By Monica Nolasco, Ed.D.
What comes to your mind as you read those two words, “Nature’s Whisper”?
The word “nature” has its linguistic origins in several cultures. The English word traces its roots all the way back to Latin, “natura”, meaning “essential qualities, innate disposition”. In ancient times the Latin word “natura” literally meant “birth”.
The word also has associations with protohistoric Egypt and the African continent in their words, “neteru” (the Egyptian word for “gods”) and “netcher” (the word for the Egyptian hieroglyphics system, which connected words to natural phenomena and, thus, to God in how these people “…practiced a religion that was congruent with NATURE but expressed differently due to mode of living [pastoral, hunter gatherer, agriculturalist] and set of common solutions to common problems [culture].”) (Netcher) All of these words have been used historically to refer to natural law.
Nature’s Whisper, then, is the inner voice that often speaks to us, prompting us to pay attention – to use the current popular terminology – to be mindful. When I hear this phrase, I can’t help but think of Elisabeth Haich’s book, Initiation, which I read recently. In her book, Elisabeth describes this voice, “Oh, how true were the words of this sacred voice.” (Pg. 75, Haich)
Could it be that Nature’s Whisper is the sacred voice that guides us to balance, good health, and the discovery of meaning in our lives?
This inner voice tugs at all of us. I would venture to say, though, that we ignore its call most of the time. Is it because we have distanced ourselves from it by living a frenetic life disconnected from nature, the very source of that voice? So many of us experience this sound as if from a long way off and only once in a while. It comes to us as if on the wind.
When I reread that quote by Elisabeth Haich, I was struck by that word she used to describe nature’s voice – “sacred”. That got me thinking about how we might re-connect our physical body’s voice with nature’s. Gyalwa Yangönpa, in Secret Map of the Body: Visions of the Human Energy Structure, has a chapter titled “The Fundamental Nature of the Voice”. The following quote made sense to me within this context, “By virtue of the five elements, syllables, vocal resonation, coordination, and words, the phenomenon of voice exists.” (Pg. 62, Yangönpa)
Nature’s Whisper has its own resonance born of sound, syllables, and words. I wondered whether Yangönpa had thought about the connection between the body’s voice and the inner, spiritual voice – perhaps during meditation using the Tibetan Singing Bowl. When the bowl is rubbed with a special mallet, the water inside the bowl begins to change shape, to “dance”, and to emit a sound at the same frequency as the rubbing.
How can we, then, connect our inner voice with that of our body? How can we dance to the tune Nature whispers to us? Perhaps it is by acknowledging the interrelationship of our body to our mind and soul, that elusive part of being human that cannot be measured by science but that helps us stay balanced, whole. Nature’s Whisper comes to us on the energy wind that “…is present in and governs all the activities of body, voice, and mind that involve motion.” (Pg. 62, Yangönpa)
In my last trip to Egypt, I learned about an Egyptian goddess, Ma’at. Her name means justice, truth, and harmony. You might know that your body can be in full harmony with everything that it consists of. Could it be that Nature’s Whisper is calling you to integrate your truth and harmony within your being?
Think about it: What is your body made up of? From the outside, your limbs and skin (your largest organ) connect to the internal organs, to the veins and arteries that carry blood to those organs, to the intestines that digest the food you eat – all of it works like a well-oiled machine.
Maybe Nature’s Whisper is trying to tell us something as a people. Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet, declares, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” How can we, in the 21st century, learn from Hamlet? Perhaps, the lesson it is trying to teach us is that we must acknowledge the importance of every part of our being, even the spiritual part, which is not measurable in the scientific sense. We are unique individuals made up of mind, body, and spirit, and, as a people, we are crying out in these disjointed times to regain full harmony of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves so that as a human family we can once again function at full capacity.
“What does this have to do with self-care,” you might ask. Realize that, when any part of you is out of balance, all of you (and, by extension, all of Nature, really) is out of sync. This is why, when you are stressed, you find yourself craving solitude or connection with others (depending on your inclination). You are answering your inner need to find balance in connection. This is also why, when you eat something that “disagrees with you”, you look for remedies to restore the balance in your digestive system’s microbiome (“little world”, literally translated).
Discover for your “self” what can bring you back into balance. Is it a walk in the woods? Might it be re-establishing a meditation practice or writing in a journal? Could it be reaching out to someone you have grown apart from but who has been an influential part of your life? How about exploring the foods that nourish your soul and your body? And, what does your playlist tell you about your interrelatedness with Nature’s Whisper? Could it use a bit of a spiritual upgrade?
Don’t confuse spirituality with the practice of formal religion. Although these two concepts are not the same thing, they are not mutually exclusive either. Neither, for that matter, are science and spirituality. Your spirit helps your body, mind and soul stay balanced on the teeter-totter of life. Look for ways to bring all three back together so that you can, once again, hearken to Nature’s Whisper. It is calling to you.
Haich, Elisabeth. Initiation. Paperback published in 2019 by Aurora Press, Box 573, Santa Fe, NM, 87504. Originally published in 1974 by Seed Center, Palo Alto, CA. https://aurorapress.com/elisabeth-haisch/
Netcher, Sesh Medew. “The Gist of African Religion”. An article published on the site of Sesh Medew Netcher on June 5, 2016. https://seshmedewnetcher.com/african-religion/
Pinch, Geraldine. Magic in Ancient Egypt, revised edition. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas (member of the Association of University Presses), 1994.
Scully, Nicki. Sekhmet: Transformation in the Belly of the Goddess. Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, and Toronto, Canada. Copyright 2017.
Yangönpa, Gyalwa. Secret Map of the Body: Visions of the Human Energy Structure. Translated from Tibetan and annotated by Elio Guarisco. Shang Shung Publications, Shan Shung Foundation. Copyright 2015. http://www.shangshungpublications.org/secret-map-of-the-body/