Binding the Universe Together in February
This month marks the beginning of the breeding season for many animals here in the Midwest: woodchucks emerge from hibernationand breed through March; mink and coyotes begin reproducing; eastern screech owls search for mates this month; tiger salamander courtship begins; opossums breed in wooded areas along streams; and American woodcocks begin courtship.
What is it that allures one coyote to a particular mate, or this mink to that one? You may have seen the Netflix video Dancing with the Birds showing the length some male birds take in order to attract a mate – strange dancing, amazing change in appearance of feathers, creating a beautiful bower – so marvelous! I am entranced by their efforts and am drawn to watch this video more than once. Their antics delight and captivate me.
What is it that causes me to be so interested in birds? In nature in general? What is it that causes you to gravitate to certain activities, people, ideas? Scientists tell us it is a mysterious something that totally influences humans, animals, plants, galaxies, the entire universe. They call it gravity, and they have no idea what it is, none. They know how it behaves, but fundamentally it is a mystery that pervades the universe. According to Brian Swimme in his book The Universe Is a Green Dragon, … the fact is that our galaxy is attracted by every other galaxy in the universe; and our galaxy attracts every other galaxy. The attracting activity is a stupendous mysterious fact of existence. Primal. We awake and discover that this alluring activity is the basic reality of the macrocosmic universe.
To help us wrap our minds around the immensity of gravity’s job, Swimme asks, what would we say if we had the job of getting the stars to rotate and revolve around the galaxies? What if we had to keep all the hydrogen atoms together? Or keep them pressed into stars? Then he muses, Think of the tremendous galactic tasks performed every instant by this universe, and you will begin to feel the magnificence of the cosmic allurement of love.
Let’s look at cosmic allurements closer to home. Think of how your fascinations - your loves - created the person you are, the lifestyle you chose, your career, your friends, your spirituality. This is the universe acting through you! How wonderful to know we are called to be who we are as a way of honoring our deepest self which is also the self of the universe. What a gift is this life of love, this love of life.
Swimme encourages us, By pursuing your allurements, you help bind the universe together. The unity of the world rests on the pursuit of passion. Joseph Campbell says it another way, If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, then the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
May this month of love be a time of deepening your unique passions as you help bind the universe together!
Photo: thanks to Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash