We are here to tend the garden

Bruce Lipton, in his publication The Wisdom of Your Cells, writes that: “The emerging new paradigm reveals that we are not here by random chance, we are here by an intention and purposeful design of Nature.”

Lipton contributes to conversations pondering the big questions that many of us ask:  1. How did we get here? – through a series of adaptive mutations that enable us to balance the environment;  2. Why are we here? – in the wisdom of the Native Americans: “We are here to tend the garden”;  3. Now that we are here how do we make the most of it? – learn to live in harmony with Nature and each other.

Basal paradigms shape the character and fate of civilization.  It is basal paradigms that specifically inform the truths accepted by civilizations in answering these three fundamental questions of human existence.

The awareness represented by these questions and answers show we are embedded within Nature and don’t sit above or to one side of it.

So we need a new story.  For it is what we tell ourselves and how we live out our story that will either hinder or help the next generation to live in harmony with itself and its natural world.

Survival at the personal and societal level “depends upon the choices we make, which in turn are totally dependent on our collective awareness, the beliefs by which we live.”

Survival relies on new life – the act of birthing at its heart – which relies on being in community. To remain in community, we need to create bonds. Following birth, while we are no longer physically attached to our mothers, we are certainly emotionally and socially attached. Our mother ship lets go with the severing of the umbilical cord and we are free to be our own person.

The act of dying was also one of being in community.  Just as a birth midwife attended to the needs of the expectant mother and child, so the death midwife ministered to the needs of the expectant person nearing death and their family.  The sense of community was ever present.  Attending to the physical and emotional needs of all those involved was a valued job – even if there was no financial reward.

Bruce Lipton, writing in the Honeymoon Effect points out that: “Human beings are not meant to live alone.”  And we would add:  Human beings are meant to die alone.

Not only are we dying alone in increasing numbers, we are being sent off alone.  We are choosing No Service No Attendance (NSNA) funerals.  While this adds up to increased profits for the funeral industry it produces questionable benefits for the grieving family.

Lipton tells us nothing new when he says: ‘our need to communicate is vital for our wellbeing’. There’s not much communication going on at a NSNA event. Just as birthing is about relationships so dying is about relationships.  Just as nurturing for the newly born contributes to their future health, the nurturing for the grieving family contributes to their future health.

Once again this is a reminder that we need to question our understandings and measures for determining how we do death.

Bruce Lipton is a cellular biologist and author of The Biology of Belief.

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