Monday, October 19, 2009

Nature and Self

What is nature anyways? It’s a trick question of course. As posed, it suggests a difference between nature and human. This is a classic misconception, and one that’s replayed in much of human civilization and its approach to the world.

I am part and parcel of nature. So the question could as well be asked, who am I? That self-enquiry can’t be answered with words, nor can it be experienced. Experience presupposes a subject that experiences and an object that is experienced. The question is never answered, but reveals.

Nevertheless, within this relative world, we can point to an answer. And that is: Consciousness. Or Spirit, Being, Self, even God when used as such a pointer and not some supernatural being. Thus, nature, as such, is Spirit made manifest.

And when we walk within nature, we are walking within ourselves, within manifested Spirit. Too often we walk within the human environment, which although not unnatural, is a reflection of human thought. And it is the belief in thoughts as true reality which is the veil that hides our true nature from ourselves.

Possibly then, the best way to become one with the manifest world would be to go naked in a wilderness. While the best way to become one with the unmanifest world is meditation, resting within awareness.

To be in the element of nature is to be manifested in Manifest Spirit. That snowy egret that flashed its white wings in the distance is a movement of a pattern within the One. The feeling of wonder that arises in my heart as I watch the snowy egret rise and fall is a movement of a pattern within the One. It’s all physics of the One made manifest in equal and opposite actions and reactions.

And this is the spiritual practice of nature. The 19th century Transcendentalists knew most of this, especially Henry David Thoreau. Communing with Nature is a form of meditation, in which one communes with Spirit, discovering one is That. It’s a transcendence, a revelation, a meditation on the ultimate koan of ‘who am I.’

Thus, the triad of seer, seeing, and seen is saw through. No me, no experience, no nature: the sublime emptiness of One is. Being-Consciousness-Bliss.

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