The core belief guiding my life and work is that paradise is our natural state, the most sustainable way of life there is.
I believe that the longing for an earthly paradise is shared by all people, held somewhere entirely incorruptible in the heart’s of everyone—however damaged, cynical, or superficially adapted to the prevailing state of un-paradise we may have become.
We can choose to heed this longing, to heal our wounded connection to the divine ground of our being, to step out of un-paradise and re-inhabit the paradise earth. Sacred re-wilding of both land and consciousness requires only that we stop the unnecessary and destructive ways of being and acting that are holding un-paradise in place. When we do, the paradise-forces of the Earth and Soul can naturally restore our troubled world.
As I see it, Paradise is simply this:
Our global eco-system restored to radiant health, its diverse inhabitants to natural abundance.
Humanity at peace with itself and its environment, established in a reciprocally benevolent relationship with the Earth.
Existence experienced as the miracle it is, a direct emanation from the divine ground.
I believe that the three aspects of this vision are deeply intertwined, and neither one comes first or last: To restore the global ecosystem we need to cultivate an attitude of benevolent stewardship of the Earth, for which to happen we need to learn to experience all life, beginning with ourselves, as sacred. And yet, to experience the sacredness of the living Earth it is essential to spend time in nature receiving healing and guidance among free living beings, those denizens of paradise who never left the Garden.
We’re not going to dissolve un-paradise while still operating within the frequency-band of consciousness that has created it, locked into the very situation which we would like to see transformed.
Nature is our greatest healer, guide and support on the journey onwards towards a Paradise Earth. To begin this journey we must realise that our earth is already naturally paradise. We don’t need to add anything to her to make her so. All we need to do is to stop interfering so much on her natural processes, to allow her to recover and re-weave her threads of life and story and song.
Similarly, we are essentially paradise beings, as all the sages do their best to remind us. Intrinsically divine, wired most deeply for love, harmony and co-operation, endowed—perhaps uniquely—with the miracle of a witnessing consciousness which is bliss itself and in which the universe can apprehend and marvel at its own existence: we are amazing, wondrous beings. We don’t need to add anything to ourselves to experience this and the joy that comes with it. We can simply step away from what is harming us and allow our inner nature to recover and shine.
Beneath the cultural overlays and perceptual distortions, all life still thrills with divine energy, and we are not separate from that. We can choose to surrender to it. We can choose to let go of our addiction to suffering and destruction.
We can choose to step out of the matrix and into the magic. I know we can. I’ve been there. It’s not entirely easy, but it’s certainly possible.
In 2013, I entered into deep retreat in the woods of West Wales, transitioning, over four and a half years, quite fully out of modernity and into a more paradise way of being.
During these years I built a simple round hut using natural materials and lived there without electricity, mains water, fossil fuels, digital technology or the internet.
Immersed in natural rhythms; held in close contact with the primordial elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water; relieved from the endless distractions of consumer culture: something deep inside me that had been yearning all my life for the space and simplicity in which to breathe and awaken began to stir and, eventually, to dance.
I think of those years as a radical journey of descent and re-connection to the miracle earth in her raw elemental aliveness and beauty…
I many ways it was a process of elemental—almost alchemical—purification: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual…
And yes, it was an extremely arduous struggle, at times, to step so far outside the comforts and cultural norms of the modern western society in which I grew up… but it was entirely worth it!
After I’d leaned to stop giving much energy to the petulant suburban adolescent in me who resented and resisted each step along the way towards simplicity, I found it deeply satisfying to be living so fully and continuously at the edge of a wildly expanded comfort zone, so close to the natural milieu of my animal body.
Overall I found it incredibly healing and empowering to detox from the technological matrix, the mainstream media and the consumer nightmare and to plug back into sources of natural inspiration, wellbeing and abundance.
It gave me huge optimism that if I could make this journey then so could anyone!
Many times I dropped into a paradise state, feeling profound wonder and joy at simply being alive and part of the miracle of life on earth.
These experiences have shown me that it’s not only possible to choose to return to a life lived very simply upon the earth, but that this choice is also deeply healing, nourishing, and wildly magical.
Elemental simplicity is not hardship and austerity. It is a form of radical liberation. I believe it’s one of the biggest gifts we can give to ourselves, each other and the planet.
The way I see it, the vision of Paradise that I believe we all share deep down will only emerge globally if/when enough of us choose to step into a paradise way of life. No amount of talking, dreaming, analysis of the problem or protest movements will create the change. It’s up to each one of us who holds the vision of a paradise earth to choose simplicity and natural abundance. No one can do this for us. At some point we do need to grasp the nettle and imbibe its healing sting!
This necessarily involves some fairly radical steps. Minor modifications of the prevailing normality are of little value, I’d say, except to salve the conscience for a while. All too soon they are merely subsumed back into the matrix and commodified. Only a profound and resolute movement of the whole human towards a full expression of its wholeness has the chance of breaking through the dense atmospheres and strong centripetal forces of un-paradise to reach far enough beyond ‘normality’ to touch down upon the paradise earth and establish a life there.
What is sacrifice? It is to make sacred. Relinquishing a large portion of the comforts and conveniences of modernity; forgoing much of the security and status offered by the prevailing cultural hierarchy as rewards for playing its game; exorcising the old illusions with which the separate ego is bolstered (such as the belief in the inalienable rights of man to lord it over the rest of creation, or the myth of salvation through technological progress)—these are the kinds of sacrifices that can restore us to ourselves as part of the sacred order and in so doing restore the Earth to her paradise state.
