Cassandra Curley: Are We a part of or Apart From Nature?


Cassandra Curley
Contributing Editor

“A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.” – Albert Einstein

Part of being uniquely human is to wonder about life and try to understand our place and role in the cosmos. In an effort to satisfy our wonderment, we have created stories, developed philosophies, built scientific institutions, and listened to our hearts. Still, paths of thought have been incompatible, conflicting, and unsatisfactory. That may be changing.

In the last century, advances in science are breaking an unprecedented threshold to forge a unified version of life. Ancient wisdom and frontier science are becoming mutually agreeable that all life emerges from an infinite field of energy, that the field responds to awareness, and that awareness directs the energy to appear solid. There is credible evidence of what enduring cultures and popular philosophies have maintained: humanity is an integral part of a sentient force that guides and manifests the physical world. With an understanding that we are intimately connected to everything in the universe and we play a vital role in creating our reality, we may be able to satisfy some of our deepest wonder.

Even though we share similar faculties to other sentient beings, our wonderment may give rise to desires and afflict us with a struggle between head and heart. Some would argue that there are other complex beings equipped with similar capacities of wonder, and they could be right. Think of how dogs, cats, apes, porpoises and other animals seem to display emotions and human behavior. Even birds show affection and have strategic problem solving abilities. Although, unlike any other creature, humans are more distinctly compelled to wonder, “Why?”. In other words, we are not only aware, we are aware enough to question that we are aware.

While questioning distinguishes us in nature and seemingly seats us at a greater level of awareness, we can also be tormented by our thoughts. For instance, humans may yearn for peace and happiness, yet, be torn by such concerns as morality, mortality and the origin of our existence. Therein lies a human dilemma – existential questions can create conflict.

The problem then presents itself, we may be aware of our world, but we rely primarily on our body as means of discovery and understanding. That is, in relation to the environment, human beings generally use sensory perception to make “sense” of things. The problem with this method of perception is that our senses can be limiting, deceptive, and proprietary, leaving us to process a very narrow range of reality. Simply put, the human capacity to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch constitute a fraction of life’s full spectrum.

Human beings are infinitely more complex than just meets the eye, ear, mouth, nose and hand. It could even be said, by virtue of our complexity, we are a microcosm of the universe. Perhaps, because of this complexity, we allow our physical senses to lead us into conflict through misinterpretations, while distracting us from what could be a greater understanding of life. Maybe an open mind and willingness to observe Nature for her guidance, and to glean insight of collaboration from ancient wisdom, will allow us to see life through a unified perspective to find clarity and peace.

“Never does Nature say one thing and wisdom another.”– Juvenal

Humans may be sentient, and part of the cosmos, but we also have the distinction of being the only “beings” on the planet that instigate conflict. It could be said that limitations of our biological body and prejudice create our greatest impediment – we are our biggest obstacles. All the while, Nature endures peacefully. By observing her, we may realize how we are capable of existing.

Without prejudice to interfere, Nature works and functions solely according to natural laws. There is no question or conflict about her existence. As such, it would be against nature to intentionally impair or impede her living. What may appear to be discord, as seen in eruptions, surges, hurricanes or tornadoes, are not conflicts. It could be more accurate to say that “natural disasters” are Nature’s method of adapting to environmental input. As a matter of natural law, she seeks homeostasis and will use the most efficient means to achieve it – even if it means blowing off some steam or stirring things up.

Nature is the perfect model peace. She is efficient, balanced, and precise. Witness its ecosystems that cycle life with no waste of energy or resources. These systems function so efficiently that a growing practice of living off the land by simulating their natural characteristics, called Permaculture, is spreading to most of the continents. We are a part of Nature, so, if we would just get out of our heads and not be fooled by our senses, we could find the peace that is our natural state.

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