forces of life consciousness

image source: Winds of the Willow

Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man’s heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
~ Franz Winkler
(Man: The Bridge Between Two Worlds)

16 thoughts on “forces of life consciousness”

  1. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first.

    This sentence seemed to vibrate for me, so I reposted it here. The boundaries once approached and recognized are the places we need to go beyond but they are our comfort zones as well. (for me anyway).

    I could truly write an essay on this passage. I don’t know this book, I think it is something I may look into!

    1. The book is from the 1980s but it still rings true that science needs to pay attention to the reality of our inner worlds, and I think it is doing so more and more of that in recent decades. But not all scientists are on board just yet! The “laborious and slow” process of intuitive awakening isn’t always that way – there are a lot of little kids (like I was) who welcome that awakening with open arms and hearts, much to the consternation of one or both of their more logical parents!

      If you do write an essay on this passage, Jeff, I hope you’ll post it on your blog! Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  2. Your beautiful post reminded me of the words of the Sufi mystic Rumi, “It is only from the heart that one can reach for the sky.” Many thanks.

    1. You’re very welcome, Gitanjali. I love the Rumi quote – we do need our hearts to understand the mysteries and wonders of science and the universe. Someday I need to find a book of Rumi’s poetry, every time someone quotes him I am inspired. Thank you for sharing some of his wisdom.

    1. Thank you, Robin. I’m not sure what it is about the color blue – any time I see it with this vividness my heart skips a couple of beats and I’m hopelessly enchanted…

    1. You’re welcome, Laurie! How wonderful that you found what you needed here at the right time. I am humbled…

    1. You’re welcome, Kathy! I am grateful for the Mystical Cat with the Yellow Eyes, too, and for the anonymous photographer who captured and shared its magic…

    1. Happy you liked the enchanting cat, Sybil. I think the quote appealed to me because it echoes some of the ideas I “discovered” about spirit and science being opposite sides of the same coin…

  3. The photo is really creepy… such yellow eyes and everything else so blue.

    The quote is thought provoking. I don’t think modern woman needs to become a hermit to find the spiritual answers but she needs to get away from the bright lights of modern life for an extended period of time because how else can we escape our multi-tasking ever demanding lives? When I walked in Spain without a single electronic “device” ie no cell phone or computer, I felt liberated and lighter.

    1. Oh dear, Rosie – so sorry you found the photo creepy – it’s interesting how something can be enchanting to someone, and unsettling to someone else.

      Your hike along The Way of St. James in Spain seems it was exactly the kind of experience Winkler describes as being so spiritually rewarding. Some of us can also escape, but with smaller steps, by observing nature in our local surroundings, appreciating with awe the sense of being part of the web of life, at one with the universe. When I was a little girl, I would feel ecstasy simply by climbing and sitting up high in my hemlock tree, absorbing in its wonderful energy.

  4. Hi Barbara. I think we need to be in touch with nature. For some that could be a challenge. We are part of nature and need to acknowledge this at some level. The cat in the photo seems to see me differently than I see me! Jane

    1. It’s interesting how different people need different things to be in touch with spirit and nature. I think having pets or plants in the city is a way some connect with nature. To me, cats are endlessly enchanting and seem to be very in touch with spiritual things!

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