The Gift of Nature
A timely reminder of the power of Nature to comfort, calm and inspire us
Guest article by Greg Wade
All our lives have changed considerably over the past 18 months due to the 'unprecedented' global health crisis which has gripped the world in the form of a worldwide pandemic. At least, this is what some prominent public figures in the fields of government, healthcare, big tech and the media would like us to believe. The citizens of most countries across the planet have been subjected to lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates and now the rollout of experimental vaccines which have not been fully tested and are only authorised for emergency use. Many people have succumbed to the almost unparalleled level of fear which mainstream media outlets have propagated on a daily basis since the first appearance of Covid-19. It is not my intention to write at length about this topic which has already been dealt with by the authors of this website in several excellent articles. I merely refer to it because the controlling measures adopted by governments worldwide have severely affected our basic freedoms. This is a testing time for many, and it may become even more challenging in the future. All the more reason for those of us who are interested in learning the laws and principles of occult science to maintain our composure and regularly rebalance ourselves by attuning with the wonders of the natural world.
The uplifting qualities of the natural environment have been written about in many articles published on this website, and I can attest to this fact from my own personal experiences while walking through woods and fields, along tracks by rivers and lakes, and hiking up hills and small mountains. Many ordinary people instinctively search out opportunities to spend time in these places of beauty and wonder without fully knowing why they feel so uplifted and rejuvenated after being out and about among glorious Nature. Others have a deep-felt longing to commune with the majestic splendour of Nature in all of its infinite expressions. This unconscious longing for the spiritual embrace of Nature is nothing new, of course. Humans have sought to live in harmony with the natural world since time immemorial (and continue to do so in many remote areas), but this connection has been weakened for many in our frantic, technological world, and entirely broken in our overcrowded, heavily polluted cities where even weeds struggle to thrive.
The harm this has done and is doing to our bodies and minds is incalculable. The negative aspects of our modern way of life and the scientific materialism which goes along with it, rage unchecked across the globe, leaving a trail of havoc and destruction in its wake. It is man himself who is the source of this travesty due to his insatiable appetite for economic profit and material gain, no matter what the cost. This mindset has given rise to all sorts of unwholesome ideologies such as atheism, solipsism, moral relativism, and of course, most destructive of all, unbridled selfishness. We have fallen very far from the natural order of the universe so beautifully encapsulated in the laws of Nature or, to give them their true and proper name—the Seven Universal Hermetic Laws; immutable and just laws which the authors of this website elucidate in their 12 part series Spiritus Hermeticum along with many other important teachings from the much misunderstood Hermetic literature.
Until we re-discover our collective moral compass and spiritual source, and learn to live in harmony with these Divine Cosmic Laws, we can expect this general state of upheaval, chaos and turmoil to continue, both externally and internally. How can we raise ourselves above the growing entanglement of gross materialism in the Kali Yuga age? The answer lies within each of us, especially those who have been drawn to the sonorous never ending chorus of the Eternal Verities in their constant reverberation throughout all space and time. Deep down, we know where to find the keys which will unlock the hidden portal that leads beyond the veil. The way has been shown to us, but we must be earnest and determined in our search for these keys. We must be faithful and courageous. We must be prepared to sacrifice the worst aspects of our lower nature in the unquenchable fire of divine truth to succeed in our quest.
The simplicity of living close to Nature can help us greatly in this endeavour. It can teach us many things about ourselves, not least the insight of how to experience more authenticity, which in turn will add greater meaning to our lives and help us to accept any misfortunes which may befall us upon our path with patience and equanimity. Regular contact with Nature can help us develop our present moment awareness through meditation and mindful contemplation, where the illusion of time gradually recedes from our waking consciousness and gives birth to a world of pure imagination. Within this limitless mental space, those enlightened men and women who can attune with the power of Nature have been inspired through contact with the higher spheres to produce great works of creativity in the form of magnificent art, poetry, and music. In this way and others, we can seek communion with the Infinite Source, which manifests itself in the countless variations of life we see on this beautiful orb. In the Taoist text the Hau Hu Ching (also transliterated Huahujing), we can find the following: "Trees and animals, humans and insects, flowers and birds: These are active images of the subtle energies that flow from the stars throughout the universe. Meeting and combining with each other and the elements of the earth, they give rise to all living things."
We must seek to re-discover the lost innocence of childhood and cultivate a sense of awe and wonder again. There is no better place to attune with the higher aspects of our being than through the exquisite sights, scents and sounds of Nature. Many thousands of years ago, Ireland, Britain and much of Europe were covered in extensive forests. These ancient forests included mighty Oaks, stately Elms, soaring Beech trees, Hazel, Ash and Holly, to name but a few. The Druids held a special reverence for trees as they served as emblems of the creative energies of the Deity, as sources of instruction and healing, as well as sacred spaces within which the Holy Mysteries were celebrated. Oak groves were especially holy to them for the association of this matchless tree with the Sun. It is well-known that these pious sages conducted their religious rites outdoors under the open sky, deeming it improper to the sublimity and immensity of the Divine Essence to confine their adoration and worship within buildings. These beliefs were enshrined in one of their Triads—allegorical aphorisms divided into three short verses—tells us:
"The Grove of Trees is a Great Book
Which in every leaf displays
The Wisdom of the Lord our Father."
