An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of July 11, 2010
issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in
YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

YEARNING

I've been yearning lately. It's beside the point for what or for whom. Here I'm just talking about yearning itself.

Yearning is different from hungering in that when you hunger there's a fair chance of the hunger being satisfied. In contrast, one yearns for fulfillments of the distant future, or of never. I'm expert in the never-to-be-fulfilled kind.

Hunger and yearning are subsets of desire. Of the two, hunger is the most necessary, elemental and crude. In contrast, you yearn only when an elaborate, obsessively constructed and fragile world of reasoning, imagination and/or illusion has been conjured. A robin can hunger for a worm, but human yearning requires a vast mental theater to exist.

You could say that I've not yearned since 1996. One can train oneself, I found, not to yearn at all. Not yearning is conducive to good sleep and excellent digestion. But, having returned to yearning lately, now I must say that yearning imparts a softness, a gentleness, to reality, and a sense of communion with the rest of the yearning Universe that somehow enlarges and enriches me. My recent life before yearning now rings a bit hollow.

I think that birds must yearn -- not to fly higher or to sing more lucidly, but actually to become one with the air they fly in. I think the forest must yearn, not to grow higher or greener, but to embrace and subsume itself into the very sunlight that gives it life. Right now I'm too close to my own feelings to say exactly what I'm yearning for, only that the feeling both blesses and hurts.

The Universe began not with a bang, but with a yearning. It yearned to become something of a higher nature. That yearning continues today.

Someday, maybe, this Universal yearning will be consummated when all things knowable have evolved to the point that their identities have melded into the Ultimate Unity.

And then, judging from how I imagine I might feel if somehow my current yearning should be satisfied, the sheer pleasure of fulfillment will be so joyous that the result can be nothing less than an explosion of infinite dimensions -- just as was the case the last time, with the last Big Bang.

And then -- if I understand the true nature of this thing called yearning -- the whole long yearning process will start all over again. Facebook Icon