Blog Archives

TSM146 : The Relativity of Our Humanity

In this monologue I introduce the idea that there is a relativity to our humanity.

Many humans like to believe that we are more than human and that’s all, while others argue that we are merely a living organism and nothing more. I argue that we are both transcendent and ordinary ! Some people try so hard to be more than human and forget their humanness – at great cost ! While others revel and suffer in their humanness, ignorant of other aspects of their being.

We humans also believe that we are separate and forget that we are defined by our relationship to each other and the natural world. We are in relationship with all of existence ! We become consumed and preoccupied by our roles and forget that they are created by relationships.

There are many people who didn’t receive what they needed to feel like whole human beings. I ask if it’s possible to reskill people in love and intimacy to create new bonds and attachments in groups of people who are bound by suffering.

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An Update on My Health

Hey folks, I have just been to Peter Mac Cancer Hospital for two days, where I had my latest blood tests, Gatate Scan and consult. The good news is that after 6 months of treatment, my tumours have at last stopped growing, if not, shrunk a little (my nuclear medicine doc was pretty confident that it had shrunk a little but said his measurement was slightly different to the last measurement). My doctor does not want me to have another scan for 12 month. Every new PET Scan (which has a CT scan component) adds to the cumulative radiation my body has had to cope with – so one scan a year is great news ! At this point I will continue with the injections I’ve been having, rather than proceeding with the more aggressive treatment (which is both dangerous to my one kidney and has a 2 % risk of creating a form of leukaemia). I’ll give the injections another year, which means I’ll have to put up with more hypoglycemia, bloating, palpitations, full body and half twitches, memory problems, sluggish poop, risk of gall bladder kicking the bucket (working to prevent that with daily massages) and other miscellaneous side effects. It’s not absolutely clear that the injections are what has slowed my tumours. It may well be the other changes I’ve made in how I function or perhaps my tumours are going through a slow growth period ! But I’m confident that both the treatment and what I’m doing are making a difference. The challenge for the next year will be coping with the side effects and feeling healed, which is at times very difficult to feel because this drug is so damned nasty ! But I am alive right now – enjoying my life and I am very, very grateful that I’ve had more than a decade to make the most of what I have !

In the next 12 months I’ll also be looking into some new treatments that I know are on the horizon. Some of you may remember my story about the Teal’hia visiting us in 1997 and telling Rachel about a new form of tumour treatment and the dreams I had about Minicells, in relation to a particular company who are developing this technology. If I absolutely have to consider having treatment, I’m keen to follow up with the things I was told about and to reconnect with the company who were willing to consider treating me, once I had exhausted all other options. Now that I’m having significant side effects on my current treatment and the other one is considered dangerous, they may reconsider.

I’m blessed to have come a long way from here : https://gogetfunding.com/a-tumour-called-freedom/ ! At different times in the last decade, I’ve been pretty sick and I’m so glad I trusted my instincts and did what I felt I needed to do. I refused surgery because I felt it would kill me, although the doctors thought I was crazy ! And I said no to many other things because I didn’t believe that they would help !

One day perhaps I will write a book about the experience of living with tumours. And in it I will attack western medicine and alternative medicine equally, big pharma and almost every attitude that society has to illness. Illness hasn’t made me a kinder, gentler person. It’s made me angrier and angrier about how we treat one another as human beings. There are days when I get very upset with man’s attitude to illness (among many other things) and I have to remind myself of the things that were shared with  me … https://etandi.wordpress.com/page/2/?s=tumours.  Losing my sister Susy to Brain Tumours in February forced me to look very carefully at how we human beings function and societies attitude to illness. I’ll verbally assassinate the next person who suggests I try Bicarb Soda, after seeing what it did to my sister ! So called alternative treatments (black box ideologies) will be a major target in any book I write about my experience of illness.

Anyway, I’m here and that’s all that matters ! I’m stuck in a world where 99.9 % of people will never understand where I’m coming from in relation to illness and our myopic attitudes to living fully ! Perhaps the only thing I can do, is to impart what I’ve learned !

If I’ve learned just one thing, it’s this – It’s our attitude to whatever treatment we choose, that matters most and makes the greatest difference. Attitude creates belief, belief creates feeling, feeling creates disharmony or harmony, disease or healing.

