Do you remember learning about the life cycle in grade school? Perhaps you were shown a circular diagram of a frog at its various stages of development. Or perhaps it was a seed sprouting roots, then sprouting stalks and leaves, then flowering, and then seeding again. Well, in the interest of expanding your worldview and coming to understand every aspect of your individual life in the context of all life, it’s time to get back to the basics of biology.
Life Is Change
Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from the life cycle is that all organisms are in a constant state of change. Life is always in flux, evolving or devolving according to sequences of cause and effect. Life can change for the better or for the worse, but it will never stand still. This means that every choice we make in our lives will set off a sequence of events that will ultimately have life-generating or life-deterioratingresults. No choice is perfectly neutral. Moreover, anything that attempts to suppress or obstruct the natural life cycle will set off a cycle of decay and decomposition. This, too, is the life cycle at work. That which cannot flow or grow ultimately breaks down, to make room for healthier, more sustainable life forms.
Life-Generating v. Life-Deteriorating
Everything you do has an effect. Your actions effect you, your environment, and every living being around you. In this context, I have found that life-generating and life-deteriorating are extremely helpful terms. You can apply them to every situation you find yourself in. Logically speaking, life-generating thoughts, behaviors, and actions cause life-generating effects; and life-deteriorating thoughts, behaviors, and actions cause life-deteriorating effects. Now, this may sound terribly obvious at first read, but fully taking in the meaning of this concept and applying it with focus and intention to every choice you make might take some practice before it becomes second nature to you.
For example, there are life-generating thoughts, life-generating foods, life-generating relationships, life-generating activities, life-generating occupations, life-generating ways of caring for the body, and on and on and on. Then, of course, there are the life-deteriorating ones.
Another way to think about this concept is in terms ofsustainability and unsustainability. With our increased awareness of environmental issues, we’ve come to use these terms a great deal in our household vocabulary. If it helps, you can use sustainable and unsustainable interchangeably with life-generating and life-deteriorating. Sustainability refers to practices that do not deplete or damage resources essential to life on this planet. Unsustainability refers to those practices that do deplete and cause permanent damage to our natural resources. These terms are most commonly used to describe agricultural and industrial practices, but you can apply them just as accurately to every aspect of your life such as your diet, your health, your relationships, and your work.
Author Daniel Quinn uses the terms takers (to describe members of unsustainable, life-deteriorating civilizations) and leavers (to describe those who support the interconnectedness of all planetary life). Thom Hartmann uses the terms older culture (referring to wise, indigenous, sustainable cultures) and younger culture (referring to hierarchal, greed-based societies). Taking in any of these terms, or conceptual pairings, will help to increase your perception. (For more about the differences between these two approaches to life and their effects on us all, I highly recommend reading Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, as well as various books by Daniel Quinn and Derrick Jensen, especially Jensen’s A Language Older Than Words.)
Please do not misinterpret me: I’m not suggesting we should live in a black-and-white universe. I do not mean to oversimplify the world we live in; I am awed by its immeasurable range of creative expression. I am simply calling your attention to two opposing trajectories: one that results in positive change (growth and evolution) and another that results in negative change (deterioration and degeneration). Between these two polarities lie an infinite variety of choices and outcomes. Practically speaking, however, I can say this with confidence: Every choice we make will set off a series of reactions that will ultimately either vitalize or devitalize life.
The very interplay of the opposing forces of growth and decay is what makes our world so dynamic. These opposing forces are necessary in nature. Our calling is simply to learn how to read them so we can support our lives and nurture them to their fullest potential. If we learn the natural laws of cause and effect, we can use this knowledge to choose and createpositive life experiences, instead of letting experiences unfold haphazardly, without consciousness or intention.
I, personally, found it so empowering to learn that making choices that support the wellbeing of all life is the best insurance for wellbeing for the individual. When the great web of life is supported, each of our lives is enhanced, protected and supported. Think about it: when you keep your carbon footprint in check and revise your world view to support life, the air you and your loved ones breathe is more alkaline and life-generating which means your cells and theirs will be more vital, more inclined toward beauty, health and harmony, not cancer and illness. It brings well-being, open-hearted joy, beauty and real health insurance in its wake – things that money could never buy!
Whereas I was raised among a group worldview that reinforced selfishness and petty competition, it was a relief to learn that there was another way. I was put at ease in my heart when I learned I had the free will to reject that worldview and appreciate all people as equals. What an honor and privilege it is to interact with others when we can enjoy them without hierarchy. Each with his/her own unique qualities lends perspective and color to the greater human tapestry.
What a relief to see that the lens I was given was an illusion simply held in place by one group’s perspective (despite how large that group happened to be it was just ONE perspective)! It wasn’t the only perspective. Turns out it is not a life-generating one. It leads to decay – decay of the soul, decay of the cells and tissues, decay of communities, decay of our planet. It is a life-deteriorating paradigm.
After seeing my options (through increased perception), I could choose: the big-picture, life-generating approach where all humans are of equal value harmonized with my heart. That is a world that works for humans in the long and short terms. Who would choose petty, acidic, life-deteriorating competition for an illusionary spot on an illusionary hierarchy over freely conducting love and joy with our fellow man?
Consider ten choices you make today and follow their effects mentally out for the next day, week, month and year to determine if they are generating life in your world or deteriorating the fabric of your body, your relationships, the future you desire. They may include how you speak to someone, a business decision, what you eat for lunch or if you decide to get out for some fresh air or not. Notice if your choices are generally life-generating or life-deteriorating. How can you make them more life-generating?
This concludes our second lesson. In next week’s edition of The Rose Program Insider, we will build on this discussion with a closer look at what we mean by “life force energy.”