022 - Tomas Rayes: This is Our Time
THIS IS OUR TIME
Can we talk about the headlines this week? Salt-water fish extinction by 2048, Ireland declares climate emergency, the mediterranean sea at 6000 ft depth is basically a plastic landfill, Big agriculture is breeding a worldwide health crisis, one million species face extinction, UN report says… we’re so fucked if we don’t take action now. According to NatGeo, Half of all land must be kept in a natural state to protect Earth.Land conservation must double by 2030 to prevent dangerous warming and unravelling of ecosystems.
Quantum physics says reality changes with observation. Quantum Bayesianism says reality is observation. hummm…
So… if you are not consciously observing (because, perhaps you are constantly distracted or something) whose reality are you experiencing?”
Being Sapiens means it is our responsibility to protect the natural world. And the world needs your observation. The world wants you to see a new reality for the planet.
We are symbolic animals. We represent objective reality with intangible symbols that are so powerful that we transform the natural world with them. We imagine, envision, we make, we transform. That’s our superpower. But if we don’t protect the body of the earth, we loose the memory of the world contained in biological information flows.
Because of how we evolved as a species, we have cared more about symbols than objective reality. Throughout History, human belief systems have come and gone, temples appeared and disappeared. We can do without them, but try and do without clean food, water, and air. We can’t survive without them.
We live in the solar system after all. It’s not called the christian system, the muslim system, the judaic system, the capitalist system, or the liberal system, it’s the freaking solar system and the sun is what powers everything that’s going on in the biogeochemical flows that are Life on Earth.
In this episode, I am going to share with you my thoughts on what we can do both individually and as a species in relation to the natural world, to understand why we are where we are, and what actions we must take moving forward. This is our time.
“Hey all, I’m Tomas, I’m 42 years old in 2019. In my lifetime I have loved big cities (I grew up in Paris, France, and have lived in Tokyo, Bogota, NY, LA, and Rio) and I have also loved nature (spent most of my childhood summers on the Pacific Coast of Colombia and I love oceans and forests everywhere), being submerged in a forest or underwater are my two favorite places on Earth, especially in the ocean.
In 2019, I’m not so sure about how much I love cities anymore, especially megacities, the ones beyond 10 million people. They don’t seem to make sense anymore. Imagine how much a city consumes daily. A 1M people city, 5M city, a 38M people city. 38 million people eating shopping consuming everyday. And there’s 7 billion of us. For perspective, and even if it’s apparently unrelated since this is not about space but about time… 1 million seconds is 11 days, whereas 1 billion seconds is 34 years. How much is 7 billion people? A lot. Quantities seem harder to wrap your head around than you would think.
If you’re reading this in the future, then we made it. We changed gears and reconnected to a way of living in sync with how the natural world works. We understood nothing has a self nature, even us. We are not separated from nature. We are all made of the same stuff on Earth, we are living systems, cycling in and out, genetic memories passed from one species to the next. In doing so, we saved wildlife, and in turn, saved ourselves.
If you’re reading this in the present, well, I’m glad you’re reading, and I also urge you to take action. From the smallest action like carrying your own water bottle and saying not to single use plastic, to reconfiguring your understanding of the models of reality that dictate how you are living right now, consuming right now, and getting a sense of satisfaction right now.
We live in an edible world, but we have forgotten this fundamental part of our ability to exist as a species. This statement holds more truth than you know. Let me explain.
Today, in cities around the world, I can’t trust what I eat, drink, breathe, hear, or see. No matter where I am (Paris, Mexico City, Bogota, LA, NY), the air stinks, air quality index reports mostly say “unhealthy”, public food (restaurants and supermarkets) is unhealthy as well, and water needs to be filtered or comes in plastic bottles. And I’m not even talking about megacities in Asia.
IF I don’t know myself very well, what I think is also designed and defined for me by the city around me and social networks talking to me day in and day out, selling to me as far as my field of vision and hearing allow.
Because of how we evolved as a species, we have cared more about symbols than objective reality. Throughout History, human belief systems have come and gone, temples appeared and disappeared. We can do without them, but try and do without clean food, water, and air. We can’t survive without them.
