What is Nature?

What is Nature?

Campfire Child by Rudis
Campfire Child by Rudis

On this blog, I write about nature and use terms like nature’s support and true nature. The question came up – what do I mean by “nature”?

“Nature” is a big picture word. It refers to the mechanics of consciousness and the way it expresses the world around us.

The Vedic word for nature is Prakriti. In the philosophy of Samkhya, they see prakriti as a duality with purusha, the observer. This is subject and object, Shiva and Shakti.

Prakriti is composed of 3 primary qualities or gunas, sattva (clarity), rajas (activity), and tamas (inertia).

We find these natural qualities in our own makeup. For example, the way we experience the world is ruled by our dominant guna. Does the world seem real, illusory, or the play of God?

We also see them in our qualities and tendencies, what keeps our body working, our emotional style, and so forth.

And we find these qualities in the natural world. The shape of a plants leaf will tell you it’s dominant nature, for example, and thus point to its food or medicinal qualities. We can recognize these qualities by studying the world and by studying ourselves.

We may live in made-made structures, but we’re still intimately tied to the natural world. Nature isn’t something separate from us. Our life is an expression of nature, and it structures all of our experiences.

The laws of nature are the principles nature runs by. Science knows some of them, like for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or that our bodies need food, water, and oxygen. But nature is also active in our personality and abilities.

These laws can be experienced as principles or as light beings responsible for structuring that part of experiences.

It’s my nature to be analytical, for example, with a strong mind. That made letting go a little more difficult. But then, after the shift, it helps support the insights I share on the blog. Someone else will have different laws more prominent and a bit different process.

We are going back to where we came from. That’s not dust, it’s infinite being. Everything, everywhere.

Natures Support
If we’re responding to life with resistance and pushing against what we don’t want and grasping at what we do, then we’re working for the ego. Often, this means we’re working against nature, so we struggle and suffer. We feel unsupported.

However, as we soften the binding influence of stress and the habits of resistance, we begin to step into the flow of life and synchronize with nature. Nature operates from our infinite being so when we sync with that, we sync with nature.

We put our attention on something or move towards it and it just happens. Things just work out easily. Or if there are bumps, an obvious solution also arises. Then we feel supported by life. This is “support of nature,” feeling supported by life.

Nature becomes our nature and intimate to our very being. We live life in an ocean of life, well-supported. Then it’s easy to feel joy. Life is mostly smooth and easy and satisfying.

Live is good.

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  1. Jane killingbeck

    I am not feeling at one with nature right now as I have rats scuttling in my roof space which has no way up to it and I have a resistance to them being there but don’t see an obvious solution …… don’t want to kill them but feeling miserable and helpless as I don’t want to have to listen to Them scampering about and specially don’t want my guests when they stay To have to deal with the knowledge they are there. I know this sounds very prosaic but it is a very real thing

    1. Hi Jane
      A few things here. Feeling at one with nature isn’t conditional. That’s the mind. We can feel at one yet still be annoyed by some experience.

      Secondly, feeling resistance to them does nothing about the issue nor is it helpful for you. As you mention, you feel miserable and helpless as a result. It’s not the rats creating your experience; that’s your response to the experience.

      This doesn’t mean resisting the resistance. It means letting go of trying to control. And then look realistically at the circumstance.

      For example, listening can give you a sense of their route and thus approximately where they’re getting in. Then you can find and block their access. It’s often spaces around a pipe, for example. Some steel wool and sealer will apparently do the job.

      And certainly its a real thing and they can cause issues like chewing on wires and damaging insulation. The Internet is your friend in this regard.

      When life presents you with something new, the key is to take a step back, avoid getting into a drama, and learn. When you understand the circumstances better, then you can implement solutions. It’s not rocket science but it’s a point our culture so often misses.

    2. Cathie

      Lol!!! I have the exact same experience. It is complicated by the fact that the routes of access are multiple and include a tree that birds nest in, and whose blossoms provide nectar for bees. Other routes are ones I don’t have the resources to address.

      Like you I had to come to terms with my own resistance. I also recognised that this seeming eruption of disharmony was symblomatic (thank you Donald Trump – somehow symptomatic or symbolic don’t convey quite the right shade of meaning) of a wider disharmony in nature. Maybe this is simply the age we’re in. Maybe humans have degree of responsibility. I don’t know.