It is a great pity that only a small fraction of these majestic forests remain. Their loss has deprived us of our most significant spiritual connections to Nature; it has, in more ways than one, sapped the life and vigour from the land. Hence it can be said that we are now a forest people without a forest.
The sacred Sun
Many people in the modern world have also fallen out of touch with the cycles of Nature and the rhythm of the Seasons. This is especially true with regard to the spiritual significance of the Solstices and Equinoxes which is now understood by very few. This was not the case in ancient times when the Sun was venerated as the constant source of Light and Life; the most tangible and visible representation of the hidden Spiritual Sun which each enlightened individual is striving towards. Some authors writing on this subject have said: "The sun in its movement throughout the course of the year becomes a symbol of something much, much greater than a physical object bringing about the change of seasons. This is because the annual journey of the sun is symbolic of the journey to enlightenment."
In The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall writes: "In the majority of cases, the religions of antiquity agree that the material visible sun was a reflector rather than a source of power. The sun was sometimes represented as a shield carried on the arm of the Sun God, as for example, Frey, the Scandinavian Solar Deity. This sun reflected the light of the invisible spiritual sun, which was the true source of life, light, and truth. The physical nature of the universe is receptive; it is a realm of effects. The invisible causes of these effects belong to the spiritual world. Hence, the spiritual world is the sphere of causation; the material world is the sphere of effects; while the intellectual—or soul-world is the sphere of mediation. Thus Christ, the personified higher intellect and soul nature, is called 'the Mediator' who, by virtue of His position and power, says: 'No man cometh to the Father, but by me'."
This teaching describes just one of the near countless manifestations of one of the great Hermetic Laws which govern the universe, namely The Law of Correspondence. If we consult Hall's masterwork once more, we can find the possible origins of Solar worship and its symbolic significance with relation to what some have envisioned as the Hero's Journey Home.
"Sun worship played an important part in nearly all the early pagan Mysteries. This indicates the probability of their Atlantean origin, for the people of Atlantis, were sun worshippers. The Solar Deity was usually personified as a beautiful youth, with long golden hair to symbolise the rays of the sun. This golden Sun God was slain by wicked ruffians, who personified the evil principle of the universe. By means of certain rituals and ceremonies, symbolic of purification and regeneration, this wonderful God of Good was brought back to life and became the Saviour of His people. The secret processes whereby He was resurrected symbolised those cultures by means of which man is able to overcome his lower nature, master his appetites, and give expression to the higher side of himself. The Mysteries were organised for the purpose of assisting the struggling human creature to reawaken the spiritual powers which, surrounded by the flaming ring of lust and degeneracy, lay asleep within his soul. In other words, man was offered a way by which he could regain his lost estate."
In the above extract Manly P. Hall draws our attention to another Hermetic Law at work; this one is easy to spot, is it not? The presence of this particular law in its symbolic representation as the great adversary is critical to our advancement because it gives meaning to the monumental struggle we face when we embark upon the long path of Initiation. This is the ultimate test we are all preparing for and which we will eventually succeed in passing to become worthy Children of Light who will be welcomed home to joyous rapture to dwell in infinite love and bliss among our sacred kin. Have you guessed which Law I am referring to? No, then I will tell you—Polarity. This Law states that everything in the Universe is dual; positive and negative, light and dark, hot and cold, male and female. It is responsible for sympathy and antipathy, attraction and repulsion between all things and beings. Let us then attune with the Light that is the Gift of Nature that we may overcome the darkness both within ourselves and others, as well as in the wider world. For, as we may read in the Bible: "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light" (John 12:36).
Yes—let us go forth and do our best to spread the Light of the ancient wisdom teachings which have been revealed on this website for the benefit of all those who can heed the great truths they enshrine. Let us take the wisdom contained within these teachings and combine them with the profound sense of inner peace we can find in nature, therefore helping us to create a more grounded future for ourselves and those we care for. These are just some of the ways in which each one of us can dispel the mounting lies and deception of those who seek temporal power and control over others during these testing times. The best way to face fear and tyranny in any form is to show compassion and kindness to our fellow human beings. We can do this in many different ways if we remain watchful while at the same time never forgetting that God does not forsake his children, especially those who are earnestly trying to walk the Path to the Light.
Article and afterword © Greg Wade. Foreword © Copyright occult-mysteries.org. All worldwide rights reserved. Published 11 July 2021.