As a species, we separated from the way the natural world communicates. We did so through a long process of taking knowledge outside our bodies, and we put it in external codes: human language and the alphabet, writing, mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. In nature, the memory of the world is contained in the most ancient text on Earth: the genetic code. And memories are passed down from one generation to the next through that same genetic code, us humans included.
But because we identified with the rational part of our minds and the external experience of our mind becoming the world around us, we now think the best things in life are out there, outside ourselves. But truly, all you need in life to be filled with joy, satisfaction, love, purpose, inner peace, gratitude is inside you. External things you essentially need? Food, water, and air. The whole universe takes shape literally, in your head, through your perception. And in there, in the comprehension of your place in living systems, lie the answers to all your questions. What is my place, and my role, in keeping living systems healthy? In keeping my life support systems healthy?
This is our time. It’s called the Anthropocene because it’s the age of Humans. Will the coming generations remember this age because of how we pillaged and destroyed our own Life support systems, or will they remember us for our courage and wisdom to admit our mistakes, and rise to the challenge of re-imagining Homo Sapiens as a species, in relation to the needs of the natural world?
We must change the way we manage our lives, the reality of our dependence on the natural world is undeniable and nature needs your help and focus. It’s about surviving as a species. I know it sounds like asking a lot, especially if you have lived in the seemingly pampered reality of a comfortable city life, where you can order all you think you need by pressing a button on your phone screen, and the heroes you so admire and ignite your soul are all in books or screens.
I am not asking we do one small thing. I am asking for a complete leap in understanding for our species.
Please inform yourself and dare to live different. If you don’t know how, or you do and would like to join forces, feel free to ask or reach out.
In a world flooded with distraction and disempowering narratives designed to control you and convince you that you are weak, and that you need stuff outside yourself to feel satisfied, understanding yourself as a dynamic living process, a container of living systems and genetic memory flowing through you is revolutionary, and empowering. Because you understand your are the land, and the land is you. That there is no separation. That nothing has an independent self nature.
What makes the quality of living in the human world? I ask myself this question very seriously. I invite you to do the same, ask yourself the same question in whichever forms works best for you:
1. What makes the quality of my life? Think of the patterns and actions that repeat in your daily life.
2. Is it how much free time I have or make to do what I love?
3. What are my daily actions that define how I live?
4. How do I get a sense of satisfaction from the life I live?
5. Is it how much I can provide for others?
6. Is it how much light I can give everyone around me, no matter their darkness?
7. Is it how often I can go out or online, and consume?
8. Is it how much I earn so I can consume more, or better things?
9. Is it how much time I spend in nature?
10. Is it how much time I spend dancing in festivals?
11. Or how much I can buy or sell on Amazon?
Our house is burning, the living systems we are part of and depend on are disrupted, the health of the food we eat gone, the energy reservoirs depleted. That is all due to the story we have been telling ourselves about our place on planet earth and how we make use of Life.
We are an organism made of myths. We are made of stories made up by ourselves about what we’re entitled to do, what we are allowed to believe, what we are allowed to express.
I have traveled to over 100 cities in four continents since I was 4 years old, and in my 42 years I’ve seen cities grow polluted and congested, the air quality degrade, food turn into lab grown industrial fodder that is so far removed from real food, packed with authentic genetic memory, I’ve seen islands loose their beaches and biodiversity, and corals bleach. I could go on. You get the picture. You’ve most likely also been a witness to the rapid loss of biodiversity and wildlife, which is bad news for us all.
Have you thought about WHY this is happening and what we can do about it? Have you taken any action?
The dominant story so far has been one of human narcissism and abuse of nature.
The goal can never be to make millions in order to buy more stuff and perpetually keep growing and making more millions if it’s at the expense of living systems. The number one goal for our species must always be to KEEP the flow of LIFE HEALTHY. All of life. Your life, my life, and the natural world that sustains us. Without a healthy natural world there will soon be no us at all.
I am committed to doing everything in my power and everyone who sees it too, to show you the reality of the structural challenges of our relationship with the natural world.
