Early this morning, before the rising of the sun, I was thinking how it is that we human creatures create much of our own unhappiness by our constant muttering to ourselves about what is lacking or insufficient in our lives. Most of our dissatisfactions are self induced by these inner narratives, the ones that begin with “if only” or “I wish” or “it’s too bad.” I think it might be a more fruitful use of my time to inquire of the trees outside my home how they passed the night. Did the rain gladden them? Did the wind awaken them from a kind of tree slumber? After all, they are my neighbors. And givers of the oxygen I breathe. And moderators of the temperatures near the house. And so much more. For they are coequal participants in the tribal, physical life here on this place.
 
But to have such a dialogue with the living world around us requires the development of qualities that are mostly latent within us. Perhaps the most important of these qualities is that one must learn to think from the heart, not from the head. And, also, not from the emotions. For most emotions arises because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of judgement, whether the judgement of others or of myself. The emotions are erratic, spewing forth like and dislike, no different than the effluent coming from a bursted pimple. And the thoughts of the head, while useful in a limited way, have not the clarity of the subconscious, nor the staying power and strength required to be up to the task of real communication. The head can only communicate ideas. 
 
The emanations of the heart have a constancy that the head and the smaller emotions do not. For the heart is always drawn to love. Not the love of possession, or doing good. It is a love that is expressed as a wordless recognition that there are no differences between one thing and another. That only the outward form is different. This recognition of the heart is not subject to any limitations whatsoever. Free from the bounds of time and space, the heart speaks without words, the only discernible trace of which is a warmth that spreads in all directions. It is impervious to the smallness of the emotions, and their fears. And it simply smiles at the rambling thoughts, seeing them for what they are. 
 
To allow the heart to assume its proper place in my life is not so simple. The trees are not confused about all of this. They are far too engaged in the work of being trees. But, due do to our confusion, we need to learn how to become human. All spiritual traditions were created for this purpose. It is so one learns to think from the heart, to speak from the heart, to live from the heart. 
 
“But ask the animals and they will teach you; the birds of the air and they will tell you. Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.”
     — Job12:7-8
 
Comments are welcome and appreciated.
 
 

 

2 Comments

  1. What you write makes me want to abandon all my subjective opinions about myself and others and the state of the world in order to be empty enough to take in these impressions of trees and all of nature, something real, not imaginary.
    Fredrica

  2. Dear Fredrica, I have begun to believe that it is the letting go that is the only hard part. All the rest will then come without any effort at all. I am in the way of myself, meanwhile the rest of creation continues to participate in the Great Song with or without me. Since I can’t take all of my subjectivity along on my final journey which is soon to come, why not discard it now, for at some point our work must surely be in the direction of lessening, and no longer about gain of anything at all. Thank you so much, as always.

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