Spiritual Encounters in Nature

Some weeks ago many of you responded to the meaningful experience Gerry relayed in his success story about a transformational day in the forest. Filed with a spontaneous energy and euphoria, he connected with a vitality he hadn’t felt in years. Gerry’s experience resonated with people because so many of us have had similar encounters in the wild. We still reserve a sacred vocabulary for nature with evocations of forest cathedrals and quiet reverence. The concept of the vision quest lingers in our culture. Figures in the major modern religions all faced times of temptation and transformation in the wild. Even in our modern times, being in the wild suggests encountering the raw and elemental.

We bring many motivations to our time in nature, and we return to our civilized lives with many benefits. We go to de-stress. To clear our heads. To break out of a funk. To grieve. To heal. To seek release from living in our heads or being overwhelmed by the routine of life. I’ve retreated to nature during some of the hardest times of my life – when I’ve been at major crossroads, when I’ve had to make painful decisions, when I’ve lost people I’ve cared about. Sometimes a day’s hike could offer clarity or restoration. Other times, I’ve stayed for a number of days not knowing when exactly I’d resurface.

Nature, of course, is neutral. We don’t find empathy there, but we do, I think, encounter an implicit acceptance. Whatever we bring – whether it be confusion, grief, illness, or hope – it fits there in the larger, continuing game of life. In the human (particularly modern) cultural realm, we attach all kinds of message, meanings, motivations to circumstances. We feel slighted. We feel lost. We feel stuck. Being in nature gives a unique context for examining whatever we’re experiencing. We gain distance. What does this individual event or phase in my life mean in the larger picture of millions of people or years of life on this earth? We can give ourselves over to the natural framework of life and see our circumstances against the larger continuity of life and death, plenty and hardship. It may not change the circumstances we struggle with, but it can restore breathing space again.

In the face of majesty, we stand in awe and bask in something more powerful and timeless than our individual lives. It’s not simply the grandiose backdrops of mountain summits or ocean expanses, however, that offer a sense of sanctuary. Sometimes the smallest, most modest natural environs restore us through their simple beauty and intimacy. Maybe it’s a field or a tree that we return to continually. Wait long enough, be still long enough, and amazing things can happen anywhere, I suppose.

Over the course of a day’s hike or in a sudden wonderstruck moment, many of us have felt the edges of our selves dissolve into the wild that surrounds us. We become without intention truly, unconsciously “of” our environments. Shedding the insular, constraining cages of our everyday hyperrationality – the mental chatter, the rigid expectations, and inevitable tension and failures that accompany them – identities and desires evaporate into the senses. For a time, we become raw awareness. The heightening of the senses alone can feel like a kind of animalistic thrill.

For our ancestors, the natural world was mystically animated in ways we moderns have a hard time grasping. Today we’re guided more by scientific interpretations of nature and the prevailing metaphysical and monotheistic religions that seat spiritual figures in the otherworldly. For our hunter gatherer and early “ancient” ancestors, the natural world then was the seat and center of spiritual force. The earth was their cosmological stage for the game of life, whose essential figures were of various animal species and whose plot lines were always in the present, spontaneous making. Everything from animal encounters to a season’s weather were part of a mystical dance between people and the forces of creation. Spiritual life was life itself, and vice versa. In the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, “Everything is full of gods.”

Of course, this enchantment came hand in hand with superstition and all of its limitations. Although today we have the knowledge of generations’ worth of scientific insight, we still crave that sense of connection and, as Jung and others have called it, “original knowing.” We’re naturally inclined to seek “spiritual” or (in less metaphysical terms) transcendent experience in the wild. These encounters fill some essential hunger in our deeper psychic layers.

From an evolutionary point of view, some researchers suggest that there’s adaptive benefit to these spiritually defined encounters. Researchers connected the “timelessness,” “spacelessness,” heightened sensory awareness, and subsequent diminished physical sensation subjects reported in one study with better “adaptive fitness” for decision making in survival situations. Likewise, they related the deep sense of unity with social bonding capacity.

Researchers have long noted the primacy of natural settings for transformational states. Many of us undoubtedly experience our deepest sense of “flow” in nature – either through simple presence in the wild or through challenging or even risk-driven endeavors. (It’s hard, for example, not to be humbled when feeling out the toeholds of a steep rock face.)

