Human History: A Seed’s Perspective
Planted some seeds today.
I have more varieties in my seed box that I still want to plant, but for today I planted Milk Weed (Monarch butterfly magnet apparently), Tokyo Sunflower, Chocolate Sunflower and Kabocha seeds (from the one I got and cooked from Yaoyasan last week). It was a beautiful sunny day and I finally felt like digging my hands in soil and creating life. A few weeks prior, my roommate and I picked up large bags of soil and new seeds in preparation for springtime planting. Last week, they put a bucket out to catch the rain water during the torrential downpour. All the conditions and the supplies at hand seemed to say that it was time.
A big reason why I planted seeds today was 1) to express my joy and gratitude for life; but largely also 2) out of my desire to learn about Unity Consciousness from bees. By planting seeds, I made an offering to the bees that might (hopefully) be visiting once the seeds sprout and begin to blossom. Maybe the sweetness of my plants could serve in their work of creating Nektar for our world. Maybe they could teach me a thing or two when the come to visit. More on this later, back to seeds.
Last year, I sat in on a zoom talk about the history of seed saving from the perspective of Japanese American history. Many Japanese Americans today, including the majority of those who attended the talk, are descendants of Japanese migrant farmers who were forced into internment as enemies of the state after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. When Japanese farmers were mandated to leave their homes, I learned that many made sure to pack their seeds so that wherever they may have been taken, they’d have their seeds to survive, to sustain, and have the means to create a future. While slavery is never comparable to anything else, we acknowledged and paid homage to Black history and African ancestors who were captured during slavery, many of whom had seeds woven in their hair by loved ones who wished they survive, be able to sustain, and would create a future wherever they may have been taken.
I should mention here that I’m not a descendant of Japanese farmers who were interned in the U.S. I’m a descendant of Japanese farmers-restaurant owners-merchants on my mother’s side and Japanese sword makers-engineers-writers on my father’s side. Unlike my fellow zoom participants, my ancestors were on the ‘other side’, subject to their own flavor of dictatorship and propaganda, which came with the subsequent repercussions of being atomic-bombed. It was eerie to hear so many of us who haven’t ourselves lived through war to refer to “the war” (WWII) as a clear marker in our own personal family histories. I guess that’s war though.
I think about other Japanese farmers outside of Japan. Brazil has the largest population of Japanese people outside of Japan and the history of empire and human survival responses have everything to do with that. When Japan’s feudal system ended, many people in the rural areas began experiencing poverty and contemplated new lands to live on. (The U.S.’s gentlemen’s act (ew) didn’t permit Japanese to immigrate to the U.S. at the time.) In 1908, the first wave of Japanese immigrants traveled by ship from Kobe via the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa to get to Brazil. When WWI began, there would be a huge influx of Japanese immigrants who followed suit.
History says their experiences weren’t great. Dehumanizing conditions and treatment awaited their arrival and stay. For most, the stay was long and permanent as Japanese immigrants were legally prohibited from leaving, especially as there was a law in place to ‘whiten’ Brazil. Black people were excluded from entering Brazil while Japanese were encouraged to immigrate in large masses between 1926–1935. During this time, Japanese newcomers were forced to work the farms while the those who had been there for awhile were removed from positions of power.
It’s fucked up. And it really makes you want to polarize and assign the oppressor and the subjugated, doesn’t it?
The Japanese don’t get off the hook so easy. All of this is followed by Japan going on a drunken rampage of imperialism inflicting genocide and occupying countries such China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, the Phillippines, Myanmar, Guam and the list goes on. Nazi Germany felt a resonance with this behavior and considered the Japanese ‘honorary aryan’. Later during the apartheid, this alliance between colonizers happens again when Japanese who lived in South Africa were considered ‘honorary white’ because of mutual merit of power and economics, even while other Asian people were discriminated against and deemed people of color adjacent to Black people.
I have German friends who have shared that the educational system in Germany is saturated with teaching the shame and guilt of let’s-never-repeat-Nazi Germany-again, and whether that’s true or not, I can’t say the same effort to acknowledge and hold itself accountable for genocide has happened in Japan. The overall lack of acknowledgement and accountability of its imperialist history and including repeated calls for reparations, whether by politicians or the everyday person, prevails in my opinion.
