On silent afternoons with no breezes, the temperature beyond 100°, sunlight heavy and
glaring, there's a stunned, trancelike feeling. Some say they can't think when it's like
this, but I believe we never stop thinking. It's just thinking of a different kind, less
linear, more abstract, maybe on longer but more penetrating wavelengths. Here's a hot
afternoon's long-wavelength thought from this week, inspired by watching nestlings fledge
from their nests:
Like a nestling, a human baby is absolutely self- centered, focusing only on its own
needs. Quickly the baby bonds with the mother and becomes part of a mother/baby unit.
Further bonding with the father and siblings makes the baby's world more interesting and
offers more life opportunities. This trend continues as years pass and the maturing child
integrates into his or her community, then the nation.
This is a cumulative process, and at each stage of development the individual finds life
more enriching. An enlarging perspective imparts ever higher levels of enlightenment with
regard to what it means to be human on Earth.
Maybe most people end their growing-up process at the community or national level because
maturing further takes effort. Also, conservative fellow members of the group often oppose
further growth, seeing it as betraying family solidarity or as being unpatriotic.
But, with continued study of and experiences with "Life on Earth" one eventually
bonds with the planetary biosphere, not just local subsets of it.
Moreover, I sense that beyond "Life on Earth," with successful meditation and
flexibility of spirit, one can identify with the mystical creative impulse from which all
experience arises in the first place.
The main trend in this growing-up process is that, step by step throughout life, the
baby's intensely personal "me" grows ever more nebulous and less central while
gradually the community, the "greater good," and finally the mystical Unity of
things become ever more transfixing, ever more satisfying to identify with.
On these hot days when the body sits waiting for a cool breeze, moment by moment it seems
as if there's less "me" hereabouts, that the landscape swims in heat of the
pure, mystical Unity of things. Yet, what a thing that even in all this, there are little
birds just leaving their nests with their "me-me-me" calls.