If we want to survive, and if we want our progeny to experience the things we love about life like clean air, clean water, delicious food that is healthy and fresh, natural wonders and wildlife, healthy family and friends, green pastures and crisp mountain air, reefs teeming with life, clean beaches and oceans, having healthy babies, and the other, more subtle life support systems like quiet space, time to think, time to rest.. if we want that…
We must redefine what our story is. Is it a new version of liberalism? A new version of capitalism? A circular, regenerative capitalism based on an evolutionary understanding of how life actually works?
These are some of the reasons I do what I do and I cannot think of doing anything else right now, with the time I’ve been given on Earth. I cannot just quietly enjoy my life, being a docile and content citizen, without going the extra mile to educate myself and others what is going on and to communicate what many extraordinary humans are doing to protect what we love the most: life itself.
I’d love to be doing everything I love without having to worry about the rest of the world, knowing that the systems that support this lifestyle are well, that we can do so by the millions, and we are not killing ourselves.
But that’s not the case. I have been doing all that much less often because we have a lot of work to do. We have stories to tell and educational efforts to support. Our species needs an intervention, now.
We need a radical change of habits, lifestyle, and understanding of how Life evolves.
We are temporary containers of biological information. We must realize this, so we understand, not only as a fun fact, but deep down, with our gut and our nervous system, that nothing has a self nature, that we are not separated from the natural world. We must understand this fact so deeply that it gives us goosebumps and changes how we live.
Life on earth wants to refine itself and evolve by mutating and selecting, adapting to the environment around, passing on essential knowledge and nutrients from one generation to the next in our bodies, and the animal bodies, and the plant bodies, and the minerals. We are born, we grow, we sustain life and life sustains us, until we come back to feed earth with our own bodies when our time is done.
When your time is done here, and you look back at your life, will you be grateful that you contributed to making life possible for all organisms on the planet, or will you be grateful that you were able to buy a lot of stuff, mindlessly, without caring how it was made, how it affected living systems around you, or without having known as intimately as possible, how life actually works while contributing to the limitless consumption of humanity?
Today, I am scared for those things that make life worthwile. Me, and many others, will help teach those who don’t know, because they haven’t been taught how nature actually works. But the massive corporations and governments that aren’t doing anything in spite of irrefutable scientific evidence must be held accountable.
We need to know how far we can actually demand stuff, as citizens, from our governments. Does anyone out there, listening to this episode, has the answer to this? Can we talk please?
There is nothing like a breath of fresh air, a chilled glass of water, a hearty meal that actually nourishes you, a good night’s sleep under the stars away from city lights and the constant urban noise, the open smile of a baby, untainted by human belief systems, a walk on the beach without any plastic or trash everywhere, or a walk in the Andes without the micro particles from coal mines assaulting your lungs.
This is the real end game. We project heroes in movies and series, but we need the real heroes, right here and now, because the enemy is nowhere but inside us. It’s a matter of our inner management, we treat the outside world just like we treat our inner reality.
This need to control nature started thousands of years ago with what led to the agricultural revolution, we have spent the last couple hundred years trying to control life and nature more than ever, and since 1950, it’s been getting worse at a speed most of us are not even aware. Instead of investing our life time to understand how we can live in balance with natural cycles.
We have been outstandingly narcissistic and arrogant, believing we were the only intelligent organism on the planet, self-entitled to all the good things in life that the market has sold us since we were kids, believing we need al this stuff to feel alive and alright, and now we’ve disrupted ecological balance altogether, and decimated wildlife.
We must stop blaming stuff and turn our attention to how we humans manage the land. This is not only about beans or beef. It’s about toxic feedlots and toxic agriculture. The red tide in Florida, the sargassum seaweed crisis in the Caribbean, thousands of fish, manatees, insects and people are dying because of the human TOXIC MANAGEMENT of the natural world. That’s what we need to fight: our own blindness. Our own mindlessness. And it’s sometimes not our fault, we simply don’t know. Someone needs to teach us.
