Getting in touch with Nature is more than really just smelling the flowers or going on a short walk. It's even more than many of us can fathom in a single day trip. If I may, let me tell you how I see "Getting in Touch with Nature" as a scientific and spiritual quest.
From, the dawn of human history, man has recognized that sunlight was a very powerful phenomenon which is vital for all life. It gives us light and warmth, it makes things grow and come alive. Growth adds color to surroundings that otherwise would be drab and
uninviting. Color, being a manifestation of light, at one time held a divine meaning not only in a physical nature but also symbolically. Man's quest was one of trying to solve the strange workings of creation by giving it some personal meaning for survival.
But what is light, what is color, and how do they fit in with this whole question about nature? It took centuries to discover molecules and atoms, and to see how everything from air to rock is those same atoms and molecules simply moving at different vibratory speeds. And what is light? Maybe we should start with a short science lesson to understand this a little better.
The one thing we do know about the universe is that everything is vibratory by nature. Everything is in motion with its own unique rhythm. The same molecules and atoms that is air, as we know it, become a stone in a slower vibratory manifestation. According to research in the field of subatomic physics, new views of what we consider to be "reality" emerge almost daily.
Radiant energy is understood to be propagated through space in the form of electromagnetic waves. Also the material world we live in is made up of atoms with these electromagnetic energies (light in its broadest definition). This collection of waves can be analyzed in a number of ways like with the spectroscope, which shows us some of the different electromagnetic characteristics depending upon the intensity of the wave. Although electromagnetism is part of everything, our technology has yet to encompass its manifestation in everything with one measuring device, which may explain why we have yet to encompass various aspects that may seem separate into one field of study compared to another.
The full spectrum of electromagnetic energy contains 60 to 70 "octaves" as far as we can detect with the current technology. On one end of this spectrum, it begins with AC current (60 cycles per second), and moves through AM radio frequencies to television which overlaps AM and FM, FM radio, radar, microwaves, infrared, to a very small area of visible light, ultraviolet rays, x-rays and gamma rays. Audible sound is another extremely limited response area below the AC level and not recognized as electromagnetism as such because it is the oscillation of molecules in gases, yet it is still a resonance of these molecules that we interpret as sound in our limited capacities.
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All the cells in our bodies have vibratory properties. Biochemists, astrophysicists, and yogis all agree that our bodies are systems of vibrating atomic particles. This means that in essence, we are the collection of various frequencies of light. Despite superficial differences, we each have a similar harmonic link coded into our molecular structure that define us as human. Each organ may even have its own vibratory properties or "keynote" frequencies.
When vibrations below the auditory levels are distributed universally in our environment (such as the 60 cycle current flowing through electrical wiring) they affect the body's own natural pulse. This has become more apparent lately by finding increased cases of childhood leukemia and cancer among residents living near high power lines.
In a state of high anxiety or stress, if electrodes are attached to our heads, we emit enough power to operate a light bulb or small toy train. Conversely, in a relaxed meditative state, the body as a total system, vibrates at 7.8 to 8 cycles per second. The earth also vibrates at 8 cycles per second and has a positive charge of 120 to 150 volts per meter of intensity except for increases of electromagnetic radiation emissions occur near earthquake sites prior to and during seismic activity.
Our perception interacts on two clearly detectable levels or electromagnetic frequencies, sound and sight. But what causes something to smell? Is there an area of this spectrum that we haven't developed the adequate equipment to analyze in a way that it ties in with other fields of study that are accepted in the scientific community? Aroma therapists perhaps have more insight on this than I do at this time.
The above illustrations are of electromagnetism on the left as measured by current methods, and a DNA molecule as we know it. Is it just me? Or is there a similarity that has yet to be correlated? Electromagnetism is an integral part of any life form. At what point does electromagnetism interact with organic matter to begin a life or pulse, or is biological
life forms another aspect of the electromagnetic spectrum that lies somewhere between light, gas, liquid, and solid mass? In both of the above illustrations you have a version of the double helix with two coinciding wavelengths.
