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Center for Action and Contemplation

Nature as the First Bible: Weekly Summary

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nature as the First Bible

Summary: Sunday, January 18-Friday, January 23, 2015

“Creation is the primary and most perfect revelation of the Divine.” –Thomas Aquinas (Sunday)

Creation is our first and final cathedral. Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing. (Monday)

Matter is the outer lovely form, but Spirit is the inner source, coherence, and energy for everything that we know and see. (Tuesday)

Everything bears the divine fingerprint, footprint, and “similitude.” (Wednesday)

“We are created to read the book of creation so that we may know the Author of Life.” –Ilia Delio, OSF (Thursday)

The wondrous nature of the world itself is the universal religion that precedes all later religions. (Friday)


Practice: Wandering in Nature

Although creation may be “wordless,” we can still dialogue with it. Bill Plotkin suggests a practice of “talking across the species boundaries” in his book Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (pp. 168-169):

“Go wandering [in nature]. Bring your journal…. Wander aimlessly until you feel called by something that draws your attention, by way of an attraction, a curiosity, an allurement, a repulsion, a fear…. Whatever it is, sit and observe it closely for a good length of time. Interact with your senses, offer your full visual and aural attention to the Other. Record in your journal what you observe.

“Then introduce yourself, out loud—yes, out loud.… Tell this being about yourself.… Tell the truth, your deepest, most intimate truth. In addition to ordinary human language, you might choose to speak with song, poetry … movement, gesture, dance. Then, using the same speech options, tell that being everything about it you have noticed…. Keep communicating no matter what…until it interrupts you.

“Then stop and listen. Listen with your ears, eyes, nose, skin, intuition, feeling, and imagination…. In your journal, record and/or draw what happens. Offer the Other your gratitude and a gift….a song, a dance, a lock of hair, praise…some water….

“Enter your conversations with the Others with the intention of learning about them and developing a relationship, but don’t be surprised if you thereby discover more about yourself.” And, I would add, more about God who created them.

Gateway to Silence:
Let all the earth bless the Lord.

For further study:
The Cosmic Christ (CD, MP3 download)

In the Footsteps of Francis: Awakening to Creation (CD, MP3 download)

A New Cosmology: Nature as the First Bible (CD, MP3 download)

Soul Centering through Nature (CD, MP3 download)

St. Paul: The Misunderstood Mystic (CD, MP3 download)

Image Credit: The Laas Geel cave paintings (detail), Lass Geel, Somalia, Horn of Africa (9,000–3,000 BCE)
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