Some might let Japan off the hook by saying that they got ‘it’ (it = the hunger for imperial power at the cost of genocide) from white supremacy but that would be a cop out in my opinion. To suggest that Japanese history is an example of a people who retaliated against imperialism with imperialism only derails from the main question at hand. Why has humanity continued to use the same vocabulary of existence at the cost of life for so long? The Jomon Era, when the indigenous people of present day Japan thrived for 10,000 years, were 10,000 years of sustainably and no trace of war… what shifted/regressed? And what is keeping humans in its shadows?
It’s a lot. A lot of times I feel like I don’t know what I’m supposed to do or who I’m supposed to be. Do I apologize and to who? How much of my oppressor and subjugated identity am I supposed to claim? Wouldn’t it be nice to just detach from it all and just ascend like many spiritualists recommend. And yet by the nature of existence we are all intertwined with everything else, and no one can walk the earth without a shadow.
So, what now? Maybe naming the poison before birthing an anecdote. Shall we start with the root cause that incites it all? The vibration of controlling via abuse and toxic power and extraction by force which perpetuates hierarchy and destruction? It’s sick to think that generations and generations have passed while this same wretched paradigm of the ‘top’ controlling the masses at ‘the bottom’ continues. Like, aHHHHHH fuck this triangle shape! (It’s upside down anyways!🔻) It is so tired!! So disgusting! So mindless and ignorant! It’s even more yucky and sad when I notice how the posture of the triangle has been internalized in me, confining and restricting me within my own being. It’s painful to see and undo for sure.
To turn around to look at our own shadow is to walk towards the frequency of fear. From Dune: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
To see the pattern of the paradigm and then to see beyond… the truth that all phenomena is contained in the microcosm, the Self as Seed.
Trees and plants are our ancestors. They have witnessed us kill each other, divide and conquer lands, take from the earth for our survival and still yet trash and destroy it. And yet there they stand and continue to grow. They are survivors themselves… they have survived the abuse of the human shadow! The strongest and wisest seeds remain, holding inside the intelligence of weathering the harshest of storms. I can only imagine the level of patience, grace and capacity as they witness us, maybe sometimes shaking their heads as we get it wrong over and over… and yet we too are Seeds. Realizing this about the Self, and knowing there are other Selves, how do we go beyond the I?
We go back to the bees. They have much to teach us about unity consciousness. The bees have told/scolded me: “if you want to become Amrita (medicine, immortality, divine feminine nektar), you must learn how to create Amrita.”
They have the intelligence and have the systems and structures in place to teach us how we could exist on this planet together in a different way. About unity consciousness. About a way of being that is not about tops and bottoms, but more of a centrifugal force that emanates expansive love, equality, generative abundance, shared and unique missions, collaboration and exchange. The shared energy and wisdom fractals out and out and out where, like tapestry that is dyed repeatedly in indigo dye becomes more indigo than the plant itself, deepens and strengthens the farther it extends out. (Indigo plants originate in Africa).
As a collective, I would love to shift into new shape. Usher in a new paradigm. Maybe we’re not too far. No, no we’re not too far. In fact, we’re here and we have no more ‘time’. The Now is ripe and the stars say that we are moving from the Age of Pisces to Aquarius. We all feel it. The Age of Pisces closing with the shouts and fists of the people protesting globally — “we’re not taking this anymore! I am not doing this anymore!” Pachamama giving us her bitter medicine of illness, death and grief, forcing us to go into our rooms and ourselves to reflect, rest and imagine, and dream into existence, a different way.
More people, especially younger generations, are turning to the wisdom of our freedom-fighting elders and ancestors and revisiting concepts like socialism, non-hierarchical cooperation and mutual aid, bartering and exchange, reclamation of ancestral rituals and ceremonial healing, studying the stars and the cosmos, and getting in right relationship with Pachamama and the Self and stewarding the land as we once did.
There is talk of alchemy. And the notion of fusing the corporal 3d Self with the wisdom of Ancestors, Pachamama and benevolent Star Beings to walk in co-creation. Me writing this, and you reading this, we are the key to alchemizing it all. We are the diverse and necessary Seeds to perpetuate the burgeoning of life. Rooting deep into the Earth let us Be home.