Why harmony between the body, mind and nature is so important to our happiness
The sight of the sun in the sky is a powerful symbol of the interconnectedness of all life. The mind, in contrast, the mind has become a symbol of how disconnected we are on an individual level. The body lies in between, between nature and the mind, sustained by the former and influenced by the latter. Life becomes beautiful and fulfilling when the body, mind, and nature are in harmony.
The balance between the mind and nature has a significant bearing on the health of the body. How we lead our lives is an extension of the mind. The mind uses the body in a way that may or may not be in tune with nature. Nature is not some distant phenomena. In the form of our body, we carry a drop of nature wherever we go.
If nature is the macrocosm, the body is the microcosm. Nature is life oriented, while the mind is individual-oriented, and the mind takes life for granted. When there is a clash between the mind and nature, we try to shape the world following the mind, rather than living in harmony with higher existence. This is where the conflict begins. Nature ultimately wins by reclaiming the bodily form.
A giant wave may batter the coast. But once the wave crashes into the shore, its energy is lost as water splashes onto land, and the wave disappears forever. In contrast, when very gentle waves touch the beach, they gracefully recede into the sea. Similarly, when the mind forcefully projects itself onto the world like a destructive wave, it cannot reclaim its original pure self. But if the mind is gentle and puts forth useful ideas, maintaining its centeredness within, its energy is returned. Just as the soft sand of a beach bears the brunt of the destructive force of a wave, the body suffers under the mind which harbors negative energies.
Unlike the mind which does not apply itself uniformly to all life, preferring some and destroying others, nature does not operate under set preferences. Change may appear to be slow in the world of nature compared to the mind, as they run on different time scales. The mind need not necessarily slow down its rate of turnover of thoughts. If we dial down our involvement with the mind, we will begin to move away from the mind's restless activity. There is deep stillness in nature as evidenced by the mountains and trees which stand up to the test of time. Our inner nature is also one of stillness. Through the mind, we can perceive stillness in nature, but inner stillness can only be experienced through awareness.
The mind is sandwiched in between the inner and the outer, functioning like a road divider separating traffic in opposite directions. The nature of the external world is divergence, and that of the inner world is convergence. The mind and the senses are oriented towards outward divergence which allows us to enjoy the variety in nature. Awareness brings us to an understanding that the outward divergence of energy and its inward convergence are essentially the same. Enjoying the outer world through the mind, while awareness is anchored in the notion of oneness of everything brings the mind, body, and nature into perfect balance.
The mind is given to us as a playground, and from the mind, we can go either way, inwards or outwards. Children can quickly leave the past behind as they use the mind as a playground. Adults turn the mind into battlegrounds where they cannot leave the past behind. All enmity lives in the mind. Conflicts start in the mind in the name of defending the past and protecting the future. The present is forgotten; it is where the body and nature exist. When we become entirely mind oriented, the body and nature become incidental, and the balance between the three - mind, body, and nature is lost.
When the balance is lost, the mind is challenged through tests. Nature does not hold onto anything, but the mind tries to hold onto everything. The trials we face in life are linked to the attachment we have to the lesser self or the ego. The more we are attached to the lesser self, the less we can express inherent inner beauty and creativity, which all humans possess. Energy is continually flowing within our being. It can manifest as happiness, creativity, love, and compassion. Attachments stall that energy and make it circulate around the ego. Consequently, it destroys joy, creativity, love, and compassion.
The mind is well suited for the expression of energy through creativity. Creativity is the source of what is new and different. When creativity centers around the ego, we find ways to seek out differences and see them in a negative light. Differences need not be a bad thing. The moment we use the word 'different,' we are conditioned to associate a negative connotation. Each is a different expression of the same energy. When we look at life in this manner, we will then focus on the best, productive use of our creative energy rather than lose it through destructive use.
We operate under the assumption that the mind is indispensable for life. It is valid for the transactional aspects of our existence, but for experiencing true happiness, the mind will either have to be put aside or made hollow and open. Happiness is real and lasting when awareness is allowed to create a bridge between the inner and the outer. The mind can serve as the foundation of that bridge as it is the interface for interaction with the world. Rather than become a dividing factor, the mind will turn into a uniting factor when awareness blossoms. Awareness is like the inner sun. It paves the way for us to experience the interconnectedness of life that the outer sun symbolizes.