I’ve spent the past weeks reading books, devouring more than thirty. One has captured my attention and a section grabbed me today that I want to share with you.
The Secret Teachings of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner is exceptional. Buhner is a brilliant thinker and beautiful writer. He expertly conveys the experience of dropping consciousness from the mind, which he points out is a verbal/intellectual/analytical mode of cognition, to the heart, which is a holistic/intuitive/depth mode of cognition. Through deft chapters he explains how to hold our awareness at the heart for longer periods to experience Nature–and one’s Self–more accurately.
This powerful work is not a New-Agey presentation, neither is it religious. I appreciate that we can examine the nature of the heart as more than a pump organ or chamber of personal emotions, but as sense organ meant to inform our experience at a deep level. I also enjoy that the book is chocked full insights as well as quotes from Goethe, Thoreau, Fukuoka, James Hillman, Luther Burbank, Henri Bancroft, a host of others, and refers poignantly to the latest discoveries in neuroscience.
Here’s the passage I want to share with you because the poetic last paragraph was so lovely to me; the previous paragraphs are for context:
“They [our ancestors] never knew when they would encounter meaning from the world that was directly pertinent to their own lives. So they allowed meanings from the world to flow into them constantly. They kept their heart-fields extended always, and only paid attention to a specific stream of meaning when it caught their attention.
“When you go deeper into this, you will learn, as they did, to keep the field of your heart extended at all times. You will know that the world is a text that can be read, that meaning is always coming to you. Keeping the heart-field always extended allows us to feel the touch of meaning whenever we encounter it. . . .
“And as we deepen our capacity for direct perception, we find that all things are aware, that all are looking at us, that all are communicating with us. And these communications for meaning go deep. They are literally communicative touches of living beings, much more than mere informational bits encoded within words. . . .
“In this meaning-filled territory, we engage in a dialogue with the livingness of the world, receive the meanings it sends to us, respond with our own meanings in turn. There is no more intimate act we can know. Engaging in it, we know beyond doubt that we are never alone, that we are companioned by ensouled phenomena as intelligent and real and meaningful as we are. It is literally a return to the roots of life and a reconnection with the living ecosystem from which we are expressed, as only one form among many.
“For Universe is not a place but an event, not a collection of solids but an interaction of frequencies. Not a noun but a verb. And though the linear mind can examine parts of Universe through ever greater magnification, the living fabric of its truth can be experienced only with an open heart. The meanings in Universe are available to any who relocate consciousness and begin to perceive with the heart.”
May you see with your heart,