Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Spiritual Lives of Beavers and the Purpose of Life

     We walk around in a bit of a stupor at certain times in our lives, with a head full of crazy questions, like: who am I, really? And what am I doing with my life? We should know those answers naturally, shouldn't we? But things are always changing (including us), and life can be very demanding, and it might all become a little confusing now and then. At those times it's good to recognize that the answers we should know naturally may actually be living in plain sight, in our very nature, in our very form. Perhaps we should look to natural forms to get a handle on our elusive sense of the purpose of Life.
     As I see it, Life is three things: a matter of expression – expressing your true self, that is; an evolution – that is, growing toward some kind of connected self-realization; and naturally (and most importantly) finding, feeling, and living in Love. So let's take a look at a very natural example of all those things; let's look at beavers.

     But why, you may ask, would we seek such advice from a beaver? I mean we all know that they’re fuzzy, have paddle-tails and build dams and all, but what does that have to do with expression, evolution, and Love? Let’s look at the natural forms of beavers and how as simple, purposeful expressions of what I like to call Divine Consciousness, they present living evidence of the Love in everything, and a lovely lesson we can learn for ourselves.

     Beavers have dense oily fur that keeps them warm on the inside no matter what. They have flaps in their ears and noses that block out water when they submerge, clear inner eyelids that serve as goggles, and even a set of inner lips that seal their mouths off when they carry cut greenery in their teeth underwater. Their teeth are self-sharpening, so they never, ever get dull their entire lives. They can chew through practically anything from the coarsest bramble to large tree trunks, and cut and arrange wood with precise dexterity and intelligence in such a way as to build dams and lodges of unequaled design efficiency for their uses. 
     Their homes are multi-roomed, vented at the ceiling, and have multiple entries – one conveniently leading directly to their storehouse of cut greenery, naturally refrigerated underwater to retain freshness. Their tails not only propel them above or beneath the water with great speed and grace, but also serve to pack mud as a building material, or to slap the water loudly as a warning to their loved ones.

     In terms of their impact on the environment and the creation of their habitats, the beaver's expression of intuitive engineering skills is second only to humans – except that beavers don’t harm the natural world in realizing them. 
     So who is smarter than who? Who has real direction and purpose? Whose form provides an unencumbered connection to the Divine, and brings balanced and beneficial contributions to our shared planet? And what might all of this have to do with Love, as opposed to being a simple accounting of natural selection? How, exactly does Love come into play for our beavers?

     It’s because Love – as survival of the most cooperatively adaptable – actually is natural selection. That’s true authentic purpose, “survival of the fittest,” in its most loving, heavenly sense. The beavers form facilitates expression, evolution, and, yes, Love – like our form does as well (or almost as well).
     Did you know that beavers mate for life (something a few of us have trouble with)? They give birth to numerous young, spread out over time, and they all live together sharing their food and warmth and companionship – at least until the kids can make it on their own (no surprise, it can be difficult to get young beavers to finally leave home too).

     Their homes not only serve to shelter and protect their families, but create ecosystems that dozens of other species thrive in, and contribute to the health of the greater, holistic environment. It’s a kind of natural stewardship of the Earth that demonstrates a purer purpose, and the metaphor of “The Garden” – where plants and animals contribute to the planet just by being, not by being able to think about it too much. Beavers don’t cut down trees to spite anybody, only people living in ignorance of their natural Divine Unity do that.

     The First Nation Americans recognized the merging of these purposeful forms of nature and Love. They called beavers the “little people.” They saw Love in the building of their homes and their families. They witnessed, with wonder and res-pect, how Love created their perfect purpose, which was simply, perfectly, to be beavers.

     The indigenous peoples of all countries around the world have never had any problem with the presence of Love in all of their surroundings – as the body of Mother Earth, as the land they love (which no one ‘owns,’ and which bears the bones of their ancestors); the air they breathe (the same air as their forefathers breathed); the water which cycles through themselves and this layer of Life on Mother Earth; and as the Sun which brings energy to the cycles of Life. They saw their purpose clearly was to be natural human beings – part of something infinitely larger than the rigid concepts of what our material lives “are supposed to be,” and more as a channelers of greater energies – more what we are meant to be.

        “The heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the eye…by which He sees all things, and through which we see Him.”
                                     Black Elk

     It’s with this perspective of shared Divine Consciousness and the presence that allows us to find Love in every eternal moment, that we can receive the gift of our purpose – the expression of our innate intelligence, our potential for rea-soned and responsible stewardship of the world – and its other, very important occupants. Getting there does require effort, even if it’s just by living by those principles that we know will liberate our spirits and contribute to the welfare of all Life.

     It’s not supposed to be easy being a human being. This is where we learn some of our very hardest lessons, but the beavers show us there are easier ways to cut through the obstructions created in our inner lives – the destructive beliefs that tie us to the illusion of separateness and struggle, and remove us from the direction and purpose of our natural forms. They direct us toward an unimaginably rich and magical world where our purpose is to protect the forms of life who aren't subject to the ravages of self-centered thought. A world of expression, evolution, and Love.

     Beavers show us how to live in a world we might call Heaven. 

The latest book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor from Llewellyn Worldwide can be ordered direct on this page or online; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available the same ways – but ask for them it at your local bookstore!

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