The Nature of Things

         >In Bangladesh, 1100 people have died from a cyclone with 600,000 people fleeing from their homes with the possibility of more flooding on the way. Last week extreme weather off the coast of Russia was the cause of 10 ships being sunk, one an oil tanker that spilled 1.5 million gallons of oil. The Southeast United States is in the middle of an historic drought with no end in sight.
    Do we really think that the greatest threat to our continued existence is Al Qaeda or the Taliban?
    While there is no doubt that radical militant groups pose a threat to world peace, there is a less obvious but more important issue that we need to address. It’s the imbalance within Nature and its effect upon the planet.
    I am not saying that humankind’s behavior and seemingly endless appetite for and consumption of natural resources are the direct causes of this imbalance, although a pretty good argument can likely be made for the case that they are. Personally, I think that what we are witnessing is more the natural environment’s reflection of where we’ve allowed ourselves to drift.By drift, I mean the way in which we so willingly abdicated responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions for the past several thousand years. You simply cannot act with disregard for your own integrity while living in denial regarding the connection between that kind of behavior and outcomes.
    Just as I believe we get the leaders we deserve, so too do I believe we get the reality we deserve, or perhaps, the reality we support.
    Among spiritualists, and mystics of all religions, meditation is the practice of going inside yourself to focus upon breath or God or Oneness to reach a higher or broader view. But what happens when the meditation that is practiced daily is constantly putting thoughts upon achieving more…acquiring more…winning at at all cost…having the newest car or the biggest house? This too is practicing a form of meditation. If where you put your thoughts and words and actions for most of your waking hours is upon such things, then this is your meditation and the reality you’re supporting.
    So much of our time and energies in both the West and the East are devoted to acquisition and consumption, or control and conquest, that we have created a “view”…a reality…that is out of balance. Where are the thoughts, words and deeds that bring us together, foster peace, create harmony and teach respect for all forms of life? Where is the balance?
    We are the determining factor in the world in which we live for we have been gifted both the ability to reason as well as free will. When we use these gifts unwisely and create a reality that is out of balance, that mis-creation can be seen in reflection by peering into the natural world.
    Earth is also a living thing and it too requires harmony and balance. Lacking both, it responds by upheaval and with extreme acts such as cyclones, drought and wildly brewing seas.
    Can we learn, now and finally, that we and Nature are partners, arm in arm? That while we may subdue Nature, we may not destroy it…for in the face of its own destruction, it will gather its own forces and by so doing, make Al Qaeda and the Taliban look like child’s play.

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