If you missed it, you should to listen to what longtime butterfly researcher Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis, says about California’s monarch butterfly population. He’s been monitoring the butterfly populations in Central California for some four decades and maintains Art’s Butterfly World website.In an interview Oct. 21 with Beth Ruyak of Capital Public Radio (see http://www.capradio.org/58494), he says the California population is booming.
“This is the best monarch year in my part of California in at least a decade,” he told Ruyak, “and I’ve seen more monarch caterpillars this year than in the last five to 10 years put together.”
His former graduate student, Professor Matt Forister of the University of Nevada, Reno, joined him on the show, Insight with Beth Ruyak.Forister said the monarch butterfly population is thriving in Nevada, too.”They make their way over the Sierra and go out into the middle of Nevada, so it’s not surprising to see them out in the open lands,” Forister told Ruyak. “But even in the city there were times this summer when I saw one every other day which hadn’t happened since I’ve been in Reno for six or seven years.”
Both Shaprio and Forister declared there’s no evidence that the population increase is linked to California’s drought, as some news media outlets have proclaimed.
Simply put, the monarch butterflies like warmer conditions, they said.
At our Vacaville, Solano County home, the monarchs are still laying eggs on the milkweed. Today we have a total of 14 chrysalids. One is on a bee condo (made by UC Davis Arboretum member Tom Tucker of Vacaville). The bee condo is meant to house leafcutting bees and mason bees, but birds land on it (the evidence is there!) and one meandering monarch caterpillar pupated beneath it (the evidence is there).
Native milkweed goes dormant in the winter, but the tropical milkweed, a non-native, “remains available” for the monarchs to lay their eggs in the warmer climates along the California coast, from Marin County to the south. Winter is when the monarchs go into a reproductive diapause and “they’re not supposed to be interested in sex,” Shapiro said. Listen what he says to do about that.
For thousands of years, leaders of different faiths, brilliant philosophers, mystics and sages have been trying to share an important message with us:
Our collective perception of separation is an illusion. Although we are many, we are one.
And now, fascinating research in quantum physics is providing the same lesson to us through discoveries in entanglement theory and non-locality.
Albert Einstein once said, “A human being is part of a whole, called the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
As Deepak Chopra describes in Power, Freedom and Grace, “In the tangled hierarchy of creation, everything is inseparably one, and there is only interdependent co-creation. The table upon which you write, the chair upon which you sit — everything in existence, animate or inanimate — is the whole universe in a particular pattern of behavior. Go beyond the pattern of behavior, and feel the presence of that which is doing the behaving. You will see the presence of spirit in every object of your perception. The table and chair are made of wood, and every grain of the wood contains the entire history of the universe. The wood comes from trees and forests. The trees and the forests are made of sunlight and rainfall, earth and air, and the infinite void beyond the deep of space and the dark of time. The tree and the forests are inseparable from the squirrels and the birds’ nests, and the whole web of life in the great chain of being.”
Native Americans believe there is an invisible structure they call Grandmother’s Web that connects everything in the universe. They believe every thought we hold and every action we take impacts all of creation through this web. Others have labeled this invisible structure the Divine Matrix, the Field, and the luminous grid of the Universe. Even though different names are used, they all describe the same structure of connectedness and knowing. Author Lynne Mctaggart recently posted a blog that illustrates this beautiful interconnected nature of our existence: When Elephants Come to the Funeral. Her website provides additional information about the power of our intention to impact our own lives and the world around us.
Each thought we have is energy that can send a vibration into the web of creation.
For many years, an organization called the Institute of Noetic Sciences has been studying the power of our brains to connect with each other and the universe in ways we have yet to understand. Studies using random number generators have documented the power of our collective thought and emotion prior to and during significant world events. (Global Consciousness Project Video)
What will this mean when we wake up from our collective dream of separation? We will begin to realize that when we direct harmful thoughts, words and actions toward others, we receive them ourselves because there is no “other”. We are all one.
And since our thoughts are energy that can create form, we have collective power to co-create the world we long to have… so let’s focus our thoughts in a directed way and begin to visualize the reality we would like to experience.
We can begin by taking time each day to visualize and express heartfelt gratitude for the world we would like to live in, with a simple thought like:
“I am grateful that every person on earth has a heartfelt desire for peace, compassion and respect for All That Is.”
We can imagine this reality into being.
By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
Every new day is an opportunity to explore ourselves and our planet, but it’s hard to explore the world when we’re too busy rushing around every day to get out, open our eyes and let the earth teach us a thing or two.
It doesn’t matter how far along the spiritual path we feel like we are – getting out to nature and learning from its simplistic (yet impressively intricate) beauty seems like one of the best ways to elevate our consciousness and our understanding of what life truly is.
We can merge our understanding of our higher consciousness with our understanding of the natural world, and by exploring nature and absorbing the energies that permeate that landscape, we can not only learn about our higher consciousness, but our grounded, earthy consciousness too.
