Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Listening to Life

One of the aspects I enjoy about an holistic approach to healing and wellness is the sacred mystery embedded within life, how listening to life is of vital importance to seeking true healing.

Taken further, consider, for instance:

"All ancient and indigenous peoples said that they learned the uses of plants as medicines from the plants themselves. They insisted that they did not rely on the analytical capacities of the brain for this nor use the technique of trial and error. Instead, they said that it was from the heart of the world, from the plants themselves, that this knowledge came. For, they insisted, the plants can speak to human beings if only human beings will listen and respond to them in the proper state of mind." ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner in Secret Teachings of Plants 

With this in mind, consider how science can often describe what appears to be happening within life systems, even in its reductionistic approach, but rarely can it fully explain the complexity of life. In a beautiful conversation between Marilynne Robinson and Marcelo Gleiser (called "The Mystery We Are" at OnBeing), Robinson points out the error in how science overuses "explain" when the appropriate word is "describe."

Scientific investigation, however, does provide description for many of the inner workings of bodies and life systems (I am in no way excusing or approving any form of abuse and/or cruelty to animals; we must evolve and abandon those types of atrocities). In his book The Secret Teachings of Plants, Buhner points out that:
"All living organisms--all self-organized systems ... retain an exquisite sensitivity to perturbations of the equilibrium that occurred when they self-organized. They remember that moment of equilibrium; they are attuned to it."
In this way, all living organisms, whether plants or animals, continually seek equilibrium. Our human bodies seek this; when we listen to our bodies and hearts, we have a better chance at healing, and plants (via food, herbs, spices, flower essences, and homeopathic remedies) can help us move in that direction.

When something occurs (a perturbation), whether outside ourselves or within, Buhner says that:
"the form [it takes] is merely one possible language of communication out of myriad possibilities. In the end it is the meaning inside the behavior that is significant, not the behavior itself. It is not the chemical released, nor the movement of the body, nor the electromagnetic field that is important, but the information, the meaning, that it carries."
This meaning is what most holistic practices point to and return to, again and again. The meaning is the Big Picture in our lives and entails deep listening to life.

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