The Fifteen Acres
I cling and swing
On a branch, or sing
Through the cool, clear hush of Morning, O!
Or fling my wing
On the air, and bring
To sleepier birds a warning, O!
That the night’s in flight,
And the sun’s in sight,
And the dew is the grass adorning, O!
And the green leaves swing
As I sing, sing, sing,
Up by the river,
Down the dell,
To the little wee nest,
Where the big tree fell,
So early in the morning, O!
I flit and twit
In the sun for a bit
When his light so bright is shining, O!
Or sit and fit
My plumes, or knit
Straw plaits for the nest’s nice lining, O!
And she with glee
Shows unto me
Underneath her wings reclining, O!
And I sing that Peg
Has an egg, egg, egg,
Up by the oat-field,
Round by the mill,
Past the meadow,
Down the hill,
So early in the morning, O!
I stoop and swoop
On the air, or loop
Through the trees, and then go soaring, O!
To group with a troop
On the gusty poop
While the wind behind is roaring, O!
I skim and swim
By a cloud’s red rim
And up the the azure flooring, O!
And my wide wings drip
As I slip, slip, slip,
Down through the raindrops,
Back where Peg
Broods in the nest
On the little white egg,
So early in the morning, O!
– James Stephens
Out of respect for Thanksgiving (which is virtually upon us) I wish to say a few words about gratitude … its importance … and particularly – WHY we need it. Why we should cultivate it.
Western Civilization imagines that we live in a material universe … a BIG MACHINE. This notion is(at once) one of the most essential beliefs of our society … and one of our biggest (philosophical) ‘mistakes’. It puts us at a tremendous disadvantage.
[The pharmaceutical industry is now over a TRILLION dollar industry (worldwide … and nearly half of that is in the U.S.) Should we suppose that they do not know – that they ‘have a dog in this race’? They CONSTANTLY tell us – that our bodies are MACHINES; and when it malfunctions, we should INGEST SOMETHING (which they will kindly make available to us, thank goodness). Would you care to arm wrestle with the marketing arm of Big Pharma? Even so – this is no time to forget about the Great War of Ideas.]
Let me say some things about our relationship with the cold. It turns out that one of the most important aspects of this – is our emotionality, our feelings – our attitude toward the cold (being in cold weather). [One of the most eloquent treatments of this may be found in Tom Brown Jr.’s book – “The Search” in his chapter on ‘Cold Training’]
Our attitudes ‘fall out’ of our beliefs. We evidently regard ourselves as Strangers here (in this world). The fact that we throw tons of trash out our car windows … is a clear indicator of this. If we saw ourselves as the earth’s beloved children … well, we would NOT DO such a thing to our Dear Mother!
Isn’t that right?
We do NOT feel connected. (We are alienated) Mmm?
My best friend grew up on a ranch in Montana. And he told me that it’s NOT a good idea to bundle up as soon as the cold weather comes. It DOESN’T WORK. You’ll be cold all winter! You need to let yourself get cold when the cold weather comes. Then, you can wear a light jacket … and be warm all winter.
Well, when we were living together in Seattle, we decided we would TEST THIS. You might think that Seattle has mild winters; and I wouldn’t argue that. But, it’s often rainy … and it might be windy. So it’s enough. If you’ve a mind to get cold, you can do it … even in Seattle. Anyway, here’s what we did. We made a point of NOT wearing warm clothes when we’d go out. We exposed ourselves to the cold … whatever there was (and there WAS some). And – here’s what we found. After a few weeks of deliberate exposure, we found we were pretty COMFORTABLE in ‘the weather’. And it was NOT just psychological. We were ACTUALLY warmer. Our bodies changed. It was quite clear. Dramatic even. We found we’d never been so comfortable in the cold.
And here’s what it means.
It means that we have (all) been given a physiology which will MAKE SEASONAL ADAPTATIONS … IF WE LET IT.
It means that WE ARE NOT STRANGERS HERE. We BELONG here!
There is continuity. There is connection – between the world (which gave rise to our bodies) … and our bodies that we now show up with.
There is (certainly) a (physical / material) dialog which goes on between our bodies … and the world, when the cold weather comes.
But … there’s more.
I believe that there’s ALSO an emotional component. A language, if you will – of EMOTIONS. And it’s common – BOTH to us (creatures) AND to the CREATION (which produced us, and in which we live)
And THAT’S why we need Gratitude.
Gratitude is both an emotion … and an attitude. (It’s the attitude of Grace) It acknowledges the connection between us (creatures) and the Creation … and the Love which flows between us. [Just like – my mother and father love me … then I love my Mother & Father] Mmm?