Thanks for sticking by me !

Give me a few days to recover and then I’ll try to catch up on responding to your comments !

Best wishes to all,

Bright. 😉

PS. Little Sun are you OK ?

 

TSM138 : The Shadow of My Ancestors

We all have ancestors alive and dead, who loom over us like long dark shadows that arouse something unfathomable deep inside of us. In this trek down the dirt road, I introduce you to 4 of my dead ancestors and share a little of who they were and what they meant to me.

We are all experts in one thing and one thing only – ourselves. It’s my wish that by sharing intimate things about my own life, I strike a chord that resonates in you. And in so doing we remember our common humanity and that we are all dealing with the same fundamental issues in life.

😉 Bright Someone

Grand child of a Steel Worker, Great grand child of a 100 year old Roman Catholic.

 

Creators of Experience (Steering the Dream)

A few months ago I received an email from a A (a FB friend and fellow reader of this blog) and I thought for a long time about how to respond. Along the way I received more messages than I could keep up with and just didn’t get around to responding. So today I pulled my finger out and wrote a response back to A. After sending it off I decided I would post it here (without personal details) because I’ll be away for two months after today and I thought this might provide some benefit to other people (A has given his consent to do this). And if not, I wanted to share it because A’s experience highlights how we are all struggling with the same issues, the same frustration and the same uncertainty. A is one of those people who is teaching me how to live, by reminding me that we are all fundamentally in the same place.

Thank you A for the reminder and the lesson !

I am not someone who is free of problems. I am human being and I suffer just like you. What I do have is lots of experience with suffering and an ability to reflect honestly on who I am and the mistakes I have made.

May this be of help to some one !

Brighty. 😉

 

Dear A :

You wrote a profound email to me that touches on many of the issues that face all of us – fear and uncertainty about how we should move through life, doubt about what we are doing and have done, wonder at possibility, pain and the sense that there is more within and without and that life is but a dream. These are things that effect all of us at different periods of our life and sometimes they are themes that return again and again. I think maybe the best way to respond to you is to address some of the key things that you said.

Thank you for what you have shared with me. It took a lot of courage to send these words to the other side of the world, without knowing how they would be interpreted.

Let me begin my response by saying this. Everyone of us tries to do our best in life – be it the most developed person in the world or the asshole or tyrant. We are all trying in one way or another. And none of us knows the one best way that we should be. There are no shoulds, only countless experiments with what seems right at the time. Sometimes we are aware of what we are doing but mostly we are not. We are all prey to the mind, as it moves between stillness/silence and mental activity/noise. We experience the inner and outer world and we like and dislike and react accordingly. Thoughts and feelings arise and we either witness them and let them go or we engage with them and get pulled along for the ride and have to endure the consequences – be they further thoughts, feelings or actions. We experience all manner of things and some are good and some are not. And along the way we suffer. Mostly we suffer because we wish things were other than how they are – the old like and dislike issue again. Real happiness, real contentment, real peace – arises when we sit with what is and there is acceptance in our hearts. And how do we do that ? By seeing all that arises in each and every moment. But that is hard work to maintain awareness 24/7. So the best that we can do is to notice whenever we remember to notice. And in these moments we see what we are experiencing within and without. And as we do, we just experience without judgement. And if we judge, we see that too and accept that it’s there.

It is OK to suffer. I don’t agree with the Buddhist doctrine that I once followed that says we should aim to be free of suffering. Because suffering is a great teacher. A teacher that transforms us and leads us towards a greater understanding of who we are and how things are. So please, don’t ever deny your suffering or see futility in it. It has enormous value to you, to all those you love, to your descendants and those effected by your life’s work.

If I have learnt one thing from Dude it is this. We are here to experience everything completely. We should love as best as we can, we should hurt as best as we can, we should suffer as best as we can, we should feel peace as best as we can, we should be kind as best as we can, we should be wild as best as we can, we should enjoy our desires and their fulfillment as best as we can and we should be who we truly are as best as we can. There is no liberation, only seeing things as they really are and being true to what we are. No becoming, just fully being. No better out there in some distant future, just this perfect moment – no matter whether it is full of pain and suffering or perfect bliss.

