Awakin Calls » David Milarch » Transcript
David Milarch: Obtaining New Life By Giving New Life to Trees
Awakin Call with David Milarch, December 17, 2016
Transcriber: Dorsay Fischer
Aryae: Good Morning, everyone! Good afternoon and Good evening! My name is Aryae and I'll be your host for this weekly Global Awakin Call. Welcome and thank you for joining us. The purpose of these calls is to share stories and tell stories. Stories that help plant seeds for a more compassionate society while fostering our own inner transformation. We do this by holding collective conversations with guest speakers from all walks of life who inspire us through their actions to live in a more service oriented way. And behind each of these calls is our amazing team of service space volunteers whose invisible work allows us to hold this space. Today our special guest speaker is none other than David Milarch -- someone who really embodies today's theme of obtaining new life by giving new life to trees. Thanks again for joining today's call. Let's start with a moment of silence to anchor ourselves.
Welcome again to our weekly Awakin Call, today in conversation with David Milarch. In a few minutes our moderator, Samir Patel, will engage in a deep dialogue with our speaker. And by the top of the hour we'll roll into Q&A and a circle of sharing where we invite all of your reflections and questions. I've opened up the queue so at any point you can hit star 6 on your phone and you'll be prompted when it's your turn to speak. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's theme as I mentioned earlier is obtaining new life by giving new life to trees. When our speaker reached a low point in his life years ago, he received guidance that he could rescue and renew his own life by rescuing and renewing the life of the redwood forest. In consonance with this theme, it’s worthwhile for each of us to reflect on what have we learned from low points in our lives, about the service that we're here to do in this world.
We have the pleasure of a remarkable moderator, Samir, today. So let's start by having him kick off our circle. To give you some context, Samir Patel, in his career has been a pioneer in combining data science and digital marketing. He developed tools and platforms which helped start-up companies grow from a gleam in the eye of the founders to successful businesses that employ many people. He recently left that life, went to India to be of service at the Gandhi Ashram and his life since has been about the combination of that work and that service. Samir, thanks for joining us, and any opening thoughts about today's conversation?
Samir: Thank you everyone for giving me the opportunity here. My inspiration for introducing David and getting to know him all started back (like you mentioned, Aryae) when I was at the Gandhi Ashram and I was at a farm, and I came across this book called “The Man Who Planted Trees.” At that time it was a very inspiring book for me and actually called on me to plant a lot of trees at the Gandhi Ashram. And more recently, I came across a book by the same title by Jim Robbins where you see that modern day work of David. I was very inspired to think that this man is living right now -- kind of a legendary figure for me! So I reached out to him, and had a conversation with him and yeah, that's how it all started.
I think the most inspiring part for me was that the character, Jean Giono (in the first book I read), kind of single-handedly cultivates a forest from nothing, like a barren piece of land. And just his sense of certainty, integrity, class, persistence, with a lot of love for the work he did and the simplicity with which he lived his daily life was truly inspiring. I saw so much of that in David as well.
Aryae: That's awesome to hear your part of the story, Samir, thank you. So I'll turn it over to you for the interview.
Samir: David I would love -- all of us here at Service Space are interested in action and hands-on work in different areas, including the environment. So it would be great for you to give us an idea of how you grew up, how was your life early on? Like I had never heard of Copemish, Michigan in my life before so I'd love to know how you were as a kid, what influenced you, and your parents. So describe your life to us growing up.
David: I was born and raised in Livonia, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit. I was born in 1949 so I grew up in the 50s and 60s and I watched the transformation of Detroit which was called the Paris of Trees back in the 20s, 30s and 40s because the streets were so beautifully lined with large trees that it was actually called the Paris of Trees. Ever since I was 5 years old my father has had a nursery growing plants and trees at our home in Livonia, it was a rural area. So as soon as I was able to walk outside, I was asked to do the weeding of the small plants and that started my journey with plants and trees, specifically from about the time I was 5 years old. So it has been a lifestyle and not really a career, and back in those days there was a lot of turmoil. People remember the late 60s with the war and Vietnam and political turmoil -- there were riots back then and a lot of the young people were dissatisfied with the way of war, so it was turmoil. So I found my solace when I was working alone as a teenager with the plants and the trees, especially the trees: it gave me a lot of solace and I was able to really connect with nature. So as the craziness of the United States back in the late 60s, early 70s and the turmoil was going on, I had found my solace outdoors, in the forest, with the trees and plants. Then when I was 21 years old, I moved 250 miles north to find some answers. Because the city had gotten its tentacles into me and I was abusing drugs, I was riding with a motorcycle gang, I was doing a lot of fighting, and I was at war with myself. So like I was saying, at 21 years old, I grabbed a small tent and my motorcycle and I went 250 miles north near Traverse City, Michigan and I camped out that entire summer. Something I'd never done before. Trying to figure out who I was, what was going on, and why had the Creator put me on earth. It wasn't for the negative things -- so what was it I needed to do? So I camped alone on the edge of a small lake that entire summer and by the end of that summer, I had come into my own. I had found out that our mother, Mother Earth, was being abused every way that you could abuse her, in the name mostly of greed. And I was really, really sorrowful. I was angry, sorrowful and thought there must be something I can do to help. Like I said earlier, I was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, so it seemed natural to me then, to move up to a very small area called Copemish -- a village of 150 people. There are lots of rivers, lakes and trees and forests, but not many people. And it's really quite isolated and it's very rural and it's poor. Very, very poor.
Samir: In your camping trip you mentioned you discovered who you were. What did you discover -- who are you?
David: At that time, I was an initiate (and didn't know it at that time) for my life's work in the mission that I was given , in my opinion, before I incarnated. But all of us listening, I'm sure, would agree that you have to find a quiet place and be able to listen to your inner voice and the other voices that are coming through from the divine giving us a hint of who we are, why we were born, and what our mission might be. But if we stay busy in what I call the "monkey brain" chasing your tail around cities, always rushing around doing things, it's difficult to listen to who we are, why we're here and what we could do to help. So, meditation helps.
