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Living in Harmony with Nature

It is becoming increasingly clear to me how important the idea of harmony is in so many ways. I’ve been reading a book on chemistry recently and this has confirmed to me how the atoms interact with each other along harmonic principles. The space between the nuclei of matter is a complex state of energy and is ordered according to the same basic wave mechanics as a guitar string, just in three dimensions. It would certainly be possible to go into more depth with this concept with regard to atoms, but let’s just say for a moment that this equates to what we interact with in the world around us because nature and the planet, stars and everything in the universe are made of these atoms constantly in interplay with each other. The main point is that none are in isolation.

Let’s look, for example, at how two singers are able to harmonise with each other. This requires a very special state of activity but one which I think is inherently possible in all of us. Firstly of course it requires two participants, and they both must be committed to the joint endeavour. Then as they start to sing a very amazing process takes place where they both are adjusting moment by moment to the joint sound they are producing. This requires great skill because they both have to be engaged in listening and making sound simultaneously. The listening is very important because each person has to know what sound the other is making. And equally important is the sound making itself, so actively listening and doing something at the same time. It is a multi-tasking skill.

So returning to my initial idea about harmony in nature and the world around us, it seems clear to me that we can also engage with this in our daily lives, that is in the activity we carry out. When we think of the climate crisis we are currently faced with, is this not a consequence of our activity? There is not just one individual responsible for it is our collective behaviour which is the cause. How are we going to best tackle the problem of climate change then? It is by us collectively acting in a way which is in harmony with nature. Thus it is not one person’s responsibility nor is it even the responsibility of governments or faith leaders or entrepreneurs. The fact is that we must all take responsibility and change our lives according to the principle of living in harmony with nature.

I hear you cry “this is too daunting a task nor is it realistic for there are people who don’t care about living in harmony with nature”. The latter part of that may be true however if everyone was encouraged to strive for this goal then the change in behaviour required might eventually bring us back to a ground state where the harmful deeds we are doing to Mother Earth, and by extension to ourselves and the other creatures that share our home, is drastically less than it is currently.

As for addressing the first part of the hypothetical argument against living in harmony with nature, I would also like to point out the additional benefit that taking this course of action will have. It is inherent in the action that we will also increase our own personal health and longevity. The connection between health and nature has been long known and established. The word “physician”, that is a medical doctor, derives from the Greek word for nature, “physis”. Each one of us has a physical body, and so regardless of where we are or who we are we each are intimately connected with nature through our own bodies. If we want to get into a state of harmony with nature we first have to listen to our own bodies. Again this brings us back to the idea of the two singers harmonising. Listening is a key skill, and although we may not literally use our ears to listen to what our body is telling us, I think we all are capable of understanding what is meant by this. We know the sense of hunger, the sense of thirst, the sense of fatigue, cold and heat. All of these are signals for us to take some action to normalise the state of our bodies. If we can heed these basic messages our body sends us which are expressed non-verbally and for the most part non-acoustically (perhaps with the exception of a rumbling tummy) then it is possible to extend this to more realms where this may be required. We can then begin to take heed of messages being sent to us from outside our body, like the singers harmonising with each other, but these messages may well be coming from the natural environment around us. As long as we are willing to participate and act accordingly we can then move in a way which is not daunting or unfeasible, and is actually beneficial to ourselves and others. And with this comes enjoyment and a sense of well-being and purpose, for these are all interlinked. So make each day an exercise of living in harmony with nature.

By DrewMcN

Drew McNaughton is a poet and musician with a passion for nature and languages.

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