These are questions that have mystified physicists and philosophers for hundreds of years. Anyway, the stimulus perceived by each of our senses (colors, sounds, smells, textures and temperatures) have the ability to create an emotional responses of excitement, relaxation, depression and even cause physical illness. There have been links to people living close to magnetic fields (power lines) where increased numbers of cancer and tumors have resulted from overexposure to strong doses of electromagnetism. Judith Cornell stated in her book;
"All of our senses act as a stimulus that generates a thought process and liberates energies stored in the subconscious. A certain color or sound can affect your immediate mood, behavior or attitude." For example, the first four notes of a song can bring back the entire memory of a time in your past. Other levels of the spectrum directly affect us such as the ultraviolet waves that cause suntans and cancer, but they act slower so they aren't as detectable at first.
On the tangible level, atoms interact in ways that give us the appearance of solid form. This sounds strange, but it's the varying speed, rhythm and density of light that creates this illusion that we compare to our physical nature. We relate to what we can touch, see, hear, smell, and taste. Physicist Fritjof Capra describes it this way in his book "The Tao of Physics":
"The energy patterns of the subatomic world form stable atomic and molecular structures that build up matter and give it its macroscopic solid appearance, thus making us believe it is made of some material substance...Atoms consist of particles and these particles are not made of any material stuff. When we observe them we never see any substance; what we observe are dynamic patterns continually changing into one another-a continuous dance of energy."
Even in 1665, a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens recognized this about rhythm and the nature of our interaction with it. He called it the "Law of Entrainment." What that is, is if two rhythms are nearly the same and their sources are close together, they will fall into synchrony. He discovered this after observing some of his inventions, the pendulum clock. He speculated the reason for this is that nature is efficient on all levels. It takes less energy to pulse together than in opposition. Frequencies and matter appear to follow this same pattern of interaction. In this vane of thought, human hearing detects vibrations between 20 and 20,000 cycles per second.
Then, in 1961 Andrew Neher conducted some laboratory research on brain waves in connection with sound. It became clear through the use of an electroencephalogram, that the rhythmic beat of a drum affected the electrical activity of the central nervous system. A single drumbeat contains many sound frequencies. Accordingly, it simultaneously transmits impulses along a variety of pathways in the brain. A single beat could startle you unexpectedly, but a continuous rhythm allows the body and mind to synchronize with that rhythm, or to "entrain." By that same principle, most of us have witnessed how a child in pain can be soothed by cuddling next to a mothers heart or how background music will get you to tap your foot or respond in some other way along with other listeners.
Neher also discovered that drumbeats are mainly of low frequencies. This means more energy can be transmitted to the brain than from a sound stimulus of a higher frequency. That is possible he says because, "The low frequency receptors of the ear are more resistant to damage than the delicate high frequency receptors and can withstand higher levels of sound before actual pain can be felt." This could also be compared to the calming affect of a mother's heartbeat to a crying infant or the nerve shattering affect of a jet engine and how your body reacts.
With this information it may be easier to identify the tranquility you can feel while in a forest setting with the natural sounds you experience. Various indigenous tribes of the rainforest would begin their days work with songs that were complimented by the sounds of animals such as birds that would be singing their songs at various times of the day. As different animals would come out to feed or court each other, different songs were created to accompany them while work tasks were achieved. In this way, they would work in harmony with nature usually not to take more than they needed for any given task.
If we recognize the complex system of the electromagnetic spectrum, and by knowing energy as with matter does not get used up, but changes state; it makes me wonder: does the energy that allows a heart to beat, or a brain impulse to relate to a memory, have similar characteristics to that of DNA that can be altered through exposure to various stimulus? If this is so, the energy of a thought or learned behavior could be imprinted within that complex system. Perhaps, we just haven't developed the equipment to prove it yet in a way that we can associate it with current knowledge.
Molecular biologists can explain how the patterns of a human being is written into the genes of sperm and ova or how an acorn contains all the information on which part will develop into a leaf or branch or even another acorn. But non-living things like minerals, colors, or thought have no DNA so other factors must determine their similarities of molecules and atoms.
