We are Elder Brother and our mountain is the navel of the world.
To the north and to the south, Younger Brother is free to play, to enjoy the freedom of youth, only because Elder Brother continues to live close to Mother, cares for her, and gives her the respect she deserves.
To the north and to the south, winter and summer come and go, but on our mountain the climate only changes as we walk up and down the paths that stretch from the jungle at the edge of the sea up into the clouds atop the snow-capped peak.
To the north and to the south—but especially to the north—Younger Brother has forgotten Mother. He rips into her body like a grave-robber, no longer aware that her body is alive and the source of his own life.
We are Elder Brother, appointed of old to protect our Mother and to be her guardian in a world in which Younger Brother has been given the freedom to come and go, to explore, and to discover his own destiny. Younger Brother went forth like a rain storm blowing across the land. He acts instead of understanding and knows about consequences only when the outcomes of his actions create problems for himself.
In his freedom to explore, Younger Brother has finally abandoned all concern for the harm he does to other beings, and for the damage he inflicts on his own Mother.
Elder Brother has no need to run around like a child stung by a bee, as if the act of moving to another place could change what is. Elder Brother abides in what is, bringing awareness into a naturally quiet mind, letting an essential knowingness speak into the world, of the world, and for the world.
This does not occur without attention, without a thread of listening joining the lower with the higher, so that the world of appearance and manifestation can connect with the deep heart of Mother’s being. Human kind is the intelligent child of Mother Earth, and it is our responsibility to care for her, and our destiny to give her a voice in the cosmos. Mother gave this mountain into the care of Elder Brother because it is the still center of everything, the diamond in whose facets the farthest stars can be seen. Everything has its heart in this mountain.
The sea rises up into the warm embrace of the equatorial winds, rises up the sides of our pyramid mountain, raining on the jungles at the foot, raining on fields and high meadows, until it finally falls as snow on the peaks that tower four miles above the Pacific Ocean. And there, stored in deep snow banks that plaster the side of the pyramid’s peak, on clear days when the equatorial sun beats down, it melts and flows into streams that nourish the body of our mountain, feeding meadows, fields, and forests, as it wends its way back down to the sea.
When all is in harmony, Elder Brother acts only in order to maintain that harmony. In recent times, however, the clouds from the North carry poisons from Younger Brother’s factories, the ocean currents carry the effluents of mining and chemical waste and of garbage dumped out at sea, and the winds bring bitter smoke from the mutilation and burning of Mother’s body.
At the very foot of our mountain terrible chemicals are sprayed that kill the sacred coco plants which provide Elder Brother with the energy and strength needed to travel up and down the steep mountain sides of our home. The coco plant also provides the capacity to know the heart of Mother—so that our hearts can beat in unison with her heart and pulse in harmony with her rivers and her winds. But Younger Brother has not honored his ancient heritage, nor met the terms of the agreement that he would be given the whole world, save our mountain at the heart of the world. Younger Brother was given the freedom to use his hands to harvest what he has not planted, to build boats and houses and cathedrals with the gifts of Mother, and was only required to take just some trees from the forest so that the forest itself could still live, to take only some fish and deer so that the schools and herds could continue to flourish. But he has not kept this agreement. Younger Brother takes everything, without regard to the balance that allows Mother to go on giving. He is at war with himself over gold, over oil, and over Elder Brother’s medicine: the sacred coco plant. Younger Brother neglects his own mother and has forgotten the truth that he, like the fish and the deer, was born of her.
Elder Brother has no need for the metals under the earth, except for gold, which he uses to heal and energize the body of Mother. He has no need to rip the soil off rocky hilltops or to smash the bones of Mother with explosions and iron machines. He has no need to suck out the great underground lakes of oil, which are underground because they serve a purpose inside the body of Mother, just as blood and heart, liver and stomach are necessary inside the bodies of animals in order for them to live and function.
Now Elder Brother has been called forth off the mountain where he has lived for centuries because Mother is sick unto death. Rivers and land no longer embrace and empower one another. High and low no longer balance and nourish one another. That is why Elder Brother has been charged with creating arteries of gold to join the bottom of rivers with the land above. That is why we have come down to the ravaged coastal region and are making a pilgrimage to lay out spools of gold thread, in order that damaged river beds can be revived by the sunlight and be in harmony with the grasses and forests that owe their lives to the water that is carried by them. We are laying down miles and miles of gold thread to stitch the gaping wounds that Younger Brother has inflicted on the body or our Mother, even on the mountain of Elder Brother.
We have come down from our mountain after many centuries to give Younger Brother this warning: “Come home before our Mother dies. Only if you come home to yourself and touch the heart of Mother with Love, will you remember who you are. And only then will our Mother live.”
So taken by the phrase: but on our mountain. OUR not MY, and even more than that, the natural and rugged pride expressed in the phrase opens out into the sturdy attentive bearing of the piece as a whole.