Monday, June 15, 2009

Life's Simple Truth

by Chuck Burr at

What is the meaning of life? Where do we go when we die? What is god? Important and unimportant questions for all of us. Here are some of my guesses to these and other life centering questions.

Humanity’s Purpose

We are literally here to balance the life process of plants. At one point in the earth’s evolution, the atmosphere became so toxic with oxygen which burned and destroyed everything it touched. Our early ancestors were invented by Gaia to reverse the creation of the toxic gas we call oxygen that plants give off in the process of photosynthesis. By reversing one of the moves in the dance of photosynthesis, a new process could be born–one that could take the toxic gas, and use it to bum food and make energy. The magnesium in chlorophyl is replaced with iron to form hemoglobin.

Breathers were born, those who dine on the sunlight-harvesters, burning their bodies as fuel for life. In burning food, the breathers give off carbon dioxide, which the plants, with the help of the sun, transform to food again. And the plants give off oxygen, which the breathers use in burning food. Gaia began to breathe, passing her breath back and forth from red to green, continuing to build up oxygen, to transform herself. We are the breath of Gaia.

We are also food for plants and the other microbes the bring the soil to life. We fix nitrogen when we pee, and we create compost when we poop and die.

Larger Brain

The real question is why did Gaia create the experiment of a large frontal lobe and opposable thumbs? The thumbs enable primates to adapt to a wider range of living conditions by eating a wider of foods and to making tools.

The primate brain really only has to be as large as paleolithic man to adapt to wider environmental conditions. The larger frontal lobe grown on top of the mammalian brain which rests on top of the reptilian brain is another question al together.

The agricultural revolution may have been the point where we really put the large frontal lobe to work. Ten thousand years ago we made a shift that extended our role as oxygen and plant consumers to consumers of everything. This is may also have been the point where to expanded the individual ego that defines modern culture today.

The real question unanswered so far is, why the big brain? The answer may be domination. Homo sapiens probably used their larger brain size to exterminate neanderthal man. We are of course doing the same directly and indirectly to the 30 million other species we share this planet with today. This must stop, but how?

Modern Purpose of Life

The truth be told, modern culture has become a cancer of indefinite growth upon Gaia. Just as a tumor in your body, our culture has made humanity malignant to Gaia’s body. Humanity itself is not harmful to the earth. Humanity has existed in one form or another for 3 to 4 million years. But, our Taker culture made humanity cancerous 10,000 years ago at the birth of the agricultural revolution.

Gaia will go on without us even if we take ourselves out. The point is that we are going to take down tens of millions of other species with us. Our culture is solely responsible for the greatest mass extinction since the death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. No matter how green, groovy, or native we get, this cannot be stopped unless we reduce our population to a fraction of what it currently is—probably to preindustrial pre-oil levels of less than 1 billion.

The purpose of life today, now that Gaia is entering stage four cancer, is to find an antidote to the agricultural revolution. Maybe what we need is the un-revolution to find a way back to an evolutionarily proven symbiotic way of life. I don’t know how much of our Taker culture can be saved, but if humanity is around in another 10,000 years, it will have a lot more Leaver culture in it than Taker.

Other simple truths include, live your truth and enjoy life, but don’t do it at the expense of your relations. Also, survive yes, but don’t breed beyond your number.

Modern culture through its human constructed reality has also disconnected us from our truth and created our sense of lack. Every cell in our bodies knows we should live in symbiosis with our ecosystem. The five or six kingdoms of life of monera, protista, fungi, plants, animals have developed over four billion years to form the self-regulating system of life on earth we call Gaia. True sustainability maintains this symbiosis with our ecosystem measured by building top soil and biodiversity.

Humanity evolved over three or four million years living in harmony with Gaia. As Chief Seattle inferred in his 1854 speech, the earth does not belong to man, humanity belongs to the earth.

All in all, humanity has to go through what we will to see if we come out the other side. The crux is, that the exuberance of our modern culture just happens to have caught up with us during our generation.

Now is the time the rainbow warriors to awaken to save us. We may be of the rainbow. We will see if enough people can make the inner shift to change course and birth new culture(s). The current system seems just “too easy” for most to leave.

Where we fit in the Universe

First, we will probably never know where the universe came from, so you can makeup your own story.

What we do know is that we are made of stardust, all of the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood, and the carbon in our bodies came from stars that lived and died before our sun was born.

Did you also know that you are a walking microbial colony? Over 90 percent of the genes and cells in your body are foreign. Humans are born sterile with no bacteria, but start being colonized from the instant we break from the womb. Of the 110 trillion cells in your body, 100 trillion are not human. Most human cells are concentrated in the brain, blood stream, and organs.

The other thing that is striking to me is that when I look at the human brain from the outside and a section of it, it looks like some mushrooms or colonies of bacteria. We take this great symbiosis of Gaia and our bodies largely for granted.