The concept of thought arrives from the knowledge of how animals sense an earthquake prior to the event or what makes a school of fish turn simultaneously without reason, intuitive thought? We all possess the same emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, shame, and love as well. Where do these similarities come from? This link could even include possibilities of inherent knowledge from the theory of the Master Plan, ESP or an extra sensitive ability to perceive some unrecognized aspect of energy field. Does the fact that the earth is a polarized magnet contain the meaning? Electromotive force is used to power many basic motors by relying on magnetic fields of energy.
An English physiologist, Rupert Sheldrake, elaborated in a sense, about this when he stated, "The past is in some sense present. Every event adds to the effect of its own coming into-being to the morphogenetic field with which it resonated, or else it begins a new morphogenetic field, in either case persisting into the future." This brings me to think that when our bodies cease to function, the energy that gives us life, returns to that collective energy field of the earth or that of the soul or "universal consciousness" complete with our imprinted experiences.
To further expand on morphogenetic fields, a series of experiments were conducted at Harvard University in 1920 by psychologist William McDougal. His goal was to find out if animals could inherit abilities acquired by their parents. By comparing the obvious chain of dysfunctional behaviors from generation to generation, this has more serious implications.
What McDougal did was put white rats in a tank of water. The only way out was by swimming to one of two passages and climbing out. One platform was lit up and the other was dark. If the rats got out on the lighted escape path that is the natural tendency, they got an electric shock, but not on the dark path. McDougal recorded how many trials it took them to consistently choose the dark path.
The first generation of rat's tool an average of over 160 shocks each before avoiding the light. The second generation, bred from the experienced parents did better, as did their offspring. McDougal bred thirty generations, at which point the rats were making only 20 errors each.
McDougal concluded that these results pointed to the inheritance of acquired characteristics, but with so much controversy that other researchers replicated the experiment. Dr. F.A.E. Crew in Edinburgh and W.E. Agar of Australia did the same experiment but something unexplainable happened: From the very first generation their rats learned the task much faster than McDougals from a totally different strain. In fact some of the first rats went right to the darkened path without ever getting zapped.
For this immediate purpose I would like to explore cause and effect of our interaction of energy and how to utilize it for peak performance in life.
Eastern philosophy stresses right brain activities related to intuitive thought. Many of their religious practices induce meditative or hypnotic states of consciousness. For example the drum and chanting helps produce brain frequencies in the theta wave EEG range (four to seven cycles per second). This mental state is suited for right brain activities that are acceptable, and proven affective within that cultural structure. But in this fast paced society, it's not too practical on a full time basis. Perhaps balanced thinking should be taken more literally.
It is important for healthy activity in the cerebral hemispheres too. Unfortunately, our technological civilization shuns practicing things that are not conducive to making the almighty dollar. Creative activities that are natural for us (and use the right hemisphere), don't often fall into this category. Artists are often branded as eccentric space cadets or just irresponsible and dreamers aren't in large demand without a degree in a specific field of interest.
In 1877, J.Dodson Hessey gained high honors in England for his beliefs that, "The great importance of color lies in the fact that it can influence all aspects of man-physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, and so helps to produce harmony which in itself implies perfect health.
Early Shamans around the world have known many of these things for centuries. Many Indigenous cultures have been known and recognized as being "Care givers to the Earth", from just these ways taught to them by their Shaman elders. But in modern society their is no financial gain in living with the land opposed to living off the land. So where do we start? All I can say is, Let your consciousness be your guide. But while you are here, look, listen, learn, enjoy the marvels here that are placed before you to learn from! We have much to learn and little time in which to do so!
In conclusion maybe the bigger picture is not about getting in touch with "Nature" but more about
realizing that we ARE Nature. When that is realized, we HAVE to take accountability of our actions with our interactions. Are
we a species that cares for the health of that which sustains us? Or are we a cancer that solely eats away and erodes the
very sustenance of life itself? Quiet yourself in the forest, watch the animals and learn, watch the plants and learn. They
will both teach you if you are open to their lessons.
Please take one more minute to read the one and only poem that I have
written. I recently found it among a bunch of papers I had and read it to a friend named Cheryl. She was to say the least,
taken aback by it, but wanted a copy or way to share it with others. That is why it is here now as it (in a way) pertains to what you
just read. Thank you Cheryl for your kindness and being who you are. The poem is dark but the point is valid.
Here it is.