Life is a Participatory Process!
“The strength of a tree, the old ones say, comes not from growing thicker in the good years when there is water, but from staying alive in the bad dry times.” – Joseph M. Marshall III, The Journey of Crazy Horse
Life is a participatory process! is the second WR Assertion.
Some things are simply too simply-complex to have little said about them; this is one and I am going to try anyway. The depths to which we participate in the perception of, and therefore creation of, Our Ground of Being are, frankly, yet a wondrous mystery.
Human consciousness itself is a participatory emergence out of Life’s reaching for and self-organizing toward increasing complexity and diversity. This crescendo building of Life grows in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics, popularly known as Entropy. Seen from the perspective of Forest however, this is, in truth, Life feeding upon us, upon itself in fact. The invitation and challenge of finding deep joy and nurture at this same table— this is the call of the wild resiliency within us.
Implicit within this second WR Assertion is also this: Life itself is a Process!
The body you possess when you begin reading this post will not be the body you possess when you complete it. And should it take you a year, say because you get cyclically enraptured by its humor and profundity, well then, every atom in your body, excluding a few in your teeth and bones, will be a new one by the time you finish.
Oh Gosh! Oh My! This is not Kansas anymore. If we sit in a room together, you and I, presumably breathing, then we will each physically inhale and incorporate atomic structures exhaled by the Other. We engage in this reciprocal exchange process with all of our environments, continuously taking in and corporally incorporating the physicality of our surroundings.
This process, of participatory exchange we are embedded within, is why we can safely assert that a deficiency of wild nature is a dis-ease condition of domesticated man: we are more than a bit deficient of pine forest air and gurgling mountain creek and ancient tree and granite boulder field and the rolling waves of ocean beach, and of falling star resiliency-information supplements too. It is also, frankly, in the financial and political interests of a certain folks that we stay so. Beware!
This domestication of earth’s last wild places, it’s logging and mining and drilling and paving and over-flights and species destruction, is not in our spiritual interest; nor will it serve our wild resiliency. And yet thriving in this era of the sixth great extinction, thriving into this era of the ‘bad dry times,’ is the participatory challenge we have created for ourselves.
Note: This is the second of twelve Wild Resiliency Assertions. These Assertions represent my attempt to place onto my ‘map of reality’ my perceptions about the nature of our world, about the structural interface between the world’s soul and Our Ground of Being, and the life force we each carry, known as the Self.
Laurence Gonzales, in Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, asserts that this keeping our mental maps true to the world, is a fundamental and essential characteristic of those who find their way through Life’s toughest challenges. Hence, the importance I believe, of our discovering containers in which we may mutually explore, respect, and honor these foundational life attitudes we each carry.