Some people believe that being in nature is a kind of spirituality in itself. They believe nature provides them with both, the food they eat and the spiritual sustenance they often crave. Those who believe God or the divinity is omnipresent, also believe it is enough to be in and to commune with nature to connect with God the creator and enhance their spirituality. But is real spiritual sustenance to be found in nature?
Yes, there is beauty to be found in nature. There is a naturalness that can feel uplifting and therefore seem to be nourishing for the spirit. But without an understanding and awareness that body and consciousness are two distinct energies, it is easy to believe just being in nature is enough to restore your spiritual and mental capacities.
Only when there is the realisation that consciousness is what I am – call it the self, soul or spirit – and the physical body is what I animate and occupy, can an accurate relationship with the natural, material world around us be restored.
The material and the spiritual are two different energies. This distinction can be proven by being more aware of one’s own ‘insperience’. Notice, that to maintain the health and vitality of our body we need to consume water, food and light. There is an essential and continuous input. Our body is sustained by nature’s gifts. But to maintain the well-being, vitality and enthusiasm of the self, which is spirit, we need to radiate outwards. There is an essential output. We need to give of our self in selfless ways.
The energy of form is tangible and visible while the energy of consciousness is intangible and invisible. While these energies are intertwined and they do ‘influence’ each other, they cannot be ‘sourced’ in each other. Spiritual energy cannot be acquired from matter and material energy cannot be acquired from the spiritual energy that is consciousness.
When most people take a walk in nature, they are often awed by its spectacular beauty and may even say, “Isn’t it just magnificently beautiful? It makes me feel so good.”
What they may not be aware of is they are attempting to ‘take’ from that world. They are using the natural world ‘out there’ to induce good feelings ‘in here’. But it won’t be long before they return to energising the habit of thinking and feeling not so good about themselves. Nature cannot cure that or any self-image with any distortion or darkness within it. If it could, we would all probably be permanently lying on a beach or walking in the mountains.
The enlightened soul knows they are designed to ‘give to’ the natural world. They give the gift of their own beauty. They give the kind of vibrations that can help to heal and encourage the growth of nature’s variety. And it is only as they do, that they may notice they are uplifted and healed in themselves. They know that nature’s outer beauty is only a reminder of one’s own inner beauty.
The natural world out there is the ultimate metaphor for the inner world of the conscious beings that we are. Mountains and valleys are the highs and lows of our feelings. Flowers and trees represent the beauty and strength of the human spirit. The gentle animals and the violent creatures remind us of our propensity to swing either way within our own nature.
But the greatest metaphor is the sun. It shines and nourishes every material entity on the planet. But it does not nourish consciousness. For that there is an invisible spiritual sun or source. But we are unaware of its presence. Unaware of its availability. We know to take off our material clothes to feel the warmth and absorb the light of the physical sun.
Few of us, it seems, have realised that we need to take off the clothing of our consciousness, which are our attachments and myriad identities, to allow our ‘self’ to be touched and healed by the love and wisdom of the spiritual source.