The Phenomenon of Polly Higgins
By Jozette Grace Khimba
Polly’s extraordinary passage from Life to beyond the veil of Death contains the potent seed of a new narrative for Humanity.
When those of us who knew and loved her, heard of the serious health challenge she was facing, the outpouring of messages, offers for support, love and healing sent to her from all across the world was an energetic tsunami of loving intention.
Polly has ever been a vibrant, positive force of life – which is why so many were affected by the news of her serious illness. She strove to embody the principles she stood by: her warmth and vivacity; her inclusivity and enthusiastic embrace of the community she knew as home; her openness and courageous perseverance in the face of every set back are fast becoming a narrative of mythic proportions.
And why not? Polly left a highly lucrative and successful career; put herself out on a limb; used her wit and creativity to work around all the negativity that could have seemed like an insurmountable wall to those with less stubborn persistence – a quality that Polly was steeped in, fortunately for us. She adapted to the twists and turns of Fate, changing tack and direction when it was required of her and made good use of the circumstances that arose around her. It cannot be chance that both Jojo and Gail, who came to work closely with Polly, happened to live in the same community.
Learning of Gail’s mission to encourage mass civil disobedience for the sake of environmental causes, Polly’s keen mind got to work on finding a defence for such activists. She came up with an revolutionary way of supporting protestors, through a legal document approved in nearly every country across the world, which elevated them to the status of legal trustees of Earth - to dub those of us who chose to risk arrest to defend our landscape against a greater harm, ’Conscientious Earth Protectors’, was a double stroke of genius. It further underlined the fact that such protests had a moral integrity beyond the limitations of current law, and served to highlight the gaps in modern environmental law.
Polly truly walked her talk; down to the purchases she made, the standards she exacted of herself, and the compassion she displayed for human communities devastated by climate chaos and corporate immorality. Not only did she focus on bringing about change in the outer world, she also looked within and sought to clear herself of any limiting beliefs or conditioning patterns which might be inhibiting or sabotaging her mission. She strove to be as impeccable as possible in all her dealings with organisations, government agencies, and individuals from the most humble to the most elevated.
Polly did everything with style, imagination and a sense of fun, where ever possible. Aside from the continuous rigorous application of her sharp mind, her large heart and indomitable will to solving the challenge of creating a global earth law, she embraced the diverse creative ethos that Stroud has to offer doing anything from Indian dancing and circus skills fitness to wild swimming and walking barefoot through flowered meadows. She embraced Nature with a depth of sensual and loving appreciation. Similarly, parties and gatherings took on the flavour of goodwill ceremonies, with the regular setting of intention soups, which those of us who loyally supported Polly’s initiative were invited to contribute to.
When Gail, through Rising Up, arranged meetings for those of us who might be willing to get arrested at New Road Preston to support the anti-fracking protests, there were four of us from Stroud who took that on. In the end, Gail, Poheng and myself therefore became among the first legal trustees of Earth to use that as our defence, when our case came to court at Preston in January of last year.
But the signing and preparation of those documents was made into a special event in itself. One afternoon the three of us arrived at Polly’s office, fondly named ‘The Base’. What greeted us was the long table set out as if for a high class meal or a wedding feast – with candles and beautiful greenery and flower arrangements, alongside the carefully drawn up documents. So it was with due ceremony and fitting gravitas that Poheng, Gail and myself had the privilege of being the first individuals, after Jojo and Polly, to sign this historic document making us legal trustees of Earth.
The signing of the document was photographed with much merriment, positivity and celebration by all of us. Naturally, we created an intention soup calling on all the forces of the universe aligned with love and light to support us in taking this forward into the law courts. We then toasted the occasion with some spectacular juice made from water melon, mango and other fruits, and ate of an equally wonderful raw chocolate and avocado cake, all supplied and made by Anita, who had offered herself in unpaid service to Polly several years previously. This was what it was like being in the slip stream of Polly’s aura and mission.
