We’re not part of Nature, we are Nature.
Nature is ultimately beyond the control of the human mind. Volcanic eruption, hurricane, earthquake, drought or plague can make the whole grandiose form of humanity impotent in a day. We are helpless in nature, just as we are helpless in the fate of birth and death.
Because we are afraid, we create a separation. We talk of nature as if the human being were not part of it; as if our bodies and minds were not mammalian, as if we were independent and separately existing from the sun, the moon, or even the oxygen in the air.
Nature is a “thing” outside of our cities, and sometimes showing up in the cracks in the concrete. Often, it is only noticed when there is a natural dsaster, such as the present devastation of hurricanes sweeping the US. Because we only respect it when it puts our lives in danger, we miss its resource, we stop listening to it and we deny ourselves the source of all we are in body, mind and heart.
Nature is increasingly conceived as a threat to our sanity, our health, our homes and our communities. So we try to negate it further by withdrawing our consciousness, hoping it will go away.
We see trees in our boulevards as if they were furniture, failing often to recognize the same life within their veins as runs through ours. We ignore our breath and we notice the weather only when it creates discomfort. We arrogantly relegate animals as inferior life-forms, as if life could be measured, rationed and quality tested.
Yet we are nature itself. It never was separate from any movement or any thought we could ever have. We are entirely and inextricably nature in action.
The idea of separation is an unscientific lie.
Yet it bothers us, this unity, so we withdraw our consciousness from nature, which means pretending that our consciousness ends within some arbitrary distance of our own physical heads. This is a dangerous space to be when nature screams her pain. We are still perceiving beyond this circumference of our bodies, yet we mentally block the birthright of our natural alignment, our intuition and our safety instincts. We shrink as our perception as separate and deny ourselves one of the greatest resources available to the living brain – the resource of its own source.
Baruch Spinoza put it well: “Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.”
Yet we continue to move as if we are essentially contrary to nature. We forgot what it is to shine as the sun; to rage as a storm; to be as unbounded as the sky and to express with the unconditional joy of birdsong. We denied ourselves the permission to live, becoming a natural manifestation which William Wordsworth called: “…the still, sad music of humanity.”
Yet it’s not enough to separate from the natural world of which we are composed, we also are conditioned into separation from each other. The same formula applies: what we seek to negate contracts our consciousness from what has already, anyway been seen. We splice our perception, and we become physically unsafe.
When that contraction becomes habitual, then we become less conscious. We begin to experience living as a kind of perpetual dying. We deny in other what we deny in ourselves. Based on the belief in the separate self, we retract our consciousness from what is experienced through others, and in this, contract consciousness within ourselves. We shutter up the windows of perception in a misconceived attempt to fix our world through censorship of our experience.
Yet the separation between individuals is in flux and is at core fictitious. We are consciously and unconsciously perpetually composed and formed through consciousness, whether it is ‘our’ consciousness or that which shines through another human being. As Nisargadatta Maharaj said: “We are the creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other’s burden.”
The natural world of which we are an expression, and in which we live in balance and imbalance, is an omnipotent resource of peace, strength, bliss, comfort, nurture and wisdom. Each animal is our teacher and our ancestor. Each plant is showing us the true nature of our own being. It is time to awaken to what we are.
As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, freedom from the lie of the separate self becomes equatable with safety. Be in communion with the wind. Listen to it and heed its warning. Be in community with the animals and birds. Follow them, as they are inextricably attuned to the dynamic of the earth. Help each other. Collaborate. It is the key to both survival and evolution. Be compassionate. Compassion will bring you stillness and omnipotence. You never were alone.
Brigid’s Crossing Foundation is a holistic cat sanctuary currently bracing itself for IRMA. Hundreds of cats are in shelter there, and will need care and resources after the hurricane has passed. If you feel inspired, please visit their website and consider making a donation.