I wrote about Nature’s Support last spring but the topic has come around again from a different angle.
There is an idea in eastern philosophy known as the support of nature. As we stop resisting life and instead learn to work with what is arising, we cooperate with the flow of life in and around us. Our desires are then fulfilled more easily, we can work out problems faster, and what we need just shows up.
Keep in mind that everything that happens is being done. Our cooperation allows those who support us to support us more easily. If we’ve also begun to produce soma, we’re massively amplifying their ability to support us – and their enjoyment in doing so.
Being supported also means when difficult events arise, they can move through more smoothly and with less drama – depending also on how we’re reacting.
When we’re growing up, we’re taught principles to help support right action, like the Golden Rule. Yet we’re much more effective at such things if it is also our experience, if we know directly that hurting another hurts ourselves and vice versa.
In this way, it’s important to recognize the power of our attention and the need for a little vigilance. By the latter, I don’t mean control, just awareness.
Just as people are of mixed qualities, so too are the nature beings around us. Nature includes both creative forces and destructive forces. Life requires dissolution to clear out the old and make way for the new. But do we want that growing in our lives? Whatever we feed will increase.
As an illustration, we need people to take away our trash and recycling. But if they got carried away and hauled away our new stuff, we’d be less than pleased. We need the number of trash collectors in balance with the delivery people. 🙂
It is also good to recognize that the fields of support and action are not personal. Everything done is in the context of the whole. We’re in this together. Thus, drivers that are selfish may not be supported and can lead to corruption.
Thus our vigilance should be on noticing what is driving our action. How it feels. If control or resistance or nasty emotions are coming up, we know we have something to heal. And we know results from those drivers will be much less satisfying or may backfire on us.
If we try to be vigilant with the mind, we’ll get into control and justification issues. We’ll be able to spout a tidy story for why it was right to abuse or betray others. It’s just business? Look behind the stories too. What is the emotional driver?
Spiritual communities can get into trouble here. Like following the rules even if it destroys someones life.
I’ve seen people teach meditation as an honest desire to help others and have a pure profession. But I’ve also seen it being corrupted by a desire for power, recognition, or even revenge. Similarly, service may be driven by guilt, obligation, or to feel above others.
Not that we should second-guess our motivations all the time. Just here and there notice the feel of what’s driving your action. Feel a little yucky? Healing time.
This is also not to suggest a desire for recognition or affirmation is bad. But it’s good to recognize such drivers so we can’t be so easily compromised by them.
This is where peers and close relationships can be helpful. Others are much more likely to see our stuff and offer us feedback on it. A healthy critique helps us stay on track. I have several friends who are happy to help out. (laughs)