By Raymond Greiner
Three summers past we experienced a horrid drought. Crops failed, ponds dried up and grass was brown creating an apocalyptic scene. The poplar trees took the biggest hit; we lost ten, yet some survived. It was a depressing summer. The forces of nature can be gentle or harsh; they can display extreme beauty or become repulsively gruesome. Regardless of crisis magnitude nature perpetuates, adjusting and regenerating in harmony with Earth’s flowing tides of change.
Observing the many dying poplar trees I felt despair and anxiety; however, in nature death causes momentum, and death channels life. Human life performs similarly. If one lives a long, fulfilling life, with love, joy and purpose, their legacy is reflected in offspring’s and moves life’s cycle to a higher meaningful position. Human life is connected to nature’s functions, although in recent times has fell out of Earth’s natural rhythms causing imbalance. Early humans were like the eagle and fox; they killed to feed their young, securing their future. They foraged for wild plants in nature’s garden thriving from direct attachment to Earth’s natural offerings. Progression over long spans of time caused humanity to distance itself from Earth’s spiritual presence seeking to alter environments, adjusting to an expanding populous. These events slowly evolved to an opposing approach, and required living in closer proximity, forming conglomerates of population densities defined by geographic boundaries. This new design isolated itself from natural places. Governments formed, agriculture expanded to accommodate the new social structure as society became incapable of self-sufficiency. Monetary systems were installed as a distribution method of survival elements, and newly created materialistic needs. Humanity became reliant on governments and conformed to urban entrapment. These alterations reshaped human root ideology and formed the modern era.
Consequences from this redirection raise questions. Anthropology reveals humanity has occupied our planet for approximately two and a half million years and present day social arrangement has been in place for around fourteen thousand years, beginning in the Fertile Crescent. This is also the birthplace of large-scale warfare, and formed the perceived need to amass armies for invasion, gain dominance, and to defend against neighboring aggressors. Hunter-gatherer cultures leave no artifacts resembling large-scale warring conditions. Early tribal cultures were geographically widely scattered, did not recognize borders, and functioned in small tribal units relying on earthly gifts flourishing through cohesiveness attached to unity and harmony, which was a necessary format to implement efficient function to survive and burgeon as a species. Massive armies and large-scale war had no place in early human social structure.
War has become a firm fixture in modern culture, and continues to escalate. When Hitler was at his peak of aggression he viewed war’s power as the ultimate mechanism to rule, control and manipulate masses. He gained this power through false political posturing convincing an entire country through his guidance utopia will be achieved. How often has this scenario gained prominence? Hitler represented evil, and after his demise the collective feeling was peace was finally achieved. As I read the daily news this is an incorrect assumption. Upheaval and senseless killing continues. Children killed with poison gas delivered by the leader of their own country. Young girls kidnapped to be sold into slavery, abused and offered for ransom. How is this considered an improved design from what the ancients had in place for such a long period of time? Of course it is not. A question presented to me was: “Are we supposed to revert to primitive life picking daisies and spearing fish?” It seems logical, but also impossible, although I question the term primitive, and I do doubt ancient cultures had time for daisies as the struggle for survival consumed them. We, as a species have reached the tipping point and solutions remain elusive.
Over the past ten years I have lived in a remote, natural place far from metropolitan zones. My daily connection to nature has become imbedded in my being. The quiet, peaceful day-to-day life has no resemblance to urban noise and clutter. I feel greater balance than during working years, mired in congestion, placing money as the primary goal. Nature is perfection, and as one connects to nature more profoundly this vivid reality comes into focus; the morning rattle of the woodpecker, a flock of loquacious crows transiting the sky. This particular spring is most welcome after an exceptionally harsh winter. My favorite spring critter is the butterfly, flitting from place to place, probing with its delicate, single sensitive identifying finger. The butterfly is a product of nature’s most fascinating and distinguished metamorphosis, and as my life progresses it has become apparent our species is in dire need of re-design, find new direction and transform away from the ubiquitous imbalances of present day society.
With its vivid color and motion the butterfly epitomizes life and the beauty of nature, wending forward, embracing its time on Earth. As I observe these diminutive, colorful life forms dismay is tempered, and I am spiritually lifted to a higher place, as nature is our quiet teacher and if we listen, learning its precision lessons we can mirror the butterfly, fall back to it, in a cadence of higher purpose and direction on a pathway toward more peaceful coexistence and embrace higher spiritual bliss.