      Rats have their function and it is an important one. (Actually they have multiple functions but that’s not relevant here.) However they have no place in human habitations. (I hope one day we learn to build homes that are rat-proof.)

      Sometimes there are simple steps that can be taken, as David says. Sometimes there are not, or the steps that must be taken are inner rather than outer. Regardless, there are deep lessons to be learnt. They’ll be very different for each person. At earlier times in my life I’ve very reluctantly resorted to poisons (trying to find the most humane ones.) That is no longer an option for me. Or that’s where I stand at present. (If the rats damage the wiring I may decide differently.)

      However I don’t think there is a simple right or wrong course here. What’s right or wrong depends on the person. You have to be able to live with yourself. If you can find and block the access points that may be a perfect solution – except that you then have starving rats trapped in the ceiling. I agree with David, though. Resistance isn’t helpful.

      This issue has forced me to become very clear about my personal values – and to work on becoming more aware of and eliminating disharmony in myself as much as I can. In a way this ties in with what David writes about nature, which I would like to comment on separately when I have the time. At this point the rat numbers have significantly diminished, although I can’t necessarily claim that there is cause and effect here. However it’s taught me to be more awake to resistance in myself and that’s something I’m deeply grateful for.

      Resistance can also take the form of resistance to death and dying. That is a very hard lesson. An even harder lesson is to witness suffering and be helpless to assuage it.

      We have to take responsibility for our actions (or inaction). But what’s right or wrong depends on the individual. We all have different lessons to learn.

      It’s important too to remember in all of this that nature isn’t sentimental. Death is part of life.

      1. Hi Cathie
        Yes, events outside reflect events inside and in the collective. If we can feel into where there is resistance, we can resolve what is driving the activity. But that does take a bit higher skill level.

        We can also appeal to the devas in charge of the rats, although the above will lead to a more complete resolution. This may be the final step after the resistance falls away. A commenter previously shared about a mass of robins taking over his yard and not leaving. This was his fix but there was no resistance.

        The disharmony is a reflection of the cycle we’re in. But it’s about healing rather than a descent, as along as we work with the process rather than fight it.

        (laughs) You block the entry points when they’re most likely to be out. No intent to be a how to.

        Yes, death can be some peoples biggest fear. Death itself is actually a relief. It’s the dying process that can occasionally be rougher. The fear can be due to a prior rough experience.

        It’s a dance – we have to take responsibility but avoid blame and recognize we’re doing what we can.

        Yes, nature isn’t sentimental. But the core of nature is deeply loving and caring. 🙂

  2. Cathie

    Thanks David. 🙂 I agree entirely. I would just say, I’ve worked with the devas in the past – to wonderful effect – but sometimes even that course isn’t open. Something different is required.

    I loved this essay. It articulated so clearly something I’ve been trying to understand. I’ve experienced the “support of nature” in many different contexts, increasingly so as I learnt to support nature in turn.

    I first started thinking about this subject many years ago after I noticed that major sporting and other events – something that people were looking forward to with anticipation and excitement – somehow invariably dawned fine, even when weather forecasts had been dire. I couldn’t help feeling that nature somehow responded to the positive excitement, and the weather was modified accordingly. It seemed highly improbable and yet I continued to notice it. Later I found the same in my own life and this feeling of the support of nature expanded incrementally. To the extent that I remember several weeks ago feeling vaguely put out when I found the Council parking lot full. As I drove round the block looking for an alternative parking space I had to laugh at myself. I realised that I had unconsciously come to expect to find a parking space wherever I needed one. I still couldn’t find a park and found myself back at the Council – where the perfect space was now waiting.

    However, in recent years I’ve noticed a greater disconnect between human endeavours and nature’s support. The weather, to take one very limited example, is no longer quite so accommodating at a larger level, although at my personal level I haven’t experienced disruption. It’s caused me to reflect on the role of disharmony/disruption in life, including my own. The less resistance one has to life the less resistance one finds – yet sometimes seeming disharmony erupts. I say “seeming” because I’ve come to believe that even disharmony serves harmony at some level. These unexpected disruptions seem to offer the opportunity for deep learning and I’ve come to think that disruption can be an important precursor to growth, a safeguard against stasis.

