Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, July 29, 2010

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the
beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.

Joseph Campbell

I’m with Joseph Campbell.

As I understand and indeed experience it, human beings are profoundly connected with the natural world, with Nature. We are part of the “animal kingdom”, however much we think we enhance our being “spiritually”. But let’s not be dualistic about this! “Nature” is not just “material”. Nature is both material and spiritual, if indeed we can limit Life to such a black and white division – and I certainly think we would be silly to do so.

Granted, a lot of nonsense has been written about how the lunar and solar cycles, the tides, etc., affect us human beings (like other animals). But the nonsense aside, I believe those cycles do speak to who we are in various ways. The daily sun “setting” and sun “rising” is a very central and powerful metaphor about the central reality of human development: our coming to the consciousness that we are One with the life-giving energy or “Divine Soul” of the Universe. The setting sun represents the “descent” of that Divine Life into materiality; the rising sun, the conscious rise to the realization that we share in the Life of that which gives life to all things. St. Paul described it as coming to understand that we are “Christ/God in us, the hope of glory”.

Separating ourself from the Natural World causes us to despise the World in which we live and are inextricably intertwined with. We mistreat it, as we have been doing, and “wound” it. We see it in our World today. What we need to see, i.e., become fully conscious of, is that in doing this, we are also doing this to ourselves. I think that the destruction of the human being is equally evident in our modern World.

One of the great gifts that my childhood in Montfort, at my grandmother’s summer cottage, gave me was the deep sense and experience of my intimate oneness with the World in which I lived. I knew this reality when I was very young – and it has never left me. In turn, that understanding gave me a return gift: it showed and continues to show me a path to wholeness.


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