I believe in God but I spell it Nature. Frank Lloyd Wright
As I explained in a previous post, etymologically, ‘weird’ means ‘fate’ and in the way I am speaking of it is also synonymous with the process of individuation; becoming one’s true and whole (unique) self. In this context, we might think of fate as a divine blueprint with which, to a certain extent, we can choose whether or not to align ourselves.
Most of us love nature. It is hard to even imagine a person who doesn’t. But especially being married to a biologist, I am aware on a daily basis, how nature is a low priority for a large proportion of the population, and many choose profit or even an uninterrupted view over the well being of our birds, animals, trees, and plants. Still, many of us do care so deeply for nature that we put energy into nurturing it. We lovingly cultivate our gardens, even if that is a container on a balcony, and are willing to sign petitions and even take political action to protect our precious environment. What is much less common though, is the consideration for our own nature. In fact, even the most passionate environmentalist may be oblivious to the nature that is their own body and spiritual/psychic blueprint.
Yes, you are nature too, no less than a tree or a beetle or the stars in the sky. Humans though, are more challenged than other living things in regards to living in accordance with their nature. I could quote many theorists who tell us basically that cats know how to be cats, trees know how to be trees - each one is true to its own pattern, but we humans – well, it seems we are rather impaired in this regard .
By nature I mean more than biology, and what we see as nature in the outer domain. The word ‘nature’ also refers to a “force” as well as a template. Dylan Thomas describes a “force that through the green fuse drives the flower, (that) drives my green age”.1 (it also drives those of us who are past a ‘green age.’) Nature (capital N) is a power that enlivens and moves through us. Another poet, Wordsworth, described it as “a presence... of something far more deeply interfused...a motion and a spirit, that impels...and rolls through all things.”2 “All things” includes us.
We might think of this force of Nature as activating our inner nature, the unique blueprint of our being, our “soul’s code,” if you like, which is also our weird (fate). It is our pattern or template, with which we can choose to live in alignment - or not. There are consequences whether we do or don’t, but if we don’t, not only does Nature give us wake-up calls, we are likely to feel estranged from ourselves and all of life.
Countless studies have shown that being in nature heals us - sitting in nature (without our cell phones but just breathing the air and listening to the sounds, etc.) lowers our blood pressure, reduces stress, improves concentration and increases the cells that combat disease*. Being attuned to our own nature heals us too. Attuning to, and living in alignment with, our nature/ weird also helps us heal and thrive and live our potential.
It may come across that living our nature means that we stop considering other people. Perhaps it sounds like this is just about more western focus on the individual, in other words, on ‘Me’. But in fact, nature connects us with everything, making us part of the whole. We can’t not belong. What we do to the natural world we do to ourselves and vice versa. By attuning to nature and collaborating with it we are supporting all life on the planet. Perhaps the more we are conscious of this, the more we will be respectful and caring towards our own nature, and the more we will make all nature a priority.
1.The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower by Dylan Thomas
2. A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth
*See the video on Shinrin Yoku on at www.innisfreefarm.ca.