We must change the vocabulary we use to talk about our predicament: We don’t need to fight climate change. We ARE the cause of climate change and global warming, that’s where we need to focus our attention: within.
The natural world doesn’t want to kill you, it’s giving you life: free air, fresh water, food everywhere.
I understand we must learn all this through our symbolic ways of learning, because that’s how we human animals roll.
We have lost a huge chunk of that connection to bodywisdom, like I said earlier, we pulled knowledge out of our bodies, we turned it into written language, sciences, and so on.
We are symbolic animals. We represent objective reality with intangible symbols that are so powerful that we transform the natural world with them. We imagine, envision, we make, we transform. That’s our superpower.
But we are also genetic memory flows, and all the genetic memory of the world, all that has ever existed is contained in food, water, and air. These are the 3 evolutionary drivers that are indispensable for life to refine itself and evolve. If you think of what you eat and drink in this way, it may be easier to understand that you are either supporting Life, or supporting becoming a zombie by eating junk food that is dead, and empty of genetic memory.
In indigenous cultures around the world, the elders have held the wisdom and experience of the community, a knowledge inextricably linked to the cycles of the natural world around them. In modern cities, our elders disconnected so much from the natural world, that they forgot how to live.
So what do we do?
WHEN THE ELDERS OF TODAY FAIL?
WE TURN TO THE WISEST ELDER OF ALL:
THE NATURAL WORLD
IT’LL TEACH YOU WHAT YOU NEED
ABOUT THE SYSTEMS THAT KEEP
LIFE HEALTHY AND THRIVING
The reason we’re in this nightmare? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: we mistook one thing for another inside our attention, we placed our attention on the wrong thing. Remember observation IS reality?
We made economic growth the #1 goal above all else. The environment, human rights, health, education, culture, governance, they all bend to serve the mighty economic growth.
The #1 goal is and must always be, to protect the healthy flow of biological information, you can also call it Life, the Natural World, the Environment, Living Systems. Now that’s something I’ll bend the knee to: to keep all life healthy, all the time. We must adapt all our models of reality to that one truth. That is the #1 goal that must inform everything else.
Do we need to create the international church of the natural world? A non-belief system based on actual living systems? Does it run on the blockchain and will need to take over the current model of reality for billions of humans? If that’s what it’s gonna take, I’m in. And others are too. Call them #teamearth #teamregeneration do it #forlife #fortheoceans
Like I said earlier, we live in the solar system after all, it’s not the christian system, the muslim system, the judaic system, the capitalist system, or the liberal system, it’s the freaking solar system and the sun is what powers everything that’s going on in the biogeochemical flows that actually are, Life on Earth.
Are you with me?
Also, I urge you to create a conscious daily practice. Why? Because building a new archetype is a conscious daily practice, and the old model is so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, that we must work everyday at installing a new one deep in our core. And being grateful, saying thanks for the little or subtle things, or the things you might take for granted. This holds tremendous power:
For example, do you ever wake up and randomly thank plankton (which is 98% of the ocean’s biomass btw) for giving you half the oxygen you breathe and capturing 1/3 of the carbon in the atmosphere? Maybe you don’t because you didn’t know, well now you do. If you don’t because you take it for granted, remember that if you aren’t trained, it could take a minute or two for you to die from not breathing. If you’re trained even 20 minutes won’t do, you still need fresh, healthy air, to survive. Thank you plankton for giving us oxygen for free 🙏🏼☀️🏝🌍🌏🌎🌊
Fill yourself every morning with whatever works best for you, and also with memory, gratitude, and compassion.
Before us, the history of life on earth had been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. The physical form and habits of the earth’s organisms had been shaped by the environment. Life, modifying its surroundings, is a new thing.
We, Homo Sapiens have acquired an extraordinary power in a tiny moment of time, to transform the objective reality around us, altering the natural world, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Now, what are we going to do with this extraordinary power? It is our responsibility to realize our key role in maintaining the environment, and all of living systems on the planet, healthy. There is no difference between one and the other. We are, literally, the environment.
