What is Nature and is it imbued with wisdom?
The crises in our midst are in part a crisis of resources and also a crisis of relationships, yet fundamentally they are a crisis of spirit.
This fundamental crisis of spirit is due to our sense of separation from Nature, the very ground of our being, which has become de-sacralized over the centuries to the now prevalent view that Nature is nothing more that something outside of us, something to be controlled and manipulated for human betterment. This de-sacralization is at the very heart of our crises, as it brings psychic impoverishment which fuels an anxiety and egotism that then displays itself through our ‘grasping’, ‘consuming’, ‘competing’ mentality corrupting our relations with each other and life itself.
For me Nature has an immanent and transcendent quality which is intangible and beyond definition. There is an abundance of diverse expressions within this intangibility and tangibility of landscapes, ecosystems and organisms of which we are but one beautiful expression.
‘Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.’ William Blake
I can perhaps attempt to explain through words this quality of Nature as ‘an all-pervading presence’ that lies largely beyond what our rational minds can grasp, though may be intuited and sensed as a very real enlivening presence in our lives. Upon our rational mind and ego-consciousness opening up to and permeating with this presence, our conscious awareness can begin to explore shadowy depths within a deeper Mind of Nature: the ground of our being.
This is where ancestral instincts, morphic fields, akashic records and memories lie that can take shape in our imagination, dreams, felt-senses, intuition, and archetypal and instinctual urges. Yet there is more than simply instinct here, there is the urgency of evolution, the authentic unfolding of becoming more than we are, along with non-local phenomena such as synchronicity and inter-species communication which at best feel uncomfortable within our current materialistic mindset, yet are now being re-cognized through a quantum view of reality.
‘The story of the mind exiled from Nature is the story of Western Man’ – Ted Hughes
We may gain access to this all-pervasive presence through our soul which is found in the Eye of the Heart within each of us. The veil between our ego consciousness and this deeper soul awareness may rarefy upon us sitting quietly in Nature, say next to a stream or a tree, or perhaps when we catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring Milky Way or crescent Moon in the sky at night.
To sit in Nature and just feel, rather than cluttering our experience with conclusions and judgments. Try it out – sit for five minutes next to a tree of your choice and just feel.
Tried and tested contemplative and meditative practices as well as breathing, yogic and T’ai Chi techniques may aid this opening-up. Through dreams, intuitions, synchronistic moments, Deja vu’s, second senses, shamanic experiences, epiphanies, moments of grace and soulful reveries we open up to this deeper presence within and all around us – Nature, as a World Soul, a Mind nested within a Cosmic Consciousness that permeates universes beyond comprehension.
‘Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different’ William James
The Sufi scholar Henry Corbin coined the term Imaginal Realm to describe this presence which lies just beyond our normal waking consciousness yet can be accessed through ‘sacred imagination’ whereupon we allow our consciousness to open up to this deeper ground to illuminate hidden depths within and all around us – here the unseen or invisible worlds may begin to be comprehended. We access a wisdom quite beyond words; what the ancient Greeks referred to as Sophia, a Goddess flowing throughout Nature.
This provides for a richer, deeper more purposeful meaning of life to emerge within us, while allowing a deepening of our authenticity. Our true destiny begins to emerge within our conscious awareness – and the cluttering choking cacophony of our ego-chatter subsides.
As we attune we begin to realize that our destiny and purpose in this life is to attune with this deeper soulful consciousness, as it is through this that our lives become infused with purpose, meaning and authentic creative potential. Our current sense of separation from Nature is, therefore, the very root of all our problems, as it starves us from place new steps of change that are in harmony with Life.
The way ahead for us is to re-cognize and re-member the sacredness of Nature within and all around us. Ancient philosophers such as Pythagoras and Thales at the foundations of our Western civilization, along with more recent minds such as Whitehead, Hartshorne and James all understood the animating principle within Nature as an expression of a deeper, richer consciousness which we would do well to attune to. We can open up to this wisdom within every moment of life; each moment offering us this enchanting gift. Eckhart Tolle calls it ‘The Power of Now’, the inherent power and wisdom of Nature.
Conscious awareness of this deeper wisdom found within the ground of our being brings a humbling reverence for life and our role within its sacredness. We simultaneously open up to our awesome potential as conscious co-creators in this wise world, and also bow into service upon recognizing something far greater than what our poor ego consciousness can grasp. A humbling yet awe-inspiring awakening which some may call a revelation or conscious illumination where upon we realize the co-creative process of becoming our destiny. This is Nature uncut, wise beyond words.
‘We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’ T.S Eliot
For more on how we can re-sacralize Nature and transition to a truly sustainable paradigm inspired by and in harmony with Nature see the The Illusion of Separation.
‘Cutting through habitual denials and academic evasions, Giles Hutchins exposes the delusion at the root of our planetary crisis. And with a holographic richness of resources and disciplines, he discloses—indeed activates—the attitude that might just provoke our needed evolution. This is a wise and urgent text: may it be heard, and soon!’ – Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, author of On the Mystery
Watch a short 2 mins video on The Illusion of Separation
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