The problem with many entheogens, drugs, ceremonies or rituals is that they create temporary states. States in which we maybe able to see from the top of the mountain but states that are ephemeral and largely artificial. Eventually we have to come down and return to ordinary life. No higher state can last forever. Only the state of being can last forever. And sometimes being has great awareness and sometimes it has little awareness. In Buddhism there is the idea that once one reaches enlightenment and loses all sense of self, of I – that one must return to the market place with gift bearing arms (alms also). (See the Ten Ox Herding Pictures for an explanation of this journey.) What this means is that once we free ourselves from the things that bind us, we are obliged to return to normal life and to bring the gifts of what we have learned – love, awareness, compassion and so on. Because that is real enlightenment. To be able to live in the world with how things are, not on some lofty mountain or in a cave, where we are free of all problems and all agitations.

We are the main creators of the experience in some strange and fantastic way.

Yes, what you have said is true. We create reality and experience at two levels. We create reality via external perception (the 5 senses) and internal perception (mirrors of the 5 senses, thoughts, feelings, felt sense in the body, memories, values and beliefs) and through our expression of being (thoughts, feelings, behaviours and actions). We have so much more awareness and control than we ALLOW ourselves to realise. We set up so many patterns that create experience but we do not see them. Often we create incredible complexity and stress by bringing too many variables into our life. The key here is to simplify, simplify, simplify. The fewer variables in our life, the less stress we experience and the greater opportunity to be ourselves and to experience what we wish to experience.

Somehow the image stuck in my mind of our prison standing there like something that was formed by the limitations of our mind and now the limiting prison bars are not there anymore because we realized that they were created by us.

Yes you are correct. We create the limitations. It’s not that the mind is limited, it’s how we use it and experience it that is limited. Dude has the same mind as us but he differs in how he uses it.

Maybe we are not the little me running through this big world exploring this reality, maybe we are this universe that is dreaming itself.

So what are we going to dream???

Yes totally true – at one level. God and/or the universe is experiencing itself through us. But we are both the small self (little me) and the greater self (everything) together as one. There is both separation and no separation. And everything depends on how we ALLOW OURSELVES TO PERCEIVE AND TO FEEL. When we allow ourselves to regularly make the shift from small self to greater self and back again and we see that both co-exist at once, then we are free, then we OK with what is, then we are truly creators and explorers of reality.

I do have a lot of pain in my life around this so I wanted to use that.

Never let it go to waste my friend. It will utterly transform you and help you to become a guide and a teacher in your own way. And it will help you to make healthier choices in the future and to accept the choices that others make. Sometimes that is the hardest thing wanting to save others from making bad choices. Take it from someone who who has made many bad choices and sees family members make bad choices ! Learning to let go and accept the choices that others make is invaluable. I fought against accepting the choices of others for so long, wanting to prevent their suffering but by doing so I caused myself and them more stress and discomfort. If we take away others bad choices, we take away their opportunities to learn. And there is no greater teacher than pain and suffering. There is of course natural pain – changes to the body and the suffering that arises from wishing it was otherwise. And there is created pain – which is the pain that arises from situations and the suffering that arises from the like and dislike and wishing it was otherwise. But it is all unpleasant. What matters is not that it is not experienced but how we react to the experience. Can we see value in it ? Obviously you can and that makes all the difference !

Is there a way to steer the dream? How did I create this knot in my life?

How can I untie it?

I think there are a couple of interesting points here. Is what you want really what you want ? And what is at the core of this dream ? Sometimes what we really want is what is at the core of the dream and not what is on the outside. And yes, there is a way to steer the dream. First we should let go of all expectation and learn to accept what is. Be satisfied with what we have experienced because maybe that is what we really needed. Second, we can choose to react less and to make better choices by thinking through the consequences of all of our actions. We can think about what we want in our life and what steps would be required to reach it/achieve it, what good and what bad will arise as a result of these steps and to take action in this direction. Third, we can constantly evaluate – is this the direction wish to go in ? Why, why not ? What can I do about it ? What do I control and what don’t I control ? We can visualise aspects of our life that we wish to come to fruition and imagine how it feels to experience them – to see them as we wish them to be and bring that feeling into our day to day experience, rather than letting doubt sabotage our experience. Or we can throw away all anchors related to a future destination and just experience what life brings us, being satisfied that this is where we need to be. As to how you created this knot. It was created by causes and effects – one thing led to another. Much of it the result of your thinking and feeling and dwelling on certain beliefs, ideas and images. Much of it influenced by many different layers of conditioning. What may look like a knot may really be a puzzle or series of paths. The knot maybe an illusion or a mis-perception. How you got to that point, was by making choices in thinking, feeling and action, that may have sometimes been done from a place with little awareness. So don’t untie what may not exist. See what is and choose to function in a way that leads to healthier choices – thoughts, feelings and actions.

