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On Clouds and Cosmic Law

In the modern world, words like ‘law’ and ‘order’ carry with them a good deal of sociocultural baggage, and are often associated with restriction, burden, and arbitrarily imposed rules. Yet historically, tradition after tradition sees an innate, artful order to the natural world and views the Law of the Land as something vibrant and alive, present in the breath and in the waters and in the endless cycling of the clouds. In this living vision of Law, nature unfolds along particular patterns and pulses, and the task of the human being is to understand what it means to align to this inherent pattern. The culture attunes itself to the Law of the Land — and its dances and its artworks, its ceremonies and its cycles of planting and harvest are a reflection of this living Law. At the heart of this Law is a responsibility to give back to the living web of which we are a part, and the understanding that in the very act of being alive, we owe debts to the larger cycle of creation. Talk of shared responsibility and debt can seem at odds with a modern culture that focuses on individualist freedoms. Yet traditional visions of Law remind us that our responsibility to nature is not burdensome. In fact, to align to the larger web of life alleviates a great modern burden — the burden of isolation. So Law, ceremonially enacted, places a person in direct somatic relationship with the community and the ecology and the larger cosmos. In this vision, Law is not something that can be theoretically imposed. It must be felt, and it is traditionally felt ritually. So any discussion on Law — Natural Law, environmental law — that does not include a sacred, ceremonial component, is incomplete. For the Law of the Land, as it is traditionally seen, is alive, and what matters most is our communal ritual connection to it. Nyoongar Elder Noel Nannup, Native American activist and author Jose Barreiro, and author Bill Mahony join for this vibrant journey into Law… and clouds. Featuring original music by Marya Stark, Nivedita Gunturi, and Andy Aquarius.