Samir: It's the difference between being a witness and actual activity, right? Yes, I agree that makes a whole lot of sense. So fast-forwarding a little bit ahead to 1999, I heard you died in 1999. If you died, who are you right now, what happened? Describe that experience to us.
David: Well my body died. I didn't die. But I had total renal failure, which means my liver and kidneys stopped functioning. About 3 or 4 days into that ordeal, you sort of swell up, you turn yellow and you're very, very violently ill from the poisons you can't get rid of. You have high fever. I was home and I had two small sons, they were in single digits, 6 and 8 years old. I refused to go to the hospital. I said I got myself into this, I will get myself out of this -- I was that stubborn. So about the fourth day, my wife Kerry, called my best friend, Larry Roundtree and he came over and said "You're in bad shape, looks like you're dying. You need to get some help." He picked me up out of my bed, threw me over his shoulder, and drove me to the closest hospital. I was in full renal failure and there was so much fluid around my heart, it was stopping. And they said you have less than 24 hours to live, so we need to put you on dialysis. We need to reduce the pressure from around your heart, so they take these very large needles with these large cylinders and stab them into my chest and draw out the fluid, so I don't have a heart attack. That seemed to help quite a bit. Then they said you need a blood transfusion because your blood's not coagulating, but probably if we do that you'll probably hemorrhage to death but we need to try. They were doing all kinds of things. I was grateful for it but when they were finished with those procedures they said you're going to have to go on dialysis immediately and maybe we can keep you around for 24 hours. I said to them "No I don't think that's what going to happen. I want to go home." And the doctor got really violent and said, "You're going to die. You can't go home." I said, "No I want to go home." So I asked them to get my friend Larry and much to the displeasure of the hospital and the doctor, he put me back over his shoulder, put me in the car and drove me home. Later on that night and by the way, I told the doctor, "I'm not going to die." He said,"Yes, you are." And I'm happy to report that we were both correct! Later on that night I did die, my body did, but, of course, your spirit doesn't die at all. And I left this earth plane and I went to the next dimension. So that's how it happened.
Samir: Yes and tell us how that transformed your world view and the work that you do because I know it seems like one of the main turning points in your life was camping out for 3 months, right (when David was 21)? It looks like this was another kind of turning point of sorts. So what did you see in that dimension that you speak of and how did that transform you?
David: Well it transformed everything. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually---it's a very, very profound experience, when you actually do cross over to the other side. There are a lot of people that have near death experiences and they get very, very sick or very ill or they've had accidents but they don't actually cross over. I haven't read any books on this actually, but I've met a few people that have had near death experiences, but only very few that have been through what I call the tunnel of light, Samir. And what it is when you're dying is you know you are. I knew I was dying. I was full of sorrow because I had small sons. I was full of sorrow for all the people I had misused or hurt. And I was really sorrowful that I wouldn't be around to raise my boys. So there's guilt, there's sorrow, you're really sick, but there`s not really a lot that you can do. And the moment came when I lifted up out of my body in the bedroom, and much to my surprise I was conscious. I knew who I was, I felt like I did when I was in the human body, and I started to get really afraid, like I wanted to reach back down and get back into my body. And right about then an angel came. An angel came and said "We're here to help you, don't be afraid, we know you're afraid." And there was a lot of compassion and them trying to comfort me. Then, I was taken by the hand and the best way I can describe it was like a 10 or 12 foot diameter, literally, a tunnel of light and it didn't run up and down -- it ran like more at an angle on a horizontal plane. And I went into that tunnel of light -- it had really bright, white walls and then on the edge of the walls or in the walls was like the helix of the DNA. One was a pinkish salmon colored ribbon of light that was in the wall. The other one was a light blue going in the opposite direction. So it was a white tunnel of light with blue and pink lines in the walls that went on for a long way. So the angel was there saying, “We know you're afraid”, but all of a sudden, it was like being shot out of a cannon. And through the tunnel of light we went and I don't know how long it was. But the angel hung on tight because they knew I'd be afraid. And a little while later, we arrived. Bang! Just stopped like an elevator. And I stepped out into a dimension that looked like you were on the edge of a big city. But in this city, the buildings were pretty much all white. The sky was beautiful, beautiful colors. Colors that I haven't really seen on earth. The best way I can describe it is the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen over the ocean in Florida or the Gulf of Mexico. One of the most beautiful sunsets you've ever seen--that's what the sky looked like. And then there was a harmony, or a feeling, or wave after wave -- it was unconditional love. And I'd never felt my whole being, wave after wave of this unconditional love but I could see the city and it was really, really marvelous, the way it looked, the way I felt, the colors of the sky -- it was like rapture. And some more light beings came, and I thought I was going to walk over to the city, and walk across (there was an open area) and go to the city. I was just trying to hold on because of the wave after wave feeling of unconditional love washing over me -- but it wasn't scary at all. It was the most beautiful, profound feeling and sights that I'd ever seen. And yet, I was fully conscious like when I was back in my body, who I am -- I hadn't lost any of that.
Samir: Wow -- so all this brought you back to trees in some way, right? I'd love to hear more about how do trees anchor our ability to live on this planet? Like, why trees? Why is that important to your work right now?
David: Well, trees are one of the main anchoring systems of almost every ecosystem on earth.
Samir: What do you mean by anchoring?
David: Well trees, their roots grow into the ground and sometimes very deeply into the ground. And yet the tops of the trees reach for the sky, or the heavens. So they are of heaven and of earth. And what I've learned in 20 some years that I've been working with the trees, is that when I came back from my near death experience – I was sent back. They told me that you can’t stay, that I had to go back, that I had work to do. So I was sent back through the tunnel of light, back into my body, and it took me 6 weeks because I couldn't walk. But I was healing. I was wondering why did I get booted out of there!