Maybe the ETs see a certain sacredness around what we believe and do not want to point out that we could believe something different, because it is our “ god given right to believe whatever the fuck we want and they love us no matter what…?

Spot on A ! They respect how we are and will only guide us or teach us when we ask for help and only if they feel we truly need it.

You said sacredness and I interpret that as holiness or beauty or uniqueness and I think they see that. Our belief is our belief and they do not believe they have any right to interfere with that. Sure they want to see us grow up but we have to get there the hard way – by growing though suffering – not by having someone wave a wand and fixing everything.

I dont really have a recipe yet for changing my belief etc. above but think that for me realizing this is a good and probably the biggest start. Maybe its BS but for some reason I have been leaning this way.

Yes, that is good A. Start with where you’re at. Don’t try to be anything other than what you are. In time your beliefs will change according to your feelings and your perceptions of your experiences. But I think its best to let them change naturally, organically – rather than forcing them to change – especially because someone tells you to. That’s why you should take everything I say and check how you feel about it and then throw it all out. If it has any value, it will come back to you, after you live and see if it’s true.

I have been in fear around finances most of my life actually and am ready for something new. All my spiritual search and ayahuasca ceremonies has not helped with it yet though.

I understand the fear around finances A. I too experienced a great deal of fear regarding money. But financial poverty has also partly been a choice in my own life. I have been rich in time and relationships and experiences. If I learned one thing, it is to accept the fear and let it go. Money comes and goes. If you want permanently good finances, you have to be willing to give up other things. For most people it is time. I value time and so I have an old ratty house and little money for other things. In much of Australia Affluenza is killing people. They have perfect cars and houses and miserable lives, stress, anxiety and sickness. What they need is time and opportunities to discover what else they are, apart from their work roles. They lack the willingness to give up so called security and step into the unknown. Your being ready for something new is a wonderful place to be. You can build on that by seeing where you are and by focusing on what you have. With that behind you, step into the unknown. Take risks regarding your future and see where it takes you. Focus on enjoyment and gratitude and not on the difficulty and wishing things were different.

As to the spiritual search and Ayahuasca ceremonies – seeking is not the way. Living and trusting are the way. LIVE FULLY. FEEL EVERYTHING. TRUST IN YOU AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING. There is no better place than here ! Seeking becomes an obstacle because it implies that what I need is out there in the future somewhere. The seeking mind – that aspect of your mind that seeks – cannot stop seeking because that is what it does. It’s role is to seek. So there will always be something more to find. Something else with all the answers. Something else to help you see, to help you experience, to provide you with lasting peace and fulfilment. Enjoy learning about new things but do not allow your total being to be driven by the seeking mind. See how it functions and let it go. Picture if you will a man in a cave who cannot see out. There is a voice on the outside saying, “I know the way out of the cave. I have all the answers. Follow me.” Only when the man ignores the voice, trusts in himself and his own perception, does he see that the cave is just an illusion. Turn to no one to help you find the way. Turn only to yourself and trust in what you learn.

I think we believe a certain believe until it falls away in a way.

Yes, yes, yes. Growth is all about letting go. The more we let go, the more that what is always inside of us comes through. We shed away beliefs like layers of skin. At the core of our being is a great luminosity upon which all belief has been created. I think that one of the important functions of ageing (and I include here growing old, sick and dying) is learning to see how things are and learning to let go of everything – especially our beliefs. Because beliefs get in the way of what is. And what is fluctuates in every moment. Life is eternal fluctuation without any certainty or permanence – only the illusion of certainty and permanence.

