– Heartwood Path Waypoint 80 –
Rise & Fall
Balance Ascent Towards Spirit And Descent Towards Physical Manifestation
The body itself is a location for the unfolding drama of matter becoming Spirit and Spirit incarnating (embodying) in matter. Ascent towards Spirit is represented by ascent-oriented religions and philosophies that focus on death-denying, control over Nature, and a body-repudiating search for union with the divine Spirit. Modernists who focus on Spirit-denying immanence (the material world of Exteriority) or this-worldly naturalism practice descent toward immanence. We humans need to end our repression of Spirit and Interiority and foster within everyone the development of an inter-subjective rational Ego and a transpersonal econoetic Self—one that identifies not only with the physiophere and biosphere but also with the noosphere (the thinking realm) and theosphere (the spiritual realm). This transformation—from contemporary egocentricism to transpersonalism—is the job of eartHearts.
Do the following set of activities to gain the wisdom of age while you are still young enough to enjoy it.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Balancing Ascent Towards Spirit With Descent Towards Physical Manifestation
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Balancing Ascent Towards Spirit With Descent Towards Physical Manifestation. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find something that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, use the optimal functioning you receive along with your continued attraction (which can be thought of as your consent to do this activity with the help of the attractive natural being) to focus on descending towards your soul. Ascending towards Spirit has to do with going to heaven, salvation, and, for members of Judeo-Christian religions, establishing behaviors condoned by God. Since such topics are covered in depth by houses of worship and the literature of the world’s religions extensively, this worthy part of the spiritual balancing equation is readily accessible. For that reason, we will focus here on Descent Toward Physical Manifestation and the Soul. As will be our custom, by doing the activities and by answering the questions below, you will likely learn much about this topic and yourself.
According to A Field Guide to the Soul by James Thornton (1999),
“We humans have never yet risen from the primal urge to consume resources, the urge that drives every species that we believe to be inferior to ourselves . . . Every time we see or hear an advertisement, we soak in an unspoken, corrosive message: we are not valuable in ourselves, we cannot be fulfilled, we have no purpose or meaning until we buy the next product . . . We need to enter into a new consciousness, one befitting our new status as the dominant global species” Thorton, 1999, pp. 15-35).
With this statement in mind, in what way is your happiness, if at all, dependent on what you buy? Record your impressions in your journal, including your reactions to Thornton’s statement above.
Thornton (1999) states that . . .
“no matter what our difficulties may be, we recognize that there is a deep and untroubled stream flowing below all surface troubles and that we are of one substance with that stream . . . When there are bends in (any) river, the river slows down, and individual grains of sand drop out along (the inside of the) curving bank. Over time, the grains of sand accrete and a sandbar forms. This represents a new level of order and organization.
Wisdom is like that. It accretes slowly, grain by grain . . . We need to step aside from the onrushing currents of our thoughts and feelings, and this is not easy to do. Wisdom practices, therefore, take a patient and long term application” (Thornton, 1999, pp. 44-46).
Thornton says there are three ways of the soul. Each of these are useful in physical manifestation--living in your body in the world. The first of these is the Way of the Mind, which relies on the “fundamental fact we become whatever we give our attention to” (Thornton, 1999), p.51). This way or method “trains us to remain present in the midst of distractions so that we can make the choices that are appropriate to the moment. . . Love is attention. When we are distracted we cannot love” (Thornton, 1999, pp. 51-53). Record your impressions of these statements in your journal and then do the following when you are troubled by obsessive thought, when you are agitated, or when you are crazed with loneliness, longing, or other problems: follow your breath into your body. Feel your breath and your body, and tell yourself, as Thornton recommends: “I am here now, in this body, and nowhere else” (1999, p. 57). A sub-category of the Way of the Mind is one’s response to troubles –– or attempts to gain answers to queries about troubles. To respond to troubles, practice the Eureka Principle, which has the following steps: 1) being absolutely clear about the problem, 2) knowing all the relevant facts, 3) knowing all the relevant rules, 4) asking the question with absolute sincerity and resolve, 5) going into silence until the answer emerges, and 6) testing the answer analytically, before proclaiming it. You may want to use the steps of this Eureka Principle whenever you are seeking guidance from nature, and specifically whenever you bring a problem or query along with you when you connect with your chosen attractive natural beings in the activities that follow. In these activities, do not expect immediate revelations. Allow the silence to include dream time during sleep. Sleeping on an issue may give your unconscious mind time to send pertinent, helpful, novel, innovative, and intelligent messages to your conscious mind. The second methodology of the soul is the Way of the Heart. According to Thornton:
“The beat of our heart gives life and motion to our entire inner landscape . . . The great systole and diastole of the heart are offering and asking. In the practice of offering we open everything we are, everything we have hidden from ourselves all our life long, and offer it to that which is greater than ourselves . . . We then work to liberate it, and in so doing we liberate ourselves. In the practice of asking, we ask for absolute fulfillment in that which is ultimately real. And when we ask, it begins to come” (1999, p. 109).
