Welcome to Panther’s World

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Welcome to Panther's World
Welcome to Panther’s World

When I began apprenticing with my teacher in Oregon one of the first things he told me was that “This is Panther’s World. If there were Jaguars in Oregon, we’d be in Jaguar’s World. Whatever the biggest cat is, that’s whose world we’re in. Did you ever read the expression ‘Lion of Judah on the throne,’ in the Bible?” he asked me. “THAT is what I’m talking about.”

What do you mean?” I asked him.

It’s not about my meaning or your meaning,” he said, “it’s about making sense of Panther’s World. For that you have to learn to see and read Panther’s reality, and not just words. If you see the reality of Panther’s World you’ll see the sense of it. Whatever meaning you or I make about things is not what I’m pointing to.”

I didn’t understand what he was talking about.

When we get indoctrinated (but never initiated) into a “religious tradition” of a totally foreign people, like the case of non-Hebrews reading a thoroughly-mistranslated Bible, taken completely out of its historical, linguistic, cultural, political and ecological contexts, we get taught to believe and repeat things without making any sense of what we are saying.

Study the history of Christianity and you’ll discover that its current form started as a slave religion in Rome. As a side note, there are other forms of Christianity that are profoundly different than the Roman form, or the Protestant forms which came out of it. The purpose of slave religions is to shape slave societies. Few of us appreciate the profound impact this has had upon the nature of the “Christianized” world today. Whether you believe in Jesus or not is irrelevant to what I’m pointing out. Christianity, at least the kind spread by the Romans, was never about a specific belief. It was about shaping perception FROM BELIEF, rather than from the slow, patient observation of reality. John Trudell brings light to this in our post, The Tribes of Europe, as part and parcel of an imperial enterprise, aiming to take everything the conquered tribes of Europe had, including our minds.

Until not that long ago, big cats were very much a part of the ecology of much of the world, as they continue to be in the Canyon Country of Utah where I just spent 9 months in a place where I’d run into panther tracks on an almost-daily basis.  Big cats are at the top of the food chain; not merely because of their size, but because of their skills.  They are hunters, observers, trackers.  They know every subtlety, detail, nuance, and change in their environment.  There is a quality of awareness that allows them to master their world.

Most atheists in the West are just as caught up in the deep programming as true believers. They have replaced “the priest of Jesus” with “the experts of science,” but continue to bow down to second-hand conclusions instead of building the foundation for a coherent, self-led comprehension of their world.

“The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.” – Dresden James

Disconnected, dissociative belief in non-verifiable “official truths”makes slaves. Coherent, connected attention TO REALITY frees.

Today Panther is our teacher. In every ecosystem, including human ecosystems, there is a Natural Intelligence that fulfills Panther’s role. This is essential to the Fabric of Aliveness.

Who is Panther? What is his relationship and responsibility to his world? What is Panther’s relationship to the Deer? Why is Panther/ Jaguar/ Lion “on the throne”  in human societies? What is his responsibility and relationship in function to those societies?

For those who have spent some time reading here, you may be getting the gist that I do not speak moralistically nor idealistically, nor am I interested in herding anyone’s sacred cows. Most of us have been deeply trained to convert almost everything we hear into moralistic and idealistic formats. But Panther’s world is not moralistic. It IS, however, ethical, a distinction we’ll explore elsewhere. It is also profoundly consequential, connected, related.

Through close connection with and observation of Nature, and by recovering the sense of the language we speak, we broaden and reconnect our answers to the realities that the questions point to.

We think the world is made of things. Here, we pay attention to what “things” are doing, to the verbs of Being and Relating. We begin to see the interconnected nature of Panther’s World.

A panther is what deer become when they are no longer fully, vitally being deer.

Please reread that.

That may seem a surprising statement, but it’s also obvious. It can be surprising how something so obvious could escape our habitual appreciation for what a panther and a deer are: they are expressions of Living Relationship. They are a Mutuality of Response-Ability.

Panthers are what Deer become

and Deer are what Panthers become,

When the fullness of their Aliveness starts to wane.

Panthers are the Guardians of the Deer’s Excellence,

and Vice-Versa.

Beings have Being (the verb) in Relationship. To Be is to Be Related and to Be Able to Respond to other expressions of Being.

Consider that and bring it down to the ground.

8th Place - Mountain Lion (7487178290)
Panthers are what Deer become. Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Creative Commons 2.0

When deer degenerate, become careless, ill, inattentive, old – all waning, devitalized states – they turn into panthers. They aren’t just eaten by Panthers, they become Panthers. Living Beings are not “things.” They are Being. Being nourishes Being and in-forms the forms of Being it Nourishes with its Being. Please don’t take my word for it. Open your eyes. Start with your lunch. Being is a Language that literally in-forms and nourishes Being.

Things” appear to appear and disappear. But there are no “things,” only transitional states as Being transforms itself into Being. All Being is Becoming-Anew in New Expressions of Being. That’s the Adventure of Being. We are a momentary expression of this adventure of Being. We think we are humans and that’s all most of us will allow ourselves to be. But the reality is that we are a human form of Being.

