Is our consciousness passive? Are you staring blankly at the world?

Discussions on: Urpflanze (what the hell is that?)

“The problem is that we are unaware of ourselves as free, spiritual beings. We are also unaware of the immense creative power of our own consciousness…Most of the time, we stare blankly at the world, accepting the poker face it returns, unconsciously confirming the misconception that our consciousness is passive and undermining any possibility of motivating ourselves into pouring more energy into our awareness.”

Time to go camping!

I spent a lot of time thinking about my position on this planet over my holiday. Sorry for not keeping in contact – I had to shut down and reconnect with myself. So I went camping with The Boyf.

Oh and wasn’t it lovely! The best part is really being closer to nature and getting in touch with the ‘real me’. The physical part of me that has the most basic human needs: must eat, must drink, must sleep, must have shelter…always wanting kisses. We could collect our water from the river and when something needed to be built, we could try to create it from the things that we brought with us.

Who was Goethe? 

Goethe was a German writer, scientist and politician who had some very progressive thoughts. One of his works, The Metamorphosis of Plants, was published in 1790, a time of great interest and discovery, especially for the natural world. Only 2 years earlier, my beautiful country of Australia was colonised by the Brits. People were discovering new lands and were cataloguing the various flora and fauna that they discovered. A few explorers were eaten by cannibals. Times were fun. Science and discovery abounded and flourished.

Goethe’s studies on The Metamorphosis of Plants

From Wikipedia: In The Metamorphosis of Plants, ‘Goethe essentially discovered the (serially) homologous nature of leaf organs in plants, from cotyledons, to photosynthetic leaves, to the petals of a flower.’

Here are Goethe’s own beautiful words:

‘The ever-changing display of plant forms, which I have followed for so many years, awakens increasingly within me the notion: The plant forms which surround us were not all created at some given point in time and then locked into the given form, they have been given… a felicitous mobility and plasticity that allows them to grow and adapt themselves to many different conditions in many different places.’ (source, Wikipedia article “Goethean Science”)

You, me, the plants, the planet

While camping, I spent a lot of time thinking about plants. What is their place on this planet? What sort of life do they have? We know that plants are living, growing things…but what, if any, level of consciousness do they have? What point do they really serve? Are they happy? Do they have any connection with God or with a Higher Power of any kind? Can they pray?

Poor little things, I think, so small and not as clever as me and my fellow humans. What a terrible thing to think, I think, but perhaps all humans have a sort of superiority complex. We certainly act like it.

Imaginative Observation 

“Goethe explained that through a long process of disciplined “imaginative observation,” he had brought himself to the point where he could perceive – that is, actually see – the archetype of all plants, the original plant from which all others developed, what he called the Urpflanze.”

I can’t remember where I read it, but Goethe, I think, believed that we could learn about our own position on the planet, and indeed, the universe, by meditating on this observation. As one plant originates from another, so too did this body of mine originate from my ancestors.

Sometimes I feel so new, so naïve, so small.

And yet

When I walk alongside these plants, trees, flowers… I think, “Just as your new body has sprung up and soon shall die, so has this body of mine.”

But my Urpflanze will carry on.

This body of mine is finite, as is everything on this Earth, I guess.

I am, and so are you, as ancient as the trees, the rock, the Earth.

As I walked through the trees, I thought to myself, “In the past, my ancestors walked alongside yours.” I have just as much age and right to be here, even though I feel so small and insignificant, my life so pointless and tiny.

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