Listen to your heart, it is a lot wiser than you might think!
Blossoms of violets and buttercups pushed their way through the last remnants of winter debris and decaying autumn leaves. Framed by clumps of sedge grass and colonies of Oregon grape they animated the hillside with an innocent blush of yellow and purple.
The sky was a gentle blue and the warming rays of sun enveloped me like the embrace of an old friend.
The tops of three tall pine trees were swaying in unison to the rhythm of a light breeze. A Red-tailed hawk was soaring gracefully on the updraft, her lonely cry cut through the low chirping drone made by a brood of cicadas, which, with the whispering of the wind through the pine needles, were the only ripples of sound in an ocean of silence.
I could feel the essence of life all around me. It poured over and through me like a stream of consciousness communicating wordlessly with the life force within me. For a fleeting moment I felt myself re-connected with an undefined yet familiar energy and then, as quickly as it had arrived, it was gone.
I long for moments like these. For evidence of the divinity within us. For glimpses of eternity and a reminder that we are not an island, or chiselled from stone, and that we are not alone.
The 20th century philosopher, Martin Heidegger spoke of this type of ‘connected awareness’ in his thesis “Being and Time”, and Eckhart Tolle, one of today’s most widely read spiritual writers, found himself completely transformed by a similar epiphany of peace and tranquility which, for him, had followed an evening of near suicidal stress.
For some, this sensation of pure enlightenment is experienced after a period of intense physical or sexual activity or during a session of deep meditation or following the birth of a child or after recovery from an extended illness or time of hardship. Throughout the ages, humans have had transformative experiences during which their ability for rational thought is muted by the inability of their senses to comprehend the magnitude of wonder, or greatness or beauty surrounding them.
It is at this point, while we are at our most authentic selves and unhindered by the noise or interference of conscious awareness that our soul, (or whatever essence it is that exists at the core of our being) is able to connect wordlessly with the world around us.
Although there are no road maps that lead to this type of conscious awareness, there are pathways that lead in that direction. Through experience, practice, dedication and diligence, we can reduce the barriers and obstacles that exist between walking through life on ‘autopilot’ and living a life that is filled with meaning and purpose.
Like Eckhart Tolle, some people may be able to achieve a life of complete peace and blissfulness, however, for most of us, these occurrences are rare, and because of that, greatly treasured. Even though the feeling of being completely and consciously aware of our connection to the universe may be fleeting and does not happen very often the awe-inspiring power associated with this type of connection is such that the memory of it provides the motivation many of us need to live more compassionate, authentic and meaningful lives.
We were not created, nor did we evolve to become self-absorbed, individual islands separated from the universe, fated to be born, to live for a few short years and then to die in a vacuum as if our entire existence was nothing more than a shadow in the darkness. The universe is conscious, and we all live within, and have the ability, to contribute to its consciousness.
As humans, we owe our existence, our growth and our physical, our mental and our spiritual health to our need for conscious connections.
Of all the ways we connect love is the most treasured and most powerful and it also requires the greatest effort and commitment. Love is to consciousness as gravity is to the physical world. Love is the force of attraction that each soul exerts upon the universe and there is a direct correlation between an individuals’ conscious awareness and the gravitational strength of their love. The better we understand ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, our biases, what brings meaning and purpose into our lives and the special gifts and talents we have to share with the world and with each other, the greater is our capacity to love ourselves and to give our love to others and the easier it is for us to accept and to attract love as well.
The universe, and the world we live in are eternally mysterious and beautiful. If we take the time and put in the effort to allow our conscious selves to experience the love and wonder that life and nature surround us with we will see how connected we all are, we will understand the incredible potential that we have as a global community and, as Stephen Hawking said, we will be one step closer to knowing the mind of God.