Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Natural Rhythms Of The Universe

In the Christian New Testament, we are told that “To every thing there is a Season,” an appropriate time for each aspect of Life to happen naturally. The Tao te Ching tells us that there is a Life Force (Tao) that permeates all things, substantial and unsubstantial, and that Life Force creates a structural momentum and flow with which we are expected to align ourselves. Nature, indomitable and undeniable, works her ways, both foreseeable and unforeseeable, in spite of our best efforts to control her. In times long past, human beings lived in harmony with this Universal Life.

Regardless of these teachings given to us by word and actions, we often expend great efforts to ignore these realities of Life. We ignore the inherent makeup of things, and seek to make them into what we would like them to be by genetic engineering, or by the force of our will, or by seeing things only as we desire them to be. Or we try to force events and actions into our own timeframe, disregarding that all things have their own schedule to meet. We are stressed that results are not happening as we planned, but our plan likely did not reflect the plans of others. We cause most of our stress to ourselves.

Our calendars show blocks of time (days, weeks, months), but these are merely artificial human constructs, fairly meaningless in the grander scheme. We still think of four distinct seasons, each marked by a particular date and time of equinoxes and solstices. Night is distinguished from day; morning is distinguished from afternoon. Yet in spite of all this movement within consistent structures, we seek to live each day the same as the last, repeat the same for the next.

In the midst of summer warmth that begs us to move more slowly, we leave our air conditioned house to get into our air conditioned car to drive to our air conditioned workplace. Same in reverse in the winter cold. Fruits and vegetables are planted and harvested at different times in different seasons and locales, but we expect to eat the same throughout the year. We work eight hours per day year around, but in winter we leave in the dark and return in the dark. In the summer we underutilize the extended daylight that is available to us.

We build houses and landscape yards impervious to the geography and weather conditions that encompass them. We overlay timetables and schedules to fit structural models rather than accommodating the Universe’s Rhythms. What if we ate only when hungry? What if we rose in the morning when we woke up rather than when the alarm rings? What if we lived in a house sized to the occupants’ true needs, rather than the expansive space we need not try to afford? What if we spent more time outdoors in Nature’s guest houses than in our homes and offices?

In today’s complex and highly structured cultures, such Walden Pond-esque thinking can sound as an incredible fantasy, impossible to reengineer. But maybe, just maybe, even if only on occasions of our own making, we could slip into periods of natural rhythms, away from our artificially imposed lifestyle. We could listen to our bodies rather than looking at our clocks. Eat when hungry, and maybe only what the farmers provide to us in today’s season.  Sleep when tired. Have no “to do” list for today; just do the very next thing that shows up on our plate, rather than acting from our self-developed master plan.

Such would take a conscious effort. With practice, it can get easier. But the rewards will become more important, more visible, more appreciated, as living in sync within the Universe’s natural rhythms promises us.

©   Randy Bell              www.OurSpiritualWay.blogspot.com