An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of October 3, 2010
issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in
YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

PLATO AND THIS NEWSLETTER

Regularly during my life, usually around my birthday, I've done this: Ask myself WHY I'm doing what I'm doing, and whether what I'm doing fits the idea I have of myself. Sometimes the exercise provides the kick I need to stop doing something that may feel good in the short term but produces disagreeable long-term effects -- like eating too much. Other times it reminds me that some of the things I may dislike doing, in the end, provide good long-term results, so I need to keep doing them but quit feeling sorry for myself -- like jogging every morning.

I spend a lot of time on the Newsletter, so this week I reflected on why I do that. After thinking about it awhile I've reaffirmed to myself that producing it fits perfectly into my overall world view. It's fun to do and others seem to enjoy it as well, but to me the most important reason is that somehow I feel that publishing the Newsletter, by encouraging me to keep paying attention to Nature week after week, helps me advance spiritually. And maybe it helps others, too.

For, I'm convinced that Nature as a model reveals to us all the strategies we need for living happy, healthy, creative and sustainable lives. It offers deeply flowing currents of inspiration and love that we can tap into just by recognizing them, and harmonizing our own lives with them. To the extent that the Newsletter encourages us in this process, it helps us advance spiritually.

Plato says it with more elegant words. In his Phaedrus he describes the path to the "heaven which is above the heavens" where there abides "... the colorless, formless, intangible essence, visible only to mind, the pilot of the soul." I believe that the path he is talking about is the same path we tread when we consciously seek to know and experience Nature in all Her dimensions. Plato further writes:

"The divine intelligence, being nurtured upon mind and pure knowledge, and the intelligence of every soul which is capable of receiving the food proper to it, rejoices at beholding reality, and once more gazing upon truth, is replenished and made glad... "

I do believe that Plato in some teeny, secret way was referring to our little Newsletter. Facebook Icon.