Poet and philosopher Gary Snyder writes, “I like to think that the concern with the planet, with the integrity of the biosphere, is a long and deeply-rooted concern of the poet for this reason: The role of the singer was to sing the voice of corn, the voice of the Pleiades, the voice of bison, the voice of antelope”.
A world where corn, bison, Pleiades — or stone — have a voice or a song is an ensouled world. To imagine such a vocal, animate world is an act that enlivens the consciousness of a modern human being and opens possibilities for a different relationship with our fellow inhabitants of Earth.
And yet, it may be easy to hold an idea that the world is ensouled, or animate — or even sacred — but a disembodied idea, an abstraction, is not the same as participating with wild intelligent presences. And even engaging with an animate world is not quite the same as singing the voices of corn and antelope; how can we sing what is out of range of our hearing? But perhaps participating with the wilder Others as if we inhabit a field of intelligent presences erodes ordinary, acquired awareness just enough, now and then, that the old mind that still quietly lives in each of us might, in porous circumstances, hear the voices of stars or stone.
To attend the world as if there are longings and subjectivity beyond our own skin, and beyond the species boundary, is a consciousness altering practice. Actively imagining the sentience of dragonflies or clouds disrupts the accustomed, limited lens. One who walks on grass or sand while simultaneously imagining what the grass or sand feelsmay find herself unexpectedly on her knees, making offerings to the tremendous mystery of the singing Earth.
~Geneen Marie Haugen
how we understand who we are is about undoing our hold on things…
inquiry for today~ make use of this precious light and the arc from dawn to dusk…..
For millennia we have gone into the wilderness to discover ourselves and understand the timeless truths of life. Jesus of Nazareth went to the desert and fasted for forty days. Moses sought divine inspiration on the mountaintop. The forests and plains of northern India were the Buddha’s refuge. Chinese hermits found solitude in misty peaks. Wild, remote places drew Native Americans seeking visions. In the nakedness of the natural world, absent of the noise and chatter of our lives, we see and hear the truth more clearly.
In the wilderness, one of the things we can come to understand is the true nature of our being. We are partly drawn int the woods, to the ocean, and to lush green meadows, because the waves, trees, and grasses are free from egoist habits of grandiosity, deficiency, comparing, or judging. They rest naturally in what they are, without self consciousness, merged within the seamless fabric of life. There is beautiful freedom in that existence, and with close contact, we can have a similar experience of unity.