This is one reason I think the earth’s natural environment is important to our attempts to find enlightenment. True enlightenment, in my opinion, comes with the recognition that everything around and within us has an essential role to play in our physical and spiritual evolution.
I don’t think we can evolve without nature, and nature has been responsible for our human evolution up to this point in the first place.
Our sense of gratitude and appreciation for our existence on this stunningly beautiful planet increases when we realize that the natural environment is where we’re meant to be, and nature is a lot more active and interesting than our homes.
Most of us want to learn about the mechanics of the higher reality we’re ready to explore, which is understandable. In wanting to explore that higher consciousness, however, some spiritual seekers seem to have become disillusioned with this third-dimensional reality.
This can cause our gratitude for our existence here to dwindle, and interestingly enough, this has less to do with the natural world and more to do with our clearly misaligned society.
Some spiritual seekers are ready to be beamed up into a higher reality where they never have to deal with the pains and stresses of ‘3D earth’ again, but have you considered that ‘3D earth’ actually does feature, perhaps in lighter doses but powerful nonetheless, the higher reality we seek?
How often do the spiritual seekers who are ready to abandon ‘3D earth’ take a sojourn out to nature?
They might learn a lot about this reality if they did, and one thing they might learn is that we can explore our higher consciousness while subsequently anchoring ourselves in this world’s natural elements, as opposed to favoring that greater awareness over this reality when they’ve always been one.
This reality is an essential component of the higher vibration so many of us are ready for, and I don’t think we can progress into higher spheres without first getting to know the world around us in a deeper way.
I’m not talking about society, which, again, is obviously misaligned with a natural way of life – I’m talking about the natural world, in all of its beauty and splendor. I’m talking about the grass, the flowers and the trees, which, in my opinion, aren’t given enough credit for the spirituality that lives within them.
I’m talking about every aspect of the forgotten natural world, and the best way to enhance our appreciation for our existence on this evolving planet is to get out and explore this world while, at the same time, exploring our greater awareness.
We can do both of these things in sync, and we don’t have to favor one over another. In my view, it isn’t necessarily materialistic to favor nature, and I think materialism has more to do with the fancy, flashy things our society convinces us we should have.
The common spiritual explorer who embraces nature usually renounces such materialism in favor of their exploration and the creativity that can result.
Their willingness to embrace the earth along with their higher consciousness has grounded them, thus allowing them to explore themselves from a rational and discerning yet still openhearted point of view.
They can consider someone else’s perspective on spirituality with an open mind, but at the end of the day, they don’t rely on anyone but themselves, their intuition and the natural world to show them the way.
I think we have to experience this world and the higher consciousness that comes with it for ourselves as opposed to following gurus or teachers who claim to be further along the path than us, and I also think the earth is partially responsible for the higher, meditative vibrations we can access.
If living on earth and exploring this planet weren’t necessary for our spiritual evolution, then why would we be here? Think about it. Why would we come to this place, only to have to completely renounce it if we want to access a higher reality?
I don’t think it works like that, though I can’t claim to know anything for sure. Instead of renouncing the earth to raise our vibration, I’m starting to think we can expand our awareness by embracing the earth – not society, but the natural world.
How often do we find some cozy, somewhat private spot in nature and meditate? How often do we allow the earth’s natural vibes to permeate us, instead of staying in our homes and reading a book about spirituality?
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with studying spirit, but the direct exploration of both the natural world and our higher intuitive perception will probably get us where we want to go a lot quicker.
This is just my perspective, and in all things, you’re encouraged to find what works for you and pursue it. Exploring nature helps me find what I tend to feel like I’m missing, and when combined with meditation, it can produce a profoundly expanded state of awareness that does more for me than any spiritual text ever will.
So let’s embrace the natural world, while remembering to go within every day, and discover everything that these essential components of our spiritual evolution have to offer.
We’ll probably learn a lot more than we expect if we break out of our comfort zone and soar into the earthly and spiritual ethers without restriction, so all we really have to do is move beyond the fear and complacency that have, so far, stopped us from being who we truly are.
We’re free citizens of the natural world, not conformed consumers of the corporate world, and we have a right to our own planet and our own consciousness. Let’s do something with it!
I’m a twenty-one year old spiritual writer, blogger and channel for the creative expression of the inner universe, and I created The Culture of Awareness daily news site.
The Culture of Awareness features daily spiritual and alternative news, articles I’ve written, and more. Its purpose is to awaken and uplift by providing material about the fall of the planetary elite and a new paradigm of unity and spirituality.
I’ve contributed to a few different spiritual websites including The Master Shift, Waking Times, Golden Age of Gaia, Wake Up World and Expanded Consciousness. I can also be found on Facebook (Wes Annac and The Culture of Awareness) and Twitter, and I write a paid weekly newsletter that you can subscribe to for $11.11 a month here.