Yet, there are those moments of ecstasy as well. In his book Religion, Values, and Peak-Experiences, A. H. Maslow wrote how nature was a common catalyst for “peak experiences,” instances of deep joy and transcendental connectedness.

In this sense, spiritual experiences in nature aren’t so much about witnessing something of the natural world itself but rediscovering something in ourselves – perhaps the “wilderness within,” as Paul Shepard calls it. Our encounters are rare moments of deep spiritual consonance – a comforting, vital harmony within our most fundamental natures. Humans, after all, have both the gift and the hardship of living between two worlds – that of the wild that nurtured them and that of the cultures they create. More and more, the two realms grow further apart. These spiritual experiences perhaps embody a homecoming of sorts and offer balm for a deep homesickness we don’t realize we have.

Thanks for reading today, everyone. I’d love to hear your feedback – your own anecdotes and insights into transcendental experiences in the wild. Have a great end to the week.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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69 thoughts on “Spiritual Encounters in Nature”

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  1. I’ve often felt spiritual encounters in nature because it’s next to impossible for me to be in its majesty, serenity, awe-inspiring beauty without it pointing me to the One who created it. That’s why nature often feels like a cathedral — it’s a perfect setting in which to worship and connect with God, especially without the interruptions of our modern day lives.

    1. To be humbled by the surrounding majestic trees or monolithic valleys of granite, to feel small is actually one of the most moving positive experiences for me.
      Amazing to know that something so grand exists beyond myself or the touch of humans.

      And it’s so spirit cleansing. 3 days in Yosemite Valley or similar setting is like a month long vacation.

  2. Many great spiritual leaders spent time in a natural setting, meditating or praying. Religious writings are full of tales about people who were simple shepherds later elevated to spiritual leaders of the people (Moses, King David…)

    1. Nature is definitely one of the best places to meditate. It’s a meditating experience just to be far away from everything else, only listening to the sounds of nature itself.

  3. Treat the earth well.
    It was not given to you by your parents,
    it was loaned to you by your children.
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    we borrow it from our Children.
    ~ Ancient Indian Proverb ~

    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

    When all the trees have been cut down,
    when all the animals have been hunted,
    when all the waters are polluted,
    when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
    only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
    ~ Cree Prophecy ~

  4. Great post, Mark. Being suddenly away from the modern world absolutely changes the mindset and brings great clarity. When you have no phone, no computer, no one around you, ALL you have are your own thoughts. In the absence of external stimuli, you are forced to face yourself. That can be powerful stuff.

    You also realize that all the modern stresses – paying bills, trouble at work, responding to e-mails, squabbles with family, or eating an extra piece of apple pie – don’t matter when you’re in the middle of the woods. Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, they really don’t.

    1. I had this happen to me about 6 weeks ago. I was at a Bachelors party on Friday night without any internet connection. On Saturday I went to a cottage on Lake MIchigan with my brother to visit our parents. No internet and no cell phone reception!

      Thus, from about 2 pm on Friday till late Monday evening I did not touch the internet. It was beautiful and when I get the chance to do it again I will.

      The fact that I was disconnected and spending time on Lake Michigan was a ridiculous blessing. I’d love to have that happen on a weekly basis!

  5. Go camp out by yourself some time. No phone or anyway to contact the outside world and you will learn a lot about yourself. One of my more interesting life experiences.

    1. I’m all over this idea! And I’m most definitely up for doing it often. Soon, so soon… maybe I can start a “primal camp.”

      I’ll do it by myself a lot but I think it would kick ass to get primal folks to camp with each other. Next summer for sure.

  6. It is so sad that nature has been pushed further and further away from everyday life in today’s society. I know my boyfriend and I benefit from heading outside to go hiking, running, working out, wandering, laying in the grass, etc. I truly believe everyone should try to go outside every day (and rushing to the car doesn’t count). I know I need to work on that some days myself. It’s sad when you realize some days go by and you’ve been inside a box (no matter how large or small) the entire time.

    My favorite line from this post: In the face of majesty, we stand in awe and bask in something more powerful and timeless than our individual lives.

    I think that pretty much sums it up. Thanks for the beautiful post Mark!

