I wrote this in 2008 and came across it today. I can still dig it and I hope you can!
Like some secret, encrypted message only released by an ancient key, we learn things when we go to the woods.
Think about it – almost innumerable generations coming into existence and moving out of it, using their innate wisdom to survive. This innate wisdom comes from evolution – figure it out or you die. The knowledge of this is almost subconscious. Catching food, growing food, dealing with the elements, etc., we all have a natural ability to do this or we wouldn’t be here. Fight or flight, run from the huge fire, innate response mechanisms – someone following you, leaning over your shoulder; standing in your blind spot, etc….
These things are so natural we don’t even know they exist. They aren’t even thoughts; they are the field in which thoughts arise. Man has existed for tens of thousands of years in nature, only the last thousand, maybe, in “modern” shelters, certainly less than that in cities. There is a reason people are soothed by the ocean, or immobilized by the mountain view – it is unspeakably natural for them.
And like a secret key, this wisdom becomes more active when in the presence of nature; in the woods, in the fields, working in the soil. This is what man knows, this is how man evolved, this is how man survived. Through this survival process, wisdom developed, the knowledge of how to survive and the wisdom to prepare, to react and respond to natural circumstances, and to adapt.
Now, with all of our “unnatural” surroundings, we sometimes forget this. We are trying to use other people’s information, or wisdom – other people’s values or desires, conditioning and profit motives as our guide. It is unnatural, it is someone else’s.
When we go to the woods and just sit, or walk, or merge with it, we unlock the key to this timeless wisdom. The immeasurable power of our own entity or organism to know what is best. This voice becomes clearer when in the woods. Not just because there is less external “noise”, but because this inner stirring is stimulated.
Go to the woods, sit quietly for long enough to let your body settle in – to let the external noise of the unnatural world quiet. To hear the wind and feel it on your face, to see the movement of the sun or moon, feel the pulsing of the earth and your own heartbeat, the flow of blood in your veins and know they are all parts of the same whole. Sit there and know your inner wisdom will speak to you if you listen to it. Sit quietly, without expectation, just rest in your natural environment and your inner wisdom will speak. Listen to it, value it as the highest wisdom – employ it and you will fare well my friend.