Archive for August, 2018

203 – Undividedness …

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

The Universe is us, as we are the Universe.

Of all the animals on Earth, we seem to be the only ones devoid of a sense of undividedness from the medium we call Nature and in which we are embedded; a medium that provides us with sources of sustenance yet also makes us sources of sustenance (food chain). But because we have evolved into the most dominant species on Earth, we have no significant predators other than viruses, and ourselves.

The innate capacity to perceive an undivided connection with Nature is obliterated as soon as we open our eyes and are shown the world and its contents as separate from us, opposite to us, conflicting with us, to be used and consumed by us.

The loss of a sense of oneness with Nature turns us into the deadly creatures who, now in such great numbers, are ravaging our environment, precipitating mass extinctions, taunting Nature, sowing our own demise.

Rilke put the significance of this loss within the lines of his insightful poetry: Who shows a child as he really is? Who place him among the stars and puts the measuring stick of separation into his hands? … Murderers are easy to understand. But this, though: death, all of death, even before life has begun, to hold it all so gently and without rancor, this is beyond description. *

Our sense of separation from Nature was reaffirmed by Rene Descartes in the seventeenth century. And his erroneous claim that the mind is a separate entity from the body has since dominated our perception of the world.

This error should have been corrected in the first half of the Twentieth Century with the introduction of Niels Bohr’s Complementarity. The premise of the theory is that properties like mind and body, particle and wave, light and dark may be perceived as mutually exclusive but are nonetheless complements of the same manifestation. But due to the reticence of the physical sciences to apply the findings of their theories to our bodies, the concept of complementarity in Nature has not been generally assimilated by the human mind. And thus, Descartes’ misconception continues to dominate our perception of the world, perpetuating the mistaken sense of separation that inhibits our undividedness from Nature.

But our sense of undividedness, although inhibited in most of us, is not dead; it is dormant and can be re-awakened. And for those of us who can perceive it, it haunts us with the beauty of its possibilities and the damaging impact of its inhibition. It is so that we rebel against a culture dominated by a mistake a man made centuries ago; a culture that even though is beginning the feel the pangs of its treatment of Nature, persists on dividing the indivisible.

Ah! To know, to see, to sense that the Universe is us as we are the Universe, is the pinnacle of perception.

*Rainier Maria Rilke – excerpts from his Fourth Elegy

 

Revised April 2021   

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202 – This is not what we are but what we are turned into …

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

The human animal is, to me, the most beautiful creature in Nature. There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of two human beings in love with each other. There is nothing as beautiful as a mother’s face at the first sight of her newborn baby. There is nothing as beautiful as a human mind trying to understand itself and the universe in which it lives. There is nothing as beautiful as the search for tenderness and love in the eyes of a baby. There is nothing as beautiful as our sense of awe at the sight of a fiery sunset or a graceful rainbow. There is nothing as beautiful as human altruism, compassion, understanding, acceptance, love.

Yet, the human animal is the cruelest creature in Nature. There is nothing as cruel as the torturing of another one of us with the purpose to degrade, humiliate, or inflict as much physical and emotional pain as possible. There is nothing as cruel as the bending of human ingenuity to create ever more powerful weapons of mass destruction. There is nothing as cruel as the plundering of pristine and delicate environments for the profits of greedy corporations. There is nothing as cruel as enslaving the human mind to serve the destructive machinations of greed. There is nothing as cruel as starving children in the midst of obscene wealth.

We are the most beautiful creatures in Nature, yet we are the cruelest. What a baffling conundrum we are!

Nothing in Nature is born cruel. Nothing. But in cultures dominated by the alienation from and the frantic control over Nature, the human mind, especially in the impressionable and easily manipulated childhood years when the young mind is dependent on others for survival, can be thrown into survival modes in which it turns against its inherent instincts … love, empathy, tolerance … to become instead not only intolerant and cruel but worse, the instigator of these destructive trends on its progeny.

This is not what we are but what we are turned into.

Revised March 2021   

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the Home page’s left column, down below the Archives.