Samir: Sounds like, “David, you haven’t finished your homework!”. Go back and finish it!
David: I know now that sometimes we need to go through extremes like that, Samir, and everyone is listening -- if you're in an extremely difficult situation whether it be your physical health or your mental health, or if you are in a difficult situation with your partner or your family where you're really under duress, look on it as a blessing. I know that sounds very, very difficult to understand. But if you're being tested and challenged, know that there's important work for you to do and it's a test. And the more severe the test, the more important the work, it seems like!
Samir: Yeah! And I think, Kahlil Gibran in ‘The Prophet’, he said, though I don’t recall the exact words, he said that the deeper the pain or suffering carves the cup, the more water it can hold.
David: Exactly! It makes perfect sense in my situation. And it wasn't until a month after I came back and I was in bed, of course. I wasn't able to walk and there was difficulty in even drinking water. And I’d lost a 100 lbs through the ordeal. After about a month, I was able to get out of bed and take a few steps. And it wasn't too much longer after that -- it was one night, in the middle of the night, the bedroom lit up like a flash bulb had gone off in the middle of the room. A really, really bright, white light. And it woke me up -- it was about 2 in the morning. And it actually kind of scared me. I said, "Oh boy are we going back? Maybe I'm going back through the tunnel of light." I didn't know. And a voice said we want you to go out in the living room and sit in your leather chair and get a yellow pad and a pen. It was a pretty profound experience. I said, “I will, if you'll turn the light down”. So the lights went down to where I could take my hands off my eyes and I worked my way out to my leather chair and I had a yellow pad and I sat down with my pen. And that's pretty much all I remember. But I was gone for four hours, and four hours later when I awoke, on that yellow pad was the outline for this project. It was about an 8 page outline--it was perfect, the spelling was perfect, everything about it was accurate and correct and I'm not able to do that. As luck would have it, my wife teaches English at university. I never took university English and she knows I was not capable of doing that, so when she woke up that morning, she wanted to know what I was doing out in the living room, what did you write, what are you doing? I handed her the pad, she looked at the outline and said "You didn't write this." But it was in my writing. She said, "What's going on?". I said, "I don't know." And that was actually how the project came through, the outline for the project. We're still following that outline, 23 years later today, Samir.
Samir: Wow! Yeah, in the Hindu tradition that I grew up in, they always talk about people being an instrument of God, in a way. Like you surrender to God, and he uses you as he needs to, in the way he wants to. It's hard for the ego to admit to that, right? But it frees so much of our energy and I can see that in your work. Relentlessly, for all these years, you’ve been pretty powerful and inspiring. I wanted to read out a quote to you from a climate scientist and get your response to it. It's by Gus Speth. He says that “I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. And I thought with 30 years of good science, we will address these problems, but I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy.” And to do that, to address environmental problems, now he feels that we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. Especially with the current administration hiring climate deniers, it's going to be hard for scientists to do their part. What do you think about selfishness, greed and apathy in the environmental revolution, and why is the spiritual important?
David: I totally agree with that statement. That statement has come from a higher plane, and a plane of wisdom. And it goes to the root cause that's out-picturing itself in the environmental challenges we're having worldwide right now. But human beings have a very, very poor track record of taking care of Mother Earth. What we've been very successful in doing is taking what is a gift from God and abusing that gift for self-use and greed. It's like with the trees, or like with mining, or like with our air, or like with our water, it's like with our fishes -- it's not the climate situation we're in, but in all the kingdoms, the kingdoms of the air, the kingdoms of the ocean, kingdoms of the water, kingdoms of the land--we've taken those and we've raped and adulterated those gifts in the name of money or in the name of greed and as I say, man's greed knows no limits. There's not a certain amount, if we have 2 million dollars stacked up and put away that we'll feel safe and comfortable and grateful. It doesn't work like that. It's endless. So if you take our fresh water, our oceans, our forests, our air, every one of our natural resources is being consumed and wasted by greedy people, all of us. And we're taking, taking, taking without any thought of putting back. It's like we're entitled to misuse and to abuse the natural resources everywhere on this planet without limit.
Samir: So how do you advise us to change our lives on a daily basis? Like, what do you think we can do consciously? Because in some ways, for me, for example, I have to drive a car because I have to get somewhere. Sometimes, I have to take a flight and it's easy for me to do that, but I can see, for example, how it's affecting the planet, how it's affecting oil -- that oil is causing so many wars around the world. I still have to use it, though, because I'm in the modern world. How people living like us in Silicon Valley and in other places, in cities, what do you think we can do, given what we know is going on?
David: Well there's a long answer to a lot of different aspects of that question. But number 1, you have to change yourself. You have to get in contact with your inner, higher self. Your inner being, your spiritual self. And you have to be not afraid to take a look at the way that you're leading your life, what you're doing with it, how much of your life is in service to others and Mother Earth, or how much is just self-consumed -- in trying to stack up as much money and bring in things for the ego satisfaction. The only way we can change, the outcome for Planet Earth, is by changing ourselves inside. And that process is a way of subjugating the ego. The ego in most of the world is in charge and we have to learn through discipline and through positive acts of love how to subjugate that ego to the higher will, or the higher dimensions that always work with love. Always work with fairness and equity. Get control over the ego. That would be my first answer.
My second answer is, I hear people say, "Well David you drive a car, you take airplanes, you consume things." Yes, I do. But there are new systems coming that will replace the old systems that no longer fit, that don't honor the Earth or honor us. But in the meantime, if you were to go after a life of service to pay back what you've consumed or what you've used, and you do that with all the earnest and all the drive that is used to try and make money, if you go at it with that much resolve, you'll see that you don't have to look very far at all. And I don't care where you are -- there are so many areas of people, of planet, that we could be of service to. People that have it much, much more difficult than we do right now, at this time. So it's a shift in consciousness -- of trying to see how much, (in extreme cases) how much money, how much land, how many cars, how much it would take to satisfy our ego. Which we never can, and so shift that to -- the world is in trouble, the earth is in trouble, what can I do?
