March 12 – In the Likeness of Everything – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Everything in the Universe is interconnected. Within each it is reflected.” Lourdes Pita

I think this insight explains why we are so drawn to certain things; why, of all the fallen branches, I will go to the one that most resembles the way I’ve had to bend all my life; why, of all places you could return to, you choose the lip of a cliff worn featureless by wind, because it lets you feel the worn lip of your heart that you show no one.

It seems that we humans have always been drawn to find ourselves in the life about us. But too often, in doing so we break everything down until everything resembles us. Too often, though we seldom mean to, we take in life the way we do food, chewing it into unrecognizable bits that need to be swallowed.  But the kind of food that living offers must be take in whole, as it is, or it loses its wisdom and power and grace.

So, this is our ongoing challenge; not to turn everything into us. In truth, the deepest function of humility is that it helps us take experience in its own terms, not violating its own nature – all in an effort to be nourished by life that is different from us. Through this effort, we find the corresponding seeds of such life in us.  They are the common seeds of grace that can sustain us.

In truth, we each carry within our own innate makeup, like chromosomes, the minute aspects of everything that forms the Universe. And so, the art of freedom becomes the necessary adventure of grasping the secrets that are everywhere in the open and stirring their aspects within us, in such a way that we come alive; learning from the fish how to surface and dive, from the flower how to open and accept, from the stone how to crack and let light in, and from the birds, thats wings are more useful at times than brains.

Rather than finding ourselves in everything, we are challenged daily to find everything in ourselves, until being human is evolving inwardly in the likeness of everything, shaping ourselves to the wonders we find, until like birds, who have known this forever, we too make song at the mere appearance of light.

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