An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of March 10, 2008
Written in the community of 28 de Junio and issued from a ciber 8 kms to the west in
Pujiltic, Chiapas, MÉXICO

SLEEP

This week the nightly dog-chorus got so bad and my lack of sleep started becoming such an issue that I began sleeping in the medicinal-herb garden up in the reserve. That's far enough from the community for the shrillest barks and howls to be lost beneath peaceful cricket chimes. I'm still enjoying the benefits of my first good night's sleep in a long time, and that's worth discussing.

For, it's clear that sleep or the lack of it profoundly affects a person's world view, self concept and mental and physical health. During my dog days I couldn't think and reflect nearly as lucidly as I can now after a decent night of sleep. My attitude toward reality in general has mellowed. My body and mind are enjoying a spurt of vigor. On the spiritual level, I feel more alive and therefore of more value to the ever-self-monitoring Universal Creative Force, for Whom I am a nerve-ending, along with all other living things.

A recent shortwave BBC program quoted a study showing that most North Americans receive far less sleep than they need. With regard to hours awake this fits the usual North American paradigm of "quantity over quality," and that's a shame. From the sensation-hungry Universal Creative Force's perspective, our culture must feel like a continental-size numbness.

Quantity of sleep is part of the issue, quality the other. Each of us has his or her own natural rhythm and emotional texture. If we sleep with a neighbor's music boom-boom-booming, then that neighbor is forcing someone else's chosen rhythm onto us. If the music is aggressive or childish or sloppily conceived, it damages the preparation of the next day's naturally peaceful or sophisticated or elegant soul.

When a sleeping person is denied the right to have himself or herself each night refreshed and reconstituted according to his or her own natural tendencies, the most highly evolved and tender of all Earthly forms of diversity -- that of individual human spirits -- is abused and squandered.

The topic of "sleep" is appropriate for a nature-oriented newsletter because precisely now in the history of Life on Earth, when that Life is being threatened by human activity, humans need to be thinking, feeling and caring with the greatest possible intensity.

But, from what I've experienced this week, intensity of living is the very thing denied to anyone deprived of quality sleep. Facebook Icon.