Tuesday, November 12, 2019

“This Autumn Land is Dreaming . . .”

American physicist John Wheeler has speculated that perhaps the universe as a whole exists in a state of uncertainty, and only achieves actual being when it's observed by a conscious entity. “We are participants in bringing into being not only the near and here, but the far away and long ago,” Wheeler said in 2006, describing what he referred to as the “participatory anthropic principle.” If he is correct, then the universe is conscious; but it is only through the active participation of other conscious minds – such as our own – that it comes into existence at all.

. . . For me [this] changes everything, and profoundly. If the world is alive, if nature has consciousness, then I am not just some singular, solitary being plonked on a lump of inert matter surrounded by inert space in an inert universe. Everything around me is alive – there is no such thing as “inert.” I am standing in the midst of an aliveness, and that aliveness deserves my attention, my respect, my care. It deserves my awe and reverence. The stars are no longer cold, unknowable objects, scattered shining but ultimately lifeless across the vast empty distances of black space: they are active participants in their own journey of becoming. The insects and birds and animals are singing themselves into being; this autumn land is dreaming and I am a part of that dreaming. That beautiful emerald-bodied dragonfly over there by the beehive is no longer a soulless creature, capable only of mechanically carrying out the simplest of genetically pre-programmed tasks. It has its own purpose and path. It is a participant in the unfolding of the world, just as I am; a unique expression of the prodigious, indiscriminately varied life of the cosmos, no more and no less than I am. I see a dragonfly; what does it “see” when it sees me? There are patterns and webs and weavings – lines of becoming all around me that I cannot begin to imagine I understand. The world is alive, and in the infinite extravagance of its multi-faceted aliveness it is full of mystery again.

What could be more enchanted than that?

Sharon Blackie
Excerpted from The Enchanted Life:
Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday

September Publishing, 2018
pp. 68-66

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Autumn Psalm
“Our Bodies Are Part of the Cosmos . . .”
Autumn's “Wordless Message”
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson
A Time of Transformation
In the Garden of Spirituality – Ilia Delio
Autumnal (and Rather Pagan) Thoughts on the Making of “All Things New”
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2018)
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2016)

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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