    One last observation. We generally think of the “support of nature” as harmonious process, but it may sometimes be quite literal. The details don’t matter but I sat down at my desk one day feeling overwhelmed with grief and despair. (There had just been one last loss more than I could bear.) It was late afternoon on a cloudless summer’s day. Just as I hit rock bottom in my life the earth started to shake very gently and, out of that deep blue cloudless summer sky, hail fell like tears. I felt seen by nature and it jolted me out of my utter despair. Some will see this as pure chance, if their mindset requires this. That’s okay. I don’t pretend to understand it, but it opens up the possibility that none of us are ever alone even in those moments when we seem most alone. We are one with and part of nature. And we are known by nature, intimately and irrevocably. Just as you say: nature is deeply loving and caring, even though it may not seem like this at times.

    1. Hi Cathie
      Yes, sometimes we have to experiment to find the best avenue. Collective intention can indeed be significant but there are other influences in play. Sometimes, chaos indicates purification taking place. Sometimes, it’s an expression of the state of the collective. It seems nature is gradually raising the standard to call more of us. So yes, deep learning is possible.

      I was chatting with friends today and the example came up of a difficult situation that was designed to change our direction in life. If we use intuition and see it felt right and cooperated, the process is smoother. The net result is an upgrade.

      And yes, nature does express emotions as weather and earthquakes. As Maharishi used to say, they’re an expression of release of stress. Your example, though, sounds more like an expression of compassion and support. I’ve seen similar.

      There is a saying in India, “rain is a sign of a successful yagya.” Rain can be a signal of release and clearing the air. When a yagya (performance) is done for a prescribed result and it promptly rains, this can indicate the obstacle has dissolved.

      I’ve seen intense local rains accompanying a big release or awakening a number of times. Certainly not every time but it does happen. 🙂

    2. Donald

      Hi Cathie. Re parking and the weather and collective consciousess: when we lived in Manhattan and had to move our car on the street every other day or so, we created (or cognized, maybe) a parking angel we named Freddie, a cute kid from the Midwest whom we put in charge of finding us parking spaces whenever needed. I think I got the idea from Napoleon Hill’s THINK AND GROW RICH. Many year later, Freddie is a real being in our lives, and we have shared him with others, some of whom tell us that when they ask him to find a parking space and send him love, quite often one appears. Not infallible but we figure he takes vacations from time to time. Similarly when we bought a fairy door for daughter, she put this piece of plastic and wood on the floor and corresponded with the angel who she gave the name Gliddrshine. We wrote notes back and forth, signing them G. and she believed in her completely until about a month ago when, at 9 1/2, started asking about the tooth fairy, Santa and the fairy. So my wife gently told her what was what. But we added that just because there may not be a fat guy falling down chimneys doesn’t mean he’s not real, nor the tooth fairy nor Gliddrshine, who has become very real to all of us. Ever read Bentov’s STALKING THE WILD PENDULUM or A CO(S)MIC BOOK? Great observations on consciousness at all levels.

      1. Cathie

        Hi Donald

        Wonderful! :-)))) Your story about Freddie reminds me of Machaelle Small Wright’s account of inventing an angel when she was on a work party at Findhorn. I can’t remember the angel’s name but he was very well-meaning. He left small gifts for people but somehow always got them wrong. It was very entertaining and he became legendary for his antics. I hope one day someone writes a story about Gliddrshine. 🙂

        D’you know, I could have sworn I’d read Stalking the Wild Pendulum, the title is so familiar to me, but evidently not. I’ll have to do so.! Thanks for the pointer. Sounds great. Even if Bentov badmouths angels in the Introduction: “I consider angels to be a fairly timid, unenterprising bunch..” [He being far readier to rush in where they fear to tread, a tendency I can sympathise with.]

  3. Cathie

    “It seems nature is gradually raising the standard to call more of us.”

