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The Natural Mind - Waking Up - Nature

The Natural Mind - Waking Up - Nature

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Published by Alan Macmillan Orr
In this topic from The Natural Mind - Waking Up, the author asks us to question ourselves on the subject of nature.
In this topic from The Natural Mind - Waking Up, the author asks us to question ourselves on the subject of nature.

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Published by: Alan Macmillan Orr on Jul 05, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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The Natural Mind – Waking Up
alan macmillan orr 
 Nature
1.The natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc.
 
ave you ever been for a walk along a rugged coastline, or a walk through woodland forests or mountains? With no
music
 players to distract you, or people constantly talking? If you have, youmay know what I mean when I describe the feeling as “being in one's natural state.” If you haven't,let me delve a little deeper.
H
If I could explain it, I would say I felt connected to the earth whilst out in nature. Lots of you actuallyknow this feeling when you go on holiday somewhere beautiful (I'm not talking about the latest five star  beach resort!), I mean that there's something about the place in its natural state, which makes you feel asthough you are in a different world. And in fact you are!A place where there are no buildings, no cars, no artificial noise; just natural sounds, like the wind in thetrees, a trickling stream, or the rush of the ocean. And you don't need to go to the corners of the earth to findthis; most of us have places in our own countries where we can experience it. Even a stone wall seems to fitin. But let’s explore this together.Why do we feel calm here? Why do we say: “Wow! This place is amazing?” Because we know, that deepdown, this is us. We are
nature and
nature is us. But most of us live in areas full of artificial noise andconcrete – both unnatural. If you are ever in the countryside and you hear a chainsaw, or you are standing bythe ocean, and you hear a jet ski, you will know what I mean. The mechanical sounds grate on our nerveendings, and we feel tense, as the sounds do not fit in with the surroundings. The same way as a concretewall in a mountain range not only looks out of place but also feels out of place.But how relaxed do we feel when we sit by the ocean, just
listening to the sound of the wavescrashing on the shore? It is intense, magnificent. A place where we feel calm, where we feel free todaydream, where hours can pass without
needing to rush home and watch tv, or go to the pub for a beer.A place where all our troubles melt away with every wave.Yet we surround ourselves with artificial noise all the time. Television. Walking with an mp3
music
 player. Playing computer games. Going to pubs and clubs where the music is so deafening, we cannot hear ourselves think. And that is the key – that we cannot hear ourselves think. You see, most of us don't want tospend time with ourselves, without noise, that's why people put the tv or music on when they are alone, “justto keep them company.”We live in such a noisy world now that we feel anxious and nervous when there is silence. We do notwant to be alone with our thoughts any longer than is necessary. We
need to keep busy, to always bedoing something, to always have noise in our brain. Because we don't really want to hear what'sgoing on in our head, do we? That would be much too frightening. So we use excuses like “I'mwatching an interesting program,” or “I
love music.”How many people could say they have ever come home from a hard day at work and sat there in silence?It wouldn't be very comfortable, would it? But
nature is different, because
nature is never silent.How many of you
love to hear the fierce wind in the trees whilst in bed at night, or 
love to hear therain against your windows whilst watching and listening to the faint crackle of the wood fire? I'm sure most people do.The ancients believed that the universe was made up of four ele
ments, wind, fire, water, and earth, sodon't you find it interesting that these ele
ments are also what relax us the most? Music created for relaxation in the home uses the same principles.
The sound of the wind Watching and hearing a fire crackleWatching and listening to the sound of a stream or the oceanWalking on the earth
As humans, the most intelligent advanced beings on the planet, we view
nature as something to be lookedat, not something we are part of, and it is in this funda
mental mistake that we have lost our connectionto the earth. We create artificial environments to live in, sometimes hundreds of feet in the sky, we live incommunities where no one knows anyone, and we don't work in harmony with nature, we try to control it.We also treat it as an inexhaustible supplier of goods. You see, since the beginning,
nature has always been a supplier who happily balances the books every year, with each customer taking andreceiving what he
needs for survival. Until we came along. Nature didn't count on us ordering more thanwe were prepared to give back, and come to think of it, since the industrial revolution, we have just been
 
