By Jen Peer Rich
True-nature is overdue for normalization. Self-awareness and living a conscious life is often reserved for gurus, teachers and “spiritually enlightened” folks. In our Western culture, it is the norm to put people who wake up to true-nature on a kind of a psychological and spiritual pedestal.
This approach is flawed because it maintains an illusory hierarchy of consciousness, an exclusively human mind-trick. We tend to make simple things mysterious. This is exactly what keeps true-nature such a carrot-stick mystery for many.
But, there is no mystery at all in being who we are. True-nature is the experience of awareness and this experience is the birthright of every human animal. The reality of true-nature may be obscured, it may be obscured greatly to the point of total forgetting, but it is reality that every animal is connected in oneness within our great life system.
No sentient being is outside of the intelligence and interconnectivity of the natural world. Even the humans who are busy destroying our planet, even these are human animals, part of nature, they too are connected to a great intelligence that has been forging in our shared DNA for millions of years.
By keeping self-knowing just outside of normal, just outside of ordinary grasp, we create a world of suffering. In conceptions of the psyche as broken and unknowable, we maintain the self and psyche as isolated from the whole. This perceptual isolation causes more suffering, and that suffering has become the modern western norm.
Perhaps we need to flip that switch. Joanna Macy calls us to create new stories for the Great Turning. One new story is making the heathy, conscious and interconnected experience of true-nature personal and cultural norms.
Our seamless connectivity with the world is no longer an exotic experience reserved for the spiritual elite. The experience of who we are as true-nature is as normal as breathing.
That’s the big secret. We are already being. We are experiencing this moment through a base interconnectedness within a sane intelligence.
This is true-nature: whole, present, interconnected. If there is any obscuration or disbelief in oneness, presence or interconnectedness, you can always create an inquiry into yourself to find out why. Ask the trees for help, trees want to help us see ourselves as we are. Nature is an excellent teacher because it doesn’t teach through conceptual hierarchies of consciousness. And self-inquiry too ought to be normalized. It’s totally reasonable to investigate your own mind and see what you’re really all about.
Everyone, every human is the experience of true nature all the time. This is actually quite familiar. Being is not reserved for a select few, it is ordinary. It’s not a big deal. And yet, it’s a creative way to proceed into an ecologically uncertain future.
What our earth home needs right now are not more spiritual elitists, not more complicated maps and special guides, we need a collective of ordinary and everyday sanity. We need people willing to speak up for this sanity in a world that is unraveling all around us. We need conscious and sustainable behavior to be common. Our planet and this time deserve the normalization psychological and ecological sanity.
Jen Peer Rich is a friend in presence. She lives in Atlanta with 5 rescued weenie dogs and is married to her best friend. Presently she’s working towards a graduate degree in Ecopsychology. She has two books about Nonduality available for free download at Friends in Presence or on amazon kindle. You can also find Jen writing and sharing digital art on the Facebook machine, she’s always open to making new friends.