This, planet Earth is where we get to live, spinning through the long dark void, enjoying sunshine, air, water, food, and connection. We have received life and perhaps will reproduce. Everything, every animal, plant, mineral, and every human that’s ever existed is right here, their bodies transformed, their legacy inherited, some of them have even taken the time to leave essential breadcrumbs for us to find our way through the night, or find our way when we are lost and desperate. So grateful for all the masters before us who took the time to share their insights and wisdom in words or in writing. Realize how truly wonderful... how fast it’ll go until the moment this form you are in will fade and it’ll be time to surrender to the ultimate journey of transformation.
Say thanks for the chance to experience this epic adventure: you are human, you are free to be whoever you want, it’s challenging, and if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be epic.
Gather your compassion, your attention, your love for life, and know yourself as intimately as possible so you can wake up everyday, remember your true nature, and get out there to build the reality we all want, where we protect all life, so we can all enjoy this intense ecstasy of being alive in human form.
Ask yourself these wonderful questions:
1. What is worth fighting for?
2. What do we all need to be talking about?
3. How are you helping keep ecosystems healthy?
4. How are we thinking about this?
This is the single most important issue we must be thinking and talking about as a species, it is what informs everything else that matters in our lives and makes life worthwhile.
We must do so more creatively and with a mind more open than ever.
If we want to survive, as a species, and not drag the rest of the natural world down with us, this is what it boils down to.
What other questions can we ask ourselves as individuals? As a species? What can we do individually?
IN THE MORNING I DON’T HEAR MOST PEOPLE WAKING UP THINKING: AAAH IT FEELS GREAT TO BE THE APEX PREDATOR ON EARTH, HOW I LOVE BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HEALTH OF ALL ORGANISMS ON THE PLANET AND HELPING CREATE BIODIVERSITY FOR ALL LIFE TO EVOLVE AS HEALTHY AS POSSIBLE.
Feel Free to take your notebook out or you can also go to mastersofregeneration.com/podcast to see episode 22 and
add your daily morning practice, or any other ideas in the comments: What can we do, right here, right now, to support our global transformation?
Questions I am asking myself:
1. Do I know and remind myself everyday that building a new archetype for our species is a daily conscious exercise? Or do I run on autopilot, on old models of reality that are destroying biodiversity and are the root cause of climate change and global warming?
2. How do I understand my role as a consumer?
3. How do I understand my role as a political citizen?
4. How do I understand my role as being on top of the food chain? Have I ever thought about this?
5. How do I understand my role as a container of biological information flows?
6. Do I understand that I am nature?
7. Do I understand that I am nature flowing through me?
8. What are my rights, how far can I legally demand change from the government as an individual? As an organization?
9. How is all food produced or harvested, and how does this affect ecosystems?
10. Who am I giving my hard-won cash to? Toxic food producers or Stewards of ecosystems?
11. How much plastic am I not seeing in my daily consumption?
12. How many pairs of shoes do I really need? Same for bags, jeans, phones, lenses, laptops, jewelry, etc.
13. How often do I really need to update my electronics?
14. How many times a week do I need to treat myself to something nice by consuming? Be it a dinner or a thing?
15. Have we grown so spoiled as a species that we must complain about not getting everything we can possible desire right here right now?
16. Am I aware everyday that nothing has a self nature? That nothing exists independently? That everything inter-is?
The most pressing issues are how we have used energy resources, and how some of us have produced food, we have literally assaulted the environment, contaminated rivers, air, earth, and oceans with toxic and deadly materials, we have designed systems of living that disconnect us from the ecstasy of being plugged to nature, creating waves of massive depression and existential angst, which we compensate for with all sorts of drugs: alcohol, antidepressants, pain-meds, shopping, social media, cigarettes that are filling the environment with cadmium and cigarette butts that contain plastic polluting our oceans, we have abused sacred indigenous plants and turned them into devastatingly addictive drugs like cocaine. Elders from the Amazon insist that as long as we keep abusing their most sacred plants (like coca and tobacco), humans will keep killing one another.