Samir: (Laughter). Hmm…,Well, I think one of the questions for you is what is your experience like, reaching out of your own self, right? So one of the things I have been challenged by myself is -- I am Samir Patel, separate from trees, right, and air and the rest of the world, right...
David: No you're not!
Samir: No, I'm not, I'm not but there is some illusion, or there's some feeling that I'm separate and, yes, I'd love for you to comment on that. And it's not always true that I'm separate and I feel incredibly light and connected and powerful, when I am not separate. But for most of the day, somehow, I keep going back to me. So yeah, I want your input as to how that works for you.
David: Well, I think probably the biggest question for every individual that's listening to this show, and every other human being that's on the planet is -- who am I and why am I here? And until you can answer those questions fully with wisdom -- who am I and why am I here, you're still on the quest. And ego would like us all to think we are intelligent enough, well-educated enough, savvy enough, we don't need any help. And that's diametrically opposite of what exactly what people on the path or initiatives need. We do need help! But you have to put the ego aside and say "Alright Creator, or whatever the higher beings are, or the belief in something that's much more powerful, divine and wise than we are, and say okay, I've tried it my way and it doesn't seem like I'm making much progress. In fact, in a lot of areas, I think I'm going backwards! Would you please help." So some of us are so stubborn, Samir, so darn stubborn and so full of ourselves and our ego…
Samir: Not me, David. Not me at all....
David: …That the universe has to let us get to a situation where there is no way that we can help ourselves and all is lost. We are so damn stubborn, we may even have to surrender our human body or our life. Then they've got your attention. It's like they say, “There are no atheists in foxholes”. Well, depending on how stubborn you are, the universe is always in charge, they'll let us have enough rope until we get into situations where we need to cry out and ask for help.
Samir: I think we are at that point, right, in a way. The Keystone XL pipeline is going to be approved, right. There's massive swaths of priceless public lands being opened to fracking and drilling, right. We might withdraw from the Paris Climate accord, and you know the climate change funding is going to be zeroed out soon, right. So I think we are, in my mind, we are hitting the point with the new administration...
David: I would say that all administrations have not done what they needed to do all along. We knew about this back in the 60s, Samir, when I was a teenager, thinking about going to college. We knew what fossil fuels were all about. We knew what the agribiz farming was about, using the chemicals and the sprays. We knew all this back in the 60s.
Samir: Yeah, the time when Silent Spring...and a lot of those things came out.
David: Silent Spring, yes. We were aware of it. We just -- it wasn't just the administration, the collective will of the human family decided to go the easy route. The route that was the easiest to stack up money and satisfy the ego. We can't play the blame game. When you point your index finger at someone else, if you look down, there's three fingers pointing back at you -- we can't change others, we can only change ourselves. We can't blame others, we can only blame ourselves. So if we're looking for the guilty party that got us into the mess where we're at, go look in the mirror. If you want to change the situation and out-picture a more verdant, beautiful, loving climate on earth, first we have to learn how to love ourselves, we have to learn how to love each other, and we have to learn how to love our mother, which is Mother Earth, which gives us all of our wealth, all of our air, all of our food, every single thing in the third dimension is a gift from Mother Earth. We have to become aware of that. We have to honor ourselves, we have to honor others, and especially now Mother's asking for our help. Mother is in trouble. Don't ever forget, Samir, in my opinion, Mother Nature always has the last vote. So whatever she needs -- time and place to heal, that will come about. If that means that many, many, many humans need to leave because they won't listen, they're too stubborn, they won't change their ways, they won't respect and revere themselves and others and the earth, then a lot of people will be leaving, in my opinion. I have seen this. But it's not too late. It isn't too late. But the first thing we need to do, all of us, is remember there's help available, right next to us, right now. All the help we need to solve all of these problems, if we'll just ask for that help and then get quiet long enough to listen to what is my role and what is it that I can do. What is it I can do to help the grandchildren of the world to come? And when you get in that situation, you'll have a whole list of things. You'll be the busiest you've ever been in your life, in a life of service.
Samir: David, thanks for putting the responsibility back on each of us. That makes me feel like I cannot just say that this administration is bad, this is bad, the peace summit, the climate accord is not set right -- it puts me squarely in the middle every day and asks what can I do, right? That sounds like something that will heal myself, will do good to me, if I reduce my greed and consumption, and it will be useful and inspiring to the world, and I can see that in your own example, right. Despite all this, you kept going in so many ways.
I had another question, more around how technology is shaping our life. You have spoken at NASA before, so you know what I'm talking about. At least the valley, and most of the technology world is going towards artificial intelligence, singularity, trying to figure out how man and machine can be one, there's SpaceX wanting to take people to Mars, and a lot of talk about artificial intelligence. To me, I feel like there's this primitive intelligence -- I wouldn't use the word "primitive" exactly -- but what I'm trying to say there, is like going back to how the natives lived, how they worshiped the water and the plants and the trees and the air, and learning a lot from how they used to live, and how they worshiped and saw interconnectivity between all beings, is also becoming critical, right? So I feel like one flow is that people are with their heads in their phone all the time, or some people are building apps and websites, using a lot of technology. And on the other side, I feel like there’s a back to nature pull. So I just wanted to get your thoughts on how you see a role for technology, what are the drawbacks and good things about it.