Offering and Asking each deserve more elaboration. Concerning offering, do it throughout your day. When you awaken, speak directly to a named divine being greater than yourself (such as God, The Absolute Spirit, Gaia, Mother Nature), and, if you are in earnest, say something like: “I give you _(named divine being)____ my mind, body, and soul completely; when you eat, say “I give you_ (named divine being)____this food; when you encounter a problem, say “I give you __ (named divine being)_____this mess; when you are in a meeting and an opportunity arises, say to yourself “I give you _ (named divine being)_____this opportunity; when you feel the love of another, say “I give you __ (named divine being)__this love; when you have an orgasm, say “I give this to you __ (named divine being)___.” Be sure to regularly offer praise to all of Creation and the Creator. Concerning asking, go for broke. Ask for grace in your endeavors. Again, speak directly. If you do not like using names, mimic the beating of your heart and use the drawn-out sound “Be-love-ed” instead. Be sure, when necessary, to ask your Divine Beloved, for the ability to meet and bear up to suffering, anger, sexual obsession, and despair. Do your asking slowly (giving it sufficient time) and in solitude (where distractions are minimized). Focus on asking the denied parts of yourself, such as your fear and your anger, to come forth so you can face them, bring them to life, and teach you the lessons hidden in the chaos they normally produce. Be sure to ask for the wherewithal to constantly offer praise to Creation, to The Absolute Spirit, to Loved Ones, to Colleagues, and to whatever or whomever you feel a sense of gratitude. Give or ask for the ability to give loving kindness to yourself, your loved one, your neighbors, and all you encounter, especially those with difficulties. Ask for the ability to leave your cares, as St. John encourages, “forgotten among the lilies” (Thornton, 1999, p. 170). The third method of the Soul, according to Thornton, is the Way of Action. Says Thornton: “We are what we do. All the awakenings in the world mean nothing if we are not loving in our actions” (p. 170) Becoming confident and positive and helping others to do likewise has to be foremost on anyone’s list of actions. Act in ways that help you and others trade anger––which can help us fight the good fights but also leave us worn out––for a sense of connectedness to the source of all being. Once this anger is sufficiently overshadowed by connectedness, take action to make the important changes the world needs. This action requires the activist to feel the pain of the world and to be motivated by this pain to seek corrective measures. When feeling pain in he world, be careful not to add to this pain the suffering that comes from making your own happiness dependent on the success of alleviating the suffering of others. Offer solutions, learn from the pain, be motivated by the pain, but give the pain and especially any suffering that may go along with the pain, away to The Absolute Spirit. Feel the pain, but avoid dwelling on it, avoid reliving it, avoid remembering it, and avoid recounting it, or your own suffering will result. Pain is inevitable and telling. Suffering is avoidable and tortuous. Never make your happiness dependent on your success, whether that success is in conservation battles or in the financial world. Be a savior of the world, but do not make yourself a bore in the process (we all know that anyone named Pierce is likely to bore). Do not allow the world to be jollier without you (Never let it be asked: Why does an eartHeart cross the road? Answer: to bore the people on the other side). You need not feel compelled to make others agree with you, and certainly you need not agree with all that is said here. In your journal, write down your impressions about what is stated in this activity. Also, sit with the following questions in silence and sleep on them before answering them as entries in your journal:
What does economic growth mean to you?
What will make you happier, working harder to pay for more luxuries or spending more time doing whatever you love to do?
Beyond satisfying your basic needs, what would you like to do with your life?
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: