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Posts Tagged ‘Cosmos’

Photosynthesis and the Art of Sound

truecolors-of-mind

Ask any physicist.  There is no ‘thing’ at the root of life and livingness.

The tiniest subatomic particles are described as ‘interference patterns of various sound frequencies’ otherwise known as ‘nodes of resonance.’  This got me thinking.

In many non-westernized cultures, a commonly held, tacit belief is that sound precedes manifestation of all forms and energy.

That sound plays a catalyzing role in creation—that sound itself is a continuum spanning the macrocosm through a hierarchy of iterations that range to the infinitesimal microcosm…

Creation is a beginning.  Something becomes where there was previously non-existence. How can such concepts be made evident in this culture?  There seems to live within me a deep purpose for connecting that which does not have an obvious connection.

photosynthesis

What has the power to create has the power to heal.  And so I began some weeks of reflection on the relationship of photosynthesis to sound. 

 

It came to me one night around 3AM as a profound question for which I initially discovered there is little commonality other than this: sound and sunlight are both wavelengths that impact life on earth.  The next morning I realized, that’s a fairly good start.

As a naturalist, I couldn’t help but then wonder—what of nature’s plant, atmospheric and oceanic worlds that quietly regulate our daily lives?  All create sound.  All aspects impact life on earth—not just human life.

So at November’s annual Daily Acts’ fundraiser breakfast, I discussed the relationship of photosynthesis to sound with friend, wise teacher and dear colleague, James Stark.  He reflected on this for a few moments, and in his inimitably savvy way, pointed out that outside of photosynthesis, the dawn chorus was a living example of the relationship between light from the sun that activates photosynthesis and…the activation of dialogue…of meaningful connection…of life.  The dawn chorus is nature’s daily symphony of news–what an exuberant way to start the day!

DawnChorusAnd so at a macro fundamental level, light activates sound which catalyzes life.  I’d love to extrapolate beyond this with more living examples.  Got an example?  Know someone who does?  Reach out and connect—I’d love to hear from you.

What an awesome way to see the roots of a new earth…

ClarkLittle-golden-waveLooking forward,

Catrina

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Spiral galaxy M74, courtesy of HubbleSite

In the long golden sunset shadows of the first day of September, I sat in bed writing about a fairly intimate experience.

As I wrote, I noticed my consciousness rolling through layers and layers of thoughts about why stars and planets are still moving rapidly away from us.  It seems like they’ve been doing that for as long as I can remember ~ or at least as long as telescopes have been around.

Simultaneously woven in with these thoughts were other thoughts having to do with peak experiences as well as a whole stream of unique childhood memories.  These weren’t just any sort of childhood memories, but specifically those that were glimpses of intimate conversations and events with people from my past.

Forestville, CA

Forestville, CA

There were many.  Dozens of events with my parents, neighbors, school chums, their families, places we visited—intimate experiences of all sorts—rolled through my awareness.

Funny thing was, I wasn’t consciously thinking about peak experiences or past events, I simply noticed that they would pop up with greater frequency as I pondered why everything outside our galaxy would be moving away from us.

I wondered whether or not we are also part of that universal expansion or whether our yearly spin around the sun is about as expanded as most of us get?  And now why—at the same time—was my mind taking a serious stroll down memory lane AND popping in with peak experiences?

Palpable Peaks + Intimate Vignettes = Something New

What was really palpable was how I felt from all of this pondering.  The best word I can come up with is ‘gemütlich.’  It’s a German word that means warm, pleasant and love-filled.   (An avowed word nerd, gemütlich has some very cool Indo-European roots that revolve around an inspiring blend of spirit, mind and joy.)

An experiential believer of universal consciousness, I recognized something big was dawning on me.  It seemed to revolve around the groovy feelings of love, unfettered freedom of expansive thoughts, coupled with this sense of warmth and intimacy.  I was feeling joy and delight throughout my being.

From this, I could see clearly that happiness is an outcome of circumstance, while joyfulness is more of a good mood of soul that is generated on the inner plane, having little to do with outer circumstances.

I recognized that the precious memories of my childhood were borne out of ordinary moments.  Ordinary people like me, experiencing ordinary moments of closer-than-average connection ~ a deep or special connection ~ provided the ingredients for something very valuable. These moments became the precious and sacred memories of my past.  And yet, despite being in the past, they were right here, right now, finding resonance in the present with entire streams of thought that somehow shared the same frequency—the same wavelength.

Like tuning into a radio station that has music you enjoy.  Once you find it, you seek it out.  You tune in to it.

Without consciously knowing what was happening until a bit later, I recognized that by tuning in to the delightfully deep curiosity of how our cosmos came to be, ALL the moments of my life where joy bubbled forth, where delight and curiosity reigned, where my heart led the way—were spontaneously magnetizing themselves in a sort of mellifluous mélange of harmonizing interconnections—much like how music spontaneously arises through open airspace to combine in endless forms of harmony.

And, just like in a peak experience, where all of our senses are heightened and our conscious suddenly transcends ordinary awareness—I saw and experienced the activity of awakening on a huge scale.  I was in awe, despite having had many ‘aha’ moments along the way–this one was of a universal magnitude.   I wanted to pick up the phone and call a handful of my closest metaphysical friends to tell them….but honestly, that would have compromised the experience.

What I discovered was this:  the ‘aha moment’ looks and feels like a burst of light.

Starburst cluster, courtesy of HubbleSite

And then, there is a bunch of nothingness.  Which is a GOOD thing.

At the moment of the ‘aha,’ thought particles—particularly the denser ones—previously surrounding one’s consciousness move rapidly away from the center of the burst of awareness.

 

 

 

 

Out of Nothingness…Somethingness

Then, a big idea took shape—a peak experience of the light-bearing kind, you could say.

It was this:  That the earth is waking up to itself, and we—along with all the other life forms on earth—are waking up too.

This IS the activity of life.  Life naturally, continuously, spontaneously, beautifully and elegantly—gives birth to new life.

And here’s the corollary:  To make life meaningful, we need to tune in to our CREATIVE capacities.

What does this mean for human consciousness and the future of the earth?

 

Get Creative

As far as I can tell, whatever you yearn or desire to do that exists just beyond the everyday—do it.  Notice how life changes as a result.

As Brené Brown expresses it, there are 5 key facets that re-connect us to what is uniquely meaningful to each of us.  The gifts of Brené’s years of research are right here for us to dive in to and explore.

Key #1:  We all have gifts and talents.  When we cultivate those gifts and share them with the world, we create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.

Key #2:  Squandering our gifts brings distress to our lives.  As it turns out, it’s not merely benign or ‘too bad’ if we don’t use the gifts that we’ve come into the world with; we pay for it with our emotional and physical well-being.  When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle.  We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even grief.

Key #3:  Sharing our gifts and talents with the world is the most powerful source of connection with God.  Many who are searching for spiritual connection spend too much time looking up in the sky and wondering why God lives so far away. God lives within us, not above us.

Key #4: Using our gifts and talents to create meaningful work takes a tremendous amount of commitment.  Why?  Because in many cases, the meaningful work is not what pays the bills.  Some folks have managed to align everything—they use their gifts and talents to do work that feeds their souls and their families; however, most people piece it together.  I’m one of them.

Key #5:  No one can define what’s meaningful for us.  Culture doesn’t get to dictate what it is.  In fact, in our western culture, the majority of what world medias purport create precisely the opposite effect.  Like our gifts and talents, meaning is unique to each one of us.

(Excerpted from The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown)

Important note:  Be alert to self betrayal—or subtle sabotage—of your own creative urges.   Betrayal of yourself—or a friend or family member who trusts and looks to your integrity for their own self-development—is a pattern that can be re-routed, but only after first looking deep within for the place where your taproots wound themselves around someone or something outside of your own truth.

So, we can cook, write, draw, knit, paint, dance, sculpt, sing, build or re-build something—it doesn’t matter.  As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.

Handmade paper tree collage, C Walker, 2011

Creativity is the expression of our originality.

Creativity is the act of waking up to ourselves.

Creativity is spontaneous joy in action.

“The only meaningful contribution we will make in this world will be born of our creativity.”          ~ Brené Brown, Ph.D.

AOE author on location in Portland, OR

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