Seeing Nature from Within

Seeing Nature from Within

We acquire the habit of seeing nature only with our eyes and think that we are separate from it. In fact we are nature, and inseparable. Therefore if we can see from within, we get an entirely different view of what is around us.

A beautiful story in the Upanishads illustrates this. Briefly, the story is: a demon misbehaves with Shiva and his wife Parvati. Shiva gets angry and opens is third eye. Horrific hurricane with loud thunder ensues. When it passes, a lean demon appears with the intention of eating the bad one. The bad demon falls at Shiva's feet and is forgiven. The famished lean one asks Shiva what he should eat. Shiva tells him to eat himself. He obeys and begins from the feet. When only his face is left, Shiva stops him, names him kirtimukh (face of glory), and declares that his icon will be displayed outside all Shiva temples. It will teach people the truth that 'life eats life'. Deer eats grass, tiger meat, birds’ seeds, but all eat life.

Shiva, of course, is saying much more. He is teaching us that our eye sees in a limited frame. Mind can conceptualize and broaden our view but only a tiny bit. To get the true and full picture we must see the universe from within. Only then nature's working is revealed to us in its true form.

We are in fact life that temporarily manifests to animate our bodies. We therefore can see nature from within. By forgetting this we shortchange ourselves and invite misery.

October 7, 2006