    1. It’s SUPER sad! ;(

      We live in a wonderful world with so much stuff but I’m close to saying that the BAD has outweighed the GOOD from the agriculture revolution.

      I said I’m close… I don’t think I’ll ever get there unless obesity rates continue to increase over the next few decades. If we literally get sicker and sicker as a whole for the next 3 decades then I will say the BAD has outweighed the GOOD.

      We are supposed to be outside every moment of our life. It’s what our genes expect from us, right?!

  7. Hopi Prophecy

    “You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

    Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

    And there are things to be considered:
    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
    What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.

    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

    This could be a good time!

    There is a river flowing now very fast.
    It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.

    They will try to hold on to the shore.
    They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

    Know the river has its destination.

    The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of
    the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

    See who is in there with you and celebrate.

    At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
    Least of all, ourselves.

    For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a

    The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

    Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.

    All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

    –The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

  8. It is so much easier for me to quiet my soul, be still, and commune with God when I am outside surrounded by beauty.

    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy nature, Mark. 🙂

  9. I love it when things get deep over here at MDA. I have to say that one of the biggest benefits of going primal has been a deeper sense of connection to nature. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but I think I saw nature as a separate thing, a place I visited. Viewing it this way highlighted my “otherness” so that the ocean, for instance, could be a dangerous, and therefore frightening, place. Now that I see myself as part of the natural world, the otherness is gone, and the danger leaves me respectful but unafraid, and the acceptance I feel there is more freeing than ever before.

    1. I agree 100%. I love where Mark has taken this blog. All of this year has been less about food and nutrition and more about connecting with nature, play, etc. It’s what the world needs.

      Sure, nutrition is most important but if you don’t sleep and literally sit on your ass all day (I do believe that walking can do wonders) then nutrition won’t do shit for you.

      Move. Play. Sleep. Sunbathe. Educate. Love. Smile. Hug. Live.

  10. Another great post expanding the Primal world. I was raised in the country and seem to crave it in my bones. Some people love the city but it feels like disease to me.

  11. If you really want to feel connected with nature, try ditching the shoes.

    I used to go hiking in my Vibrams all the time, and that was pretty cool for a while (especially compared to the hiking boots I wore before). But now I just go barefoot, and it’s un-F’ing-believable!

    You can’t beat the literal “connection to nature” that you get from skin-to-the-ground contact.

    1. Yes I definitely feel more connected with nature when walking barefoot. I just love the feeling of walking barefoot on a grassy field. I haven’t tried the vibrams yet, but I’m really considering buying myself a pair of those.

      1. My new favorite feeling is walking on a muddy trail, or walking through a shallow stream. Freedom to walk where I want to without concern about getting shoes all dirty or soaked! It opens up trails I would otherwise not want to follow. Bare feet dry off very quickly, and most of the dirt brushes off easily too. It’s wonderfully liberating.

  12. One of the reasons I became a scoutmaster was the “excuse” to camp often, even if it is in the company of teenage boys. One of the most enjoyable experiences of my life was watching a sunset on Mount Phillips on the Philmont Scout Ranch four days into a ten day backpacking trip. Camp often. It is loads of fun. Make sure you take your kids at least some of the time. They need to know they don’t need an iPhone or MP3 player to have fun and relax.

  13. Is why I am pagan rather than belonging to a monotheistic religion. You can say that the latter have threads of connecting to nature but paganism is all about it.

    1. Harry, I have long been interested in the idea of Paganism, but don’t know much about it. Do you have any resources to share? Good websites or books? I feel it is a form of spirituality that would work better for me than sporadic church attendance!

  14. One of the best posts I’ve read here, both in terms of writing and content. You definitely have a gift in writing and communicating and your charisma is certainly one of the key factors in drawing people to the Primal Blueprint and keeping them there.

  15. Nature is all around us even when we wake up to the sun shining or clouds spewing rain, we acknowledge it everyday. I like your point about metaphysical and monotheistic religions seating major spiritual figures in the otherworld, because it is very true. The only way people can feel ‘god’ in nature is because they feel something so vast and beyond comprehension that they can only label it as a otherworldly being.

    I absolutely love being outdoors, and when people can admit that they experience full-out joy in their surroundings, it’s wonderful to hear, because that certainly isn’t always the case during day-to-day experiences.

