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Re: From the spring to the pond

Sep 22, 1995 09:49 AM
by John R Crocker


>There's no point in boring everyone with details of how
>beautiful the hike was, or how peaceful it was down at the
>pond, or how wonderful I felt hiking through these woods that
>start near my back door.
 Oh, I don't know ... about either point. I don't think its
boring, and have myself made major sacrifices (in the eyes of
what modern society considers to be important) to live in the
midst of scenic splendour. And I also sometimes think that
perhaps if we are to create the nucleus for a "universal
brotherhood (and I still like "universal family" better) of
humanity" - perhaps if we occaisionally spoke of those many parts
of ourselves that are deeply important to us, yet not necessarily
overtly "spiritual" there might be far better communication
between us about intellectual things. We are all far more than
just our ideas, but such a large amount of who we are is lost
when we use this medium (the Internet) that it is easy to forget
that only certain fragments of our prisms can be refracted though
cyberspace - perhaps a bit of gushing about the magnificence of a
hike, the tenderness in a friendship, or the accomplishments in
our (often seemingly) mundane jobs, would serve to humanize this
medium ... to make it easier to remember that we are not all just
ideas that are either clashing or in harmony, but whole humans
who travel the path with the entirety of our beings.

>But there are two thoughts that struck me coming back from the
>pond. First, there's something wholly new about living where
>one can directly walk into wilderness. Living in the city and
>driving to nice rural spots created a sense of distance and
>deprivation. Nature was not continuous with the reality in
>which I lived; it was something you had to escape to. Moving to
>the edge of the woods feels like opening a direct link to Nature
>itself. Seeing the Milky Way at night adds to that
 Oh, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I grew up in suburban
Detroit, and moved to Montana 15 years ago, and the sensation was
the same - how remarkable to live where human presence is dwarfed
by the natural world; where it is but a hop skip & a jump to be
alone and facing the immensity of the galaxy. Where it is
possible to actually understand what *Silence* is (which is more
than just the "lack of noise" in the same way as wilderness is
far more than just the "lack of humans"). In some way or another
(IMO) ... your move must inevitably cause profound changes in
your entire energy system - perhaps it is indeed even an outcome
of a transformation? Do you find that some sort of reintigration
of the civilized with the deeply natural aspects of your being
happened prior to its outward, physical manifestation as a move
to where you now live? (Actually, I'm kinda curious about this if
its not too personal of a question).

>Something about moving to the country is powerfully evocative of
>a new level of nature - mysticism.
 Yes, and I wonder what Art thinks of this (since he is
reading Emerson so fully). I believe it is far more than simply
coincidence that almost every renowned mystic and prophet
recorded in history has spent at least some, if not considerable
amounts of time in huge, open natural places. There are, I think,
whole ranges of awareness available in nature that just aren't
among concentrations of human populations. (I would start
mentioning a few reasons for this related to clairvoyant
observations, but maybe 'tis best to let that rest for a bit(-:).
A couple of things might be worth mentioning here (can't help
it - because I work some of the time for a wilderness
organization and do a considerable amount of writing about the
wilderness experience (-:).
 First, it occurs to me that in a modern world with an
exploding population and telecommunications links tying the
populations together, human civilization seems increasingly full
of vast numbers of perspectives on virtually any topic one can
think of. We certainly have seen this recently on the list, but
it goes well beyond differences between viewpoints on Theosophy -
the varience of perspective exists in every arena of human life.
When I was first doing long hikes and learning rock climbing (to
get to *really* inaccessable places) I began noticing that a sort
of meditative state was being induced with no conscious effort -
a whole distinct perspective is generated by the interaction
between the human energy system and the natural world - and I
think this is far more than just "another" perspective, it is the
*orginal* perspective, the one that was the first possessed by
our ancestors, the one so enormous and ageless that even whole
civilizations are as blinks of an eye.
 Second - a personal event ... that happened shortly after I
joined the TS and was in the middle of contemplating the First
Object. I was considering exactly what the nature of "depth" was
.. of what it was, at the root, that links us as humans - that
is what was the nature of the *bond* that would tie together the
"nucleus". With these thoughts, I happened to be on a vacation,
and was taking a week long solitary hike into the heart of the
Bob Marshall wilderness (an immense wildeness in Montana - where
its possible to walk for two straight weeks without seeing a sign
of human civilization, and where the liklihood of running into
bear and moose is greater than that of running into people).
Anyway, I was sitting on the side of a ridge, looking out over a
panoramic view of several hundred miles of mountain pine forests,
and my attention was drawn to a little speck some miles distant,
that I knew without a doubt to be another person. As I came down
from the ridge, I was walking in the general direction, but
noticed that I sort of veered towards that spot. Sometime later
in the day I ran into him (he had apparently seen me too). We
chatted for awhile, decided to have dinner together, spoke about
completely unremarkable things, and went our seperate ways the
next day. As I thought about this, however, it occured to me that
something almost transcendental lurked in the event - that
embedded within it was exactly that bond, that foundation for the
nucleus I was thinking about: *Recognition*. That in the midst of
a landscape as large as the eye was capable of seeing my eyes
would have been drawn to the one other speck of humanity within
it; that we both would have, as though by a spiritual magnetism,
slightly altered our steps so as to meet; that there was a
sensation, a very fundamental sensation, that existed prior to
any of the layers upon which religion, or politics, or spiritual
orientation, or career, social standing or past; a sensation that
might be stated simply as "There is another *like myself*". The
foundation for a universal family, the bond needed to tie such a
thing together, does not need to be created ... but rather
*revealed* - and for some strange reason, the larger the
concentration of people, the more that sensation recedes into
unconsciousness ... leading even the most minor differences to
loom enormous, while surrounded by the enormity and beauty of the
natural world, that bond of its own accord seems to unfold itself
gently, but so strongly that *all* differences, however great,
become of secondary relevance.
 Well, this has become longer than intended. I, for one,
would be interested in hearing, over the next few months what
changes you observe in your energy, in your perspective, in your
spiritual practices, as your system integrates (or reintegrates)
into surroundings that you must feel immensely blessed to be
living in.
 Cheers, -JRC

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