– Heartwood Path Waypoint 12 –
Look For Examples Of Optimism And Pessimism In Nature
We will discuss our individual will and our collective will in future Heartwood Path courses. Here, we are focusing on an introduction to the ethos that is needed to guide both our individual and our collective wills to the development of both human happiness and a sustainable environment upon which we all depend. To serve us well, this ethos will have to be based on the truth as apprehended and comprehended directly in the moment. This comprehension cannot be the constrained kind of truth that comes from the mind alone. According to James George, only “knowing through reason (mind), sensation (body) and intuition (feeling) can (one) approach the truth. Each of these truths requires attention and this is presently difficult because too few of us have done the requisite inner world work to “free ourselves from the self-centered preoccupations that keep us asleep. . .” (George, 1995, p.113)
Only when we are free of such preoccupations “can we usefully attempt the outer work of helping nature. The transformation of the global economic and political system that is so obviously necessary if we are to achieve a sustainable way of living on this planet can only begin––but not end––with the inner work of individual transformation” (George, 1995, p.113).
In the previous waypoint we discussed how one type of preoccupation, incessant pessimism, is particularly distracting, unproductive, and harmful. The next activity addresses this all-too-common preoccupation.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Pessimism Vs. Optimism
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Pessimism Vs. Optimism. With pen and paper 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, look around your setting for examples of pessimism. These may be hard to find without stretching for obscure metaphors. But, nevertheless, if you see any examples of pessimism be sure to write them down. Look for ways, if any, that nature closes the door on future opportunities. Then, look for examples of optimism in nature. These may include the early buds on flowers when snow is still present or the great blue heron that lands along a river bank, “optimistic” that it will find a fish to eat. After developing your list of “closed doors” that indicate pessimism in nature and “open doors” that show optimism in nature, turn your attention inward to yourself. List at least five ways you are closing doors with your pessimism and at least five ways you are opening doors to optimism.
Record your notes from this and every activity in your Heartwood Path Activity Log, which can be opened by clicking here.
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: