What’s Nature got to teach you? - Food for the Brain

What’s Nature got to teach you?

Back in the days of the Greek Enlightenment, which is the origin of Western culture, the Platonic philosophers (philosophy meaning the love of wisdom) studied to pursue three goals of truth, beauty and goodness. We are pursuing the truth about what really keeps our minds sharp, and ‘goodness’ is a function of doing the right things, taking the right actions, not only to uplift ourselves, but also others, and to protect our environment. But what is beauty all about?

There is a definition that ‘love is the proof that consciousness is shared’ (Rupert Spira). That connection we call love occurs in that moment of recognition that we share the same space of consciousness or awareness. The space that ‘mindful’ meditation takes us into the awareness of. The space that Louis Armstrong is singing from in his beautiful song ‘What a Wonderful World’. When asked where we have gone wrong in our relationship with the nature the Cogi tribe in the Sierra Nevada mountains say that we are wrongly taught that consciousness is only in animate objects. They say it is in everything –  in water, stone and plants. When you look at something of beauty, maybe a flower, what is it that is uplifting?

There is some kind of arc of recognition when we connect with another, be it a human, an animal, a plant or Nature itself. In studies of the healthiest people the vast majority have a connection with nature, spend time in nature, care about and are inspired by the natural world.

While us humans go to great length to ‘control’ our environment nature seems to do it with ease, adapting to different circumstances. Galileo once said ‘The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the Universe to do.’ The Sun, the Moon, all the planets in the Universe are all part of Nature.

Many cultures consider the Sun as God. The Masai’s ‘religion’ is to say ‘Asangai’ at dawn and Asangai at dusk. ‘Asan’ means ‘thanks’ Ngai means ‘Sun or God’.

Spending time in Nature, sometimes barefoot, or swimming in the sea or river or sitting on a rock, also ‘ground’ you. It is an electrical fact that the body generates positive ions/charge from metabolism, and the Earth is negatively charged, from 50,000 lightning strikes a day. So ‘earthing’ literally discharges, acting like an antioxidant, and has numerous health benefits.

Read this review if you’d like to more about the science on earthing: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550830719305476

Spending time in nature, growing food and flowers, observing the cycles and the seasons, enjoying natural environments is very grounding, for both body and mind, helping to calm negative emotions, and giving you time to contemplate issues, as well as being energising and good for your physical fitness. Your goal for this week is to spend an hour in a natural environment, perhaps a park if you live in a city, or get out of the city and go for a walk in your nearest, wildest place. Turn your phone off.