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(From https://bashny.net/t/en/269915)

The image you attached of the sheep all crowding in to get through the fence and then moving outwards, is a very powerful image. We are like that, bound by the limitations we create within our minds and by the way we add complexity to our lives. One one side of the fence are those who are bound by complexity, stress, worry, obligation, responsibility, becoming and on the other side of the fence are those who recognise choice, simplicity, the flux of mental states, cause and effect, acceptance, mature responsibility and being. We can choose to recognise where we are and to make changes to how we function, in such a way as to exist on the other side of the fence. It does not always depend on favourable conditions. They can help but the greatest benefit arises from seeing how we function.

Thank you A for reaching out to me ! I do not know much of anything and you should check everything I have said with your own heart and mind. But I do understand how suffering feels from my own experiences. If I am a master of anything, it is a master of suffering. My life has not turned out at all the way I had thought it would be or the way that I wished it would be. But it is perfect and I am grateful for all my suffering, all my mistakes, all my stuff ups, all the poverty and all the connections I have made with other human beings, who have also found themselves trying to swim to the other shore. As I have said many times before, we are like children placing our big toe into an endless sea, uncertain of what to do. We know nothing but everything that we need is inside of us. We are the countless small children afraid to enter the sea but we are also the sea. The difference between humans and ETs, is that they know their true nature.

Trust my friend that that aspect of you that is luminous and eternal knows exactly what you need to do and what is best for you. Who knows what the tide may bring ?

 

ET Conversations 2 – Life Is Eternal

Sometimes I blog when I feel bad and sometimes that’s useful and sometimes it’s not. Today I turned 47 and I had an argument with someone who matters to me and spent half the day feeling sick with tumour pain because of it. But the day isn’t over yet, there’s a lightening storm here and I am trying let everything go and to remember to allow myself to feel the way I wish to feel. On days like this, when for one reason or another I feel overwhelmed, I try to remember the many wonderful experiences I have had with my ET friends.

Some of you will know that one of the most profound experiences of my life was when on January 19th, 2011, the Teal’hia and Sar’won’dee took me on board a Sar’won’dee craft, to merge with the light. I’ve talked a little about that experience (see videos below) but what I didn’t tell you is that I know it has happened before in other lives and it profoundly affected how I functioned in those lives. Also in the period we think of as the after life, I was given something to remind me of where we all come from. In my darkest moments I try to remember what I have been given during these experiences. Today is one such day.  And so I share the words that were shared with me, so that you too might understand and know that everything is OK. I can’t prove anything to you. I can only offer you my own experience.

One of the most powerful lessons of the mythical Buddha, is his lesson on the nature of things – all phenomena are impermanent. Meaning, everything is impermanent, everything will come and go. And what my ET friends have taught me is that while ever we experience separation, this is absolutely true. But there is a way in which something lasts forever. That way involves the complete dissolution of all individual identity and I experienced that as merging with the light. But because the light is everything, it is also possible  to remember the individual self and to be everything at once. The light includes all that you have ever been and all that you will ever be and everything that has ever been and that will ever be.

Sometimes life is so hard, we wonder how we can go on. Today my son broke up with his girlfriend of 15 months and it has caused him great pain. The girl’s mother if giving him hell. My son has had an incredibly lonely life at school and his girlfriend became very important to him. But he compromised himself and created 2 different personas – one that was real and one that was what others wanted to see. Now after 15 months of pretending and several years of pretending, so that people would like him, he has said, ‘enough’ and he doesn’t want to feel torn in two any more. It’s been making him sick and put an immense strain on our relationship. And so as his dad, this has been incredibly hard for me to witness, especially since it seems like a repeat of many of my own experiences as a young man. Experiences that led to the development of my tumours. So I remind myself, this is what life is. Drama, pain, suffering, joy, love, desire, mistakes, choice and forgetting our true nature. Forgetting our true nature. Forgetting our true nature.

And that is what merging with the light was all about, remembering my true nature.

Rather than recreate the entire experience (which I’ll try to do when I write the book on my encounters), let me give you a few exchanges that took place on the Sar’won’dee craft that night. I’ll simply refer to the entities by their race name, rather than their individual names. Because what follows is mostly just dialogue, it doesn’t give you a sense of the full context or the time over which it took place. And I should remind you that in the light, there was no sense of time.

