What memories do you have of beauty? How are beauty and freedom related? What am I learning passively, simply by showing up to think about beauty every day?
What memories do I have of beauty?
Two things come to mind immediately, when I think about memories of beauty: The Sierra Nevada Mountains, John Muir Wilderness, and the Ohio night-sky.
Both of these are intimately connected with freedom for me. Freedom, in this case is the absolute awe of looking into the infinite, and knowing yourself as part of it.
Looking into the night sky gives this feeling. The mountains give this feeling.
This is a feeling of ease and expansion, of beauty and purpose, of connection and intimacy. This is a feeling of knowing that Life is infinite, all-encompassing, and eternal. It is the feeling of being in that Life, of feeling that Life in you.
This is an experiential feeling. It is not something that my words will convey, unless you have had a similar experience of your own. If you have, remember. Remember your experience of beauty and freedom. Feel it with me, in your own way, through your own experience.
What do I learn passively through attending to beauty daily? I engage this awe, this feeling of freedom, this feeling of Life within and around me. As I engage it daily, I draw it to me on every level of experience.
Divine abundance expresses infinitely through our own Divine Presence. When we identify with our Divine Presence, we open the floodgates and Divine Abundance flows naturally, easily, and effortlessly through us, materializing all good in our lives and affairs.
I spent 1991-1994, working for the USDA Forest Service, building trails in the wilderness of the Sierra National Forest (“Wilderness” is an official designation. It means an area in which motors or mechanized machines are not allowed. This includes things like wheel-barrows, chain saws, etc. All the trails we built were completely by simple tools and our own physical strength. Check out my first publication, on one of the projects we did here.)
I hiked in a lot of different terrain, under a lot of different conditions. Now, when I think about how I am experiencing a Journey, I usually have a type of terrain in mind. For the most part this is the type of terrain I think of:
The red arrow is a slow, easy climb. It’s definitely an incline, continuing UP, but the soil is easy to walk on, there are a few rocks around, but not too steep and no major hindrances or obstacles. (This photo is from the book the blue arrow shows where the old trail is, which is a steeper climb, with rocks in the way that make foot-placement difficult.) On most Journeys, I am on a path about like the red-arrow–always climbing, without too much trouble.
Sometimes, the Journey feels more like this:
This is terrain where it’s hard to get a foothold, the climb feels arduous, and I may ask, “is it worth it?” (You know what my answer always is…). Fortunately, when I am in terrain like this (calling out the skeptic, the doubt, the uncertainty), it usually only lasts a day or two, then I am back to “normal” terrain (like above).
This Journey, however, I am in new terrain. Here is what it feels like on this Journey, mostly:
Smooth and easy! I’d say “sailing”, if it didn’t look so much like a desert! There is almost no incline, which makes it an easy walk, barely even a hike. The ground is uniform, so there is no need to pay a lot of attention to where I am putting my feet. I’m just going, one foot in front of the other.
When I was hiking, there would come points where the hike put me in a trance. I suspect it’s similar to what runners feel, when they go for miles and miles. There is just this peace, and innate understanding that you’re on the path, you’ll arrive when you arrive, and there’s nothing to think about, worry about or, do–other than put one foot in front of the other.
This is my terrain today, yesterday, the day before. One foot in front of the other.