An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
of May 10,   2009
Issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA


With the temperature holding steadily around 50° F it rained all last weekend, through to Wednesday. Sunday morning even the electricity went out. It was a somber, cold, staring out-the-window time of a kind I hadn't experienced since my hermit days. My body got achy and a mood settled over me like the weather.

Yet, it wasn't a bad mood. It was a good time to think about where I am at this stage in my life, and what is to come.

It's funny, but each time I go through this big thinking-out process, the thought-path follows pretty much the same trajectory:

Starting with the world's conflicts, soon I admit that they are really quite natural. Evolution has always been fueled mostly through competition -- the stronger or lucky displacing the weaker or unlucky.

Similarly, environmental destruction taking place now is just like that of the past, as when the dinosaurs went extinct. From the ashes of each of the several identified mass extinctions always there arose whole new, more sophisticated communities of species, and things advanced incrementally.

Accepting that "everything today is as it always has been, and therefore 'natural,'" does that mean that a human today may simply acquiesce, accept things as they are and keep plodding on day after day doing the same as always, because that's what people always have done, and somehow it's led to advancement?

No, because of The Sixth Miracle of Nature. The Earthly manifestation of that Miracle is that humans have evolved to the point where we can reflect on our position relative to the rest of the Universe. When the Sixth Miracle ignites in our lives we can willfully overcome our various hard-wired and social programming that in modern times are proving destructive and unsustainable. The Sixth Miracle releases us from the slavery of our programming, enabling us to behave rationally, and/or artistically, and/or in harmony with our spiritual insights, and maybe save Life on Earth in the process.

At this point in my big-thinking exercises my mind usually wanders a bit, and then I embark on the big question: Why are we here?

The only explanation I can come up with is that we living things are like "nerve endings" for the Creative Force. The phenomena of our experiences somehow "report back" to the Creator on how our part of the Universe is doing, just as a nerve at the tip of a finger lets us know that the finger exists and that things are happening to it. This is a quirky way of looking at it but I can't come up with anything better, and it really does supply the outline for some kind of answer that feels better than the usual explanations, or having no answer at all.

At day's end I stick my head from the trailer door, behold the gloom, and feel pretty good about it. "What a splendid thing," I think to myself, "that by sensitizing myself to the slugs and snails the rain brings out; by struggling to understand how this rain charges the ecosystem with life; by consciously making the effort to accept this moody instant as a necessary part of a beautiful annual cycle generating untold numbers of wildflowers, butterflies, birds and poetic impulses among all sentient beings -- I'm inviting the Sixth Miracle of Nature into my life, and fulfilling my duty as a nerve-ending to the Creator." Facebook Icon.