Buddhism, veganic gardening, compassion, and the vegan life calls all to deepen our relationships with Mother Earth and each other. Live sustainably, authentically, and lightly on the Earth. Manifest compassion for all sentient beings. The world is an altar. Worship in love.
The World is Not What We Say it is
child lies in his crib in a nursery. Through an open window, a hummingbird
enters the room. The child is ecstatic. He has never seen a hummingbird before.
He’s thrilled by the shimmering iridescence; the color, movement, sound, attention,
and presence of the hummingbird. It’s a miracle, when placed against the dull
wallpaper and quiet of the nursery.
Then, Mother, or nanny or whomever, comes
into the nursery, sees the hummingbird, and says to the child, “That’s a ‘bird’
as he hears the word ‘bird’, the ecstasy evaporates. A piece of linguistic mosaic
tile has been placed down over the miracle, and glued in place with a word. From
now on, the miracle, which was before boundless, is confined within the meaning
of a word.
time the child is 5 or 6, no more miracles shine though. Tiled over with
language, which has blunted it, every miracle has been confined within the
limits of words.
the magic still exists, although it’s not seen. It’s still outside, beyond the
scope of language and all limits that are taught through language.
to all of us. In our cribs, we are separated from our Tao. We are introduced to
names rather than realities. We are taught to reside in and be in language. We
suppress the feminine, the alien, and the ‘different’. We concern ourselves
with statistical norms, and we are warned not to pursue the miraculous. The
lights go out.
is a story told by the late botanist and activist Terence McKenna.
McKenna was speaking at the Esalen Institute about language and thought. This
talk reached me in a big way. I see its truth whenever I’m in nature, away from
the noise of it all. I touch the connectedness that is inarticulatable, but
that I struggle to articulate. You do the same thing. We were all taught the
same. We all have the same struggle.
did I write this? Because someone asked me again why I love all green things
that grow. The truth is, I can’t articulate it, and I don’t care to try. I want
to love the shimmering iridescence; the color, movement, sound, attention, and
presence of what we call ‘plants’, without quantifying them. And anyway, whenever
I’ve tried to quantify, it made the miracle feel smaller.
don’t have languages adequate to describe nature. We have languages made of
subject-object opposition, based on past, present, and future. Everything bound
by time and space. We have words for the matter of the universe, but not for the
inner dynamics of it.
have a mind. Or maybe it’s better to say that everything is mind, and plants
are a part of everything. People, plants, animals, nature, and stars are
co-partners. Whatever it is about plants that makes me feel alive, exists and
is real. We’re uncertain about it, but it is real. We exist and are real. I’d
rather not try to tile over it all with mouth noises.