Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chapter 2 - "You Are a Guest in Our Universe"

The following morning after my conversation with the ducks, I found myself awakened by the sunlight that was streaming through my window. “I guess this is a signal that it is time to get up,” I thought to myself.

After feeding my two cats, getting dressed, and having something to eat, I went outside on my back porch to enjoy the beautiful view that is always available to me living by the river’s edge. I watched the squirrels chasing each other in the trees, the seagulls flying over the river, and the birds who were communicating with one another through their chirps and melodies. It seemed that my backyard was teeming with life, beauty, and vibrancy.

With my notebook on my lap and my pen in hand prepared to write down whatever came through, I wanted to ask Mother Nature what was meant by the phrase, “You are a guest in our universe.” Whose universe is this? And, what is our role in it?

“Intriguing…” was the reply I would write down, as if She found my question charming but naive. I could almost feel as if She was smiling at me with an amused smile. It was followed by, “Decide.  Decide now what you want in life.”

“I don’t understand,” I communicated. “What is ‘intriguing’ and what does this have to do with being a ‘guest’ in a ‘universe’?”

“It is intriguing because you have asked and not figured it out,” was the reply I heard back.

Rubbing my head and staring up into the clouds, I ventured to see if I could figure out the meaning for myself. Then, I heard Mother Nature begin to speak on the matter.

“The physical earth, and even the moon and the stars that surround it, are like a house in which you are a guest,” She instructed. “You don’t own the house, but you are invited in to stay for a while. Once invited in, it becomes your choice how you will honor this privilege. Whatever you decide will be your decision, as you as humans are gifted with free will, which can be used to learn a variety of lessons.  Some of your decisions reflect an awareness of your blessings. Other decisions may have consequences or portray a form of misunderstanding regarding who you think you are and what you perceive is your position within the wheel of life.  In the end, you, as humans, will always have a choice regarding how you will behave as a guest in this universe you find yourself in. Whatever way you decide to treat your host will reflect how you believe you, yourself, deserve to be treated, since all is connected.”

“I now feel a bit foolish for not having understood the meaning,” I admitted.

“No need to feel foolish,” She responded.

Silence passed between us for a while before She continued with Her message, “With humankind, many of you have been conditioned, for your survival, to believe that everything has to be part of a game of buy and sell. This is not your fault for thinking this way.  It is a lower egoic type of mindset that you have been conditioned into. But, this conditioning can be overcome. This is part of your purpose for incarnating during this lifetime. You are being offered the choice to understand old concepts, rituals, values, and behaviors in a new light. Through being able to understand these things in a new light, you can change the conditioning that you have been chained to. You can release what keeps you locked into creating a certain kind of reality for yourselves.”

I felt taken aback by what I found myself writing down. Then I heard the word spoken to me, “Precious.”

“What is precious?" I asked.

“Life is precious. Don’t you know by now?” was the response.

Mother Nature continued, “Every breath you take is precious. Every process of your body is precious. Every laugh, every sneeze, every walk out in nature, and every animal you encounter is precious. Even the act of dying and being reborn can be precious if you allow it to be. The nature of how cycles will repeat themselves is precious, such as how death is followed by life and life is followed by death. Similarly, creation is followed by destruction and, from this, a new creation can arise upon a different foundation. These things are not precious in terms of what they materially stand for. They are precious because they connect you to the whole of life as something holy. As without, so within.  As within, so without.

After a brief moment of silence, Mother Nature remarked, “Notice how the word ‘holy’ is taken from the word ‘whole,’ in the sense that it is unharmed and intact.”

Looking up the definition of the word “holy,” I would find that there was some truth to this. According to Wikipedia:
“The English word ‘holy’ dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning ‘whole’ and used to mean ‘uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete’.  The Scottish hale (‘health, happiness and wholeness’) is the most complete modern form of this Old English root.”[1]
“Coming to understand your connection to the whole of life is part of your human purpose,” Mother Nature then remarked. “It is why you have been chosen.”

“Chosen?” I asked.

“You have been chosen to be a participant in an experiment,” She responded.

“What is the experiment?” I asked.

“Your journey is one of discovering truth and then learning to abide by it,” She answered.  “That is, learning to separate truth from untruth. Then, learning to translate such truth from thought into action—through the way you choose to live your life.”

“How will we know the truth?” I asked.

“You will always know from the fruits,” She replied. “From the fruits—the causes and effects—you will gain understanding about how the laws of the universe operate. What you do to the self, you do to the whole. What you do to the whole, you do to the self. All is connected. There is no self-service in the universe. You serve the whole, or you serve nothing at all. You serve the whole through all of your thoughts and actions, whether you are aware of this or not. You serve the whole through everything you buy, sell, create, abide by, choose, destroy, make use of, understand, fail to understand, and more. Once you know the fruits that arise from your service and how they manifest themselves—and whether they were created for your betterment or have a destructive effect—you will have opened the door to wisdom and understanding.”

“Ah, I see,” I said, reflecting more deeply upon the wisdom being offered.

After thanking Mother Nature for her wisdom, I walked down to the river’s edge to sit for a while and think about everything that had been conveyed through our dialogue.  Looking out over the river, I observed that a few mallards had come to greet me.  I talked to them for a while and apologized for not being a more conscious guest in this universe that they were part of.  As I watched the mallards, I began to take note of how they were affected by our human actions, and even our inaction (such as when it comes to resolving issues concerning pollution, overpopulation, nuclear waste, and finding more sustainable ways to live).

As I looked out over the river, I noticed that there was a second group of ducks that had gathered further down, close to the bank.  As I watched them, I noticed there was a large pipe that came out from the ground and that it was positioned to release something into the river.  Questions began to arise in my mind such as, “What was this pipe meant for?” “What did it release, if anything, into the river?” and “Is this something I should care more about?”  In response to this, I made a commitment to myself to try to live in a more environmentally conscious way. I then stood up, dusted my shorts off, and headed inside for the evening.


[1] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred

Continue to Chapter 3 >>