Volume2 Issue 6 Editorial

View the pdf version here.


One of my fascinations as a school girl was to stand under the clocks on Flinders Street station in Melbourne at about five thirty in the afternoon and watch the hoards of workers and shoppers crisscrossing the intersection in all directions, each with a sense of purpose but with no visible connection to the others. Something similar would happen when a crowd of ninety thousand emptied out of a sporting ground into the surrounding parkland. The intrigue for me was that there was some underlying order or pattern in the apparent disorder and chaos and in some ways it was self organizing.

Over the years I have come to understand that this is in fact the case. All existence is systemic in that there is only one whole in which there are myriad other wholes each influencing the other and contributing to the existence of the larger whole. This is an amazing and intriguing mystery!

Scientists confirm this for us using the delightful phrase that creative systems are ‘far from equilibrium’. Mystics, such as Rumi, intuitively know it and exhort us to be welcoming of all life experience. Parents know it as they ponder the dynamics of an older child coming to terms with a younger sibling. We all know it as we ponder the experience of our evolving consciousness and an expanding awareness that there is no ‘out’ but only an invitation to an ever deeper relationship – a more inclusive embrace of our kinship with all being.

It’s a rocky road though as we move out of the fixed, secure framework of identity based on a perception of separation and opposites into a more adventurous holistic, but often insecure and culturally risky, sense of being.

At a one level it can bring to mind experiences of being physically lost  –walking in the bush without a path to follow, driving at night in an unknown suburb, crossing the desert on everlasting sand dunes, but it is more than that. Something is shifting in your soul, in the very depths of your being. A feeling of disorientation with time honoured practices that no longer hold meaning – belief systems and values that are no longer satisfying.

This edition of the journal offers much food for thought and heartfelt reflection on the interplay between chaos and creativity. Caroline Smith and Susan Lawler, with their significant academic credentials, make the density of some scientific knowledge accessible and relevant in our search for meaning.

Jan Morgan’s contribution evokes a range of responses, one of which might be the way in which the written word confines or exemplifies the mysteries of the creative process. Some would argue that it was indeed the development of alphabets that stimulated a movement in human awareness leading away from the vital essence of the natural world and the consequent objectifying of all that was not human. As we are now engaged in a process of re-vivifying the more than human world and experiencing the inner integrity of each being, I wonder is it not a coincidence that the indigenous people of this land felt no need for written language to give expression to their culture and so have retained a deep sensitivity to the animate nature of country.

Annie Edney addresses the critical question of our own relationship with the country of our birth and to what extent we too can identify with its songlines. Importantly her resolution of this conundrum came not through rational thinking but through a welling up in her subconscious – the stirrings of her soul.

Paul Sanders believes that ‘the objective world is not objective at all’ lies at the heart of this journey and Sasha Shtargot’s experience re-affirms this belief.

None of our contemporary cultural systems and institutions is built on a belief that humans are interwoven with and indeed dependant on the vitality of our planet. The legal and political systems, the economic and religious institutions and the governing principles of educational institutions are all focussed on the advancement of the human in isolation. Tiff Bollhorn’s article offers a refreshing and inspiring approach to children’s education that honours Earth as our primary teacher. To implement her insights would be to lead children into a wondrous and dynamic world with which to fall in love and so to preserve for generations to come.

As always, there is much more in these pages and in this year, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of EarthSong, we know that we are but a drop in the ocean of influence that is so needed in our planet today. Chaos abounds in such destructive guises but small movements like our own need not underestimate their capacity to be centres of creativity  and hope, trusting in the evolutionary powers that have brought us to this moment.