Over and over again, the brush hits the paper.
Trying to catch a fleeting form. Again and again, my hand is tracing a wave in motion that I first can barely perceive, but nevertheless feel an irresistible urge to follow.
At first, only with my hand, and then, suddenly also with my eyes when I see my sumi-brush capture the motion in black ink on the mulberry paper.
So many attempts, and then, suddenly, congruency. The inner urge given shape.
I see two brush strokes in dance; unified in the heart of a mutual whole.
What does it mean to form a wave?
Many conditions must be right; many smaller movements come together to finally express their gathered force through a sustained wave of directed change. The outer result finally manifested.
The tiny wave that took shape on my paper has become the symbol of Terra Religata, an international activistic and creative collaborative project that was born during the filming of my experimental documentary with the same name. This film, still under production, has so far given rise to as a handful of other creative experiments in filmmaking, poetry, music and transformative pedagogy.
The common denominator is a conscious focus on making a personal experience of deep reconnection possible – among people as well as between individuals and the nature that gives them life; the wellspring that our modern culture is poisoning.
Terra Religata shares values with many activists that are already struggling for justice, peace, ecological balance and climate neutrality, freedom of expression, and the individual’s right to privacy in a time of totalitarian mass surveillance.
The specific focus of Terra Religata is to make way for change by increasing the awareness of our own and the world’s fundamental – and today critical – need of meaningful and deep reconnection. We need this to be able to heal the wounds of the world and make an entirely new form of civilization possible beyond the needle’s eye of our rapidly converging crises.
It is essential that we restore our fundamental connections to our fellow Man and to the world around us. This truth is obvious to many of us. But why is this of critical importance?
And how can a focus on restoring such fundamental relationships help us bring the world out of the downward spirals created by mankind?
The perspective of Terra Religata is that each one of us has a unique, and uniquely valuable capacity to initiate positive change.
All of us are interrelational beings, and each one among us has a unique set of relationships to other people, situations, other living creatures, objects, and the world as a whole.
The consequence of this is that each one’s actions put in motion a chain reaction of effects that go out in numberless ways as ripples on our own personal ocean of relationships and causal connections.
Because each one’s interrelational tapestry is unique, the ripples produced by each one’s actions are likewise different.
For this reason, each person is also uniquely valuable as an individual when it comes to initiating change – and this because each one has a unique sphere of influence, in tiny matters and therefore also in great.
From this follows that we all have responsibility for our unique capacity to effect change – which can of course also be abused when we initiate uniquely harmful consequences!
When we realize that we have a unique kind of power – to use or abuse – which comes from own unique person as an expression of our combined relations to all things and to everyone around us, then the door opens to a new world of possibilities.
And to a wellspring of profound meaning through participation.
We often lose this deep sense of empowerment in a world that inundates us with its complexity and a sense of powerlessness.
How often don’t we all feel infinitesimally small in comparison to the problems of the world? This paralyzing experience contributes to the pain of life for all of us who want to cry out in despair over the madness that quickly destroys our social harmony and the planet that gives us life.
With a lived awareness of our power to effect change as relational beings, everything suddenly changes. I have witnessed this among my own students in the classroom.
I have also experienced a sense a total oneness in my own encounter with the majestic Whole of Nature.
My intention behind Terra Religata is therefore to help bring about deep reconnection, and in part this experience of participation and belonging comes from the insight that we are interrelational beings – and thereby unique and uniquely valuable as initiators of change.
For the same reason, we must also never denigrate the power of small initiatives. All that it takes is that one of us has the right chord to strike! And all of us have many such strings on our creative lyre.
What change will take place when you act in a new way?
On the surface of our actions, it can be difficult to gauge where the chain reaction of their effects will abate.
The important thing is that when a certain number among us pull the right strings – our own unique relational cords – a global transformation will take place.
In fact, this is self-evident. We only need to focus on forming the community where we all do what we can to bring the world back to wholeness. And – to never abandon the helm.
No matter how the winds are howling.
Then the whole that we form together by Reconnection Activism becomes greater than the sum of our parts. And this because we all have untold relationships to the world around us. Relationships that are the key to forming the wave that we can raise together.
We don’t need to agree on everything to be able to build this community, but we need to share a fundamental objective:
To bring mankind to a state of wholeness as ONE living body enriched by the diversity of parts, and thereby at the same time also return Man to his rightful role as a part of the Great Whole of Nature.
Based on this passionate objective, we can all find our own personal expression of Reconnection Activism – in small things and great, together as groups and alone as individuals.
At the same time we have to always remain vigilant.
Those who have something to gain from preventing all expressions of meaningful community unifying people in bringing mankind back to oneness with itself and with nature, will do EVERYTHING in their power to crush the wave that we can form together.
Deep reconnection demands that we actively take a stand against its opposite, in all of its expressions of cultural and social dysfunction. In this we need to cheer each other on and help each other keep focused on the struggle for humankind’s retained humanity and the path to a new civilization in balance.
Terra Religata is no simple answer to the crises of our own time.
There is no easy street to real, lasting change for the better.
Our calling is to show the world through our actions and living example that life on Earth overcomes the forces of climate devastation, the insanity of totalitarianism, the hollow cravings of the selfish life, and the mass cultural bipolar oscillation between ”feel-good” nonsense and doomsday visions.
If we give shape to a new culture, here and now, based on sound, dynamic unity, we can make a future possible where our own children and coming generations of all species can survive beyond the crises created by mankind.
The challenge is great, but the power of living example is greater.
This is our moment.
It’s time for an alternative.
We need to dig deeply.
Terra Religata is a journey shared by people that are passionate about going to the core of our real problems, with all that comes with it of pain, anger, diligent work, struggle, and liberating, transfiguring joy. All that really makes us living human beings that make our lives valuable beyond our narrow horizons – for the sake of our own children and coming generations of all living beings.
This is our time to burn brightly.
Terra Religata will become what we together make possible through our actions to restore the broken whole.
It begins with two brush strokes.
A meaningful encounter and forces uniting in a whole greater than themselves. A shared direction, and at the same time a circular motion around a mutual center. An unbroken circle where the two are in reality one. And at the same time, a whirling spiral of development where each part remains in constant creative motion, in its own unique way participating in making the larger wave invincible.
This is what I call Reconnection Activism – a new term for a kind of action and a way of being primeval as life itself.