My regular walk takes me along country lanes; there are hedgerows filled with life where greenery is bursting forth and birds are busy nesting. I pass by trees young and old and behind them are rolling fields; some are ploughed and some lie fallow. The sounds of new lambs and cattle and buzzing bees and distant barking dogs are heard on the cool spring breeze. The sun is pleasantly warm but the outdoorsman still wears a couple of layers, for the weather is changeable.
After a while there is a gate; it is a wooden gate but it is not used these days. The hinges are broken and there is moss on the leeward side. Grass has grown up against it and ivy now creeps over it from the hedge. Its practical use as a gate has long passed, yet it now provides a perfect resting spot for the lone walker to lean upon. There are many places en route to stop and rest awhile, but the view from the old gate is unsurpassed.
Looking over the gate, an overgrown track can be seen which runs across a meadow (where a variety of grasses and wildflowers grow) and disappears into a wooded grove. Provided one looks straight ahead, wilfully blinkered, nothing modern can be seen. With some imagination, visions of old-time farmhands can be conjured up, working the land, sowing spring seeds or building ricks of hay in autumn.
It is a good time to pause and think.
The seasoned spiritual man can find solace anywhere; in a busy office environment it is possible to focus the attention onto the breath and be at peace. But for everyone else, the modern world is not conducive to meditation practice. In the office there is noise; people talking, telephones ringing, beeps and pings from electronic devices. Yet in the countryside there is also much noise; the aforementioned bees, cows, dogs and the wind whipping through the hedgerow. So clearly it is not noise per se that hampers spiritual exploration.
The obvious answer is that nature’s sights and sounds have a positive effect on our state of being. One can relax into natural sounds rather than be agitated by them.
So how can the natural environment aid our spiritual and political world view? Consider the following.
Readers of the articles and books presented by Arktos do so not simply for entertainment but because they wish to play their part in building a new future for our folk. Whether in England or America, Russia or Italy – despite nationalistic differences, all have this as a common goal.
But who offers the solutions to our problems? Evola or Dugin? Guenon or Benoist? Spengler or Sunic?
The real problem of the modern world is that, in the first instance, we look outwards for answers. Clearly the authors presented by Arktos have merit. But to create solutions we must feed the information into a machine which works correctly.
Right now, we are akin to a computer afflicted by a virus. Whatever information is inputted goes awry because our processor is befuddled.
Religious folk may look to the skies for answers while atheists look to science. Both of those things are ‘out there’ whereas what must first be done is to fix what is ‘in here’. And so, as a springtime exercise, I would like readers to partake in a challenge of sorts. Let us call this ‘Into the wild with the eyes of a child’.
Ideally, this will be an overnight excursion, for it takes time to properly remove oneself from the humdrum of the Western lifestyle. One should pick a location such as a woodland off the beaten track and enter it with minimal provisions other than that which is essential. The entire process must be thought of as a meditation; by this I mean that one should be mindful throughout the entire experience. Each footstep will be felt and noticed, and specifically one must look at each sight ‘through the eyes of a child’.
Recall how much wonder you felt as a youngster when setting off on a quest. Perhaps the adventure was simply building a den at the bottom of the garden, or maybe it was entirely imaginary while reading a book of fiction.
Now delve deep inside yourself; are your ideas good for your wellbeing? Do they build strength and courage in your children? Consider carefully if the easy path is correct. Does nature flourish when things are easy? Yes… but does this create resilience?
Nature is an excellent teacher because it is always right. No matter how many books are read, nothing is more right than nature, at least in the material plane in which we find ourselves.
Take time to do this task. Absorb the natural environment but look inwards. The norms of the modern world dictate that you do not have the spare time for such undertakings. You may even experience hostility from a spouse or colleague. Be authentic and those detractors will respect you despite initial resistance. Do not merely wish to take on a spiritual adventure whilst being awkward about your intentions and complaining that you do not have the time. Your spouse will see right through this and deem your behaviour incongruent in regards to your beliefs.
Upon returning from your metaphysical hero’s quest, re-read the books of Arktos again. You may find more clarity when the brain, body and spirit are cleansed and rooted in nature.
I know I am much happier and healthier when I walk 60-90 minutes a day. Even if living in an urban area this is a rewarding investment physically, mentally, and spiritually, Great article!
P R, if you should read this I have a question. Your bio mentions you lift weights. Do you see this also having a spiritual dimension even if done indoors? I certainly do!
Hello, yes I believe all physical things can have a spiritual connection if the mindset is right. We come to spirituality via this physical realm. These days, in my mid-40s, my weightlifting is as much about building spirit and inner strength as physique.
Wonderful and inspiring piece. Thanks. Articles like this one builds (really rebuilds) our spiritual strength. The Japanese have a similar concept of immersion in nature: Forest Bathing. I hope to see more writings like this in Arktos.