Nature transcends our tendencies to label and classify, to reduce and limit. The natural world is unfathomably more rich, interwoven, and complicated than we are taught, and so much more mysterious and beautiful.
Deepening our connection to nature will serve our spirit, and what serves our spirit invariably serves our artistic output.
The closer we can get to the natural world, the sooner we start to realize we are not separate. And that when we create, we are not just expressing our unique individuality, but our seamless connection to an infinite oneness.
Most people – maybe more than you think – are peace- and love-seeking creatures who are sometimes caught in bad situations. The most practical thing you can do, even in hard times, is to lead with curiosity, lead with respect, work hard to understand the people you might be taught to detest.
That means seeing people with generous eyes, offering trust to others before they trust you. That means adopting a certain posture toward the world. If you look at others with the eyes of fear and judgment, you will find flaws and menace; but if you look out with a respectful attitude, you’ll often find imperfect people enmeshed in uncertainty, doing the best they can.
Will casting this kind of attention change the people you are encountering? Maybe; maybe not. But this is about who you are becoming in corrosive times. Are you becoming more humane or less? Are you a person who obsesses over how unfairly you are treated, or are you a person who is primarily concerned by how you see and treat others? ‘Virtue is the attempt to pierce the veil of selfish consciousness and join the world as it really is’, Iris Murdoch wrote.
In each moment, we are immersed in a field of undifferentiated matter from which our senses gather bits of information. The outside universe we perceive doesn’t exist as such. Through a series of electrical and chemical reactions, we generate a reality internally. We create forests and oceans, warmth and cold. We read words, hear voices, and form interpretations. Then, in an instant, we produce a response. All of this in a world of our own creation.