Friday, April 20, 2012

Unplugged From Nature

These days we seem to be plugged into everything. Handheld mobile wifi platforms are making it possible to stay connected everywhere we go. Wall-sized, flat screen, high definition televisions dominate our living spaces, feeding us a, never ending, diet of information and advertising. Facebook, Twitter and texting have become the preferred method for keeping in touch with people. There is no doubt that it can be very stimulating to feel so connected and yet it can hardly be denied that there is an feeling of underlying emptiness. We have lost something. The more plugged into things we get, the more disconnected from nature we become.

Take a moment to reflect on your daily life and determine how much time you spend in front of the computer, on the phone, watching television, texting, blogging, facebooking or whatever. Now subtract the amount of time you spend sitting outside, walking in the woods, gardening or otherwise interacting with nature. The result is your Nature Deficit.

The bigger the Nature Deficit the more out of balance with the life force of the natural world you are.

All living things are connected by the life force that flows through them. If you can imagine this connection as billions and billions of tiny web-like fibers linking all things in creation, you can begin to understand how we are intertwined. This web of life is made up of the life force energy that is part of everything. And every living thing is part of it. The plants and animals of the world, including humans, all have a relationship to each other. At the most basic level this is obvious. It is no accident that the oxygen we breathe is a by-product of the plants as they go through the life process of photosynthesis. Just as the carbon dioxide we exhale is exactly what plants require to live. But the connection goes even deeper than that. In their book The Secret Life of Plants Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird proved, in experiment after experiment, that plants have a much more complex interaction with the world around them, than we think they do. They react to thoughts, feelings and emotions in a manner that could be described as quite humanlike if we were to be so arrogant as to assume we are the ones that originally developed such reactions. This is the same for animals as well.

But something has gone wrong. We humans have become blind to our connection as we rush to cut down the forests, mine the mountains, and frack everything else in between. We are destroying the habitats of wild creatures and making much of the world uninhabitable. We don’t realize or even seem to care that we are damaging the web of life and, ultimately, ourselves. The reason for this is our Nature Deficit. When we are disconnected from the natural world we lose our ability of feeling empathy for what is going on. Our obsession with technological innovation and our infatuation with electronic connectivity cuts us off from the web of life force energy and substitutes it with an artificial construct, in many ways similar to the concept portrayed in the movie The Matrix.

Most people do not realize that when they turn on their television, they are seeing a repetitive pattern of flickering images, which creates a state similar to hypnosis. Studies have shown that within the first minute of television viewing, brain waves switch from predominantly beta waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to predominantly alpha waves, indicating an unfocused, receptive lack of attention. Our brain's left hemisphere, the part that processes information logically and analytically, tunes out while the right hemisphere of the brain, which processes information emotionally and non-critically, is allowed to function without hindrance. The result is that when viewing television, we do not consciously rationalize the information resonating within our unconscious depths at the time of transmission. We become more open and suggestible to the messages that are being conveyed.


Is it any wonder that, in a world where children spend an average of 44 hours a week connected in some way to electronic media, levels of anxiety, depression and attention-deficit have gone through the roof?  And it is no better for adults.

It is at times like this when we need to be guided back to the wisdom the other living beings of this planet have for us. We need to reconnect with nature to bring our lives back into balance. And I’m not talking about watching a show on the Discovery Channel.

The Heart of Nature

Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that more than 50% of the heart is comprised of neural cells. It is from our hearts that we process our energetic connection to everything we come in contact with. The problem is that we have cut ourselves off from this connection by allowing ourselves to be distracted by technology and all of its associated noise. We cannot hear it if we are not listening.

The consciousness of plants may be vastly different from our understanding of consciousness. Interacting with plants is not simply about talking to them. It is much more about opening the lines of communication with them on an energetic level and sharing our lifeforce. By opening our hearts and experiencing nature in its fullness we can begin to realize this connection. It is a purely experiential experience. We have to spend time in nature to truly feel it.

If you are reading this, then it is very likely that you already understand what I am saying. You have felt this connection to nature. You have probably also felt the frequency of distraction that comes from our fascination with electronic technology. It is also very likely that you know someone who is caught up in that frequency and unplugged from nature. It is time to pass this message on and change the dynamic that has ensorcelled us. 

Today, right now, go for a walk outside with someone you know who could really use some nature energy. Breathe deeply and open yourself to the life force energy around you. It is time to plug back into nature.

Wishing you much peace.
 

3 comments:

Amy Putkonen said...

Thanks for this wonderful article, Aaron. It brought to definition some thoughts that have been lingering for some time in my own mind. Unplug.

I shared your post on my FB wall (ironic, ha!) but I agree that what you are saying here is important. This morning, I sat out on my deck and enjoyed the birds and the wind. This is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn't take much to get some nature in your life...just step outside your front door, plant a little garden in your yard, go for a walk, hug a tree.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Waking Times said...

I also re-posted this to the web... oh the irony. Anyhow, I reposted to my website at...
http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/05/09/unplugged-from-nature/

Please let me know if I should change the format or otherwise. Excellent article!

_Dylan

Emily Wilson said...

I think this is so ironic too! Technology connects us more than ever and disconnects us as well. Great advice to spend a day away from the computer. Connect with the people closest to you within your community on that day.

-Emily Wilson
software specialist
emily.wilson@mindbodyonline.com

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