David: Well, what I see is there's a war going on, on planet Earth and other dimensions around Earth, of good and evil, light and dark. That's my perspective. To me, the darkness would like to keep us so busy, so tied up playing with our gadgets and our gizmos and our electronics, that we're too busy to take the time to explore ourselves, the all wise, all powerful inner beings that we are. Now here comes a shocker for some people that might be listening -- you're not your body, you're not your mind, you're not your emotions. You're an all powerful being that's inside a human body right now. The real you isn't your body, isn't your job, it isn't your house and it isn't your bank account. That's the ego, that's distractions. And if you're constantly, 24 hours a day, bombarding your mind with telephones, with computers, you don't have any time to connect with your inner power or the power of nature, which really are all powerful, the power of the universe. It's distractions. And I don't think the source of those distractions are self-empowering, loving entities. So number one, you have to turn your phone off, you have to turn your television off, you have to turn your house off, and go out in nature and be still in nature, and ask these questions: who am I and why am I here?
Because it's my belief, Samir, that everyone, every human being on earth, including all those people you mentioned, the administration and the oil industry are here for a purpose. Now we can either serve the purpose of the ego, or you can be quiet and be still and listen for guidance on the mission that we were sent here to do. And usually they are diametrically opposite (serving the ego vs. our inner being). Alright, so that would be step #1. Turn off all the electronics, put them away, and get out to nature. Go out into the redwoods, go out into a park, go to the lake, or go to the ocean and be still. And have enough courage to say, to cry out, "I don't know who you are, I don't know where you are, I don't know what you want of me but could you help me, please. I need to know why I'm here, I need to know some of the mysteries of life." And if you ask, and give your permission because on Planet Earth, prayer or asking is one half the coin. The other side of the coin that most human beings that I've talked to don't know anything about, is that the Creator has created Planet Earth as a free-will planet. Which means we have our own moral authority, and no one or nothing can interfere with that, without our permission. So if you give your permission to the government, or your boss, or your job, or your money, you've given your free will over to that entity. If you ask the Universe, the Source, the Light -- who am I and why am I here, and I give you my permission to tell me, that clicks things into gear. If you just ask, that's half of the equation. The other secret half that most people don't know about is that because it's a free will planet -- we have to give them our permission to step in and to help. When you ask and give your permission, it's set, because things will start to move. It's like a very powerful dragster where the rear wheels are up on jackstands, it has thousands of horsepower, but if the tires on the back aren't on the pavement, you're not going anywhere. When you give the universe permission to help, because you're a free will planet being, you take that dragster off the jackstands, and put it down on the blacktop and you go like crazy. So there's one of the secrets. Two of the secrets, actually.
So we have to realize that we're not our bodies, we're not our houses, we're not our jobs. And we have no bosses other than what we give our free will to. Whether it be the place where you work, or wherever it is but if we get quiet and we reach out to the divine and say "I need help, and I need guidance and I give you my permission to start working with me," things start to change very, very quickly.
Samir: This is very inspiring and personally very touching for me, to hear this from you. So definitely very charged up. I think the other question I had was more around, let's talk about action a bit, for people who understand certain things. For example, let's say I get to know what archangel does, or any environmental problem. So I learn about it, then I get inspired, then the third step to turn my intention and inspiration into action, and I found that there's a huge chasm, a gap, between one getting inspired and one actually acting on it…
David: Most people confuse activity or movement with progress. And it isn't. Activity is not progress.
Samir: Exactly! So how would you advise us? Sometimes you get into the habit of getting inspiration from everywhere but it doesn't transform into action. So what can help us and for everyone who is listening, what can bridge that chasm between inspiration and action?
David: Every single human being that I know, in that person's soul or heart of heart --, some people love animals, some people love children, some people love being of service to the elderly -- we have a love in our hearts that has a deep meaning to us. For some of us, it's the oceans and the preservation of the mammals in the oceans. Some people are absolutely bonkers over water quality, their passion is to make clean, fresh water wherever it is on earth available to the women and children and people that live there. So you take a little self-examination of what's really important to you, what really resonates with you, what would you really like to set your hand to -- you know, the sweat of your brow, to change, to make it a little bit better. Well, in my case it was trees. And in the case of archangel trees, we have a website. I would really encourage everyone to go to our website. It's archangelancienttrees.org and take a look at some of the film. We're cloning some of the world's largest and oldest trees. Trees that are thousands and thousands of years old, for the first time. We have been successful where others have failed that I know of everywhere on earth. We're the first to be able to clone the largest and oldest trees on this planet, reproduce them, it's on our website, make millions of these trees to start to reforest the planet. Samir, 98% of the old growth forests in the United States are gone. We cut them down. We killed them. Only 2% of our old growth forests remain. We didn't even study those trees before we butchered them all for firewood, for boards, for hot tubs, for whatever, for money. We didn't know what they did for the quality of all life on earth -- the water quality, air quality, for quality of providing shade. Now there's new science --- and Jim Robbins' book, "The Man Who Planted Trees," and by the way, Jim was a New York Times science reporter for 25 years, he followed us around as we were cloning some of the largest, oldest trees on the planet and said, "Why is this important?". Then he called 100 scientists, leading scientists, around the world asking them, "What's new, what do we know about trees now that we didn't know 10 years ago or 20 years ago?" And so he wrote this book -- it's a fascinating book of the new science of trees and what roles they play for all living things on earth. Like, we know now, there are several new books out, trees talk to each other. Number 1, we could prove that, that they talk to all the other trees, not only in the forest, but over great distances. Number 2 we know that they feel and register pain, and they express that pain, and other trees pick it up. There's hard science to prove that. So every tree that we cut down felt the pain, expressed that pain and cried out and other trees in the area picked it up. We just didn't cut down a dumb chunk of wood, that had no feelings, no emotions, no nothing and we stacked it up and made boards. Every tree that gets cut down today feels the pain, expresses it and cries out. There's new science to prove that. We also have new science that's in Jim Robbins' book about the aerosols. There are critically important aerosols that come out of the needles and the leaves of trees that prevent endemic diseases from going all over the planet. There's 450 new diseases running rampant around the planet, because our first line of defense -- the aerosol of the trees that negate or kill the pathogens that are in the air, we've taken them down. So the aerosols that keep us healthy, that keep our animals healthy, the aerosols that help fight cancer. There's like great promise (in Jim's book) with Black Walnuts, that if our young girls will take a leaf off a Black Walnut and rub it on their wrists -- there are chemicals in the Black Walnut, which show great promise for preventing breast cancer in girls. Also, if we would have left the Black Walnuts up in this country and around the world, instead of making furniture out of them, we would now know if the young girls would breathe in those aerosols from the Black Walnuts, it would go a long way from preventing any cancers in our girls. But yes we have a bunch of pretty furniture, and we cut all those trees down, in greed, to make the furniture in large part and we took away the aerosols that would help protect our girls from those hideous cancers that they're now experiencing. I highly recommend to everyone who's listening to get Jim Robbins' book and read it and understand more of the latest science of the roles that trees play, for all of us. That would be one of the very first things to do. Then go to our website, if you want to help. Right now we have one of the largest projects that we've ever undertaken. We stepped out in faith, Samir, we're planting in 26 different communities around the Puget Sound area -- we're re-establishing the redwood forest in 26 different communities. It's a pretty ambitious project, a very expensive project. And by the way Archangel Ancient Trees gives away all the clones of the biggest, oldest trees that we produce -- we give them away to whoever it is, or whatever organization or community, in hopes that in return you would help support our federally recognized non-profit. All the work that we do, we give the results of the trees away, we just hope and pray that you would see the value of it, and help support our non-profits. If you go to our website, and you're into trees and you're into doing something wonderful and beautiful for your community, your city, your school, your temple, whatever it is, go to our website and it won't be very long that there are a lot of things that you can take action in right now today and do!
