We always place freedom within a very strictly human container in our discourses, don't we? Our freedom of expression is inscribed in social, economic, cultural, and political confines that limit them.
Yet the chaotic collapsing of a much vaster, borderless ecological meltdown forces us to revisit the biodynamics of freedom, to re-introduce them within the world of domains, as defined by microbiologists, thus ushering us back into Earth's super organism.
Our consciousness hasn't yet caught up with the liberating force of this massive ecological transformation. But what most of us currently, and understandably, only perceive as a formidable force of destruction born of human excessive extractive hubris is also an invitation to dig deeper and build a way out of the walls with which we fenced ourselves.
Wandering away from these bubbles we can envisage freedom as a constantly creative ecological entanglement.
Freedom can then morph into action and container at the same time as it turns into its own becoming, in constant relationship with the wild alive.
This nesting engages us toward a deep time memory recall of our original cohesive participation within the greater metabolic cycles of biosphere Earth.
Freedom of expression has traditionally been associated with words like democracy, which means, etymologically at least, 'people power’.
But climate breakdown invites us to step outside worlds and words centring on and defined solely by people. It calls for new words but first and foremost a new orientation around the axis of our primary life matrix, the land, and all that it has animated for eons.
Our bodies show us the way of the wild. A biodynamic craniosacral practitioner constantly returns to this embryological axis of formation or midline, the energetic signature left by our primal streak and notochord which have appeared by the third week of our lives as vital furrows of implantation for our future spine to grow.
Our cells differentiate to the tune of metabolic fields around this organising midline, moved by the same life Intelligence that breathes the land.
We need to turn the incarcerated freedom our social constructs delineated into a fully incarnated one in related enmeshment with all that is animated on earth.
We must liberate freedom to magnify the 'champ des possibles', or field of possibilities.
The kind I enter when I listen to Sam Lee sing with Nightingales. Our bodies are these constant creative symbioses, these vital mutual associations with the wild.
We could not survive without the overwhelming presence of bacteria, and other microbes communicating with our human cells.
"Our bodies are tentacular," says philosopher Bayo Akomolafe.
This notion of interwoven co-creation with other lives is not a 'hippie' dream. This intraspecies song is an every-second-of-everyday occurrence that our consciousness forgot under the disorienting influences of our modern capitalist reductionist frameworks.
Irish philosopher John Moriarty coined this reorientation, this remembering “Slí na Firinne", or the Way of Truth in Irish.
Moriarty recurrently refers to how our dualistic view of life has formatted a consciousness that has socially and culturally shackled us into "Cartesian captivity" (after 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes).
It is sadly dispiriting to ponder that by considering all matter as inanimate after the likes of René Descartes and Francis Bacon 'enlightened' us, we effectively turned the lights off all that actually interweaves, supports, and welcomes us within the wider, wilder tapestry of the natural world.
Yet we have also always intuited that this was not true. Every preschool child knows that all that surrounds them is animated, and characters like Bran (Game of Thrones), Harry Potter, and so-called fantasy stories like Narnia or the Lord of the Rings narrate
this childlike perception to adults longing to remember its truth.
In fact, these therianthropic immersive tales singing our capacity for polymorphic shapeshifting and associations are how myths and lore have always told us what science keeps confirming: we are much more than human!
I perceive Slí na Firinne, in our past, present, and future, as deconstructing the human conditioning, de-inhabiting the human-only, de-centring anthropos (human in Greek):
"Being human is a habit. It can be broken..." says Moriarty in Invoking Ireland
"How can we sing our song in a strange land?" he asks in Dreamtime.
Listening to our bodies as the portals of incommensurable perception they are, we can "empty our mind and allow the universe to see through our eyes." (Arkan Lushwalla, Deer and Thunder)
We carry this earth's memory of our evolutionary shapeshifting from minerals, prokaryotes, eukaryotes to plants and animals with us as embryos. There lies our primal terrestrial blueprint.
We have always been immersed in the intermingling multiform. Just like our cellular memory is imprinted within our grandmothers' womb surrounds so we are shaped and spiritually charged with deep time Earth Intelligence, the womb of Life, since the first spark, the first signs of chemistry, of universal love-in-the-making.
Our mind itself could be seen as an extension of Earth's mind or "Eairth's mind" as ecophilosopher David Abram chants in Becoming Animal.
We actually can reclaim so much of our lost humanity by tuning out of our comforting, sleep-inducing modern routines and into the wild alive earth matrix.
We created myths as our own projections of what's possible, as thresholds to the mysterious and numinous. The land of Ireland is filled with these ‘otherworldly’ passages, caves, and gateways (Listen to the Land Speak, Manchán Magan).
Ultimately, these creative ‘projections’ are outward expressions of our inner land, what's always been dancing and forming us because the embryo is a polymorphic god in the making, the Intelligence of the wild made flesh.
There is very little difference between the constituents of plant and human cells. But the distinctive plant partner, the chloroplast is what we lack to enable us to directly transform sun energy into food.
However, like us, plants are in relationship and associate with other species and elements for a living: with wind, water, and pollinators, with fungi and bacteria, with the arcana of subsoil life, a kind of placenta to their embryonic seeds in constant emergence and convergence.
These ecological crises bestow upon us the responsibility to once again become ingenious commensals cooperatively, respectfully creating with the rest of Earth's wild creatures.
My experience as a biodynamic craniosacral therapist and herbal medicine student keeps whispering to me: the embryonic forces still expressing and co-creating us are earth's living templates for us to follow. We don't need to search far and wide for solutions, our and other creatures' organisms are the models we've been looking for, if only we could really slow down, deeply listen, and perceive differently, with the sensitivity of earth-centred lenses.
But to do this as John Moriarty invites, we need to re-ignite our "bush soul".
Story-teller Martin Shaw referred to Moriarty's words in a recent chat with comedian Tommy Tiernan: “… many aboriginal cultures would believe that an enormous part of our soul dwelt outside your body. It wasn’t contained in this strange little neurotic interior that I tend to associate with soul. That’s why you’d go out on a hill for four days and nights. You’d go out to bump into weather patterns, you’d go to find a bigger world.”
Now lies an opportunity to find ourselves again in the bigger world, the more-than-human terrestrial matrix, Slí na Firinne.