eternal beauty, suffocated by mystery…

I offer you this beautiful reflection by Ron Cole on the beauty of Creation: 

I think it makes a huge difference when you come out of your home in the morning, whether you believe on the one hand you're stepping into inert space, which is endless, or whether you're stepping into something that is animate and alive. And I really believe that landscape is alive. I think that one of the amazing things about humans is the way that we have usurped the notion of consciousness in almost an imperialistic way for ourselves. We in a sense have separated ourselves from creation. We've cut out the whole animal kingdom and we've also cut out landscape. Now they're not conscious in the way that we're conscious. Landscape, no human mind, even the greatest ascetic, could endure the silence and stillness that landscape endures, and the silence that animals endure. And we were the last arrivals, the human-come-lately – a few minutes to midnight, if you take the whole thing as just one day. And yet we have claimed everything in our name and reduced it, and I think that is something that has had disastrous consequences, and we're making our planet unliveable, and we're doing huge damage. And I think that the other point is that landscape is the first scripture. It is THE wisest text, because we're not alien to it. We are the children of the earth, and the earth is in our bodies – so the rhythm that's outside is inside.

I love it when I make my yearly trek, my retreat to the mountains of Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. Alone, I take nothing more than tent, sleeping bag, food, notebook, pencil and my bible. It is amazing in the solitude, how connected I feel to creation. The landscape becomes like a sheet of divine poetry, the light shining on it, reveals the wisdom and truth of the creator. And the truth is, you don't have to go to the mountains, it really is just beyond your doorstep. The light continously reveals the wisdom of the eternal beauty.

I don't think it's pantheism – it's the old distinction between pantheism and panentheism that, I believe that, that the biggest theological question is – is there anything outside God? If you say there is, then you're not talking about God. So it's some primal level, everything must subsist within divinity. And I think that the actual truth is that we are so intimately skin, breath close to the depths of the mystery that if we were more conscious of it, maybe we would feel suffocated by it.

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