. Moments came when we knew fear, terror even. And then, in its aftermath, we gathered back around the fire and sang ourselves whole. We sang the song to bring life back into its channels, to bring color back, we massaged, we touched one another, we gave birth to the medicinal arts you would call ceremony, you would call body therapy, you would call shamanism, but remember that they are simple, really, for we are one body, this tribe, this humanity: we belong to one another. We are not here for ourselves. Everyone could conduct these works that you would call medicine, because we were only reminding each other who we are. Sometimes one of us gets frightened out of ourselves, we get shocked out of ourselves: it is subject to happen. Sometimes one gets angry because he wants another woman, or a child gets distracted and forgets to do something and the parents grow upset. It is subject to happen. And then the village, the tribe, we re-unite and we sing ourselves whole. It takes the village to do this. Us all together. We call people back to themselves. We help that man drop the rock, help the child stop weeping. Because when one of us got pushed out of ourselves, this is a loss for all. Because we, the ancestors, your collective genetic predecessors in deep time, we are One.
We are the ancestors, we are the mothers and fathers of your mothers and fathers, we lived in the era before the forgetting, but what we knew was simple. In a nutshell this: there is One humanity. We wake up together or we die. For 1.94 million years, it was like this, we woke up together. What was stronger than each of our private wantings was the We: the Collective. We needed one another to survive. It was apparent each day that we could not do this alone. These three go off hunting. Those three go off to gather. These two watch the children. The old woman cleans out an ostrich egg. Every one has their work: and all are necessary. At night, sitting by the fire, we need everyone watching in every direction to see into the darkness on all sides. You call this a collectivist culture, we would call it common sense if we had to use your words. But your language often feels dead in our mouths, it is missing so many words for essential qualities. And it turns processes into objects, making it hard to follow the stream of Life, to track the vibrancy.
There are things that we do that are obvious to us, such as this: we share. It serves us not at all for one person to have more than everyone else. Why would we do this anyway? We live in grass huts. We depend on one another. We don’t have refrigerators. We don’t have bank accounts. Every place around the circle is the same. What advantage comes if one of us has something others do not? My wealth is in your trust of me. My wealth is in you coming to my aid. Without your help I die. Without my help you die. How can you be more or less valuable than me? We are the same. Your name means ‘the other me’. That is what the word you means. When you call to me you say– Hey, Other me. Come! If I have more than you, this only births feelings of greater than/ less than, and we know the outcome of that. How can I call you Other me if I don’t share with you? It would be not sharing with myself. Look at yourselves, reading this. Look in the mirror. You are the outcome of that. After the veil arose between you and all things accumulation became your reward, and look at you, look at where it has gotten you. You are on the brink of the abyss because you are alone.
You, now, are reading this, in this technology you call a story: this technology that is a story–the original story–transposed into a serial linear sequence of letters that you read on this page, but we–your ancestors–we read the land, the trails we followed that gave birth to the trails you follow with your eyes were the trails written on the land. What we see is the story of the Living World, and our book is Nature. When you think of nature you think it is something outside of you, but we are Nature, we are part of Nature, and we are where you come from. The language we speak, the click language, the bone language of deep time, in this language we have a word– you transliterate it as /xaâ and it means the Great Dance, and it means to Revere, and it means Oneness. This is who you are–this is where you come from–this is your history and your herstory.
In your year 2013 geneticists from Stanford University came to the Kalahari and proved this. They came here and they did a study that they wrote up in a journal that reminds you that we are the ancestors of you all. Only three thousand five hundred generations ago did you come out of Africa. 60-75,000 years ago. And that is when the next era began, the forgetting. At the origin of consciousness there is a crime scene.
There is a story in your lineage that is an echo of this, the story of Cain and Abel. But that story is only an echo of the older story. What happened was this: war. The particulars are unimportant. Why it happened? Stop here, and consider. Do you know already the answer to this question?
What happened next? You know this, because it is where your story begins. In the Judeo-Christian line, this is the echo behind your story of the Garden, and your estrangement therefrom. War cuts the rope between all things. Cutting the rope rends the veil. To take a life–at the origin of consciousness is a crime scene. We are telling you this because we love you. All of you are perpetrators now. You have become different, genetically. What happens when you take a life? You turn away. There is a part of you that contracts to avoid relationship, to avoid being known. You call this ‘ego’. It is a mask that you wear. A mask you have organized yourself around. You have a gene that we do not have now, and it is a called The War Gene, but it is not really a thing. It is a slow verb. It is an artifact of your forgetting, reified. You are the grandsons and granddaughters of us, and the sons and daughters of Cain and Abel, the ones who turned away. Came war, and the veil was torn. Because how can you hear the music when you harm the Music? And your shame engendered a contraction, and this contraction that holds your turning away you organized yourself around. A life, given by the One, is not yours to take. But you know this already. You knew it then. What happened next is what you would call in your language the neurobiological sequelae of trauma. Estranged from your deepest self through your own actions, your neurobiological platforms shifted to those of defense: fight, flight, freeze. Became you numb to yourselves. When you are sentenced, reading this, your eyes will complain I have twisted language, but the twist was yours, the brain scrambling yours, the language written tongue on your, trauma confusing order of things the. Time rendered non-linear by your acts of violence against self and other. Broke order, you did. Confused the music.
The now in which you live is the disharmonious confusion of the deviation you enacted from the ancestral line. Come now upon us is the time to repair. What you read are not merely words: this is a portal, a lifeline, a methodology to untangle your aloneness. It is a trail back to the fire. To find your way home you will have to change your mind and only when you change your mind you will find your way home. The pandemic is a physicalization of the great forgetting and it will only get better when you get better–so say the ancestors. Consider: now you stand apart, but you were already standing apart, you just didn’t perceive this. Now you are asked to wear a mask, but you were already wearing a mask, you just didn’t perceive this. This illness so-called, it doesn’t touch the children. Your movement has been paused, temporarily. Consider what is happening. It is of great importance that you find your way home. You have been gone for some time. The path is through your heart. In the language of your time you can understand this polyvagally. This transmission comes through me but it is not from me, it is from the ancestors. It is time for you to take responsibility for your own healing. Come home NOW. Do not delay. There is not much time.
Related Practices:This is a disembarkacation point on the model, and relates to almost everything. Some significant viable directions are Heartfulness. Gratitude practices. Becoming a Real Human Being. Relational Mindfulness. Healthy Relationships. Sit spot. Bird Language. Tracking, and Tracking Physiology. Weaving. The Art & Science of Connection.
Who taught us this?
We learned this from the ancestors in the Kalahari.
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