  16. This is a great post. I used to feel more in touch with nature (and my spirituality) as a child playing outside, laying on the grass and staring at the clouds. Since going primal I’ve brought that wonderment back into my life. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than to be in nature (especially now with all the beautiful fall colors to enjoy) and to feel at peace.

  17. Wonderful post – love it! My BFF and I like to go to Rocky Mountain National Park before sunrise and hike to a high point where we can watch the sun come up and hear the elk bugling – absolutely awesome.

    1. Sunrise in the Rockies….that brings back memories. I loved being outside all the time when I lived in Colorado. Awe inspiring sights all around

  18. This primal-eating animist pagan enjoyed that very much, nicely done, thankyou 🙂

  19. Though I grew up in the ‘burbs, I’ve never been a “city” girl. I can’t stand traffic, noise, trash & pollution, crowds… just the general hustle of modern life raises my blood pressure into the stratosphere. I’ve always loved being outdoors, but as I’ve grown older, I (like many of us) have grown further and further away from the natural world in favor of convenience, entertainment, and the almighty paycheck. I can’t wait until this weekend; I’m going hiking in the hills of my hometown, and (if it’s warm enough) I’ll even do it barefoot. =)

    Thank you for a lovely post, Mark. It really has made my day.

  20. I know when I start to feel stressed, worried…I look to nature. I often take long slow paced walks through parks or just spend a full day outdoors. This helps me reset and decompress. I know when these symptoms reappear it’s because I haven’t spent enough time in nature.

  21. I am not monotheistic, I love every part of the earth and life. We are all connected, and in nature we can tap into it. I feel bad for people who stay indoors all the time, it makes me want to help them. Yay pagans! Although I’m more an animist.

    1. Also, I just walked outside barefoot and quickly was eaten by something and now my ankle is swelling. 🙁

  22. I had the most profound opportunity, to experience the dis-connect from ‘real’ life and to sink into the quietness of my own head, this summer. I was working on a glacier in Alaska where there was no cell phone reception, to internet, not even radio. There were 12 people and 171 dogs and a vast open space of ice and snow and rock and running water and sky. It took almost a month for my brain to just stop. At first it was still chattering on about things back home, bills, people, whatever. But eventually it just ran out. I honestly feel that for the first time in my life I actually quit thinking. My brain was concerned only with the tasks in front of me (taking tourists for a short dog sled ride, managing my dogs, shoveling snow) and didn’t fret over what else needed doing or how so and so would react to such and such. No cell phone ringing to interrupt me. Being outside in the air every day, every minute, 24 hours a day (we were living in tents that were not air proof and left you with a great connection to the outside), working hard and sleeping hard. It was a beautiful thing.

  23. Whenever I feel like I need to work out a strategy or plan something, I strap on my Fives and go for a nice little trail walk in the hills by my home. I always return with my vibration high and an optimism that everything is just right. This is my “FORTRESS of SOLITUDE” so to speak.

  24. Getting rid of the cell phone is like silencing a screaming monkey for good. I ditched mine years ago. Even if you don’t live near nature, getting rid of the phone helps you become a little more human again.

  25. Boy, does this post resonate with me.

    Five months ago I moved from a large urban area to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina — a dream come true. While I live in a small town, I’m only 10 minutes from Pisgah National Forest, more than 500,000 acres of mountains, river valleys and wilderness areas.

    I’m not far enough along on my primal reinvention journey to be hiking the most difficult trails or in the wilderness areas – yet. But I’ve been walking the flatter, easier trails more frequently and for longer distances.

    The town I live in, Brevard, had the foresight to connect it’s new exercise trail with a trail in the National Forest (and maybe one of the only in the country to do so.) So it’s easy to park the car and in minutes, be in the forest.

    Granted, it’s a busy, populated part of the forest, next to picnic areas and campgrounds. But the sense of connection I get from walking through the forest, next to the river is no less profound and deep. Just driving to the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, seeing the mountains just outside town, makes me catch my breath and deeply exhale. This is an experience I had a few times a year — not a week — where I previously lived.

    It’s hard to describe the sense of deep contentment I feel, but Mark did a great job. I’m happier, healthier and stronger than before I moved.

