"They’re leaving...Pass it on."


Have you ever seen a beautiful sunset, or rainbow, or a flower or small animal and thought that it was trying to tell you something? I had this experience recently and would like to share this with you.

I was thinking about how difficult we humans are when it comes to adapting to our natural realm. I was wondering how much longer the earth would continue to host us, and how much more grief we could inflict upon nature before we are ousted as unwelcome guests. And, as I went outside, on a beautiful, sunny day, I “heard” the trees and the ants and the squirrels and the birds whispering, “They’re leaving, pass it on.”

They were not gloating about our imminent demise as a species. Rather, they were bracing for the final injuries to the earth which we would perpetrate on the ecosystem and, at the same time, celebrating the forthcoming relief they would enjoy when we are gone.

This shocked me. But, as I pondered it, I could see that it was right.

Most species have taken millions of years to mature and adapt to the laws of nature. Each, in order to survive, has had to detach from its individual identity and honor the larger purpose of the whole.

The problem with humans, it seems, is that:

1.   We are very short-lived. Our species, homo sapiens, is but a mere 200 thousand years old.

2.   We have a flaw which, unless it is transcended, will doom us to extinction no matter how long we live. We have to change or we will eventually perish.

3.   And, perhaps most troubling, we are enculturated at three levels (our ego, our experiences and our culture) so that, even if we WANT to change, we simply cannot see what to do.

Religion has tried to address this issue and has failed. Psychology has also failed. Government, science, the universities, even the “new age” movement have all been ineffective at removing these impediments to survival.

So what are we to do? Are we fatally doomed, or do we have any chance of making it? These are serious questions… here are some suggestions.

First, our chances are very dim – that is obvious. But, we DO have the capacity to change if we really want to. What we have working in our favor are extreme pressure and obvious danger.

And, we have the Internet.

It has been said that this is the age of information. I think that time has passed. How about the age of interconnection? Frankly, I think that idea is obsolete also, or at least not efficacious. Interaction… that would be better. But it is still not enough.

Now is a time of inner action, inner attention, inner movement and inner affirmation.

Pretty big claim – what is the basis for this thinking?

We are much more powerful and have much more influence than we realize. Each of us is determinative, and each of us has tremendous capacity to affect the well-being of the whole. So, before we interact, intercommunicate, interconnect, or become informed, we need to get into right relationship with life, each other and ourselves.

Only when we get our identities right are ready to become effective agents for the conscious evolution of culture.

OK, how do we do THAT?

Good question. One way is to pay attention to our inner state of being, and to work for a present, authentic and inclusive spirit at ALL times. And to use any form of resistance (anger, objection, hate, denial) to help us return to personal wholeness.

Forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion and personal responsibility are the precursors for wholeness and survival. Only when we have a multitude of spiritually-based agents can the system shift as a whole.

So how does the Internet figure in all this?

The Internet is changing right before our eyes, from an information resource to a social network. The only trouble is that the new social power of the net is unfocussed. Twitter, Facebook and the others facilitate interconnection, but do not do much for inner growth.

So how can THAT change? I think that is the 64 million dollar question. We know that human thinking is a shared, or global, phenomenon. When the Berlin wall came down, an entire planet shifted its thinking and the Cold War ended.

How did that happen? Did 300 million Americans and 200 million Soviets each, independently, change their opinions of the other country? Or did some collective, mystical event take place, where the individuals moved as a whole? History suggests the second explanation, and I think this quality is the very KEY to our chances.

How do we focus our thinking, and focus our conversations so that we pay attention to inner being and our responsibility for the whole? How do we do this collectively, and form a “human array,” where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? And – perhaps most difficult – how do we distribute this functionality across the globe, so that we gain the critical mass for a mindshift to occur?

These are the questions of the ages. For us, the answers will be critical if we are going to continue to be welcome here on earth, or if the millions of other species will be glad to be rid of us. Right now, and for good reason, I believe they are saying, “They’re leaving…pass it on.”



1.   Do you believe we are headed for extinction?

2.   Do you care?

3.   What do you think needs to happen if we are to head off this catastrophe?


PDF transcript of this essay.


John Burch, LoveShift author and webmaster.

Comments? Please post them at Love Shift Comments or send an email to jburch12@msn.com.