By Martin Ogle
Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of Our Living Earth with Martin Ogle, September 11-13, 2015 — click here to learn more
This is the second of two installments which contemplate the “Rhythms of our Living Planet” and follow from an excerpt from the story “The Shear Pin.” (CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1) In the brief, second installment of that excerpt (below), I lament the withdrawal from a spell of timelessness that had descended upon me at first, unwillingly and then like a magical meditation. But, in doing so, I realize our human minds naturally drift from being in the moment to leaving the moment through our abstract journey into the future or past.
* The following is excerpted from In the Eye of the Hawk by Martin Ogle, 2012
I looked away, not wanting to break the spell. “It couldn’t be . . .,” I thought. But the thought itself broke the spell, and my gaze returned to the floor of the boat. It was, in fact, a shear-pin shimmering there in the sunlight. Just as it would allow the propeller to spin once more when placed in its groove, the pin entered my consciousness and set my thoughts spinning. The peace that I had settled into while adrift on the river was shattered by a simple awareness. I was now aware that there was a shear-pin in the boat and I could not wish it away. I could not just jump back into the river of timelessness and feel at my core the Life of the world around me. At least not at that moment. I considered tossing the pin into the murky Bush River, but knew that that would accomplish nothing. The awareness of that act itself would prevent my being able to re-enter the spell.
Tension and release. For the Human Being, this law of Nature includes time and timelessness, and the drifting in and out of self-awareness. Our minds spin furiously to do good, to accomplish, to reach a destination. Overwhelmed by the ticking of the clock, we race off on a tangent, away from the Circle of Life. And just when we reach our greatest speed, we will encounter the large immovable objects, the limits, of our existence. Will we crash and break up, or instead take our pause and rejoin the circle? Do we have a shear-pin to release the tension, to tell us what is enough and when to stop and return? Pastel pinks and oranges gently brush the river as the Sun, still unseen, promises to rise once again.
Because of our intense awareness of the future and our ability to abstractly place ourselves there, we humans are blessed with unique abilities and uniquely cursed with worry, the inability to enjoy the present and a host of other related mental burdens. Our ability to go off on “time tangents” is our birthright as humans and accompanies many other unique, abstract abilities such as language, religion, and betting on horse races. In modern, Western society, however, we increasingly find ourselves worried and hurried. It is not only more difficult to enjoy the present moment and the beauty of life around and within us, our physical and mental health is suffering as well. Can we release that tension? Can we find ways to re-link with the pre-human pace of life while staying true to human nature? Can we find ways to consciously invoke ecstasy in its etymological sense of “putting our minds in another place?”
Come explore these and other questions at the September 11-13 Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center: “Gaia; Engaging the Rhythms of our Living Earth.” — click here to learn more
Martin Ogle holds degrees in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State and Virginia Tech. He was Chief Naturalist for the No. Virginia Regional Park Authority 1985 – 2012. He received the 2010 Krupsaw Award for Non-Traditional Teaching – The annual award of the Washington Academy of Sciences for outstanding teaching in informal and non-academic settings. Mr. Ogle promotes a widespread understanding of the Gaia Paradigm through his workshops, programs and writings. He and his family moved to Louisville, CO in 2012 where he started Entrepreneurial Earth, LLC. Mr. Ogle was born and raised much of his younger life in South Korea.