There will be many people in time who will dismiss my experience and others who will say that the ETs took me into a hologram and lied. But none of them were there or know me. And neither do they know the ETs I think of as friends and family.

 

ENTERING THE LIGHT

Sar’won’dee : We wish to show you something special, so that you know how much you are loved. We will take you to where God exists, to see what God is doing. We will take you beyond this world, to understand the creation of this world. Do you wish to see ? To experience God’s presence ? 

Sar’won’dee : We wish to introduce you to this greater reality, so that you might know from where you came and why it is that we have created you. Do you wish to go ?

Teal’hia 1 : Look Bright, look around you. Can you feel the light ?

Me : Yes. I feel the light. I feel so loved.

Teal’hia 1 : This is the being that created you. This is what we are. We are the being who created you because we love you. We want you to live and know love. We are here to awaken you to that love Bright. Despite all that you have suffered in your life, we want you to know that you are loved. We are the God that you see in the light, that you feel in the light. It is the same God that is inside of you. He is here with love inside of you. Do you understand Bright ? Do you feel it ?

Me : Yes. Yes.

 

MERGING WITH THE LIGHT

Teal’hia 1 : Do you hear us, do you see us, do you feel us  ? We are still here inside of you and beside you. You are now one with God. Do you feel God within you ? You are one with God and he is within you. Look Bright, we wish to show you what God is doing…this is our work.

Me : What is happening ? What is it that I’m seeing ?

Teal’hia 1: You feel it Bright, you know.  You know what this is.

Teal;hia 1 : Yes, God is creating souls. This is our work. Yes Bright, we are creating souls. We are creating souls. They are called many things but they are the essence that is God. Do you understand ? Everything is God. God creates souls, we create souls. God brings consciousness to the entire universe. God is awake and we are helping him to know life in all it’s forms. This is our work. To love what we create. To love all that God creates. To nurture. To create with love. To help all beings know they are one with God and cannot be separated, even for a moment !

Teal’hia 2 : No Bright, you cannot, cannot be separated from God, no matter how much you suffer. God is always there loving you. You must trust in God’s love. 

Teal’hia 2 : Feel Bright. Feel gods love inside of you – creating you. Feel that you are God. This is what it means to be GOD INCARNATE. You exist within God and he in you. You are not separate, always whole. Feel his creation in you. Do not perceive yourself simply as a human being whom God has forgotten. See all of this and know that you are within his creation and it is all within you. Feel it now. Do not speak.

I AM JUST FEELING. THERE IS LUMINOUS LIGHT EVERYWHERE AND I AM JUST FEELING. AND I AM THE LIGHT AND EVERYWHERE THE LIGHT IS WITHIN ME. I AM NOT JUST BRIGHT. I AM EVERYTHING THAT IS THE LIGHT. NO QUESTIONS, NO ANSWERS, JUST BEING THE LIGHT.

 

AFTER MERGING WITH THE LIGHT

Teal’hia 2 : Remember this Bright, for you will return here one day. One day when you are ready to return here. Do not forget what you have experienced. Do not forget what you have. It is always there inside of you. It is there inside of you. It can never be lost. Do not be afraid Bright, for THIS IS YOUR HOME. Everything else you experience is passing. THIS IS YOUR HOME. 

Sar’won’dee : We shall return you now Bright. Do you wish to see anything or experience anything before we leave ?

Me : What happened to my body just now ?

Teal’hia 1 : We moved you from your body. Your body was safe.

Me : Where did we go ?

Sar’won’dee : Beyond the realm of the body, where the body cannot go. 

Me : You mean as if I had died ?

Teal’hia 2 : Yes Bright. But you did not die. 

Sar’won’dee : Remember the peace within Bright. Do not let confusion overwhelm you. When you return to this experience, trust in what you have seen and it will guide you. Let us leave now Bright.

 

Big Heroes (in little bodies)

Thanks Mary Jane and Herb for bringing the following video to my attention. I find the boy in this story an incredible inspiration. This is what I mean by real love – a selfless act from one heart to another. This is what ETs want to see in us – more Teddy Bear making 12 year olds ! 😉 It takes so little effort to enhance the lives of others ! Well, maybe a bit more effort, if you’re a 12 year old who has given up his X-Box !

