Monday, August 29, 2011

Meditation 13 -The way of nature

So be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Mt. 10:16)

Observe the wisdom that operates in doves and in flowers and trees and the whole of nature.

It is the same wisdom that does for us what our brain could never do: it circulates our blood, digests our food, pumps our hearts, expands our lungs, immunises our bodies and heals our wounds while our conscious minds are engaged in other matters.

This kind of nature-wisdom we are only now beginning to discover in so-called primitive peoples who, like the dove, are so simple and wise.

We who consider ourselves more advanced have developed another kind of wisdom, the cunningness of the brain, for we have realized that we can improve on Nature and provide ourselves with safety and protection and length of life and speed and comfort unknown to primitive peoples. All of this thanks to a fully developed brain. Our challenge is to recapture the simplicity and wisdom of the dove without losing the cunningness of the serpentine brain.

How can you achieve this? Through an important realization, namely, that every time you strive to improve on Nature by going against it, you will damage yourself for Nature is your very being.

It is as if your right hand were to fight your left hand or your right foot were to stamp on your left foot. Both sides lose and, instead of being creative and alive, you are locked in conflict. This is the state of most people in the world. Take a look at them: dead, uncreative, stuck because they are locked in conflict with nature, attempting to improve themselves by going against what their nature demands.

In a conflict between Nature and your brain, back Nature; if you fight her, she will eventually destroy you.

The secret therefore is to improve on Nature in harmony with Nature. How can you achieve this harmony?

I. First: Think of some change that you wish to bring about in your life or in your personality. Are you attempting to force this change on your nature through effort and through the desire to become something that your ego has planned? That is the serpent fighting the dove.

Or are you content to study, observe, understand, be aware of your present state and problems, without pushing, without forcing things that your ego desires, leaving Reality to affect changes according to Nature's plans, not yours? Then you have the perfect blending of the serpent and the dove.

Take a look at some of those problems of yours, those changes you desire in yourself, and observe your way of going about it. See how you attempt to bring about change both in yourself and in others through the use of punishment and reward, through discipline and control, through sermonizing and guilt, through greed and pride, ambition and vanity, rather than through loving acceptance and patience, painstaking understanding and vigilant awareness.

II. Second: Think of your body and compare it with the body of an animal that is left in its natural habitat. The animal is never overweight, never tense except before fight or flight.

It never eats or drinks what is not good for it. It has all the rest and exercise that it needs. It has the right amount of exposure to the elements, to wind and sun and rain and heat and cold.

That is because the animal listens to its body and allows itself to be guided by the body's wisdom. Compare that with your own foolish cunningness. If your body could speak, what would it say to you?

Observe the greed, the ambition, the vanity, the desire to show off and to please others, the guilt that drives you to ignore the voice of your body while you chase after objectives set by your ego. You have indeed lost the simplicity of the dove.

III. Third: Ask yourself how much you are in touch with Nature, with trees and earth and grass and sky and wind and rain and sun and flowers and birds and animals. How much are you exposed to Nature? How much do you commune with her, observe her, contemplate her in wonder, identify with her?

When your body is too long withdrawn from the elements, it withers, it becomes flabby and fragile because it has been isolated from its life force.

When you are too long separated from Nature, your spirit withers and dies because it has been wrenched from its roots.

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