Samir: I would second the opinion of the book, actually, because I've read it cover to cover. It's kind of the best gift you could give yourself and your kids, or read it out to them. It's a very easy read, but it's like David said -- it's scientific, but not overly technical, so normal human beings can understand why trees matter, and it goes into enough detail, to take it to the next level. Rather than just saying protect trees and plant more trees. I would highly recommend that read.
So I think we're at the top of the hour, Aryae?
Aryae: Yes excellent thank you Samir. What a great conversation and thank you so much David. I'm just sitting in here taking in what you're saying in such a deep way. And I'm sure a lot of our listeners are too. I just want to remind everyone if you'd like to connect with us, ask a question of David, offer your own thoughts, it's star6 if you're on the phone, or email@example.com via email. We had a comment mailed in from Misch Rosen in New York and she says, "David every trial by fire has grown my heart, thus enabling me to feel more love for others. And I believe it has revealed my life mission to be an encourager of others. It's a simple mission, took me so long to realize the worth of being an encourager, realize my self-worth and stop comparing myself to others. I know it's the reason I chose to return here because it's so easy for me to do, seems to help others constantly and is such a gift to me. Without my sufferings, I would never have realized any of this, grateful for my suffering. I am going through another trial right and now and looking forward to new growth coming. Everything David shares resonates deeply, love you David. I aspire to be a giver.”
David: I happen to think that's 110% truth. It's from a higher wisdom and I know that the way through our challenges, is suffering. It builds character. It's sort of like initiation for a higher work, that we won't quit, we'll keep going no matter what the circumstances are...and going through it is pretty darn tough, because we're humans. But I guarantee if you persevere and don't quit, and you reach out -- in our sufferings, we reach out because we run out of answers. There's nothing else the doctors can help us with, there's nothing else we can do. At that point we're malleable, at that point we open our hearts and our higher wisdom and the divine comes into our hearts and says, okay, we're here to help you now. So take heart in your suffering and whoever that woman is, I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever had read to me and it seems a thousand percent accurate.
Aryae: Beautiful. You know Samir I'm thinking of the saying from Kahlil Gibran that you were mentioning earlier, something about the deeper the cup, the more that it can hold. I suspect that many other traditions reflect that same wisdom. In my tradition, Jewish mysticism, there's a saying that the brightest sparks of light are hidden in the darkest places. The same thing.
Samir: Thanks for sharing that, Aryae.
David: There's a lot of truth in that.
Aryae: It seems to come out right in many forms of wisdom. I want to ask you something, David. You've talked about the work of ancient tree archive and you talked earlier about going through the tunnel of light -- I'm sort of interested in that transition. Once you emerged out of your journey through the tunnel of light and you're realizing your purpose in the world, how did the archangel tree archive get started?
David: Once you've come back, you realize that you value life. Because number one, you know that your life here has a length of time, that it's not limitless, so you really value every day. Every day is a gift. It really is, and that's one of the most profound first things that happens. Wow, just a little bit of time and chance and I would not be here! But I am here today and I really, really appreciate my family, I appreciate nature, I appreciate beauty, whatever it is. This can leave any second now, I better appreciate it for what it is now because this is a limited time that we have here -- this time. So there's that, and then it does something to your heart. It opens your heart to allow love to come in and through us. I don't think ourselves, we're capable of love, but I think love, loves through us. So it opens up that shut down portal of our heart, that's so busy and entrenched in the ways of this world, it opens it up to the beauty and love of the divine. And once your heart is filled with that, it spills out to those around you, and it gives you a whole different perspective on why you're here and what really is important. You know what really is important is if you take the time to tell someone in your family, "You know what, I really love you." If you take the time to do something kind, to an animal. If you take time to see the beauty of a sunset or a flower, or it's the little things that love spills out in many ways. I used to be an avid deer hunter. I would not hunt anymore, for love nor money. I have no desire to be a hunter. But I do like to help the deer -- bring some hay out to them once in a while, corn and things. Everything changes, your whole perspective changes, it takes emphasis off the "I" or the "me" and puts it out into the other kingdoms, the rest of the world. So it's a pretty profound shift. Especially for males, I would imagine! So you have to learn how to navigate in a world filled with love and compassion and giving. And it's all new territory for most of us. And then you come in contact with your feminine side. You learn to appreciate the power in femininity. The beauty in femininity -- Mother Earth. There's many changes that you have to learn how to deal with pretty quickly, because most everything has changed. That was my experience.
