In Christchurch, New Zealand, we are enjoying some extraordinary sunsets, thanks in large part to the smoke from the Australian bushfires. It is a miserable consolation and I would much rather that Australia wasn’t burning at all.
The bush fires are on everyone’s minds. Australia is burning – the animals are being injured, property destroyed – and what can we do? Well, there is a lot we can do. We can donate to various charities that are right there on the ground, picking up injured koalas and helping homeless humans make sense of this tragedy and rebuild their lives. We can lobby our politicians for action on climate change. We can stay alert to fake news in social media and challenge it where we see it. But there is something else we can do: every time we think of Australia, we can visualise rain clouds gifting refreshing rain over the vast dry continent. When the TV weather forecasters show us little fire symbols, replace them in your mind with little raincloud symbols!
You may laugh at this but there is more to it than meets the eye. There is plenty of anecodtal evidence about the power of thought. Some might call it prayer, others ‘intention’. A modern take on it is ‘manifestation’. In my view somethings are ‘known’ and do not require an explanation. But for those who need convincing, science is emerging that kind of backs it up. Believe it or not, physicists are realising something that the mystics have known for centuries, that the Universe is affected by our consciousness. Not just that, but we are connected in ways unseen. Just look up Quantum entanglement.
I have my own experiences of the power of prayer and so I keep an open mind. And I started to think about traditional practices such as rain dances. Numerous cultures have employed rainmaking rituals. Native Americans still perform traditional rain dances as do Australian Aborigines. Are their rituals not the equivalent of collective thought/prayer or manifestation? These people know how to live with the land and have a deep understanding of and respect for Nature. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them. We are entering an unprecendented time of climate change – we need to rethink our behaviour and consumption on a global scale. This really is the final call.
Recently a request went out across social media to visualise and pray for rain over Australia. And the rains did come, though much more rain is needed. You can say it’s a coincidence, which may indeed be true. But what I took from it was the power of collective thought – and connection. People coming together around the world with united compassion. This is how we are going to survive. Together. It is the only way.