Preserving life in all formations

I’m writing this on a peaceful Sunday afternoon with the warble of magpies providing a suitable musical accompaniment to my thoughts. It’s two weeks since we returned from exploring Western Australia – the big State! And it is big – and in its vastness we were introduced to a range of extraordinary and interesting entities that capture some of the history of our planet.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these was our viewing of the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay. These ancient marine wonders are intriguing and unique rock formations – fossils that have developed over some 3.43 billion years and indicate to palaeontologists the earliest forms of life on Earth. Though they appear inanimate, hidden within is vital growth! Sometimes described as living rocks, stromatolites are formed from microbial communities (cyanobacteria) that reside therein and continue, extraordinarily, to build them. It is believed that these communities, through the process of photosynthesis, were responsible for originally increasing the level of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere sufficiently to enable life as we know it to develop.

What a miracle indeed, that life with all that is so readily taken for granted could have begun in such a simple yet intricately complex way.

This view into existence emphasises a level of responsibility we humans must adhere to in the matter of all creation. It is up to us here and now to make a contribution to preserving the planet by respecting history and antiquity, replenishing ravaged forests, preserving those species facing extinction, garnering personal strengths to care for ourselves as a species and seeking ways to particularly assist our often troubled youth and the generations to come.

‘Stress’ has become a huge issue in today’s society. Across the life span it affects our physical health (for one example, see our link to Professor Sali’s article on hypertension) and it affects our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Since we humans are gifted with intellect, it is crucial that we use that to address the matter of stress and reduce its negative effects.

One way of doing so is to look into our existential self – the vital, hidden, growing part of our innermost being. There is much ‘unknowing’ there, like a mountain veiled by mist as Ainslie Meares’ accompanying poem reminds us. But from the timelessness of Stillness Meditation we can open the windows of insight to assist in dealing with challenging issues. No wonder when viewing the stromatolites and their silent contribution to existence I was reminded of the power of living calm. In that purity of mental rest, the effects of stress are diminished as we experience only naturalness to help restore equilibrium, health and perhaps best of all, the arrival of peacefulness.

There is much ‘unknowing’ too behind the windows of our tactile world. “When fossils are missing from the strata, as they often are, or if they are poorly preserved, our view back into the past is obscured – the mists of time have descended.” (Stromatolites: McNamara, Ken. Western Australian Museum, 2009) But encounters with timelessness such as the stromatolites can prise those windows open enough to prompt a new, acute awareness of physical naturalness and the essence and sanctity of all living things. In doing our small part perhaps we can touch the collective unconscious in ways that nurture and value a greater awareness of the outcome of our place on Earth.

The magpie has been replaced by a flock of small twittering feathers and the day is drawing to a close; time for the pleasure of stillness before the setting sun!

If these words should move you to recognise need and consider some action to help Planet Earth here is one valuable link to view www.earthshoots.com