We need to stop giving our hard-earned money to large industrial food producers (animal or plant) that are assaulting the environment with outdated linear methods of production like monocrops, which attack and hinder evolution because they biosimplify the landscape (biodiversity is evolution, biosimplification isn’t), or using industrial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides which are really biocides, and of course animal feedlots, fish farms, and other forms of animal or plant slavery. If our goal is to protect all life then we may reduce our meat consumption because buying 100% grassfed and pastured meats grown through regenerative practices is still very expensive, so are organic vegetables.
But expensive compared to what? That’s where our consumption comes in: since everything requires energy and natural resources especially oil (plastic), and metals how often do you need to replace your phone, laptop, appliances? How many pairs of shoes, pants, cups, plates, suitcases, sunglasses do you really need? What if we invested our attention and billions of US dollars into surviving as a species rather than projecting more heroism onto our screens? These are questions I ask myself.
What else can you do? Refuse plastic, styrofoam, straws? for sure. Reduce reuse recycle? absolutely! Carry your own water bottle, keep your organic fiber tote bags handy so you don’t need plastic bags or any other bags? Yes please. Donate your organic waste to someone composting in your neighborhood. Donate to conservation and activists who are actually helping change laws, or pass prohibitions like not smoking in restaurants became almost global (perhaps not in Europe but still), littering plastics of any kind should come with huge fines, etc.
The good thing is, many of us are responding to the calling to do something about these issues. Still not enough of us, and in order to create the reality we want, we must help create laws, rules to protect the natural world. Combining ecology with science and ancestral knowledge, interfacing them with data, and especially, human imagination, connection, and care.
It inspires me, it gives me strength, and I know I am not alone. It’s empowering to hear the stories of the heroes of our time, doing something about the challenges we face as a species.
This is why I created Masters of Regeneration Radio and why we need to join forces NOW.
1. To communicate how we keep all Life healthy on Earth
2. To support the accelerated expansion of a regenerative collective consciousness
3. To help protect the health of the natural world and human consumers
4. To understand that nothing has a self nature and we are alive as Homo Sapiens in a web of interdependent relationships of energy and nutrient cycles on Earth
5. To educate the general public on a regenerative understanding of our relationship to the natural world’s resources
6. To serve as an information hub for people interested in taking care of themselves, reclaiming their power, and making a difference in the world by becoming heroes, protectors of the natural world through conscious and purposeful living and responsible participation in this transitional time
7. To provide education and informative content around solutions to our global challenges and understanding how living systems on Earth actually work
8. To produce content in all necessary forms to reach the general public (podcast, courses, workshops, ebooks, books, cards, etc)
9. To protect, celebrate and express the seasons and natural cycles of each region we work in
10. To align our reason, our will, and our actions to the needs of the natural world
11. To promote animal, plant, soil, and ecosystems welfare
12. To raise our collective ambition to evolve as a species and design our living systems as organisms who are responsible for the health of all Life on Earth as opposed to organisms that mindlessly use, consume, and waste resources.
It is our RESPONSE-ABILITY to vote with our purchases, to demand from politicians that laws be changed, the more of us stop giving away hard-won money to corporations poisoning Earth, the faster we’ll either force them to shift or replace them with smaller, healthier business keep al life healthy on the planet
Like our dear friend Robbie Stewart, who died for sharks, our oceans, and for life used to say: find a cause you love, take one of your talents, smack em together and join us to save the world.
Wishing you all
LESS CONCRETE, POLLUTION, TV, DISTRACTION, ADVERTISING, SHOPPING, FAST FOOD, BUSY-NESS, RUSH, CITY LIGHTS, NOISE, DISCONNECTION.
MORE FRESH AIR, SPRING WATER, GREEN FORESTS, TURQUOISE WATERS, GROWING, FORAGING, HARVESTING WILD FOOD, COOKING, CONTEMPLATION, MEDITATION, NIGHT SKIES, STARS, RECONNECTION, AND COURAGE.”
Nothing in nature lives for itself.
Rivers don’t drink their own water.
Trees don’t eat their own fruits.
The sun doesn’t shine for itself.
A flower’s fragrance is not for itself.
Living for each other is nature’s rule.
From now on, let us rise by lifting others…