As far back as I can remember, I’ve always experienced this deep connection with nature. At age thirteen I discovered the existence of pagan wisdoms and traditions and I felt so found because they always emphasized the interconnectedness of man/woman with the natural world. Everything is considered sacred and everything in nature gives reflections into our own nature, because we are nature. Since then I’ve encountered many other cultures and teachings that share the same awareness of the importance of living in union with nature.
12th Century Benedictine Abbess Hildegard of Bingen expressed: ‘Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth, is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness”, and, “Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world—everything is hidden in you.”
Have you ever noticed that every saint or prophet, including Jesus, opened into their enlightened state, union with God, after long periods of being in nature? Mmmm, interesting eh? Years ago I was reading transcripts from an amazing human being, teacher, from Bulgaria. His name is Omram Mikeal Aivanhov. What I love most about him is his simplicity and the common sense approach he uses to opening and sharing the teachings of Jesus and other messengers of truth. He makes the teachings approachable and he has a great sense of humor.
One statement that was a direct echo of my hearts knowing, which drew me to him, was when he said that if he can’t find the equivalent match for a theory, teaching or philosophy in Nature he dismisses it as nonsense, for, as he puts it, the first Good Book, Bible, is written in Nature, it is non verbal. This indicates that truth and wisdom exist beyond the mind and reasoning. It also indicates that a different quality of perception is required to gain entry into the domain we call the Divine.
“To become divine, is to become attuned to the whole of creation.”-Gandhi
Several years ago someone asked me what I thought was the main cause of our suffering. Without really thinking about it I heard myself say “ It’s our disconnect from nature. Man has sought to conquer it for so long that he has forgotten that he is nature and subject to the same laws of nature.” I reflected on that afterwards, I hadn’t perceived it in that context before, and had to agree with myself!! It was a fun moment. Over the years that has been confirmed. It makes sense.
Recently I finished another book by Daniel Quinn. I love this guy! The book is called “The Story of B”. The main theme is around what he calls “The Great Forgetting”. It’s the story of the shift in humanity from the three million years of tribal living to what he calls ‘totalitarian agriculture’, which began 10,000 years ago. This is said to be the main cause for the overpopulation epidemic we are in, as well as the hierarchal power structures that emerged. He also describes the migration history from the Fertile Crescent in Iraq, where western culture and organized agriculture began. This was the turning point where we went from living in deep relationship to nature, in tribes, hunting and gathering, to taking dominion over the earth.
According to the history we learn in school, human history didn’t really begin until civilization was born 10,000 years ago. Before then, it seems what and who human beings were is brushed off as primitive and meaningless.
Without attempting to romanticize tribal living, Quinn makes a really strong point in bringing awareness to the fact, that, obviously they were doing something right, for they existed in balance with the earth and all its creations for 3 million years, whereas we, the civilized, have been running the show a mere 10,000 years and look at the massive destruction we have caused. You can’t argue with that.
This book left me hungry for more information and now I am reading a book by Mathew Fox called “The Coming Of The Cosmic Christ”. He brings similar reflections as Quinn, integrating history with universal spirituality/religion.
The Cosmic Christ is understood as the consciousness of universal cosmic wisdom, revealed through the many different rivers of truth, be they Native American, African, Christian etc., In his words ‘ It is the “pattern that connects”, all the atoms and galaxies of the universe, a pattern of divine love and justice that all creatures and all humans bear within them.’
He also shares similar reflections on the impact ‘the shift’ had on humanity, psychologically and spiritually. We went from being one with creation and loved by ’God/dess’, to becoming alienated from nature and condemned by ‘God/dess’. The idea that humans are flawed also began, which opened the door for manipulating the masses with fear, guilt and shame. Pleasure, also, was made a sin. What was once true was made wrong. This is when the reasoning mind began abandoning the mystical and feminine, Mother Earth was no longer revered as sacred.
He introduces Cosmology as a path to restoring balance within ourselves and Mother Earth and identifies our separation from her, and the sacred feminine, as the source of our dis-ease. He also makes reference to those three million years that humanity simply lived in connection to natural laws and wisdom, without necessarily defining it as such. It just was. They lived in union with nature; we on the other hand live in denial and separation of the most basic of natural laws.
Cosmology is a way of relating to the whole of life. It’s re- awakening the sacred within and without. He defines it as the unity of science, mysticism and art that can awaken and nourish wisdom in us. Approaching the discovery of self and life through this lens opens immense opportunities for self expression, growth and a deep celebration of life. I recognize the similarity in the Hawaiian ways of living and being, as well as every Aboriginal culture I have encountered. Natures wisdom is universal, it doesn’t matter where you are on the planet, nature is nature. Those who listen naturally glean the same truths.
For so long we have been dominated and ruled by left brained logic and reason at the expense of the creative, right brained intuitive aspects of our being, that we are starving for meaning, balance and purpose. For me, reflecting on history in this way gives me deep insight into how the belief systems and mindsets that we inherited from our ancestors have developed and shaped our minds, and how some of these belief systems still cripple us to this day, both subconsciously and consciously.
There is a reason we have a left and right brain, they are designed to work in union with each other; the abstract with the logic; the rational with the intuitive; the imaginative with the practical. Together, these seeming opposites form a whole. In that wholeness is balance. In that balance we can be receptive to and in relationship with the governing laws of nature. These in turn can guide us in how to walk this Mother Earth and be a good steward to her.
PONO- the Hawaiian principle for Balance. Effectiveness is the measure of truth. If the way we are living our life, personally and globally, is not bringing about the reality and world we want to live in, then it’s obvious we need to change. It’s very simple. If what we have been doing till now is not effective, it never will be. It’s time to open our minds and to try something new to come to balance.
“This is the charged, the dangerous moment, when everything must be re-examined, must be made new, when nothing at all can be taken for granted!” –James Baldwin
This life is precious. Awakening the sacred ignites adventure, awe, compassion and celebration of living: the opportunity to experience each moment anew with a fresh and open heart. Aloha.