Chapter 7

Longings of the Soul

There is a correspondence between the natural world around us and the inner selves we seek to know.  Understanding this bond provides us an opening to the deepest realities of our existence.  Through our connection with nature we can reach into our being and be one with the longings that enrich our lives.  Hidden realities of our being become clear.  Nature becomes the gateway to the soul.


First we must observe and appreciate how the world around us mirrors our own nature.  There are countless examples of the ways our deepest longings are reflected in the natural universe.  Our need for peace is seen in the purring cat, lying in the sunshine, tummy in the air, not a care in the world.  The courage of the human spirit is mirrored in new growth fighting for life after the devastation of fire.  Our love of play corresponds to the chasing squirrels, leaping from branch to branch.

Yet an intellectual appreciation of such correspondence is only the beginning of self-understanding and growth.  We must open our hearts, that is, allow ourselves to feel the peace of the purring cat, the joy of animals at play, the courage and energy of new life.  Thus we draw upon and enlarge potential that lies in our deepest selves.

Once this opening of the self is begun, we can take a further step to reach to the soul.  By simply quieting the mind and observing in calm the world around us, new truths about our own nature are revealed.  A silent wood can become alive with sentiment drawn from the inner self.  For each of us nature’s gift of understanding differs, a surprise, a unique expression of the divine life within us.

All nature has the power to evoke in us the highest qualities of our inner selves, grounded in universal truth.  Observing birds in flight might give rise to a sense of grace, joy, purposefulness or freedom.  Whatever our response, it is uniquely our own.  To the extent that we are willing to stop and think about how such things make us feel, we learn truths we might never perceive without them.  Thus we draw on our capacity to bring into our conscious experience our deepest longings.

We all have a sense of the longings of the soul.  Yet that inner reality so often remains closed off to our conscious experience.  We can choose to reach to the natural world around us to enlarge our experience.  We can learn from the responses that arise from deep within our being.  We can let nature draw our minds and hearts to a new harmony with the longings of the soul.


Kinder spirits
would follow the raindrops
seeking their source
and find strength
to live in peace

More gentle beings
would flow with each night sound
riding wave after wave
of life-filled delight
and fill all their needs

But some long most deeply
to soar above treetops
to feel all the force
all the fire of life
burning deep in the soul.


My inner self is part of a universal whole.  As I respond to the divinity in the natural world around me, I open to my experience the corresponding good that lies in my soul.

My deepest longings are toward what will enrich my being.  The good in me longs to be part of my conscious life and a closeness with nature provides an opening to these inner realities of the soul.

I believe in the oneness of mind, spirit and the world around me.  In opening my spirit to the natural union of all life, I find peace.


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