Salvation for me is treating humans, animals, and nature as a single system. Finding my way to thinking about this kind of consciousness is easy…implementing the idea is another. Is this a mind-boggling concept or a simple truth? As I trek into the woods this way of thinking becomes a simple truth. Living so close to the mountains makes it possible to have a unique perspective; I can be in the wilderness in 20 minutes. The flip side is in the city with a population of about 370,000 in the same 20 minutes. Talk about mind-boggling! Anyway, going into the wilderness on a daily basis does something to your psyche. The sight of the various pine trees and vegetation; the smells, the wildlife, the sound of my feet on the trail, the crunch of snow, rustling in the bushes. Stopping to inhale and look deeply at where I am. Life abounds and surrounds me; hides from me and excites me! I feel like I’m on another planet!
A WARREN OF RABBITS!
Sometimes I feel like Fever in ‘Watership Down‘, Richard Adam’s novel; delving into the surprisingly violent world of a warren of rabbits as they seek to escape human development which is destroying their warren.
THE HEAVY PRICE WE PAY
Do we acknowledge the heavy price we pay for our over-populating and development? I feel a bit disillusioned and impatient with our societies failure to show respect and value towards all living beings; to seek a balance that would bring our world to the ‘Eden’ it was meant to be. Those who do acknowledge this ‘heavy price’ are seeking a balance, we treat all as a single system. We are aware that the places we let ‘slip and slide away’ hold inhabitants that define the balance we seek. As we seek this balance we look with a slow and long eye. We see the camouflaged beauty and unsuspecting inhabitants. We seek to populate and develop more consciously; we acknowledge those inhabitants as equally deserving to be here and that we each have a role to play.
MOVE MORE SLOWLY
There is hope if we move more slowly and follow the lead of our furry friends. Take a path into the forest and unpaved trails. Look more deeply at the nature around us… salvation does walk on four legs and wags its tail.
Nowhere is Living holistically more evident than in the four-legged animal we call ‘dog’. Scientists say we have walked with and depended on the ‘dog’ somewhere near 130,000 years (one millennium is 1000 years)!
There are two ancient legends which speak about our relationship with our canines. The Chinese tell a story about a great separation, as do the Native Americans.
Both legends speak of the separation between humans and canines; and how humans lived before this separation; the legends speak of how humans were able to communicate through telepathy; that we understood and respected all life and nothing was beneath or above us: we were all equal. A marvel of harmony!
HARMONY VS EGO
Where did this harmony go? Legend says our egos developed. We no longer wanted to travel on the same path as the other animals. We moved away from other creatures and forgot how to communicate with them. We lost most of the holistic approach to life that flows in nature.
The Chinese and Native American legends differ by one extraordinary event: When the Great Spirit of the Native American legend decided to create this ‘Great Separation’ an extraordinary event occurred!
ONE POWERFUL LEAP
Legend says, the Great Spirit of the Native Americans opened a chasm in the earth, and the Great Spirit wanted to make the separation between humans and animals permanent. The chasm continued to widen; dog looked to human as the chasm widened; then looked at the other animals…then at the last possible moment; dog made a powerful leap across the chasm; making a conscious decision to join humans forever.
OUR CONNECTION WITH NATURE
In the Native American version of the Great Separation, we did not lose our connection with nature; our canines keep the connection ever present. I believe a key ingredient to keeping our holistic nature alive, is to listen to and follow our four legged friends as they urge us to enter the wild. While there, if we listen and watch closely, we can more fully feel and understand our connectedness to one another and recapture some of the holistic nature we lost.