Who will be among the first to sacrifice their un-paradise identity? For make no mistake, it is this identity—and only this—which we all carry, each one of us—that is holding un-paradise in place, and not some conspiracy of the global power-elite or vague impersonal systemic forces.
We all, each one of us, are (holographically) entirely responsible for what is happening in our world. We are not powerless victims. We are creators, all of us, precisely manifesting everything we are getting. We each need to accept this: everything that has been, everything that is now, everything that is to come—I am responsible for that. This is an enormously powerful thing to do, for only by owning our full responsibility can we empower ourselves with the full right to determine what will happen to our world.
As we do so we find that we are in the midst of a cultural metamorphosis as profound as the cognitive revolution of 70,000 years ago. I don’t believe this is an exaggeration. Compared to the sea-change underway at the moment, the agricultural and industrial revolutions were quite superficial tidal adjustments. Little wonder our world is convulsing.
But amidst the chaos of our times a new world is emerging from the empowered choices we are making. Through the cracks in the worn-out matrix wonderful tendrils are growing, spreading, strengthening. Planetary consciousness is evolving. We are waking up to who we are.
It’s sometimes hard to see what’s happening because the old edifice is so vast and in many ways is still fairly stable, and because the emergent culture is so massively underrepresented in the mainstream of everyday reality. It’s often painful and confusing to find that in the world around us prestige and status are still going to those who are successful within the old paradigm. But increasingly and before our very eyes the emperors’ imaginary clothes are shimmering and fading, and with them the emperor himself unravels.
From the four corners of the earth, a profusion of healing arts and mindful practices are coalescing.
Grounded, sophisticated, joyfully holistic models of living beautifully and harmoniously under One-Planet conditions have become readily available.
I described earlier my own elemental journey into simplicity and spoke of sacrifices and the necessity to step radically and resolutely into a new way of being, but I don’t hold that this step needs to be harsh and unpleasant. Yes, there are sacrifices to make and addictions to kick, but in material terms we are sufficiently resourced to make the transition in a graceful way if we chose to, and to touch down onto the paradise earth in vibrant colour and health and joy.
In almost every area of life we are blessed with access to detailed knowledge and to people with practical mastery of deeply wise and wonderful ways of embodying as a healthy human being upon this wild earth. And these ways necessarily harmonise with what the living earth needs from us in order to recover from the ravages of a wayward civilisation.
Indigenous, earth-loving wisdom traditions are reaching out from every continent to enable living teachings of how to walk a path of sacred guardianship to reach us who need to remember these ways.
Methods for growing abundant vibrant organic food in co-operation with nature have been remembered and others developed, and these are already being implement at community-scale and beyond. Combining indigenous wisdoms with modern techniques and bringing together an unprecedented diversity of crops and varieties from around the world, they enable us to grow what we need without excessive toil and in co-operatin with the earth for perhaps the first time in history. At the same time we have a refined, holistic understanding of exactly what nutrition and exercise and playful movement our bodies need in order to thrive and be full of energy and light.
Modalities and such as yoga and tai chi and many more are helping us to integrate body and mind into their natural wholeness, to remember what it is to think as an organic being, to move as thought, to breath ourselves out of the mental prisons of separation and relax the paralysing contraction we have long being trapped in.
Permaculture, pranayama, tantra, low impact-technologies, natural birthing, listening partnerships, eco-building, sacred song, trauma counselling, medicine work, conscious crafts, ecstatic dance, mindful parenting, uplifting art and enlightened entrepreneurship are threading more and more fully through increasing numbers of lives every single day, weaving hearts and hands together across the globe into an embryonic culture of wisdom and harmony. This New Age is not a fluffy idea. It is a fully resourced and pragmatic convergence of wise and coherent practices for paradise living.
Vast resources are available to us to develop paradise culture and, despite the apparent global hegemony of multi-national corporations and the power elite, a radical and unprecedented freedom of communication and action is open to us. Never before have these resources and these freedoms combined as they do today. Amidst the destructive madness of a dying monster, a new earth is being born.
Amidst billowing clouds of febrile tumult the pendulum halts at its apogee. The heart has gone out of the old dogmas. Everyone knows it. Their stories are bankrupt. The ink of their contracts begins to run off the page. Only their flailing limbs remain active—albeit excessively and dangerously so. We need to be careful, certainly, but we can gradually extract ourselves from the confusion of their disarticulated influence and turn wholeheartedly towards the quiet, beautiful light of what is emerging.
We are poised in a time of deep darkness and radical possibility—a solstice of destiny.
Why not choose paradise now?
There are many individuals among the embryonic culture of an emerging paradise with wealth enough to buy the land and to enable the building of ultra-low-impact paradise-living communities for many people. The sale of just one comfortable suburban dwelling in a fashionable area will fund such a community for around 50 people. How many such middle-class home-owners are out there at this very moment talking about the urgent need for redistribution of wealth? Who will be the first of these to be the change they wish to see in the world? If not now then when?
10 such courageous souls walking their talk would light a fire which would soon become a wild blaze. I invite them to step forward. And I call to all those who would throw themselves into such a blaze to step forward too, the many many thousands of earth-lovers who are only still in the destructive system because there is currently no apparent way out, who long to plant their roots and their children in the rich soil of a heart-centred, earth-based community of ecologically and socially conscious folk willing to be the midwives of a Paradise Earth.