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The Karmic Garden

By Ronn Reinberg



Spirit of the Valley bids a fond farewell to Mr. Ronn Reinberg, who will be heading south at the end of October to glorious Santa Cruz. He’ll continue to keep us on our spiritual toes from time to time, when he’s not busy studying the Tao Te Ching, impersonating Lao Tze, or contemplating light……Many thanks for your inspiring words and insight, and may you continue to try to nudge people out of complacency. Someday, there will be a lynch mob after you (traveling in SUV’s) and then you’ll know your work is done.


Recently I discussed personal moral obesity as a result of the residue of our actions.  Now, I would like to discuss the same concept, as applied to our outer world.  The effect our actions have on the rest of the planet and its inhabitants.  Every action we take is a seed planted both in our being and in the universe.  We are thus in a constant state of cultivating a karmic garden.  If we take correct action, then the residue will be a healthy plant that adds nourishment and beauty to the garden.  However, if our actions are excessive or harmful, then we are essentially planting weeds in our garden and in the community garden.  These weeds can soon become an overbearing weight upon the earth.  If we do not stop planting weeds and if we do not tend to the removal of the weeds we have already planted, they will soon choke out and kill the beautiful nourishing plants that we depend on for our life.

I believe that one of the lessons to be learned from Hurricane Katrina is just how devastating the results of a large load of karmic weeds can be.  As I consider the actions that led up to the devastation and the need to provide shelter, comfort and a new home for those who were displaced, I wonder if the most appropriate response would be to not rebuild the city of New Orleans, but to leave it vacant as a memorial to and reminder of just how much havoc we can wreak upon ourselves. There are those who feel we need to heal the earth.  I think that we fool ourselves to believe we have the knowledge or ability to take on the illness of the earth.  The earth can heal itself if left alone.  Take a walk along any stream in the Valley where cattle and sheep are still grazing.  Then take a walk up Milligan or Hyndman Creek where cattle stopped grazing just a few years ago.  The magnificent way in which the earth can forgive us and reclaim its land is astounding.  After just three years the grasses have returned, the ruts are gone and flowers are again blooming along those waterways.  And with no help from people.  The earth will indeed love us if we let it.  Imagine how beautiful the Delta could become if left alone.

Dr. Emoto speaks of the Hidden Messages in Water.  I find the messages in Katrina's water not very well hidden at all.  Water, as everything in existence, contains Buddha nature, or in the Taoist term Chi, or as Emoto says, Hado, the life force energy given to all creation by the Creator.  The mechanistic model of Newton is finally being discredited by Quantum Science which is more and more aligning itself with the scientific view of the universe posited by the mystics 5000 years ago.  Thus both science and ancient religion now agree that every breath I take connects me to every thing in existence as intimately as if we were making love.  How are we treating our lover, water?  We attack it from above and below.  We drill holes in the bottom of the vessel which contains it, allowing the malignant ooze of the residue of dinosaurs' cadavers to seep into it.  Then from above we dump the urban excrement of our homes, businesses and factories.  We build a city seven feet below sea level on a sinking delta and turn the fresh water of the Mighty River which meets the Ocean in New Orleans into one of the most polluted toxic water supplies in the nation.  Is it any wonder that the water there is injured and angry?  Do we really need a city on that delta?  Can we find the restraint to simply let it be?  This disaster was even previewed by the government.  For the last two years FEMA did its simulated disaster relief drill based on a devastating hurricane hitting New Orleans. A lot of good that rehearsal did.  What is the next step?  Will homeland security add to the war on terrorists a war on weather?

I will be leaving the Valley this month to go to Santa Cruz, California.  Although this Valley is a beautiful garden of its own I have come to realize that my personal karmic garden is by the ocean.  So, with this column I bid the Valley and all of you a fond farewell.