Let the Birds Eat It! Sineater Madness!

The Oil SPILL Madness in the Gulf. Let The Birds Eat It!  Hire Someone Else to Clean It Up!

The Sineater is an archetype that shows up in the stories of many cultures. In the Scottish Appalachian tradition, the Sineater is the one who is called when someone dies.  The family lays food on the shroud covered body and the Sineater is called to come and eat it ALL  as he intentionally wills himself to take on the sins of the dead person who is then freed to enter the next glory place cleansed!   The Sineater is viewed as a necessary evil in the community, always living apart, shunned more or less, except when his services are required.  Even then the mourners turn away their faces never looking at him and sending him quickly on his way with a few coins when the deed is done.

The big muscular death row inmate, John Coffey, in the Green Mile was a sineater “taking it away” as he says when he relieves Tom Hanks of his bladder infection and Patricia Clark of her brain tumor and even bringing the tiny mouse back to life.  Jesus is another archetypal sineater “taking away the sins of the world” so humanity can be saved and enter its heaven.  In Buddhism, the Bodhisattva takes a vow to save all beings and forego nirvana until all beings have reached enlightenment.   So, in one form or another the Sineater consciousness places some form of cleansing and redemption in the hands of another rather than self.

This Sineater mentality is exactly what is going on in the Gulf Coast right now as more oil than we can imagine sweeps across the waters engulfing birds and all the precious life below the surface.  Humanity has once again turned its own madness over to someone or something else to eat the results of its greed, misguided dominance, and its reckless disregard for all other life but itself.  I can almost hear the thinking:  “Let the shrimp eat it! Let the fish eat it!  Let the birds eat it!  Let the dolphins choke on it!  We are not responsible.  We are not accountable.  We are not a part of this planet.  We are just here to mine it and if somebody has to eat the devastation then let it be nature!  We matter most.  This is all about us.  So. we’ll just call in the sineaters to deal with it.  All the innocent beings can choke on it, stuff it, eat it!”

As an aside: there’s the Wall Street debacle. “Hey, we just want to make a buck, so you all eat the devastating results. ”  “Whatever the consequences, they have nothing to do with us.  We’ll just call in the sineaters and you can take the fall for us.”

The thing is that all “these people” are us. Our dominant civilizations of which we are all a part are stuck in a level of consciousness that truly believes we can always hire a sineater to clean up our messes, be it oil spills or financial catastrophes or hate mongering political side shows.

Well, wake up folks, it is the eleventh hour and there is no saviour. There is no place in humanity’s consciousness, in humanity’s stories for sineaters anymore.  There is no place for that someone else who is going to save us or take the rap for us or eat it!   There is no saviour, there is only us. Every time we shove our responsibility and accountability off on the waters of the earth or the airs of the sky or nature’s inhabitants, we live out this destructive myth and perpetuate our separateness from life, all life.  We pay a hefty price for this sense of separateness, of not belonging.  We sully our home and diminish who we are (but that’s another story!)

So, let’s see if we can learn from this and hold that learning long enough in our memories to actually change.  Where in your life  do you look for someone or something else to “eat your deeds”?   Where do you turn your face to the wall as you mindlessly believe that there is actually someone else to take the blame, be the fall guy,  deal with the shit.  Remember in the movie Moonstruck when Olympia Dukakis wisely says:  “don’t shit where you eat”?  Well, fellow humans,  that is exactly what we are doing as a species and there are days that I feel that if only we were going to pay the price, then so be it.   Perhaps humanity is not that great of an idea anyway.  But when I see a bird covered in black slime bewildered by what is happening to it or imagine what beauty under the waters is suffocating from our outrageous disregard,  I say enough.  Enough is enough!   Forget the saviours and grow up humanity.  Stop shitting where you eat.

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  1. Great post! Love the symbolism and connection you have outlined… you’re so tapped in to that!

    And would like to add another layer.. As oli floats on water, it creates a ‘slick’ (Texas term :-)) and when the sun hits it just right, you get all the colors of the rainbow. Now from a symbolic/spiritual perspective, a rainbow symbolizes a promise of a new beginning. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if this distaster carried within it, the promise of a turning from the old ways and a new more connected beginning.

    Keep shining the Light and perhaps it may be so!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this piece, Morgana. I spent the first 23 years of my life on the coast of Louisiana; my roots and family are still there. Greed and disrespect are directing the assault and devastation, and I feel saddened and disgusted.

    On a positive note, I love your website and newsletter! Step by step you’ve put it all together. Congratulations!

  3. Morgana,
    Thank you for sharing your
    brilliant and compelling perspective
    on this unspeakable tragedy.

    And thank you for sharing the
    gift of your coaching and
    writing with the world.