– Heartwood Path Waypoint 1.26 –
Pursuit Of Perfection
Truly Grow Up By Learning To Process Heartwood Path Activities
Before anyone gets all prickly about my references to God let me reference some of the well-stated distinctions United Nation’s Messenger of Peace Wangari Maathai makes between the name “God” and the words “Source,” “Nature,” and the “Creator”: The word “God” is “used to describe the monotheistic deity of the Abrahamic traditions” while the words “Source,” “Nature,” or the “Creator” is the entity of “all knowledge and awareness...the repository of all that we cannot explain” (Maathai, 2010, p. 21). To this list I will add and most often here use the words “The Absolute,” by which I mean both “God” in the Abrahamic traditions and “the Source” in the spiritualists’ tradition, leaving for others any debate about the differences. This is not pushing aside God. It is just including all religious perspectives. As we all know, exposure to God may prevent burning. Religious or not, the forbidden fruits often produce jams.
Before anyone gets all bent out of shape about “being perfected,” let me define what I mean. It is more accurate to say “perfect-in-one” or, better yet, “awakened to your preexisting perfection.”
Here, I am not speaking of a preordained measure of faultlessness, rightness, or flawlessness. “Perfect-in-one,” what Jesus asked God to help us all obtain in his heart-wrenching prayer in Garden of Gethsemane, can be interpreted to mean “oneness.”
For our purposes here, it is the seeking rather than the attainment of oneness (or perfection) that is the crucial factor. As we shall see, this sense of oneness arises most fully when one reaches high levels of spiritual maturity; and so, I will most often mean “seeking spiritual maturity” when I say seek to be “perfect” or work to become “perfect-in-one.” What I am really talking about is simply a matter of “growing up,” which many of us never really do, spiritually speaking. Work on your conversion to spiritual maturity without expecting to ever be finally converted, perfected, matured, or completed.
The Heartwood Path is not to be viewed as an only way to perfection or to salvation. It can, however, be viewed accurately as a way to truly grow up. It offers a route but along its course the individual is free to accept or reject any theory or practice. While I can attest to the accuracy and validity of what is found along the Path, the allowance for questioning, self-guidance, and self-determination plus the scope and significance of what is presented means that the results are both differing and substantial.
Healthy human psycho-spiritual development is marked by an ever-increasing sense of oneness. This state of resplendent wholeness is revealed naturally in stages that can happen suddenly or may span a lifetime.
The trouble with relying solely on any lifelong approach to oneness—which is so critical to the development of eco-centric life coaches—is two-fold: 1) it is so slow world problems will become too severe before enough people mature enough to adopt solutions, and 2) without guidance along a path of development, unassisted development has too great a chance to become unhealthy or repressed. These are reasons why it is so important to combine Bill Plotkin’s Wheel of Life Model with Dr. Cohen’s Project NatureConnect methodologies along the Heartwood Path. Having said this, it remains necessary to look at each of the components of the recommended solution to human unhappiness and environmental destruction individually and then determine how they can best be combined for the greatest possible benefit. It is possible, if one follows a course such as the Heartwood Path to speed up one’s develop in such a way that it takes less than a lifetime to become a saint, less than a lifetime to become an eco-centric life coach, less than a lifetime to be happy, and less than a lifetime to reap the benefits of feeling one with nature.
One of the best ways I discovered to seek oneness without having to go through a lifetime of psycho-spiritual development, is Dr. Cohen’s applied eco-psychology. This approach is based on what he calls “Natural Attraction Ecology” and serves to reconnect its participants with nature. A full explanation of Dr. Cohen’s methodology is provided later but, since experiencing the real world outside brings about more of a sense of wholeness than does merely reading about the outdoors from a chair indoors, I will present here an activity aimed at giving you a taste for the sorts of activities to come and a brief glimpse (without any explanations) of the ways we will process these activity. As before, in most of the activities that follow, you will be asked to go outside, find and attractive natural being, and begin an activity only after the natural being retains its attractiveness after ten seconds or so. There is a very good reason to perform your activities in this way--a reason that will become clear to you as you progress through the experience of doing the activities in the presence of an attractive aspect of nature. Your acts in nature are facts that are self-evident to you. Doing them outdoors will help you function optimally so that your processing of the events in the activities can be most helpful to you. For now, simply focus on your experience. All necessary elaborations will occur shortly.