The Fire of Life

When we die, we pass the fire of life on to others through our compost. Where we go then we will not know until we pass through the psychedelic experience we call death.

Life on earth is based on the sacred circle of birth, growth, death, and regeneration. Life begets life, but not in the way the Bible tells us. Sure rabbits make rabbits. But what is a rabbit? A rabbit is the grass. A lynx is the grass—soil, grass, rabbit, one. Only temporal reality separates them until they tumble through Gaia’s sacred cycle of life.

The fire burns forever. It is the flame of life that courses through all generations from first to last, that burns without consuming, that is itself consumed and renewed inexhaustibly, life after life, generation after generation, species after species, galaxy after galaxy, universe after universe, each sharing in the blaze for its season and going down to death while the fire burns on undiminished. The fire is life itself, the life of this universe, of this galaxy, of this planet, of this place and every place: the place by the rock and the place under the hill and the place by the river and the place in the forest, no two alike anywhere. And the life of every place is god, who is the fire: the life of the pond, god; the life of the tundra, god; the life of the sea, god; the life of the land, god; the life of the earth, god; the life of the universe, god: in every place unique, as the life of every place is unique, and in every place the same, as the fire that burns is everywhere

Heaven or More?

I don’t believe we get a do-over or happy nirvana after this life consciousness. The vision is much grander than an ego-centric blissful cloud city awaiting believers.

Yes, we become compost when we die, but we don’t go as ourselves somewhere else or are reborn as a rabbit or human.

When we change forms to compost and leave this consciousness and reality we rejoin the fire of life that gave birth to us. We return to our mother Gaia and the universe. We become part of all life, as we always have been. Even when we are alive or conscious, we are part of Gaia’s breath and digestion. Breathers and sunlight-harvesters breathing in and out as we live.


God is a sacred word for all of the known and unknown universe. Phrases such as, “in god we trust” are better said as, “I trust the universe.” This bridges the gap between science and religion. The fact that we are made of stardust captures the imagination.

Since only four percent of the universe is visible and the remaining 96 percent is made up of dark matter and energy, that leaves a lot of unknown. For me that is better; it leaves infinite possibilities.

Life’s Truths are Simple

Look at a child. When they are young, they have it right, then our cultural programming and peer pressure take over, but until then they are their original selves. We have to get back to that, to undoing the programming.

For me, I now know that I am made of stardust and that I am part of the fire of life that will burn on forever in all life. I am not one, I am all life. These truths are simple.

Visit to read the blog, visit the Culturequake book store, and learn more about the book Culturequake: The Fall of Modern Culture and the Rise of Earth Culture. ©2009 Chuck Burr LLC


James Lovelock
The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth

The Earth Path, p 44.

Elisabet Sahtouris and James Lovelock
Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution

YouTube, Christopher Buck
The Rainbow Warriors

Colin Nickerson, The Boston Globe
Of microbes and men, Bacteria disappearing from our bodies may harm human health
Graphic Your Body: A ‘colony of creatures’

Kingdom (biology)

Nancy Zussy
Chief Seattle Speech: Washington State Library, Version 3

Michael Dowd
Thank God for Evolution

Daniel Quinn
Providence, p 181.

Dark matter

Cultural awareness and expanded consciousness is separated by concentric rings with enlightened doers at the center blending out to the zombie masses of our culture on the outside. For those at the center it is a journey of a lifetime.

The New Cultural Enlightenment

It takes connecting so many dots about the nature of our existence, our past, present, and future to make it to the center that very few do. Once you can connect enough dots, can see them in your head, and even rotate the constellation of links, visioning and choosing the direction for your journey becomes effortless—live your truth.

A new kind of enlightenment is emerging. Classic enlightenment involves expansion of consciousness and dissolving the ego to realize our oneness with the universe. It is to step out of temporal and physical reality into nothingness and everythingness. We realize that we are not unique and that tens and hundreds of thousands of generations have lived and have experienced every emotion that we ever will.

The new enlightenment goes a step further in new directions through an early doorway of unveiling to being able to see our constructed or consensus reality culture for what it is—a trap of our own making. By constructing a realty apart from the ecosystem we cut ourselves off from our ability to live from it, we become trapped and are separated from the divine or the source.

The illusion of free will is essential to the perpetuation of modern culture. People have to believe they are able to control their lives when in reality the suburbs are just prisons without bars. Every job is wage slavery because the agricultural revolution locked up the food. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. Fear is the control system which cuts us off at the knees and prevents us from engaging in true self-exploration and expansion of consciousness. Fear is the fuel for modern Taker culture.

Schools are designed to break the individual and end creative thinking, “sit down, be quite, and do what what your told.” Despite education, knowledge and hierarchy remain deeply stratified. The new enlightenment sees through this trap, and sees the way out.

