Of all the reasons to escape to the wilderness, spiritual seeking and direction is among the best. It helps to sort out what’s real from what’s projected from our minds.
In The Cosmic Prison, Loren Eiseley points out that the moment we name something, we limit it to less than what it is, and in the image of our own limited understanding. We define and classify to understand, but in so doing we create an artificial structure of reality, believing our creation in place of the truth. Mayflies pretending to be Masters of the Universe.
But we aren’t. Eiseley compares our situation to that of a white blood cell traveling through the circulatory system of a cat. What could we know of the world, let alone the universe! We would never see the sun. We would never even know we are part of a cat, or that there were other organic systems besides ourselves. Reality for us would be the circulatory system alone–and a limited understanding of even that.
Trying to use our minds to comprehend our natural state and our connection to what’s around us is then beyond our capacity, beyond our perception, beyond our understanding in the usual sense as we use that term. We just aren’t capable. We must turn instead to our experience, and to what flows through and unties us, beyond the abilities of our minds. This is not a matter of turning mystic; it’s a matter of using the right tool for the job. Nor is this a matter of embracing religion necessarily–it’s a matter of facing reality. We simply cannot function well while insisting we are separate.
K. C. Cole’s The Arrow of Time adds the dimension of purpose. Left to themselves, the molecules in the refrigerator might stay grouped as cold ones inside and warm ones outside, but it’s more likely that without any organizing purpose, they will co-mingle and turn lukewarm. The purpose of the refrigerator is to continually cool the molecules inside, thereby maintaining a refrigerator’s viability as a reliable appliance.
Our lives, too, need this direction and purpose, or our energies become entropic. Relationships, careers, nations–all need continual attention in consistent directions to maintain their viability as reliable vehicles. The same is true of our personal lives. Without a direction and purpose, without a spiritual focus, we have no compass, and are easily thrown not off our path, as it might seem, but rather thrown because we have no path.
Wayne Dyer describes it well:
“Nikos Kazantzakis reinforces this idea by giving these words to his fanciful character Zorba (in his book Zorba the Greek), who always lived his life to the fullest: ‘By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.’ This is the power of your imagination when what you desire is imagined sufficiently to make it your reality.
“Perhaps the most common misuse of imagination is stressing what you don’t want for yourself. This is the largest category of misusing imagination. Start paying attention to general conversation, and you will be astounded at how incredibly prevalent it is.”
Dan Zadra says it even more pointedly: “Worrying is a misuse of the imagination.”
We need that spiritual core, that connection to What Is, whatever we want to call that What Is, even if we don’t know what that is–and not to worry, because we can’t know. It’s beyond our minds. But we can experience the connection to whole, the flow of the spirit, and we can direct our purpose and proceed in accordance with our spiritual path. This is living.
Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.
If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.
October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”
You can read the series from the start via the links here:
Oct. 1: A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2: The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3: Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4: Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5: “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6: Mountain. Buddha. Impermanence.
Oct. 7: The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8: Finding the Keys
Oct. 9: “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10: Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11: We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12: Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13: Getting Unstuck: Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14: Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15: To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16: Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17: Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18: Do you want to be the boss? Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19: Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2: Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness