THEOSOPHY, Vol. 84, No. 7, May, 1996
(Pages 211-214; Size: 10K)

STUDENT REFLECTIONS

[Article number (1) in this Department]

The following essays reflect two thoughtful commentaries on nature. One expresses the mystery and depth of its inherent beauty -- while the other shows the universal patterns in The Book of Nature, or its hidden science.(1)
WHAT IS ECOLOGY?

NO, IT IS not conservation. Nor is it directly concerned with the preservation of our forests, the purity of our streams or the purity of the air we breathe. No, Ecology is a far deeper and, to the Theosophist, far more important science. From one point of view it is the Science of Sciences as it is the science of reading the Book of Nature, about which H.P.B. says, "But all books it regards, on account of the human element contained in them, as inferior to the Book of Nature."

Ecology is the Science of the relations between living organisms and their environment. It is not a science of those entities, but that of how they relate to each other -- how they get along. Mr. Crosbie states that "Nature is the inter-action and inter-relation of all beings of all kingdoms from the first and lowest elemental kingdoms up to the highest Dhyan Chohan." A clue, perhaps, to how we can begin to read from this Book of Nature, so full of wonders.

H.P.B. goes on to say about this book, "...to read which and comprehend correctly, the innate powers of the soul must be highly developed." We don't pretend to have such highly developed powers, but with the help of Theosophy we may be able to see Nature as an exhibition of infinite gradations of the savage killing of lesser species for the sake of the life of the greater, a very brutal spectacle. And sitting on top of the heap is man -- the "humane" being. Is there another way to look? Is it possible to see something else in that "Nature" of which H.P.B. speaks so highly?

What about the bee? He makes enough honey for himself and for his family and then keeps on making enough for friends and neighbors. What about the oak tree or the apple tree? They can't possibly use all the seeds they produce in the nuts and fruit they make every season. And think of all the seeds of wheat produced on every single stalk. Why does everything in nature produce so much more than it needs, offering the "lion's share" freely to all? Is this wasteful or is there a purpose? And the beaver, is all his tireless work just for himself? Before the popularity of the beaver cap and cape did not that little rodent control the flooding throughout the Western world?

Then there is the termite. Does he get paid for his constant work in our forests making it possible for the rest of us to live on this planet? And how about the moles and the other creatures that live underground that keep the earth plowed and aerated so things can grow above ground? We could wonder how it is that there always seems to be the right seeds lying waiting to sprout into that plant that is needed to do a particular job -- that is if we didn't understand what our song birds were doing all day. Can it be that Nature is truly an exhibition of cooperation and sacrifice rather than of bitter competition?

In The Voice of the Silence, H.P.B. makes the remarkable statement:

Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.

And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of matter, she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit -- the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms. (pp. 15-16.)

Can we take another look at Nature with what we can muster up of this kindly "Eye of Spirit" and, perhaps see that sacrifice, that giving and charity are the inner springs that make Nature so unselfishly beautiful?

Is Nature by any chance trying to tell us humans that if we each did what we can do best, to the best of our ability, and then offered a generous share to those around us, that our world would be as beautiful as the forest in Spring?

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NATURE'S WONDERLAND

LET US observe the power and energy of nature; the rain and the winds, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the disruptions from outer space of meteor showers, the tug of the moon on the earth pulling the tides to and fro, and the heat of the sun giving life to all. Nature is the creative and controlling force of the universe. From this, nature sounds foreboding, mysterious, or exciting depending on how it is viewed. Consider, though, nature as we see the world around us, as a thing of beauty, of serenity, the natural balance of the elements, the basis of all life. In Robert Crosbie's Universal Theosophy, Nature is referred to as an impersonal Deity, as long as we do not personify, limit or define it. Nature then is what we have called God, or Spirit or Self.

In our observation of nature we each aspire to that which attracts us individually and, in viewing the same phenomenon, will see entirely different perspectives, meanings or inspirations. Take for instance, a drop of dew on a spider web in the early morning light. Some will merely say, "It is we outside today." Others will look closely and see the beauty of this transparent spherical form glistening and magical. Still others will look deep within this droplet and see the reflection of the entire universe. Some observe, but do not see, thus missing the great glory of being. Others will be fascinated by everything around them and in doing so, enhance their surroundings with their own radiance. Those who are ever complaining and unhappy with life are unaware of the Nature of which they are a part and only bring more gloom to themselves and others.

So it is in each of us, the power to become a beneficent force in nature, to take the path of truth and knowledge and find what we seek by opening our eyes and hearts to all that is about us. H.P.B. points this out in her article "Dialogues Between the Two Editors" when speaking of the capacity to view life through the light of the higher mind -- a power developed through firm determination and self-sacrifice. Yet if one is born with it he will think of the most ordinary things from a higher plane. "Why is it," she says, "that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones, while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect, will laugh at the 'music of the spheres,' and ridicule the most sublime...." (H.P.B. Articles Vol. II, p. 42). [Note: For those who would like to read it, I've placed a link to HPB's article at the end of this one.--Compiler]

Nature's wonderland is universal; what we extract from it is what we have sown; what we give to it, is what we have learned through observation and shared along the way; where we go tomorrow is what we have planned today.


[Note: Here's the link to HPB's article, entitled "Dialogues Between the Two Editors", that was mentioned and quoted from in the above article by the student.--Compiler]

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STUDENT REFLECTIONS
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:

(1) Note: See LOOKOUT section, Editor's Note, in this issue regarding this department. [Compiler's note: I placed a copy of it below:]

Editors Note

"Student Reflections," appearing in this month's issue, initiates a new department in THEOSOPHY. Items in this section may be minimally edited, allowing for less conventional and more diverse styles of expression.

There is a natural benefit which arises when students share their individual perceptions and experiences of theosophical ideas. Much of this occurs within theosophical meetings. During our era, however, many do not live near Lodges or study groups and find themselves isolated from one another. It is hoped this department will provide an additional avenue to serve its readers and student writers.
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