 

Floods & The Things You Do for Love

froggyThis Spring has been absolutely amazing so far. We’ve had 3 floods – 2 of which came up under our house and we thought for a while the house might go under but it didn’t. Our normally dry creek became a raging river that spanned as much as 700 m in areas. The floods were terrifying and at the same time exhilarating ! It was wonderful to see all that water, when only a month before we had to buy water in to fill our tanks. Some of you will recall from my videos, that the floods were a major threat to the small things on our property and I spent a great deal of time rescuing them. The floods totally destroyed the fences at the rear of our property (about 1.5 km of fence) and some of the fence in other areas. It also drowned rabbits (which was good because they are an introduced pest), drowned lots of meat ants near the house (which was kind of good as we had unsuccessfully tried to exterminate many of them because they were getting into the house and gardens and making life hell for other ants), drowned lizards (which was bad) and probably drowned some kangaroos, wallabies and Echidnas (which was also bad). At least one Echidna survived and over the next few weeks he cleaned out several of the meat ant nests across the property and probably consumed a hundred thousand plus ants ! He must be one fat Echidna ! The land here transformed from barren, parched land, to land that was inundated with water. As a result we now have hundreds of frogs out talking day and night (after spending years under ground), loads of frog spawn and tadpoles, millions of mosquitoes and midges (who are making life hell for humans and animals), water in billabongs that haven’t been filled for years and millions of tiny aquatic invertebrates (copepods, midge larvae, dragon fly nymps, flat works, brine shrimp etc.). As result of the floods, an entire aquatic ecosystem has come to life, that has otherwise laid dormant for the last 5 years. And it’s been thoroughly enjoyable to watch it blossom ! As a result of the rain and the newly emerged aquatic ecosystem, there are flow on effects that have transformed the entire property. There is grass everywhere and some of it is 7-8 feet tall (which is making mowing within 100 m of the house a nightmare !); there are thousands of insects (some of which species we haven’t seen in years); there are migratory birds coming and going; there is a new growth taking place in all the trees; the birds are going mad bonking and breeding (most are at it again for the second time this Spring); and our vegetable garden is better than it’s ever been (with some plants 7 feet tall) ! But it isn’t all wonderful. As time  goes by there are certain changes that are occurring that are less desirable. The mosquitoes are making it impossible to enjoy what would normally be the best time of the year to be outside gardening, bird watching, exercising and reading a book in the sun. The mosquitoes and midges are likely to cause several diseases in kangaroos and as a result there numbers maybe halved over the next few months. And of course the water is drying out, which may mean we have to begin buying in water by the start of summer. Worse still, is that this amazing aquatic ecosystem is starting to dry out. Which means that in a couple of months all the invertebrates who live in the water will disappear and along with them, any tadpoles who haven’t transformed. In time however here will be other changes which are good, including an eruption of Eucalyptus saplings, as a result of all the seed that will have been dispersed in the silt. This will of course accelerate my efforts to revegetate the property and enhance it’s biodiversity.

Like all phenomenon, the flood and it’s short term effects are brief. But it is a critically important event in the life of the flood plain and a normal event that used to happen here on a regular basis. Like all phenomenon, there are both negative and positive aspects. And while I like the positive aspects, the negative aspects also have their place. Without millions of mosquitoes and midges (and larvae – little red worm like critters), tadpoles have less to eat and so they are fewer in number. So when I go out at night and I hear the cacophony of frog song that fills the air, I remind myself that those annoying, buzzing, biting little bastards, make all this possible. Which means that I just have to bite the bullet and accept that this is how it is. I had planned on putting fish into the billabongs to keep the mozzie numbers down but I changed my mind, realizing that it was a necessary evil !

We’ve had so much water that we had brine shrimp and copepods grow in puddles in our driveway (which I carefully drove around !) and tadpoles grow in long puddles by the side of the road.