There is a kind of beautiful perfection in the timing of Polly’s passing which places her in a prime position to become the kind of heroine and role model who assumes mythic proportions – and why not? Surely the universe decreed that Polly should shuffle off her mortal coil on Easter Sunday? But not only the day, but the very specific timing of it! With London still in the midst of Extinction Rebellion protests, each venue held in London was primed to do the healing meditation that had been encouraged to take place at 6pm for Polly. As Polly died at 5.05pm, what happened instead was a silence and a tribute to Polly, which shocked and stunned those of us who knew her, but which rippled through the crowds in London, propelling Polly and her legacy into the collective mind in a deeply powerful and poignant way.
Polly died on Easter Sunday but like Christ, has been born again into people’s awareness, so that it seems right on the eve of her death, her repute and extraordinary service to Humanity and all Earth’s kin, is gaining precedence even as I write. Polly could be seen as the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, the first mythic resurrection story pre-dating all the male such stories which followed. Polly put herself repeatedly in the way of some of the darkest and densest centres of energy on the planet. She shone her light on the old paradigm hierarchy, operating from a locus of fear and control. But Polly did not judge or blame; she understood the drives of industry and the machinations of the corporate world. She simply refused to accept the rules of the current game and strove to use our legal framework to alter those rules in favour of All Life on Earth.
Like Inanna, Polly eschewed the worldly power she had gained, for a higher purpose, a higher vision, to bring about a deeper understanding of our roles as stewards of this Earth, not owners or controllers of its natural resources, but caretakers for future generations. Like Inanna, Polly faced the shadow realms and density where the deepest harm has been and is being done. She faced it with equanimity but also with heartfelt sensitivity which resulted in her sometimes undergoing a physical reaction of retching and nausea when she confronted scenes like the atrocity of the Tar Sands industry in Canada.
When Polly unveiled the fact that the StopEcocide campaign was embarking upon criminal investigations of two major CEO’s of Shell, and named the individuals in question in December, the media team who had promised to send this out across the world’s media channels, melted away at the eleventh of the eleventh hour, so that this bold stroke was once again silenced and muffled. But it is most perfect that a photograph of that fateful evening caught Polly’s shadow, looking as if she wielded the sword of Truth and Justice.
Polly came back energetically depleted from the Hague; and never fully recovered her health. She faced the diagnosis she received in March with the same pragmatic resilience that has marked her passage through life. Like Inanna, she surrendered to the inevitability that Death demanded of her. But also like Inanna, Polly has allies to count on. In Inanna’s case, three allies came to the fore which enabled the Sumerian Goddess to resurrect herself and return to life. In Polly’s case, such was her influence and effect, the allies she has are numerous and devoted. Through her death, she has arisen to new heights and her reputation has expanded exponentially. Whilst sadly, we may not see Polly returned to us in physical form, her presence is growing in the collective mind.
Humanity needs a new narrative; a new story; a new mythos. What better way to begin than with the vivacious flair and irrepressible determination of a beautiful, charismatic Scottish lass, who wore the banner of her storm-grey hair with gravitas and panache, and who dedicated herself to the march of moral justice on behalf of Earth and All Beings of Earth? Polly was Athena in human form; she was an aspect of Giai who arose to sort out the mess that Humanity has made of taking care of its own backyard. The Divine Feminine expanded through Polly with grace, style and brilliance to show us the way forwards with precision and clarity.
It is up to all of us now to honour Polly’s legacy by seeing the job done and making the International Law against Ecocide a fait accompli. And really, given the recent reports into the increasing gravity of the ecological emergency we’re facing as a species, Polly’s cunning plan is surely something that is fast becoming irrefutable necessity?
Polly has upon the wall at the Base a big poster and image that an artist created for her. It assumes that by 2020 the International Law against Ecocide will be a done deal; something which has already been ratified and listed in the Statutes of Rome. The strap line on the poster is: One Earth; One Law; One People. The image is of all nations holding hands across the world and joined under the umbrella of this unifying Global Earth Law. What a beautiful vision and legacy to bequeath our future generations! It is a vision that Polly Higgins has laid the ground work for and made tangible and realisable. All it requires is for one million of us to see the sense in this and sign up to become Earth Protectors and Trustees. All it requires is for one nation state to insist on this being tabled and debated in the United Nations so that it has to be voted on. It is an idea of this time and the time to act upon it is now, so that the poster on Polly’s wall is a prediction that becomes our living truth.
Read more about Stop Ecocide HERE
To Act Now see HERE