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Wonder is our birthright.

Here I go again, another airy-fairy post. I apologize in advance. You may be tired of hearing about the beauty-we-don’t-see, but seeing is my subject, my obsession, and I’m driven to write about it.

Making art taught me to watch how I saw things, how crucial seeing is.

Seeing is more than physical. It’s mental, it’s psycho-spiritual as well. It involves imagination, the ability to understand our context, our world. We humans are still trying to figure out what we are and where we are.

We’ve come up with a lot of theories over the millenia, but it’s still a work in progress.

Our way of imagining existence has consistently proved to be too small. Our habitual small vision makes things more difficult than necessary, in my opinion. But vision comes from the heart at least as much as it does from our reasoning, probably more. If our heart is small and self-defended, our sense of the world shrinks to our little circle, our little tribe.

An exclusively rational approach to ecology, for example, leaves out compassion for other beings, as well as appreciation of the sheer beauty of the natural world. It focuses on how things operate in nature and in the economy, processes which are no doubt real as far as it goes, but our knowledge of it is insufficient to engage the passionate heart.

But humans need beauty, they need poetry, they need inspiration. We all need a sense of a spirit world, a sense of caring connection with nature and each other, a mature sense of the infinite and of a larger meaning behind creation.

Unless we fall in love with the world, we won’t save it.

Our business models, our governance models, our social models all neglect this principle, I think.

The simple question being put to the human race right now is “Can we grow our compassion?”

Answering that question in the affirmative will give us a chance. I believe empathy could save us from wiping out nature.

The “eye of the heart” is not widely touted as a solution to the destruction of nature, but I want to speak up for it here.

Written by

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

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