Divine Reflections in Natural Phenomena explores how spiritual realities can be glimpsed in the world of nature.
Has the voice of creation – life and its wonder, beauty and harmony – ever touched and spoken to your heart? Why not carve a little time out of your daily routine to take a deeper look at life’s mysteries all around. Listen and ponder your insights. Your life may never be the same.
The Divine is understood by religious traditions to be transcendent, immanent and personal. Various faiths may emphasise one of these aspects over the others. In the East, for example in India, religion is largely a matter of direct experience and a sense of the sacred is everywhere. In the West, by contrast, correct teachings and beliefs have often been the point of focus.
Few would question the importance of sound teachings. Nevertheless, God is far outside of our realm of perception and comprehension, and therefore human language becomes limited in accurately formulating concepts about the Divine.
This book (the second of a trilogy) suggests that the Divine can be experienced all around us – that indeed everything is sacred and as such, teaches us about and brings us closer to God. In other words, the immanent aspect of the Divine pervades all things, enabling us to catch glimpses of the transcendent reality. Increased consciousness of the Creator in the seemingly ordinary and mundane will help us appreciate divine qualities in the creation. Furthermore, it will awaken our own creative potential, since we are not only in God in the sense of deriving life from God (as is all that exists), but are also made in the divine image and therefore co-workers and co-creators with God!
For centuries, nature has been seen by many as the second book of divine revelation, next to inspired writings. Through nature we can, by grace, unexpectedly and often in surprising ways, encounter the Divine. When this happens, the literal becomes a metaphor which invites us to explore its larger and deeper meanings. By looking for the sacred in the mundane, be it dew on the grass, clouds in the sky, or new growth in the spring, we can also perceive the interconnection (“inter-being”) of all things. Everything contains all else – the sun and clouds are in the grass and buds, which couldn’t come into existence without rain and sunshine.
By our becoming open to new possibilities and interpreting experiences in fresh ways, the ordinary becomes transformed into the extraordinary, and what we had previously not even noticed becomes wonderful. When we open our hearts and become emotionally receptive, we will notice surprising presences.
Today, after reading these words, why not make a personal commitment to slow down in order to awaken to the marvels of the natural world. Sit on the grass under a tree or on a park bench and look closely at what is around you, using the eyes and ears of both the head and heart. Become focused, giving close attention to what you see. Delight in the diversity of all things – the colours, sounds, smells, shapes and textures. In the richness of life, the creation is filled with inspiration.
Seek to be really aware, mindful and attentive to your surroundings. Open your senses, take a deep look, and truly experience things. Pay closer attention to the unusual flower or beetle, appreciate the beauty and diversity of both the living and non-living aspects of the creation. “Come and see”, as the Scriptures encourage. Become open to the unpredictable, to adventure – allow circumstances to spontaneously unfold. Then you, too, may well echo the words of the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
Sky picture: Naama Y. M.
Header photo: Eva Peck
For a free PDF download, go to Divine Reflections in Natural Phenomena.
Should you wish to purchase the book, click here.