Aryae: You know, looking at the Archangel Tree Archive website, it looks like there are a few other people there with your last name. So I'm imagining that maybe they're your kids, sons, daughter-in-law. Can you say a little bit about this family enterprise and what it's like having your family involved?
David: Well we live in Copemish, we live on the family land. And our grandchildren that live on this piece of land are the 6th generation here on this land. So every day we have an exchange of communication with the grandparents, the parents, the children and the grandchildren -- it's a dynamic. And it's a real give and take situation. As I changed and as more and more of the world changed to say "Hey what's your doing is important, I don't like the way it looks where I live, they've cut all the trees down, it's hot, the air's polluted, we're worried about our water, could you come and help us here?"
So far we've heard that call from 147 countries. People from 147 different countries have said "David could you come and help us here?" "Could you clone our old trees? Could you help us reforest our area?" And then every year we're told that we reach 2 or 300 million people worldwide and pretty much everyone from all the countries are afraid. They're fearful. They're fearful of the future for fill in the blanks -- environmental reasons, reasons of war, reasons of politics. They're fearful -- and they're looking for something positive to do, something that they're capable of doing. You don't have to have your PhD or be a skilled tradesman, but something you could do with your kids or your partner or with your pets or whatever is -- go plant a few trees! You'll be amazed what that does for you, and others around you when you take the time to go do something that will help the earth; help all the kingdoms of the earth -- the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom -- to clean the air and the water and give back in service. You don't have to have very many skills to run a shovel, and nurture that tree for a couple years with water every week. So it takes the emphasis off of "I" and puts it where it belongs and giving back to Mother Earth and all of her kingdoms.
Samir: I had a quick quote on this. I had a chance to meet Wangari Maathai, the Nobel laureate, and she had a quote "Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."
David: The whole world is talking, the whole world is texting. [laughter]
Aryae: David, we have callers in the queue. Here's the first caller.
Wendy: I like your idea of giving permission while asking for help -- it's something I hadn't really thought about and that does feel like an important piece. I do plan to implement that in my practice. So thank you for that very practical suggestion. When I was looking at the write up on you, there was one thing that caught my eye, it said ‘"The era of preservation is over, and now we're entering the millennium of restoration’. I was wondering how you made that shift. And the last thing I wanted to say is that we have a little club for those of us who have gardens and we are planting trees in our gardens. We may not be going out into the forest but we're still trying to do our part in our gardens, by planting trees as well. Thank you.
David: Thank you. I've been to Half Moon Bay many, many times over the past 25 years. I really like that place and I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak at Google World headquarters, or some big place like that, in Silicon Valley and one of the things I asked the crowd of several thousand there -- I pointed out that Silicon Valley is right dead center in the middle of the old growth redwood forest. So if you left the building and drove around Silicon Valley, you were actually driving around in an old growth redwood forest. That's what it looked like for thousands and thousands of years. It looks the way it does today because of man's intervention. So I asked for volunteers. I said please we have clones of the largest and oldest redwoods, we have the ways and the means and I need help. Let's start to re-establish the redwood old growth forest here in Silicon Valley and let's put back. It doesn't mean we have to pack up and leave or shut our buildings down but let's start to rebuild our old growth redwood forests, that was here for thousands of years. And I'll ask you to do the same thing. Half Moon Bay is a perfect place for growing redwoods along the ocean. So maybe you'd like to go on our website and investigate how could I plant my little patch or grove of redwoods. For the next two thousand years, day and night 24/7, it will be helping with the water, the air, shelter, shade, so it will be paying it forward, for two thousand years if I develop a little grove in my backyard. That would be my challenge to you, to take a look at that and perhaps answer that call.
Wendy: Thank you.
David: You are welcome, thank you.
William: I so much want to thank you, David, for the really core spiritual approach that you're taking with all of this, when you responded to Samir about driving a car and all that stuff, and you said – well, you'll know what to do, if you do your inner work, your inner journey. It was such a powerful statement, I was almost crying when you said that. And what that reminded me of was the concept of story and how culture communicates to its children and to all the members in society through stories. And the story that we've been telling for a long, long time in many societies was about building fences to protect our own possessions because the story says we need to protect ourselves from hardship, in order to live a good life. And the story focuses on our own survival, rather than the survival of our greater personhood, which is our world community and the survival of the larger world. I'm just wondering what it would be like, if we started telling a new story about finding strength and satisfaction and sense of security and willingness, to see service and hard work and challenge as an opportunity to find our true self worth and our satisfaction.
David: I think that the riches and the abundance in your life in many ways would be so profound, you would wonder why you ever hesitated doing exactly that. Because as we all know, there is really no protection and no soul satisfaction in stacking up money and seeing how much we can stack up, to try and protect ourselves. Or to stack it up to compare egos -- I have more money than you do. Is it really soul satisfying? I think not. Are five cars really necessary for our safety and to make us feel good? You can have no car and you could be relying on the benevolence of others for transportation or whatever, and you could be soul satisfied. So, if we look for our happiness outside of ourselves in objects or things, you're looking in the wrong place, in my opinion. The place where all the beauty emanates from is from within. And we're all connected, all of us, all of nature, we're all connected, so whatever we do for ourselves -- it's a matter of putting a toothpick in the bird feeder so a bee can land on the toothpick to get a drink of water. Because as it gets hotter, why not help the bees, just give them a place to land in the birdbath. It's the small things. It's taking time to smile at someone, instead of walking through a crowd, stone-faced, and have all these walls up, or pretend we don't notice anything. Just stop and say "Hello, how's your day going?" Just take a moment, to express a little bit of interest, in someone else or something else. That's where we begin.
