Image for post
Image for post
Image from Jose Luis G. Soler

“When a cat falls out of a tree, it lets go of itself. The cat becomes completely relaxed, and lands lightly on the ground. But if a cat were about to fall out of a tree and suddenly make up its mind that it didn’t want to fall, it would become tense and rigid, and would be just a bag of broken bones upon landing. In the same way, it is the philosophy of the Dao that we are all falling off a tree, at every moment of our lives. As a matter of fact, the moment we were born we were kicked off a precipice and we are falling, and there is nothing that can stop it. So instead of living in a state of chronic tension, and clinging to all sorts of things that are actually falling with us because the whole world is impermanent, be like a cat.” Alan Watts

*

Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things. It means that you are not disturbed inside. — Thich Nhat Hanh

The One Mind, the Universal Consciousness, gives birth to an infinite variety of life forms. Humans are one species, swimming in this energy-flux. We imagine ourselves separate from it, using it as we wish, but that’s a childish fantasy that implies the liberty to violate its sacredness. We don’t actually have that right.

Killing for sport is uniquely human. We Americans live on a continent that thrived thousands of years because the human race that lived here still perceived the sacredness of all life and lived in harmony with it. The Europeans arrived with a very different vision of things. Nature has suffered from our mechanistic belief system. Soil, water, flora and fauna has degraded mightily because of how we live and think. Native peoples were shocked to see how stupid and indifferent we were to nature. They couldn’t imagine we would kill almost all the buffalo. Who would do that? What kind of humans would be so inhumane?

We want power. We invent machines that give us superhuman capacities. Unfortunately we’re also paranoid enough to fashion an astounding array of ways to kill and destroy. Not respecting or loving the Earth and its life forms is creating a moonscape. We’re dismayed that this is happening and a great number of us refuse to believe it. Surely our God wouldn’t let such a thing happen.

We have a shock coming. Our God is a childish projection, not related to a real vision of the web of life and our true place in it. Even our scientists are warning us we’re going in the wrong direction, but we have become illiterate. I don’t think we’ll be motivated by logic and information to change. I think we’ll only open our eyes when we open our hearts.

If we love the world in all its details, we’ll care for it. I don’t see how noticing “ecological degradation” is going to galvanize action. Our hearts are too small to see clearly. Without a clear-seeing “eye of the heart”, we are dangerous to the world and to ourselves.

We show who we are by our vision of things. Our belief in survival of the fittest, that nature lives by tooth and claw still lives in the minds of too many of us. We laugh at the idea that life thrives on mutual support and care. Trees taking care of each other? Don’t make me laugh.

We’re children on the soul level. We have a lot of growing up to do. The natural world has been waiting for centuries. It can’t wait very much longer.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store