Animism and the Fire of Life

Classic enlightenment includes an appreciation for how thin the ice of consciousness that we skate on is. One recognizes how fragile, fleeting, and precious the fire of life is. We call this appreciation that our ancestors had before the agricultural revolution “animism.” All living beings experience reality to some level. Even plants “feel” sunlight and respond so it. One of the greatest tragedies of our Taker culture is it’s lack of empathy for all of our “relations,” and how it turns other species into commodities to be consumed.

For me, my god has a small “g”. It can be killed with a bulldozer. It is the fire of life in the meadow. I know that the grass, deer, rabbit, bird, and soil are all one. Birth, growth, death, regeneration—one. You can learn more about how the world works at a weekend gardening class on compost than from four years of seminary.

I know how I am also connected all the way back to the creation of the universe. The calcium in my bones, the iron in my blood, and the carbon in my body all came from stars that lived and died before our sun was even born. I know I am made of star dust.

The Unveiling

The unveiling is like taking the red pill in The Matrix and seeing our constructed reality, and its affect upon us and the ecosystem. New terms and revelations such as global warming, financial crisis, and the end of security have been added to earlier anti-cultural memes such as pollution, overpopulation, and fractional reserve banking. Some are even expanding such as peak oil is becoming peak everything.

The unveiling is more than recognizing the many problems of our culture, it also means connecting the dots back to how it began, why it succeeds, and forward to the solution for the individual and the local community. For instance, we learn that our culture succeeds because it is easy; all you have to do to perpetuate it is consume.

Finding Your Own Key to the Door

The new enlightenment is more than becoming a history buff and understanding what memes makes us us. The trick is to understand the significance of this knowledge and to find a solution to it for you and your community.

Leaving the matrix or our consensus culture is a journey of a lifetime; it will only happen in stages. Did Fukuoka go as far as he wanted? Those in indigenous culture are already on the outside; let’s hope they can stay there. We within the Taker culture have to find the doorway out. For me the next couple steps will be from traditional high energy organic farming to low energy permaculture. From learning, to doing, to writing, to teaching.

But, once you find your way back to the original or the next story, every cell in your body will know it, the greater the resonance.

The Will—Doers

What good is knowledge if you do not live it? There comes a point for those who are ready to turn their journey into a life of action and example. It will take everyone’s contributions to expand the ring of consciousness: depavers, permaculturists, teachers, activists, reporters, bloggers, healers, on and on.

This tool of the Internet, may be the lever that has been missing. We are at the forefront of a complete media and cultural consciousness replacement. Fringe ideas like this blog can be freely distributed globally, are uncontrolled, and entirely non-underwritten. For instance, this blog has been read in 72 countries this year in 2009.

Cultural Singularity

When we reach the tipping point where our culture dissolves away into may new visions or cultures, and cultural singularity will have been reached. It may take another 10,000 years to reach this point. It won’t happen soon because we are only beginning to realize that we have to find ways out of our Taker culture, let alone having invented the alternative lifestyles needed to walk away.

Remember, you cannot encourage someone to leave modern culture unless you have a viable alternative to the constructed reality.

What many people feel is about to happen is actually a mass unveiling. Today, our first world society is broken into thirds or rings. One third thinks things will continue to get better, growth is the answer, and progress and a technological singularity will save us. The second third can feel it in their bones that something is wrong, but they cannot put their finger on it. The last third are a mix of everything from those starting to realize that growth is over, believing that going green will save us, doomers, and even conspiracy theorists. We all have a long way to go; many today are starting the journey to look first for answers and then for solutions.

Most doomers do also agree that humanity will survive anything, adaptability is our skill. Conspiracy theorists have to realize that as long as our culture has among it goals maximizing profit and concentrate wealth, any group of people who have never even met will appear to coordinate their efforts.

Those ahead of the curve are not a gurus—they are just doers. We are the ones who have taken the risk to live our truth. We are the ones inventing the alternatives. Most of our ideas will fail, but eventually some will work, and will unlock the doors for the others to follow.


This essay is dedicated to the Culturequake community, my loyal readers, the 3,000 new readers this month, and to my mentor the Hobbit—Thank you.

Essays will be less frequent during the farming season. We are working about six or seven days a week getting the Restoration Farm and permaculture site up and running. People are right when they say it takes three years to get an organic farm to show any form of profit. It takes three to five years to get fruit trees yielding and five to seven years for nuts. Thanks too everyone involved the project.

Also, the point of the Culturequake blog experience is first of course part of my self-discovery journey and living my truth, but for the reader it should not be about the “latest essay.” It should be about the body of work as a whole starting back in he archives up to the present.

Visit to read the blog, visit the Culturequake book store, and learn more about the book Culturequake: The Fall of Modern Culture and the Rise of Earth Culture. ©2009 Chuck Burr LLC


The Matrix
The Red Pill

Aeolus Kephas and Neil “the Cleaver” Kramer
Podcast Stormy Weather 22 and 22.5: The Reader & the Red