William: That place of love is where everything happens. This is so beautiful, David, I really appreciate this. I also wanted to share with folks that live on the west coast, I live near Point Reyes seashore, north of San Fransisco, and there's an organization out here that's doing some great redwood planting, David, it's called Turtle Island Restoration Network.
David: Yep, I know them.
William: Yea, so I can post a website link that would allow them to receive newsletters to tell them what they can do with redwood planting in this area, which would be west Marin. It's a great program, there's lots of opportunities to gather with others and go out and plant redwoods and raise the redwoods and that sort of thing.
Aryae: Great, if you email us the link we can put it in our follow-up newsletter. A couple more people in the queue. Here's a note from Sarasota, Florida, looks like it's from Dorsay. The question is so are your trees being planted on private and/or public lands and how does that contact come about? I know you've spoken a little bit about that, is there anything further you'd like to say in response to this question?
David: Yes first and foremost you need to plant the trees that are native to your area wherever you're listening, whatever country, whatever part of this country, whatever region you're in. What you need to do is look for the biggest, strongest, best native trees, that were in the native forests that got cut down and start to put them back. Redwoods aren't for everyone, everywhere. But they happen to be the most iconic beloved tree in the world but Archangel works with over 120 different tree species from all over the United States and now in Ireland, we have flown thousand year old oak trees that we were thought to be lost in Ireland. Made several hundred copies and gave them to the people of Ireland. It's time for you to re-establish your old growth forests here in Ireland. We hope to do so with funding, in the UK. We have a huge project underway in southern California in the Sierra Nevadas, the Giant Sequoias. Wherever you're listening, whatever city, whatever state, whatever country, it's the native trees that were there for hundreds or thousands of years of where you're listening, that's the trees that you need to put back. So it isn't just redwoods. Now, last year at this time in Sarasota we stayed in Siesta Key and we were asked to try and clone a three thousand year old cypress – there are only one or two of these ancient cypress here in Florida. My son Jake climbed them. The three thousand year old cypress, I'm sad to say, a person with a drug problem burnt that tree down. So we cloned a two thousand year old cypress, to make cypress available, to start to put back the cypress spores, the great cypress forests of Florida.
I would ask everyone who's listening to visit our website, look at our work, write us. You can write us at our website, we answer, I see everyone that writes into our website and if the spirit moves you, if you're in the position, and you feel that it's something you'd like to do, to help our work financially, we need your help now more than ever. We've stepped out in faith on some big projects. We just made fifteen thousand more redwoods and giant sequoias on faith. We're being asked from countries all over the world to please bring our technology and our message and our hands-on way of doing things. We have a new tree school. We teach children K-12 how to do their own trees, how to do it in their classroom, how to do what we do and bring it right into their classroom and their homes. We'd like to kick off tree school around the world for the young people. We have our needs. It's a little difficult for me to ask, but you can go to our website -- it should be easy and I guarantee it will pay dividends.
Aryae: Awesome, and we'll make sure to include that in the email that's going to go out to everyone. We have one last question in the queue.
Kozo: Hi David, I'm calling from Cupertino, California. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your guidance. It occurred to me when you were talking about trees feel pain, when they are cut down or when they're injured, that trees like us have a soul and a lot of us are meditators here, and I was thinking one day that the best meditators in the world are trees. Right? Because they sit for thousands of years and they withstand storm, and they withstand heat, and they just sit and they are still, and they are in stillness. And they truly are our elders -- you know you're talking about two and three thousand year old trees -- they are our elders. And I'm wondering if you get that sense working with these trees. In a sense that they are our spiritual elders and if you've had any communication or guidance from them, in that manner.
David: Yes and yes. We've had newspaper reporters from all over the world, magazines, television shows that would like to do stories on us, we've had eight feature stories in the New York Times, we're blessed there. And I say to everyone that when you go and spend a couple, three days in an old growth forest with us, you'll come out of that forest different than when you went in because if you spend time in an old growth forest, those trees do affect our physical bodies, our mental bodies, and especially our spiritual bodies. Redwoods have been on this planet for four hundred million years longer than humans. I believe that trees have a soul and they have a conscience. And I do believe that anyone, everyone can learn to communicate with those trees. They would love to help you with some of the answers of some of the questions because they definitely are divine beings. That's my own personal experience. I know that might shock some people. But I think the more time that you spend in the forest, especially old growth forests, you'll have some revelations and you'll have some physical feelings. I believe that it's also a tremendous way to get our nervous system back together as well as some of our physical challenges. So I would encourage everyone to put your phone away, turn the TV off, get out of the car and go spend some time in the old growth forest, for your sake, for your mental and physical health.
Aryae: Great, thank you Kozo. So David we traditionally have a final question that we ask our guest and I think you've already answered it on one level so I want to ask if you have any further thoughts maybe on another level. And that question is how can we, all of us here as a community, support you and your work?
David: Well you support us in our work by stopping and taking a look at trees and all the wonderful things they do for all kingdoms in a different lens. And then back up that support by taking your children, your friend, or your lover, whoever that is and plant a couple trees. Give back to Mother Earth and pay it forward for the future. And if you're really, really excited about all the jabbering -- I've talked an awful lot, thank you for your patience, go to our website and there's ways you can help us continue our work.
Aryae: Awesome, thank you. Thank you so much, David Milarch, for your time with us this morning. It has certainly been a gift to me and I think a gift to all of us listening. And I want to thank you, Samir, for just an awesome interview that opened up so much on a deep level.
At this point we've come to the end of our hour. We end by holding a collective minute of silence in gratitude for this conversation and after the silence we'll open up the lines and do a gratitude out loud. But first, let's have that minute of gratitude.
Okay the lines are opened up, we're ready for our collective thank you. Everybody ready, one, two, three -- thank you, David!
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