takers.In our never ending race to make our lives ridiculously comfortable, seeking anything to make us happier,we have been on a non-stop mission to effectively alter the balance once and for all; by raiding nature of allits resources, something that a lion or tiger hasn't done in a million years.We dig, and we dig, looking for coal to fuel our 
 power stations; we raid the oil in the earth to fuel our cars and make plastics; we mine for precious gems to become wealthy and
 powerful; we makechemicals to spray on our vegetables to make them grow bigger; we pour millions of tons of waste into theseas. We dig and we keep digging. We alter the landscape permanently to create new homes, and we can'tstop. We just can't stop. Where will this end?Well, one day, the earth will have no more resources, and we'll have to move. But let’s face it, you and Iwon't be around then, so it's no good thinking about. But what I want to understand is why we continue todamage the planet we are on, when there is no obvious replacement earth within the nearest x million lightyears, and indeed, even if there were, how would we get there?We are as much a part of nature as the seed that grows into a tree, the egg which becomes a bird, or the bee that pollinates the flower. We’ve just forgotten how.In our super fast evolution to become homo sapiens (which you remember is characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage), we somehow developed the idea that we were better than
nature, as opposed to part of it. Whilst we continually find ways to control and contain
nature, it ishappily existing, forever changing, never complaining, just getting on with it.Looking back over the years, the natural world has done a pretty good job of looking after the planet;constantly balancing the books, with floods, droughts, extinction, renewal, rebirth. The problem is, thislooking after the planet business is pretty complex stuff; something our brains do not really have the capacityto understand as yet, and maybe never will.Think back to when you take a walk in the woods, the large animals, the fungi, the micro-organisms, thetrees and the plants, all here to perform a specific task in the business of keeping the world in balance. Doyou ever think about the purpose of seemingly useless (or even annoying) living things on the earth?In the summer, we all wonder about wasps, whose only purpose in our minds, is to ruin our barbecues andsting us. In the warmer countries, we wonder about mosquitoes, who only come out at night while we aresleeping to bite us! Or how about the common house fly or spider we chase round the house, trying to killwith a rolled up piece of newspaper?Let’s face it, we just don't understand
nature, and to be honest we don't want to. We want to keep itat bay; to look at it through the glass window of an aquarium or the bars of a bird cage. We don'tknow how to interact with
nature, we're scared of it, because unlike the animals in the woodland or the biglions in africa, we don't quite know our purpose; how we fit in.We don't know our role, except we are told we are the supreme predator – due to our supreme intelligenceand tool making ability. We only know we are in a position of power, that we are better than the fish, theanimals and the trees, and rightly so! After all, who has heard a tree discuss philosophy, an ant build asuspension bridge, or a parrot build a skyscraper? Anyone who suggested such a thing could be possiblewould be dismissed as crazy!We are the most intelligent beings on the planet. We have a consciousness. We are aware of ourselves. Wehave the
 power of complex
language. We have the capacity to learn new things every day. We have the power to create beautiful things; but we also have the power to destroy. Imagine coming head to head with alion, tiger, or even a bull, and try to kill it with your bare hands! Wouldn't be much of a contest would it? Ithink we all know who would be voted the ultimate predator. But the thing is, even these animals who couldtear us to pieces, with their teeth, or their horns, haven't really got the slightest bit of interest in us, unless wethreaten them. They aren't interested in eating us. Why? Because we're not on their menu.Every animal eats specific things in
order to do what's best for their system, and assist
nature retain balance, even if they are not consciously aware of that fact. Look at some of the biggest animals in the world,what do they eat? Grass! Look at whales, what do they eat? Microscopic plankton! Everything on this earthis doing something for a reason, and that reason is to keep the world in balance. A bull might not be aware of why he is eating grass, but even if he were, he would keep eating it, as his system is finally tuned to processthe nutrients out of it, something we could never eat, as our system could not digest it.All in all, we're a bit lost really. Having lost our place in the natural world as a contributor, we havestarted using our complex minds for different ends, namely, for enjoy
ment and acquiring wealth. We have become greedy. We want everything, and we will do anything to get it. We won't let anyone get inour way. This is not about
need; humans could live happily, if they had a garden full of vegetables, fresh

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