series of beings : ACCEPTANCE

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As I was going through my photographic archive I noticed a picture of a tree I am always drawn to as I pass it by. I realised I photographed it on two occasions for the same reason. Once about six years ago, and not too long ago for the second time. 

Apart from the change in how I photograph and my medium of choice (I'm in love with my converted Hasselblad that now takes panoramic shots), I noticed the progress of the carve made by the ball-shaped part of the fencing that sits just by the tree's body. As the carve deepens and extends, allowing the tree to lean and bend more strongly to one side over time, it reveals how adaptable nature can be. And while I have already observed that characteristic in my Remanoir project about abandoned quarries, a new level of understanding emerged as I studied the image of the beautiful tree. 

"Cogito, ergo sum." 

- René Descartes

While most people will be familiar with the famous philosophical proposition of René Descartes, I see it more truthful to admit that I know that I exist because I am aware of myself and everything that surrounds me, rather than because I have thoughts (or doubts, as further explained by the philosopher). When I go a little further into this concept I notice that how I am aware of myself is by observation with my senses (or consciousness, to be more accurate), rather than thought. When I meditate I don't think, I observe the thoughts and sensations as they arise. It's as if I didn't produce but received and channelled them. 

"Instead of like billiard balls, thoughts are really like flying fish." 

- Dr David R. Hawkins

It amused me when Dr David R. Hawkins compared thoughts to fish that jump out of water spontaneously and independent of one another. According to him (and his studies), thoughts appear individually and sequentially. Because the reality is based in the dimension of time and space, we perceive the thoughts, as well as events that occur, in time sequence. Therefore we reason that one is a result of another. But then again, when we meditate or even sleep, there are no thoughts present, which suggests that in fact thoughts are received (how? I'll note in another episode of series of beings).  

The thing about nature is that it hasn't got the capacity to think. Some could say that it's advantageous as organic beings don't need to deal with the constant chatter in their minds. However, if we meditate, we know that it is not compulsory to be troubled with our thoughts. Human beings are equipped with many systems the animal and floral kingdom don't have and it is marvellous news for us! Many consider themselves at the top of an evolutionary pyramid because of these developments to a human form. 

Now, because of our ability to reason and think we could perceive the carve made by the obstacle in the trunk of the tree as damage and fantasise about the beauty and strength of the tree had it not have to deal with the obstruction. But what we don't see is the inside of the living thing and all the processes that it went through to grow passed the condition. When a sample of a tree trunk is studied it can reveal many examples of interference that trees overcome in order to progress in their development. They grow and expand in spite of the perceived difficulty, not because of it. It's as if there was a power greater than any of the hardships, that keeps life going. 

“How wonderful! How wonderful! All things are perfect, exactly as they are.”

- Buddha

To accept ourselves and our environment as they are is to allow ourselves to make adaptation possible. The truth is that everything we perceive: our body, our behaviour, the buildings we occupy, the places we visit and other people we encounter - all change continually. Every present moment is in the past when we think of it. Everything is in constant flux. Changes occur continuously and we shall not be afraid of them but embrace them and use as opportunities. They are a fact of life and what makes the expansion of ourselves and the whole of the universe possible. 

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