Who said humans were the wisest?

In conventional western thinking, it’s all about me. And if it’s not all about me, then it’s all about us humans.

I am conditioned to want to impress upon, or be impressed by, other human beings. This is normal, and it’s OK.

My own journeys are also teaching me that in the middle world, the level of reality beyond the physical level that is most intertwined with the physical level – the place in shamanism where the spirits of all that is manifest reside – some of the wisest beings are beings like trees, or even the ground itself.

These are aspects of manifest reality which, because they do not have language or synapses, we regard as dumb, lame, or even lifeless. A shaman would never agree that this is how reality is; it is only one layer of present reality. It is not a complete way of seeing.

A shaman might also say that it is our incomplete understanding of reality that is odd, not that it is odd to regard all manifest things as having spirit.

My latest journey showed me a tree that stands nearby. It is very wise. It pitied me with an old expression regarding my assumption that I mean something significant; that my life must mean something important; that I can ever be anything other than a body returning to the ground, feeding the maggots, and sending nutrients into the roots of plants not yet germinated.

In this way, I am reminded of impermanence. I am reminded that my ‘salvation projects’ (Richard Rohr) are mostly futile and mostly egotic. The life that is in Tree is the life that is in me is the life that brings life to my life.

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