We don’t need to label the world around us. It reduces 'what/who' we are labelling down to a ‘thing’ - an object.
We forget that 'what/who' we are labelling is absolutely bloody magical.
We think we fully understand what/who we are looking at. We think that we know all that there is to know.
Branding a person, animal, bird, tree, flower: they become an object. They become so much less in our eyes than they truly are.
What they are is wondrous, magnificent - a miracle of vibration and matter,
of light and shadow.
Our acts of cruelty/disrespect/disregard are born - always - from our human need to judge. Our human species would exist from a completely different state of being if we let go of everything that we think we know and began again, not assuming that we are wiser/better and instead opening ourselves up to the fresh opportunities that surround us daily.
We have taken the ‘tool’ of language (to understand our world) and used it to make the world around us small and (we hoped) more easily controlled. We have become blinded to the wonders that all species and all life forms truly are: they are so fantastic, so incredible, so utterly beyond our comprehension but instead of standing wide eyed in awe we have said, “You are a bear, bee, daffodil or fish” and often then claimed them as our own, to lock them up or to use them however we desire to, in that moment. In some cases we even kill & cut them up to examine them to learn better about them, never realising the irony that in seeking to know more we have in fact just eliminated the possibility of getting to honestly connect and relate with them at all, as equals who share a common space.
I ask you to play a little game with me because I promise you that it will lift your heart and make you so glad to be alive while you play
(and perhaps for many minutes afterwards too)....
1. Choose a life form (a tree, a flower, your dog or cat, or even just one of the pictures of a plant/creature featured in this blog post).
2. Allow all of the words and names given to that life form to float out of your head, starting with the most specific and leading up to the most vague. For example… If you’re looking at a rose, allow the word ‘rose’ to float away and then you are left with ‘flower’; allow ‘flower’ to float away and then perhaps you are left with ‘plant’; allow any possible description (however generalised) to fade from your mind until your mind can think of no more names… Now, that ‘rose’ will come alive for you. You will see the ‘rose’ as a miracle of existence. You will realise that you know nothing truly about the ‘rose’ in front of you or truly how 'it' came into existence, to share this wonderful moment with you.
When I play this game - walking in the woods and choosing a tree or a bird - very quickly my mind becomes blank and the tree or bird becomes extraordinary to behold. I stare in total absorption, recognising that I am getting to share those few minutes with another representation of life, born of molecules and rain and sun and breathe and effort and will. I recognise that I have no idea - and that all the scientific research in the world wouldn’t find out - what ‘it’ is feeling & how ‘it’ may experience our planet differently from myself, on so many multiple levels. Our planet’s life force is circulating within the tree or bird in front of me and I cannot know what that might feel like for them. I see a unique form of life, never to be copied or repeated, utterly impossible to fully fathom and my heart lifts…
Give it a go, fall in love with the world around you, acknowledge that we are all ‘wild’ beings, as Alan Watts puts it…. “We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.”
Thanks for reading, Alana xx