We have a very special relationship with our environment. The sooner we realize it, the better it is for all of us.
Life as we know it came into being because of the environment. Having given birth to it, it has nurtured and supported it and provided the playground for its evolution. It continues to do so in spite of the ravages caused to it by the modern man.
The environment in our living experience appears in five principle forms, namely the earth, water, air, space and energy. These five individually and in conjunction with the others take on millions of forms. For example, earth appears as dust, sand, boulders, hills and mountains; water appears as vapour, moisture, rain, streams, brooks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans, snow, glaciers etc.; energy appears as heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism and so forth. Air is a subtle element and hence we can only experience it in its various forms and moods. Space is very subtle and so we sense it when it is missing or crowded out. Together they create this wonderful universe. Similarly life has taken on zillions of forms; the amphibians, the reptiles, the worms, the bacteria, the birds and beasts, the trees, the creepers, the bushes the algae and so forth.
Because of our reductionist ways of thinking and perception, we do not see that our environment is an integrated whole. We also do not see the oneness of life. We have cut it up into meaningless and lifeless shreds. We have also missed the wonderful relationship between life and the environment. Many people, particularly the indigenous ones, see the environment as the mother, playmate, lover or companion. They respect and love it, at times even worship it. Modern man sees it as a wild beast to be tamed, domesticated, mastered and then enslaved.
The environment, taken as a whole, is our primary resource for living, play and evolution. When we break it up it loses life and meaning. That is what has happened with money. It is not part of the natural environment. It is a creation of man. Progressively it has become more virtual and artificial. Money does not fulfill any of our needs, either of sustenance or evolution. But we have come to believe this myth. We are living with many other myths. A most pernicious one is the existence of the individual independent of the environment.
Let us identify all these modern day myths and drop them. Then we can live truly as human beings playing our rightful role in the natural scheme of things.
Ganoba, formally Ganpati Krishna Date, was a long-time participant in various Awakin Circles around the world. As with his life, his passing was equally beautiful reminder about the values of 'oneness' that he deeply stood for. People would often seek out his wisdom, but in place of writing formal books, he preferred to share dynamically with each person -- either via FaceBook or comments on Awakin.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What do you understand by our environment being an integrated whole? Can you share a personal experience where you saw the oneness of life? What modern day myths are you practicing dropping from your life so that you can live truly as a human being?