When the Panther eats the Deer, the Deer literally in-forms the Panther. Living unfolds in a Language of Aliveness that every Living Being is in-formed with and by, cellularly. Every living Being encodes its experience in what it is and transmits that Living Wisdom to what it Nourishes. If you explored some of the recommended reading in our post Vital Health in Five Steps, you discovered some of the amazing ways our bodies get encoded from our food.

Aliveness is in-form-ational. It is Intelligent and Nourishes Intelligence. All Aliveness is woven of a Living Language of Aliveness that interweaves itself through forms.

So Panther is a shape of deer. What do these deer, now-become-Panther, do for their deer relatives?

They Protect the Excellence of the Deer.

To a mind separated from Nature this may sound like a stretch. “What do you mean they protect the Deer?!” one might object, “You mean they devour the deer!”

They prevent degenerate, inattentive deer from further encoding their carelessness into the web of Aliveness. This is not some abstract “concept.” The words and the structure of this subject-verb-object English language are insufficient to a Living Reality of Dynamic Universally Subjective Mutuality. All Aliveness emerges in Relationships that are both protective, generative and destructive. The goal of Aliveness is Aliveness. This Planet is the Place of Aliveness. It is not the Place of the Deer versus the Panther, it is the Place of Deer and Panther. Deer and Panther are vital in mutual relationship.

Figure Undergoing Transformation LACMA M.86.311.6
Man Transforming Into a Jaguar. Olmec Culture, Mexico. 900-300 B.C.

We see the panther as one thing, predator; and the deer as another, prey. One cannot thrive without the other one ensuring its Excellence. It is a Panther-Deer Relationship. Each grows in response and relationship to the other. Each stimulates the excellence of the other. Each becomes the other. With each other, they thrive.

Without each other, they degenerate, like deer and panthers in a zoo… Alive, but not quite Alive; domesticated, amputated, surviving instead of thriving, devitalized, diminished, stupefied. This is what happens to domesticated Beings, like humans reduced from human Beings to “human resources.”

For many years I have objected to the growing totalitarianism in the West and worldwide, the invasion of privacy, the nullification of rights.

When I started to teach around the world I saw another side of the equation: people who were very forthright, even proud to tell me that they are mediocre and prefer to act in that manner. After six years of absence from the United States I’m surprised to see how much the economic situation has deteriorated right along with people’s ethics, intelligence and capacity. I use to think that this is wrong.  Reality is ALWAYS right.

Willful ignorance is not wrong.  It is both consequence and consequent.  It is also a state of arrested development that reduces a being potentially capable of extraordinary awareness and abilities to a stupefied prey species.  All empires perfect the art of debasing their subjects.  That is reality.

Something is going to happen in response to this mediocrity. It has to. This is not the planet of mediocrity. This is Panther’s world. Panther is the guardian of our excellence. Panther comes in an Infinity of Shapes and Sizes, including human shapes.

A mystified mind looks at the Olmec statue above and cannot make sense of it. In Meso-America they are known as “Jaguar-People” or “Balam” in some Mayan languages. They are the Guardians of their People’s Excellence.

Go into a natural ecosystem and observe and you’ll get it. See the quality of Aliveness, of attention and excellence of a plant, a lizard, a bird on the wing. Then walk into your local supermarket and see the quality of the folks shuffling around there. Notice what you see in terms of qualities of Aliveness.

We can judge “those in power” all we want. Remember that this is Panther’s world. Ask the elders from any indigenous culture and they will tell you whose world you walk in, whose intelligence your own is called to match and be Response-Able to.

When you face the choice between mediocrity and excellence, which do YOU choose? We live in times of extraordinary possibilities and wealth. Everything has been practically given to us. We can learn, research, create, collaborate in ways that would simply boggle the mind of our forefathers who, only several generations ago were being burned at the stake for simply owning a piece of literature. What are we doing with our opportunities?

Rest assured, if we do not walk in Panther’s world with the excellence he calls us to, our mediocrity will feed the Excellencies of his World.  This is how it is. It requires no justification. Contentment with being lukewarm, half-hearted and half-ass sows consequences, not just for you, but future generations. A “people” who only care “emotionally,” but not enough to do anything in reality about those consequences for future generations are no people whatsoever. They are a responsibility that Panther will have to take care of, in precisely the manner that Panther takes care of the lukewarm, half-hearted, distracted, and half-ass. In the 20th century over 240 million people were killed by their own governments. We think that’s wrong. What is our responsibility?

What is our response when we are invited to such exceptional opportunities as those we have been handed in Panther’s World? In six years and hundreds of people I can count the people I met who demonstrated whole-hearted commitment and excellence on the fingers of one hand and still have fingers left over. That is the truth.

Panther’s paying attention. He’s watching. This is his world; a world of total invitation to sumptuous gorgeousness and agile, attentive excellence. What world are you in? Are you paying attention?

Gather Seeds,

Of Wisdom, Which is Way-Finding,

Make Your Way

To Living the Life You Love

By Loving the Aliveness You Are.


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