The Art of Life by Maznayim

The Art of Life by Maznayim

Monday, June 26, 2006

Public Service Announcement: On Nature

Public Announcement...Just a reminder to return to our "roots"
A lovely essay by a woman who runs a small family owned natural cosmetics company.
I purchase my accoutrements from her was well:


by Evan Johnson
Founder, Organic Beauty, Inc.

Recently a customer of ours commented on how good she felt emotionally after using our products. She wondered if there were some ingredients in the products that enhanced one's well-being "over and above" mere cosmetic effects.

In our products there are trace minerals, plants and other nutrients that are life-affirming (though we cannot, and do not, claim any particular benefit since these are "merely cosmetics"). There are ingredients that have been grown and handled in such a way as to retain much of the actual life of the plants they derive from. Contact with these would enhance one in obvious (physical, etc.) ways as well as in more esoteric ways. This just stands to reason.

The old adage, "opposites attract," I gotta say, does not apply to Life. It does apply to the physical universe of electrical currents and really anything viewed on just the physical plane. But life is more than a physical thing and indeed is not a physical Thing at all. Life, if I may be so bold as to say this, is a creative thing closest to an aware thought, an intention, and a loving one at that. So, as distinct from mere physical stuff, Life attracts Life. Life enhances other Life. When we come into contact with live essences, much like when we come into contact with a happy, serene, productive, orderly, creative (etc.) person, that Life emanates and we tend to resonate with it.

Our happy customer's comments brings us to the heart of our philosophy and the roots from which our company and products have sprung.

Long ago, the people of Earth were in close contact with and surrounded by a powerful, nurturing life-support system we call Nature. They viewed themselves as parts of a vast, interwoven natural structure and they shared the earth with other creatures who deserved their places, too. They sought to learn about and use the bountiful resources of nature to better survive but not irresponsibly to waste them.

Men have moved apart from this natural web. Having disconnected from our primary life-support system, Nature, is it any wonder that so many of us are now falling ill or dying?

When you consider yourself superior to someone or something, you don't buddy-buddy with him/it, do you? You don't see the prince having the pauper to tea very often. Well, mankind got this idea that, because he could hear himself talk and dress up in fancy garments and make machines to do the hard stuff, that he was owed a special sacrifice by the rest of the natural that whatever he has wanted, he has just taken, without regard to replacing it or saving some for someone else and so on. He has considered himself superior to life, being able to study and comprehend things and alter conditions of things and wield some powers.

Had the intelligent people also had as vivid ethics as they had cunning, our world would have quite a different look... and smell. Had the scientist always limited acceptable application to what would BENEFIT Life the most, we'd be in better shape. Were people a bit more alert to intentions and not as easily swayed by ad campaigns, we'd have a better game here now.

Man fell away from nature over the centuries of machinery, of housing away from gardens and agriculture, and so on. Men can spend days and years scarcely in any contact with the actual cycles of natural life, scarcely ever walking barefoot or running very fast or picking plants to eat or tending to someone ill without the intervention of someone licensed to do so. We have gotten to the point where, without feeling any apparent compunction (guilt), some people can destroy whole tracts of land luscious with plants and wildlife.

Our way of life, which contrasts sharply with a simpler one such as of tribal peoples untaught in more sophisticated ways – our modern city way of life seems almost purposefully separated from life in a more natural setting, where one has to contend with some bare necessities. For centuries, we have been adding the glorious achievement of "Convenience" to our existences – as if effort were to be avoided at all costs. We have gained one by one machines to do virtually every task for us. We don't even need to walk anymore. We barely need to move from a chair. Is this good? Are our children healthier and more extroverted for it?

If you look it in the eye, to live in this physical natural world, one HAS to exert oneself. And this is demonstrated in our bodies, for to have a healthy body, it must be exerted. A heart, a set of lungs, for instance, will grow weaker and shrink from disuse. They atrophy. But use them, push the limits a bit or a lot, and they strengthen and literally grow in size.

A natural life is not one necessarily of ease. What creature in the world gets an easy ride through life? And is a life of leisure, a life lived more by machines than by us ourselves, is such a life going to leave us anything vivid enough to be worth tasting zestfully in our memories?

For centuries we have been learning about nature – but what have we done with our discoveries? Enhanced our way of life? Men have taken the vainglorious stance of distant, haughty masters of nature, assuming the roles of Conquerors of Nature. It is fine and dandy to conquer something that besets us with difficulties and keeps us from living healthy lives. It is fine to gain knowledge, but to use it to destroy is, well, rather naughty, don't you think? To conquer Nature so as to better withdraw from life, so as to better shun activity and exertion, so as to set life on Automatic Control, now this is a deadly attitude.

We are PART of nature. So our connection, whether we like to see it this way or not, exists. And a natural life would have at its heart a consciousness of the VALUE of life that surrounds one and an unhindered desire to contribute to that life. THAT is what learning about nature can help us achieve. Not how to use its elements and focus its energies to avoid effort, or to fry people or to snoop on them.

The element that alone can turn the situation around, every bad situation in the world around, is ethics – respect, sense of value, caring, action, responsibility. These are scarce these days. Not taught in schools. Not much taught by example. But these values lie at the core of a better life – one where we can live our true, good natures and allow the rest of life to thrive as well.

We feel that reconnection with nature and bringing back a sense of exchange with nature, is not just pleasant, it is a necessary for us to make it, to even survive.

A process of regaining our natural sensibilities could be undertaken to our benefit – a subtle program and a gradual one perhaps, but one that could have profound impact for the good. The idea is to add in elements even one at a time, to just begin to do something that connects one more to the real, natural world.

It could be bathing in the ocean. It could be singing outloud tunes that one imagines. It could be looking about as we walk at the trees and their leaves and picking up some acorns and smelling them. It could be juicing some fresh fruits. It could be watching for when the fruits are actually ripe on a tree. It could be planting a garden or sweeping the leaves rather than blowing them with that awful, noisy, smelly diesel fuel blower machine. It could be snuggling with your four-year old and singing him/her to sleep. It could be waving to a stranger who just seems nice to you. It could be drinking long draughts of fresh, cool water, not refrigerated, but room temperature and really clean. It could be smiling at someone you do not "know" and receiving the return smile graciously.

A few years ago it hit me hard that I had slid down the mechanical chute away from nature and toward what was more like a machine's existence. I decided to add more of these natural inclinations as best as I could. I began to cook from scratch. I home-taught my kids. Sang a lot again, got outside, looked at the details of nature, found so much there to learn from and benefit by.

Every bit of this program of returning to what matters and to nature, every little bit seemed to add to the composite effect. It was as if my hardened shell was dissolving and who I really am was coming forth. Doing these actions, gaining them as good habits, brings in the memories or certainties of our actual own natures. It's the bell of recognition. It feels right.

As a conscious action, to turn back to what is real and pleasurable and worthwhile in life, to find what nature is for you and what it is all about you, is a profoundly life-enhancing thing. I am sure that you know what I am speaking of every bit as well as I do, as you are seeking those natural elements that infuse your life with greater love and connection.


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