how we dismantle complacency

Silk thread, you were drawn into the fabric.

Whatever single image you made yourself part of –

feel how the whole carpet is meant,

its glorious weave.

~Rilke

we feel kinship with the heartbeat of the world bearing witness to all

inquiry for today~ may your day provide soul perspective from the inside out…..

this way into the grand spaces

Nature. The natural world. The living world. The physical world. The more than human world. The environment. The cosmos. The whole. These are but a few of the terms that have emerged in contemporary discourse to describe the living reality within which our lives unfold. The very plurality of terms says something important about the complexity of our ideas about and experience of this reality and the difficulties of arriving at anything like a simple clear understanding of it. Some of these terms refer to a reality that is primarily, if not solely, physical- something whose meaning can best be apprehended ad described using the methods and theories of modern science.

Others refer to a reality whose meaning can only be fully apprehended through attention to myth, story, art and traditions of spiritual practice; nature in this understanding is inescapably physical and concrete, but it is also seen as numinous and mysterious, never completely knowable in its immensity and depth. The need to arrive at a more subtle and fluid understanding of nature that is respectful of its wild otherness but also sees it as capable of being incorporated into the complex reality of human culture without being completely subsumed or defined by it is one of the real challenges before us.

Still, what does it mean to speak of spirituality in such a context? And in particular, of a contemplative spirituality? Conscious involvement and self-transcendence are its defining features; but the object or aim of such self-transcendence is left undetermined.

It seems to me that if the idea of contemplative ecology is to gain purchase on our imaginations and contribute something significant to our way of living in the world, it will of necessity have to find its way into the places where we are most vulnerable, especially in relation to the natural world. This will mean, I think, learning to open ourselves not only to the fragility and vulnerability of the world, but also to how profoundly it lives in us and matters to us.

~Douglas E. Christie

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