    My fitness and weight loss goal through primal living and eating is to be able to hike these mountains with ease. I just got the 21-Day Transformation book and feel even more prepared to make that happen, as I reconnect with the earth every day.

    Thanks for saying it so eloquently, Mark.

    1. Yes, Brevard is wonderfull. It’s got enough “culture”, good food,and good music to satisfy , and the natural setting is amazing. I live in Greenville,SC and will make it a point to visit Brevard soon.

  26. Those quiet moments in the forest are some of the best moments in my life.

    Though of course, sometimes, I gotta break that silence by screaming out some of Aerosmith’s Dream On..

  27. It’s like my buddy says “I’d rather be on the trail, thinking about God than in church thinking about the trail”.

  28. I got very homesick reading this.

    Right now I’m imprisoned in Houston. It’s so ugly that it makes the people in it horrible. I have been photographing the ugliness as a way to come to terms with it. but I really, really want to go home, back to my rural home in Tn, where I really live.

    I just work here, unfortunately.

  29. For the past 5 winters I’ve purposely taken a 2 or 3 day solo ski trip to reflect & unwind. There is nothing like the serenity on a slope @ 10,000 ft. The majesty of the Rockies is my retreat. No wife and/or friends to fill every waking hour with group activities. Those days alone have helped me cope with all the issues associated with my daily rat race. My wife does not have a problem with my getaways as she does the same thing at luxury spas. We support each others alone time.

  30. The natural world is our “church”. We go to nature to heal, cleanse, reconnect with ourselves and each other. We often say it’s time to go and recharge our batteries. I would be a nut case if I couldn’t get my dose of nature. Frequently!!

  31. Earlier this evening, I walked out behind my home, past the pond and forest, into the meadow beyond, and I caught a glipmse of a white-tailed deer leaping awy, tail waving. As an atheist, I am no less moved by the wonder of it all. The wide blades of grass are no less miraculous than we are. I once read that since the planet was formed of space debris, and everything we are can be traced back to the earth, we, and everything around us is made of stardust. Cool, eh?

  32. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. When I was at my highest weight of 275 and dealing with feelings of not fitting in (literally) and depression, I started going to the local park. Walking in the woods, making my way over trees and creeks, it was as if nature said “welcome, you do fit in the world”. It was transformative and helped me tune in to my body and start getting healthy.

  33. Thank you Mark for reminding all of us to reconnect with the wild places. My heart bursts with joy when I climb a mountain! And it ain’t just because of the altitude! A few years ago 5 of us Moms decided to hike Half Dome. We trained all summer and a wonderful fellowship developed between us. Having this mutual goal and accomplishment that came to fruition on a mountain top was beyond exhilarating.

    On a related note, I am reminded of a book “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. It talks about saving children from “Nature Deficit Disorder”, which is not a medical condition, but rather the human costs of alienation from nature. For children, for all of us, nature is essential for emotional, physical and spiritual balance. Again, thank you Mark, for steering us back into the wild!

  34. I’m very fortunate to live on a continent synonymous with wild life and nature.

    I make an effort to go to the National Wildlife parks in South Africa every year and never grow tired of it.

    There is something so primal about being in close proximity to what would under normal circumstances be our predators that it is hard to explain.

    You always come away with a huge amount of respect and awe having had some small insight into a world that thrives without human interference on a daily basis.

    In those moments, nothing matters but the moment itself. It kind of brings you back to who you’re supposed to be.

  35. great post mark – and my first comment on your blog!
    having moved to a semi rural house on 4 acres just outside of perth western australia, i can whole heartedly agree.
    after 16 years in the city, relocating to this area due to my wifes love of horses and her clinical depression has been the best thing not just for her, but also for a reluctant husband who didnt want to leave the convenience and the illusion of security the city provides us.
    the good, the bad and the downright crazy that nature throws up out here humbles me and really shows how unconditional it can all be.
    couple that with the CHEK journey i am taking, i can honestly tell you that my wife is better, my life is better, my soul and spirit are better and even business is better!

  36. I consider a good long hike amongst ginormous trees to be my reset button, whether it’s my state of mind, diet, or whole life that’s gotten out of whack. Kind of like a meditation, but moving. Unfortunately, I only get a chance once every few weeks these days, so I appreciate it all the more. Occasionally, I get to the beach, which is always amazing to me, so powerful.

