We have been having terrible bush fires this summer, mainly in Victoria. In America they are called wild fires; wild is a very good description. At the time I am writing this the fires are just coming under control for the first time. They have been burning and rampaging through the forests for over fifty days, eventually forming a ferocious fire-front stretching out over many kilometres, and consuming over a million hectares (2.25 million acres) of bush/forest.
Reading these words creates unpleasant images, but our images are nothing like the reality of such a fire. Bush fires have changed in the last century or so. They were once considered part of the natural cycle of our open forests, our ‘bush.’ Many of our indigenous plants have tough seeds that will only germinate after a hot fire has swept over them, and most of the wild grasses benefit from a regular burn. A couple of centuries ago our bush had a large population of small hopping and browsing animals, like the Bettongs, Pademelons, Bandicoots, and many others. These shy, elusive marsupials continually grazed the undergrowth on the floor of the ‘bush.’ However, with the advent of white settlers, the European red fox was introduced to the environment, breeding out of all proportion to the available food. Add to this the huge numbers of feral cats, a ferocious predator like no other, for this land had never evolved a feline. Then, to compound the problem, add rabbits, a rapid-breeding competitor for the native marsupials. Rabbits were no help in eating the bush undergrowth as they prefer open grassland.
Together they practically eliminated all the smaller marsupials, allowing the shrubs, wattles, tussocks, grasses and natural undergrowth, along with all the escaped introduced plants that have become invasive weeds, to grow thick and dense in the ‘bush.’ For this reason, bush fires of today burn with a far greater heat than ever before as the fire feeds on the extra undergrowth. It burns with a heat intensity capable of killing trees that had never before succumbed to a bush fire, trees which had previously thrived on them. All that has changed. Travelling at speeds up to eighty kilometres an hour, a bush fire is terrifying. There was a time when bush fires were reasonably constructive within Nature, we are now getting bush fires that are almost solely destructive.
Consider the wildlife in this conflagration. A team from the Koala Foundation walking through the burnt-out bush saw dead koalas lying everywhere. On the main road going through the forest a koala lay dead about every twenty metres or so. The few survivors were burnt, starving, and stressed, for there is no habitat or food for any of the survivors. Shocked and emotional farmers in the areas said they could hear the koala’s intense screaming as the flames engulfed them. All the gliders, all the many possum species, all the tiny marsupials, the quoll, the echidna, wombat, all the common and rare – most died. Huge numbers of small and tiny bush birds, the parrots, the list goes on and on. On top of all this thousands of sheep, along with many cattle and horses were destroyed. Add homes and farms, destroyed. A few people died, many families are pushed to the edge of desperation, some farmers are broken, and rural suicide will continue. It is a sad fact that one farmer commits suicide every four or five days when severe drought lays bare the farmland, stripping the farmers down to their deepest financial fears and despair.
Holistically, what happens in Oz will have an effect on the world, in the same manner that Third World poverty affects all of us in ways that we will probably never know. Indifference is easy, but what we don’t know can and will affect us. This is wholeness; mostly unrealised, we all share the so-called good and the so-called bad, so let us look at all this from a metaphysical viewpoint. First, we must consider cause and effect. In the case of our bush fires, the physical cause is fairly obvious, the usual delinquent arsonists and the occasional lightning, along with the common governmental neglect of the tens of millions of hectares that yield very few political votes. The resulting blaze is rather like a tsunami of fire, sweeping a huge swathe of Change and Opportunity before it, a de-structuring that opens the way for restructuring.
We are living in times of great Change. Life is moving into extremes. Human behaviour is a perfect example of this, accompanied by human diseases, weather patterns, and volcanic activity. On good authority I am told that the magnetic field of the sun reverses its north/south polarity ever eleven years, or so, and that like us, weather patterns on our neighbouring planets are also going through major climatic upheaval. Change! The stuff of life . . . not death. The only scenario for our future that bothers me is that everything will continue as before. More of the same . . . that frightens me. We need change, big Change. We need the old patterns of self-indulgence, the ‘me, me, me’ of modern society to be erased. We need to grow spiritually, in consciousness, and if we refuse to do this voluntarily, then, on both a personal and national level, our own resistance will bring on the pressure of an explosive counter force.
You and I, and people like us are the exceptions. If you are even reading this, you are no longer the normal/average person. If you are making a ‘real’ effort to live in a way that creates spiritual growth and harmony in your life, you are very much one of the minority. Jesus talked to the few, not the many, and only a few of the few had any idea what he was talking about! Today, the few are even fewer. Today, we are suffering so badly from spiritual malnutrition that it has become a disease, and this disease will attract mega-massive Change.
The wild bush fires and huge tsunamis are not simply about destruction and death, they are an indication that the basic elements of this planet are flexing and twisting. The elements of fire, air, earth, water and ether on this planet are, as always, the first to respond to the torsion in consciousness. These elements are the very building blocks of life. Linear time may well measure change, but it does not cause it; real change is caused by conditions in consciousness.
Change and repetition do not go together. Much of our life on earth is locked in repetition. ‘Locked in’ is not natural to Nature; change is. One of Nature’s responses to this is to withdraw the consciousness of animal species that are over specialised – locked in – to a limiting way of life. We name this ‘withdrawal of consciousness’ as extinction, but in a greater reality there is no such thing as extinction. Death is an imposter; extinction is a concept based in separation. Both come from the consensus illusion that linear time rules. True, some of these specialist species will survive in zoos and wildlife parks, but they will be out of the natural cycle of life. Wild fire, flood water, cyclonic air and volcanic earth are Nature’s response to the call in consciousness for Change. Such dramatic change strongly impacts our lives.
But what about the ethereal response, the ethers? This we do not see; this, we feel. All life has an ethereal, celestial connection. It is probably our strongest, yet most subtle of connections. It is our soul that responds to the ethereal call for Change. It is the Spirit of Nature that responds to the ethereal call for Change, and it is the more basic elements of earth, air, fire, and water that manifest and express the energetic expression of Change through the elemental kingdom. The ethers are the unseen ruler of the elements, the unseen connection between the physical bodies and subtle metaphysical forms; the ethereal connection, if you will, between heaven and earth. I use this as a metaphor, but it works, for while heaven is a ‘state’ of consciousness, earth is an ‘expression’ of consciousness.
Be shocked by the wild fires and tsunamis out there, but always remember that it is you and I to whom the message of Change is being delivered. ‘Out there’ is but the messenger; it is in your life that Change awaits its moment to explode.