    Yes. 🙂

    I think this may apply to work with the devas also. How I see it is that devas won’t necessarily nursemaid humanity any longer in clearing up messes that are caused by humanity’s unconsciousness in the first place. This is quite encouraging, as I see it, because it signals a new level of sophistication – or a maturing, if you like – of the relationship. It also encourages us to take a harder look at problems and the broader context they necessarily arise out of. As well as at imbalance in the environment generally – and what we can do to support increased harmony in the myriad inter-relationships that make up the environment we each find ourselves rooted in.

    This applies at so many different levels, not just the physical environment.

    As you say: Life is good.

    1. Hi Cathie
      Yes, they have a job to do and a balance to maintain. They can’t do our job and only some can prod us in the right direction. If we go too far out of whack, then a correction is in order or the whole thing could go sideways.

      I agree. Rising consciousness raises us but it also raises them. New laws are awakening from long slumber which is upgrading existing groups.

      Agreed. In fact, the more subtle levels are more powerful. Culturing a bad mood will build an energy up in the environment that can cause destruction when it finds a way to release. Much better to do our work and clean up our garbage on all levels. Good for us, good for everyone.

  4. Cathie

    “New laws are awakening from long slumber…”

    Gurdjieff used to speak of the Laws of Reciprocal Maintenance, and humanity’s [forgotten] role in this… I see the support of nature in this light and operating on all levels, not just the physical. Your insights on awakening new laws would be a wonderful essay topic.?

    There is an achingly beautiful illustration of the support of nature in this quote:

    “The artist John Wolseley tells the story how in 2009 an Indigenous artist, Djambawa Marawili, on the edge of the floodplain of Garaŋarri, was relating to him, and a group of other artists, the ancestral creation story linked with the region.

    It dealt with a number of ancestral women who had travelled from the coast creating the food sources and water springs and at dawn they turned into brolga cranes. Wolseley continues, “He [Djambawa] gestured towards the distant source of the floodplain, and as his arm moved across it a great stream of cranes flew slowly and majestically towards the sea.”


    Part of why this moves me so much is the memory it stirs: a fleeting insight years ago in Far North Queensland of the staggering ancientness of this land. The vast and humbling energy of this. And yet one man can speak, and be in such harmony with this environment that nature responds in that precise moment to give emphasis to the truth he speaks.

    1. Hi Cathie
      Yes, there are several things here. For one, there’s our lost understanding of natures laws and how we can be vehicles of action, our forgotten roles. And yes, operating on all levels, not just the surface.

      A second level is what I was referring to, where laws of nature grew dormant from disuse during the dark age. Some have said that the age determines the degree that nature is able to express.
      Here’s an article talking about waking laws. The topic of the article, the Second Stage, is when those newly awake laws begin to sync with other laws, creating new synergies.

      Another dynamic is that as humans begin to embody pure Divinity, that immerses their laws of nature in Divinity. That can trigger spiritual awakening for the devas. That falls back into their collective nature, then expresses forward into all beings.

      Beautiful example. I’ve seen similar and experienced it even in very practical things. Like in karma showing up with artful finesse. Challenges arise but with a clarity and smoothness so the experience comes and goes without effort or difficulty. The event happens but the solution steps up immediately to resolve it.

      Ah yes. I live in newer land where the mountains are still tall and sharp. And yet there are some ancient beings around.

      Right – when consciousness speaks, nature also listens and responds.

      Thank you for sharing. I can think of many examples but few with such majesty.

  5. Cathie

    Thank you, both for the observations – especially the one about the devas – and the links. I will follow them up with interest. 🙂

    “Some have said that the age determines the degree that nature is able to express.” That is very interesting. It strikes me – like many things – as both true and not true. Very true on some levels, yet subject to enormous variation depending on individual “humans” – foci of divine expression – and the micro-environments they participate in sustaining on multiple levels?

    At least on this planet, and at this stage of planetary evolution, humans seem to have the potential to play a unique role in supporting, maximising and enriching the expression of diverse divine energies.

    1. Hi Cathie
      Yes, there is enormous variation in individual expression and capability. However, it’s still pretty rare to see people expressing many of the Yoga siddhis, for example, or some of the other characteristics of enlightenment that Patanjali describes. How many yogic flyers have you seen, or shining people, etc. They remain the stuff of legend.

      But yes, we have immense potential, in spite of any natural limitations created by the cycles of time. Enlightenment remains very available and is flowering remarkably.

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