  37. I remember feeling closest to nature when I was a child – knowing and not knowing that I was carried by nature’s comfort in a way that the adults in my life were not…it made me feel rooted to the earth. Growing up in the world I did however, connecting with nature in that way was frowned upon because that’s not the way the world had evolved – it wasn’t ‘natural’. In retrospect though, the naive child of years past knew innately how to connect to nature in a way that some of us strive to do today…I think getting back in touch with the innocence of our childhood will help create a gateway to the spiritual experience we long for in nature as adults.

  38. I’m grateful that I grew up in the countryside – it just made me the person I am I suppose. Growing up somewhere you wake up to the sound of the cockerel cry, walk in Crisp, frosty air to collect water from the well, grow everything you eat really affects – positively – the shaping of your character and the way you look at things. Though I live in the big city now – and I think I wouldn’t change that – I go back to nature for inspiration, peace, and a sense of oneness.

  39. When people ask me what if any religion I belong to I reply “The Church of the White Birch”

  40. True, Nature is my church, my cathedral. Even religion itself can be seen as man’s interpretation of God. Where in nature, we are surrounded by our creator’s work in its most perfect form. The trees, and animals, water and rocks are just existing as they are supposed to. They are guded by natural rhythms that we have cut ourselves off from. Those nuances go so deeply. Simply getting more sun and regulating our circadium rhythm is simply scratching the surface. For me, science and God are not seperate. The more we learn, the more we realize how beautifully orchestrated this universe really is. And yes, all my life, when I have gone in search of something within myself, I have found it by seeking out Nature. I always went there for “breathing space” in the most trying times of my life.Just as famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “I believe in God, only I spell it NATURE.”

  41. I am a Christian. I believe that God created everything, including nature. Being in the outdoors is like being close to God. That’s why it’s so incredibly breath-taking.

  42. Some time ago I had a log cabin rental business – renting out rustic little log cabins

    So many of my customers returned from their cabin retreats changed in some deep or profound way. I’ve never known anyone have much of a life changing experience from a typical commercial beach holiday.

    Whether it is reconnecting with nature, simply having thinking space, reconnecting with your partner or simply reconnecting with yourself, whatever you need, nature offers it up for us.

    In the words of John Muir “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in”

  43. Great post, Mark.

    You might like this:

    “You see, this big tree that we go around and put milk on, we’re praying here. That’s not God, but this is where our mothers and their mothers and their mothers all came and prayed. And that’s why we’re all here.” — Maasai women explaining to Eugene Hillman, a Catholic priest, about the sacredness of oreteti trees, whose tangled webs of descending vines and rising roots symbolize God’s intimate connection with the world. From Dorothy Hodgson’s “The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai and Missionaries.”

    Regarding, “Everything is full of gods.” I searched “everywhere present and filling all things” on Google and most of what came up is Christian. Also, search “panentheism,” and you will find a fine line between it and pantheism. I know the Maasai are not hunter-gatherers but from what I have read their spiritual beliefs are probably also best described as panentheist.

    I don’t think that panentheism makes God more distant than pantheism does. If anything, though, the distinction of individual beings with permanent underlying principles does allow for a system of individual rights. In Western Europe and America, I think we’ve really failed to strike the balance on this one. We’ve done a good job promoting individual rights but really lost the ball on… well, everything you’re writing about here.


  44. Hi Mark,
    Living in the Conrete jungles ,when i am driving in a hurry for a photo shoot,when i am greeted with a traffic jam, inspite of me leaving my home very early.When i cannot get a parking place,when i cannot get organic food supply easily,my BP shoots up,inspite of practising Yoga.
    Well people say that our Brain must have a frequency of 7.83htz,for further understanding in detail plz read this.https://www.humansustainabilityinstitute.com/index.php?option=com_resource&controller=article&article=88&category_id=1&Itemid=24.
    Eg, when we drive,metal stress accompanies us,residing in unecofriendly and EMF also conributes sizeably,negative eating..which is Food and behaviour is the main culprit on top of all this,last but not the least is the Greed in us.
    Their is enough for a Man’s need in this world but not for his Greed.
    Food for thought.