It is said that there is no good in anything until it is finished. As we ask when are we – while antiquity and final outcomes ask for patience. Patience to ensure that true aim hits the true target. Adding that we are to live by what the ancients taught… the laws of the eternal blue sky and that for every action there is a ripple through time. As we spend our time looking up to this sky and the stars. Knowing where home is and that we always would return with stories we are to tell.
It is this thought that serves the basis of Eastern thought and philosophy, as well as indigenous people the world over. Like native American Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux and the prayer circle of the Navajo of the southwest.
The confluence of direct avenues to the stars, the Tao, Lao Tzu and to our own eternal spirit.
To Buddha and Buddhism where one measures age not in years but in lifetimes as karma arrives exactly when one is ready to heed its message through compassion, and later Confucius with thoughts of benevolence and virtue. The Tao simply another term used to define a universality of God from within all things. When we look to the heavens and stars, we all become one. There is no division amongst those who follow what might be called heaven’s intent, with man simply one of the ten thousand things found in nature.
Somewhere along the way, the laws of man for some seem to have superseded a reverence for the laws of nature. But not everywhere. Plato and the ancient Greeks knew the power of nature and tried to understand and convey man’s role. More recently Emerson in the 1840’s and 50’s spoke to the nature of man and our connection to the stars and universe. Of our transcendence, even coining transcendentalism as a term that would further define our obligation to nature. We are each to learn of our own transcendence opening our arms and heart to nature, as if we are coming or going home becoming a portal for others. As we convey the magic the entire world has to offer. As illustrated by efforts to preserve our National Parks in their original beauty as we learn what they too must teach us.
Our instincts lead us to this higher consciousness and awareness. We think of Darwin and ideas of the survival of the fittest. How we have a choice to make and how things change and adapt to survive, and to our own obligation as both students of history and as teachers. Not simply for ourselves, but for everything we touch. As such, we first recall and reminisce about our earliest memories, and the shaman who taught us that nature is our greatest teacher.
As we too look to the stars i.e., heavens for guidance and benevolence, and the eternal blue sky for answers. To the environment and perils of global warming and how we look to the past to see beyond the present and ourselves. To those who convey the past as present through their own actions showing us the way.
We think of Henry David Thoreau who took to the woods and a cabin owned by Emerson so he could look to nature to help find the answers he already knew that needed self-expression, and his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience”. To Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, who had music in their head that expressed eternal.
To Michaelangelo and David carved out of stone who needed his beauty to come forth and show. The stories are endless. To the music of our own generation that reverberates through our lives. Today, I think of Thomas Merton, who was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, and scholar of comparative religion. Merton became a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice. He is particularly known for having pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama; Japanese writer D.T. Suzuki, and Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. It is Merton’s work, and writing, which provides a great inspiration for me here on my website. I highly recommend exploring his writing and books. You will not be disappointed.
And finally, to our gardens where we express our own love of nature as we acknowledge the past, convey the present, and show respect for nature we will leave behind when we’re gone. Are we simply an annual flower that may reseed itself next year, or a perennial whose instincts convey that it is to get roots telling of its past firmly established, gain nourishment and insight while here in the present, and return when the seasons tell it the time is right as the energy of the sun and eternal blue-sky demand. Can the same be said of us? Are we an annual planted once and then gone with the season, or perennial with a long history where the need to change only determines our time of ultimate arrival. As Ram Das told us we get to wake up and choose.