"We live in an awesome universe
of galaxies, suns, planets, moon,
rocks, water, plants, trees,
animals, insects --
life forms of all shapes and sizes.”
Contemplating nature is incredible!
Mary and I one morning were watching the hummingbirds flit from one red Cardinal flower blossom to the next, then from one zinnia to the next. Just floating in the air, almost still with the flutter of wings gently moving them from one source of food to the next.
Out of nowhere another hummingbird came near and the chase was on. Mary said, “Hummingbirds are very territorial.” They were jutting back and forth, one moving away from the other and the other making an intense chase. The sharp turns were marvelous to see. The bird being chased suddenly stopped still in the air, then darted to the right to avoid the one coming in.
I was awe struck to see that they could change course so quickly.
As I watched one chase the other, I wondered how their little bodies, with this long beak, could fly at all. How did the forces of nature design this tiny creature? And why? Who or what was the master planner of the hummingbird? What roll did this tiny little flying aviator have with the rest of nature?
My meanderings about nature led me to wonder about us humans. In my studies of health and healing, I have been reading about the tiny creatures in my abdominal cavity. The importance of the “biome in our guts” is a significant topic in the holistic health literature.
Millions, billions, and trillions of little life forms rally to the front lines of action when we eat something. The saliva sends a message to the stomach and intestines to prepare for the type of food that enters our mouth. The kidneys get ready to produce, in Western nutritional language, the right combination of enzymes to respond properly to the kind of food we are chewing. It happens instantaneously as soon as the apple, or the bread, or the drink enters our palette. Our tongue signals the rest of the body whether it is sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, salty or pungent so the little bacteria are ready to digest the food properly. First of all, how does it know?
It is amazing!
According to the Yoga Tradition’s sister science, Ayurveda, these little creatures are considered intelligent. Actually, Yoga believes that all the “parts” of the human body and all the creatures in our bodies are intelligent beings. They even give them names. They are not just chemicals, or enzymes, or mechanical/biological processes in our bodies, but actual living, intelligent creatures of the Divine Source of Life. They are called “jatavedas.”
Yoga philosophy honors the “jatavedas,” these divine aspects of the Creator of Life, and even has prayers that encourage them to do their work of creating health and happiness in the body. The “jatavedas” bring health and strength to the body and need to not only be fed properly, with the proper food so that they are not depleted or overcome, but also to be encouraged to continue their divinely instituted purposes.
I often wondered if that assigning of divine qualities to our body functioning organisms was just silly superstition or pantheism, but now I realize that this yogic way of relating to ourselves and all the aspects of our body is really relating to the entire awesome reality of the Creator of these realities. All that God had created, according to the sixth day of creation in the Hebrew scriptures, is “very good” (Gen 1:30 NABR).
I bow to that Divinity within you.