Here is a story (by Holly R.) which was emailed to me (by Rhonda Byrne) nearly 2 years ago:
Gratitude is Magic
I have always been an active believer in The Secret since its release, but I sometimes needed a shake in the right direction to get back on track.
Two years ago my husband and I had two big dreams; to sell our house and move into a bigger one and to have a second child. To get The Secret working in our favor, I wrote down everything I wanted in a dream house. The shape, size, features, even the neighborhood we wanted to live in. I began to imagine a child in my belly. I felt the sensations of a baby kicking and envisioned a positive pregnancy test. Suddenly the house that I’d been dreaming of appeared in my real estate listings and it was even better than I’d ever imagined. We placed a bid without hesitation and were accepted, pending the sale of our current home. That same week I discovered I was pregnant. All was looking great.
Just two weeks later our house received an offer. We set a close date and began to make plans. However, suddenly the offer fell through and things started to crumble. The vendors of our dream house began to lose faith in us. Then to my disbelief, I miscarried the baby. I was devastated. I had lost faith and things were disappearing from my life.
As part of our recovery, we decided to take a family trip. I felt compelled to buy “The Magic” on our travels, and I found the book after a chance stop. I began to practice the daily activities immediately. My favorite was the activity to list ten reasons why you are grateful for when something goes wrong. I managed to find ten reasons why I was glad the house deal had fallen through, and even ten for why I was grateful that I miscarried. I focused on things like timing, and the baby’s health, reasoning that it was all for a bigger purpose. At my work I began a staff “Thank You” project where my co-workers filled out thank you slips for each other, thanking them for any and every little thing. Every month I did a draw where two lucky people who had been thanked, won a small prize. Then I distributed all the thank you slips to their recipients. The ripple effect was amazing! Everyone loved being appreciated and each month the number of slips being given grew and grew!
Just two short weeks after I finished up The Magic practices, something amazing happened. A new potential buyer wanted to view our current house. I sprinkled Magic Dust on the stairs at the entrance as I left before she arrived. It worked! We got another bid on our house and this time it went through. We went for another viewing of our dream house and this time, I really visualized living in it. I touched door knobs and light switches, transporting myself to the future when doing these things would just be part of my regular day. I wrote my name with new address over and over again. I could feel the vibration of the attraction frequency and when we contacted the vendors, we managed to convince them to accept another offer from us. While we waited to hear back from our realtor, I felt nauseated, so we purchased a pregnancy test. Within an hour of each other, we found out we were pregnant and that our house deal was finally done!
Now I sit in that dream house, just as I envisioned, while my new baby sleeps down the hall. I know that The Magic got these things for me and that I can turn negative circumstances completely upside down. Now I practice The Magic activities as part of my daily routine and know that as long as faith is stronger than fear, the sky is the limit to what I can have!
“Gratitude makes relationships flourish. As you increase your gratitude for any relationship, you will magically receive an abundance of happiness and good things in that relationship.”
—from The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne
In the (famous) Double-Slit experiment, it is observed that – when photons (or electrons) are fired (even one-at-a-time) at an opaque plate containing two slits (such that the particle must pass through one slit or the other) and then strikes a recording screen … a pattern is observed on the screen as though the particles were not particles but a wave. But since individual electrons (or photons, or molecules) can NOT interact with each other if they are fired one at a time, then the pattern found on the screen is considered to be a probability wave.
However, if detectors are placed at the slits, (such that it is KNOWN which slit the particle passes through, when it is fired) then no probability wave will be generated.
This is shocking – because it means that the experimenter has an influential role in the outcome of the experiment. It was thought that the role of an observer is merely a passive one, and would NOT influence the outcome. But in quantum mechanical phenomena, this turns out NOT to be so. The observer plays a role in the phenomenon being studied … unavoidably.
I would suggest that this is because the Field of Consciousness really IS the ‘Field of All Possibilities’ (as Maharishi so many times told us). If the Field of Consciousness is an omnipresent field, inter-permeating all … then perhaps it is in constant interaction with all quantum mechanical phenomena (what we call ‘the world’) … and (automatically) influences HOW the world arises … (what happens)!
And our emotions and attitudes will be a part of that (of determining / causing what happens) !
By the way, the reason I chose Stephens’ poem (The Fifteen Acres) as the epigram for this essay … is because I wanted to show you that the world we live in is (much) more than a big machine. It’s full of consciousness … full of emotions. And besides … the poem is a fine example of Gratitude.