As just about any culture has known, there is an immense wisdom in nature which goes far beyond that of our conscious insights and skills. The only culture I am aware of that lost sight of this is our western culture, and then only since the dawn of the mechanistic view.
Nature is operating in ways far beyond what we consciously understand, and at far larger scales than what we can dream of ever setting up or controlling. We see this all around us, maybe most clearly in how this planet operates as a dynamic and self-regulating whole, and how our own human self operates in a similar way.
Our own experience and science tells us this every day. Our bodies digest food, sleeps, dreams, produces sensations, emotions, thoughts and so on – without our conscious intervention or creation. Science freely admits that no matter how much we understand, everything is still a mystery.
Still, this realization is often filtered out. It gets lost when filtered through our typical western view of nature as dumb and the human intellect far superior to anything else. And especially superior when functioning within a current western worldview.
There are many other aspects to this.
Nature as other & the fall
One is that the western worldview, possibly through the judeo-christian filter, sees nature as “other” and something to be suspicious of. In such a world, we don’t have a choice but to try to master and conquer nature – whether it shows up out there in ecosystems or in here in our physical bodies.
And this in turn leads to a profound sense of loneliness, isolation, and lack of meaning, connection and intimacy with the larger whole. We are – in our own minds – cut off from who we really are, as intimately embedded in and expressions of the larger processes of the earth and the universe.
Instead of seeing ourselves as a process of the earth and the universe – embedded in the larger whole of “we” and finding a deep trust and intimacy with these processes, we see ourselves as objects in a world of innumerable and unpredictable objects – and our only choice is trying to control it as best as we can.
This combination of disconnect and hubris sets us up for a fall. And we are in the middle of it, through the unraveling of global and regional ecosystems.
A process of the universe
The other side of this is the immense sense of belonging, trust, intimacy and meaning waiting for us when we see ourselves as a process of the earth and the universe.
This is all “we”, all of it – the earth, ecosystems, galaxies, the universe as a whole in all its many forms. And there is a deep wisdom throughout it all.
We recognize that the wisdom that has operated without consciousness for so long is not beginning to be conscious of itself, through human beings.
Our role is now revealed as an awareness organ of the earth and the universe, allowing it to gradually recognize its own wisdom in a more conscious way.
There is an immense beauty in this, and also the possibility for us to create a more deeply life-centered civilization – allowing this particular process called humanity to survive a little longer.