Because of my young friend Apoorva and the topics she and her boyfriend are specializing on, my latest posts have been touching upon Ecology and the environmental concerns that are its corollaries, very important in our life here as Aurovilians.
Human beings usually don’t realize it because it is all happening so naturally, so smoothly, but many new, contemporary concepts, such as Ecology itself, precisely, and the very perception of our interdependence with our Environment, are concepts born of our ongoing evolution: such all-embracing concepts are so vast they could be born only in this last century, from the new consciousness growing in us, vaster than the ordinary human mind we had before.
Conversely, those new concepts have spread rapidly to practically the whole of Humanity, thanks to the technical means most recently invented by this mind of ours, ever vaster now because it is evolving rapidly, under the constant influence of the higher Consciousness, beyond the Mind Power, that is gradually taking its place as the new leader of Terrestrial Evolution.
The Mind Power’s characteristic way of working was analytic, that is, differentiating everything – hence its divisive effect on our religions and whatever else our minds would consider; we would always see the differences, what was dividing us, rather than the elements in common that could unify us.
The New Consciousness presiding now to the further evolution of this planet doesn’t belong to the Mind any more, it is the Supramental Consciousness, and it is based on the contrary on the perception of Unity, because it has the utter Vastness necessary to see the Whole in its all-inclusiveness.
This is how we have this perception, which seems so natural and obvious nowadays, of our being one Human Family; but it is something new, that very few human beings were capable of feeling before.
I still remember the sense of awe and inner recognition of Truth when long ago, in school, during the Latin class, we were given one day that quote from Terentius, which said (I still know the exact Latin words):
‘Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto’.
‘I am a human; of whatever is human nothing I consider as alien to me.” – my free, but accurate translation of the beautiful meaning expressed by Terentius, exceptional in the ancient time when he expressed it, but already reaching far into the future and our time, when humans would be more evolved and many more human minds would be able to think in the same universal way as this wonderful precursor, Terentius.
Another great precursor, and much closer to us in time, was J.R.R. Tolkien: he saw even beyond humanity, and was one of the very first ‘ecologists’ before the term was invented, expressing throughout his writings, with great intensity, our oneness with all nature, and the dangers of indiscriminate industrial development. In his adult age he had had the utter sadness of seeing the destruction of the beautiful English countryside that he had been so happy in during his early childhood, and that he immortalized in the area of his ‘Middle-earth’ that he named ‘The Shire’, cherished home of the Hobbits in their comfortable ‘holes’,
and secretly protected by Gandalf himself and by his princely friend, Aragorn the Dunadan, so that this charming little paradise and its mostly unspoiled and happy population would have a chance to go on prospering and evolving into a nicer, simpler and gentler kind of humanity than most of the Big Folk tended to be…
The Elves too, the Fair Folk, were living in communion with Nature, in an even deeper and more refined manner, to the point of obtaining results from it that other races would see as Magic: in ‘The Lord of the Rings’, when the Fellowship is leaving the Galadhrim of Lothlorien, they are given first some ‘lembas’, simple but wonderful food to be kept for times of need; and then:
‘The Elves next unwrapped and gave to each of the Company the clothes they had brought. For each they had provided a hood and cloak, made according to his size, of the light but warm silken stuff that the Galadhrim wove. It was hard to say of what colour they were: grey with the hue of twilight under the trees they seemed to be; and yet if they were moved, or set in another light, they were green as shadowed leaves, or brown as shallow fields by night, dusk-silver as water under the stars. Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
‘Are these magic cloaks? asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
‘I do not know what you mean by that’, answered the leader of the Elves. ‘They are fair garments, and the web is good, for it was made in this land.
They are Elvish robes certainly, if that is what you mean. Leaf and branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these things under the twilight of Lorien that we love; for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make. Yet they are garments, not armour, and they will not turn shaft or blade. But they should serve you well: they are light to wear, and warm enough or cool enough at need. And you will find them a great aid in keeping you out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees. You are indeed high in the favour of the Lady! For she herself and her maidens wove this stuff; and never before have we clad strangers in the garb of our own people.’
Not only do the Elves care about the tall woods in which they live, they are also the friends of the Ents, whom they call ‘Onodrim”, a very ancient, remarkable treelike species of Tree-Herders, whose way of experiencing life is, as described by Tolkien, the closest I have ever found to the actual consciousness and feelings a tree may truly be having. All the passages in the story that include the Ents are worth reading, for anyone who loves trees; and in their entirety both ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are a veritable and most enjoyable ode to Nature, in spite of the scary aspects it may have as well as the delightful ones.
This deep connection with Nature, that Tolkien himself had all his life, he bestowed on the species he valued most among all those with whom he populated his ‘Middle-earth’, that is, his vision of the central area of the Earth itself, at a much earlier time of its evolution; but, after the necessary period of eclipse while we, the descendants of the ‘Mortal Men’ who when the Elves left at the end of that era, took the lead of terrestrial evolution and explored to the full the possibilities given by Mental Power, this deep connection with Nature is destined to grow back into our hearts as we keep evolving and the Elvish qualities re-emerge, to blend harmoniously with the Human ones.
Perhaps it is this Elvish re-emergence that we see starting to happen, with the appearance of Ecology and care for the Environment in our present world!…