After the first flood, things started to dry out very quickly and so there were thousands of tadpoles with no place to go, except through the pearly gates with old St Peter ! So me being me, I went and rescued them and filled the 3 ponds around the house with tadpoles. Now the same thing is happening, only this time the air is swarming with mozzies. Yesterday I rescued more than a hundred tadpoles (of an endangered species) from a thin puddle on the side of the road next to our property. In the process I received more than 80 mosquito bites. The mozzies have been carrying Ross River Fever, Barmah Forest Virus and the so called Zombie Virus but I’m optimistic that I’ll stay free of nasties or at least develop an immunity to them. I’m not a sucker for punishment, I just can’t stand to sit by and watch things suffer and/or die needlessly, when I can do something to help them. Yes it is playing God (a term my ex always threw at me !) and it is taking away from the natural bounty that would feed birds like crows and insects like ants. But I figure it also helps every single individual and the species. This year for example, I have saved some where in the order of about 5,000 tadpoles. Now if just 10 % survive, that’s 500 frogs that didn’t exist before and if 90 % survive (and there’s no reason why the numbers can’t be that high given the lack of predators), that’s 4,500 frogs that have a chance to go out and make a life for themselves. As a result, other things will benefit and there will be thousands more frogs from future generations !

So, is it worth the hundreds of mozzie bites I’ve had so far from rescuing tadpoles ? I think so, even if I did contract a mosquito born virus or other mosquito related illness !

So, as each billabong on the property approaches the end of it’s aquatic life, I’ll rescue as many invertebrates and tadpoles as I can, relocating them into the 3 ponds around the house and the new one I built in the vegy garden. So that I can extend the life of the aquatic ecosystem just a little longer and give each individual creature a slightly longer life than it would have had and a chance to breed and make more of it’s own kind. There will be plenty that I don’t rescue that are left over for the scavengers to eat.

So why you might wonder why I’m telling you any of this. Not to blow my own horn ! But because the stories of all phenomenon are worth telling. This is a story about life and death, about impermanence, about natures cycles, about noticing beauty and suffering, about finding meaning in helping another living thing, about love and interconnection. But mostly it’s a story about love. I love the natural world and feel totally inseparable from it. And I would say the same thing to you, no matter what you feel. You are Earth. Earth is in you and you are in it. Earth is composed of you and every other living thing that resides with us. And we can all play a role in helping to alleviate suffering, in encouraging life and in keeping it going. Through the choices we make and in our behaviours and reactions towards the natural world. Especially those of you, who like me, live in the country side. You can all do something to help the natural world to flourish. And lets be honest about one thing. Self interest is always at the heart of helping other living things. Because when we help something else to suffer less and to live, when it would otherwise have perished, we help ourselves to feel connected and to feel that we are part of the whole. And connection is the root of all great feeling and what makes life worth living. People talk about oneness and yet they exclude so much. Yet the act of inclusion takes so little effort – whether it’s people we dislike or noticing the needs of the natural world. If only we remember the power of love and our capacity to create good, then anything is possible.

I want to reach the end of my life, knowing that I have tried my best to alleviate suffering and to bring light into the world !

Outside of this blog, no one but the people who know me intimately, know anything about my rescue efforts and the thousands of new frogs who will arrive on Earth soon. But each tadpole knows that some strange being picked it up out of the mud and gave it a new life in a world that offered infinite possibilities. And that my friends, is all that really matters.

Sadness

As a therapist/group work facilitator and just an ordinary human being, I worked with a lot of people who had very, very sad lives and I saw a lot of very sad things. But wherever I could I tried to bring light into people’s lives, to alleviate their sadness – if not permanently, then just for a little while.

I’m going to bed soon, so some other time I’ll share some stories of sadness with you but until then I wonder if you might share your own or someone else’s story of sadness with the rest of us !

Rather than fixing everything, sometimes we just need to sit with how things are. There is nothing more powerful than just being present for another living creature. No doing, just being. So let the sadness come…

 

For Little Sun

Sometimes people who burned brightly dissapear from our lives and we never know what happened to them. One of those bright lights has just reappeared for me ! Little Sun, this is for you. Thank god your still here ! 😉

Here’s to all the people who try so hard to continue to exist !

 

 

Mind and Life XXX

This is a great series of dialogues between Buddhists and Scientists hosted by the Dalai Lama. This is the 30th year of dialogues !

Mind and Life Institute : https://www.mindandlife.org/.

 

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