By Gordon Stronach of GS Outdoor Services.
Plants have been both utilised and used in a wide assortment is situations for centuries, for the benefit of humanity. It is important to stress the distinction between used and utilised, since this has been the underlying cause of over exploitation of plants and their localities for centuries now, which only serves to undermine the benefits they bring to us. When they have been used, it is often to the detriment to the plants themselves and the locales they inhabit because our agendas then are to exploit, usually for material gain and this approach is very often head-centred and short-lived.
On the other hand, when they are utilised it is often from a heart-centred and longer -lived approach and in the form on a two-way dialogue between ourselves and other-than-human forms, which I like to call them, which we then interact with, not detract from, for the greatest good of the whole. It is this approach that this article focuses on.
When we come from a heart -centred approach not only do we glean the full array of benefits that plants support us with, both through our well-being and our individual and collective spiritual journeys whilst inhabiting the earth. We also start to understand that everything is reflecting back to us, informing us that what we do and see out with ourselves we do and see within ourselves as well. To my knowledge, out with other sentient creatures, such as horses, dogs, etc, plants are the perfect companions to show us this and can provide us with the mirror to reflect back to ourselves what’s wrong within ourselves. To admit and accept is the very first stage towards healing and well-being.
Since it is only through the heart centre that the other-than-human forms, including plants speak to us, not through any verbalising, but through our emotions, which, in effect determine our wellbeing. Our emotions are the gateway to our wellbeing and plants serve us, not in a human egotistical way, but in a loving -kind way towards balancing those emotions. Since we are certainly not superior to any other life form, including our own kith and kin. However, often we, through our actions, behaviours and doctrines we set out feel that this is indeed the case.
Nevertheless, in the matrix of life through which everything is connected there is nothing better nor lesser than anything else within it, simply different. With it’s own uniqueness and qualities and special contribution if offers the wholeness of life, which cannot be offered in the exact same quantities and qualities by anything else within the matrix of life. It is through neglect of this understanding that humanity has indeed impoverished itself by failing to take into account the role that plants and other-than-human forms play in our life’s.
Through my own journey on this planet the one thing that keeps coming back is that plants and nature want to assist us, and indeed, are very forgiving. Horticulture, for example demonstrates this concept perfectly. No matter how one gardens or not, as the case maybe, plants do not hold our misgivings or failings against us and are always very forgiving. A fundamental step on the way to healing itself
These failings or indeed shortcomings, which I prefer to call them are in part, due to our advancing intellect, which makes us feel superior to anything else out there because of what we have achieved and continue to achieve as a species. To the point that we feel we can do it all ourselves without the help from anything else, especially entities which we see as subservient to us. Also, in part, due our dismissive approach to anything out with the five sense modality. Whereby anything that can not be measured, tabulated and put into some form of categorisation, does not exist, according to our own world views and the way we see the world. In other words, anything that we cannot put our own unique signature too does not exist.
Hence the reason why we have still not fully cognized on the actual importance of plants in our lives and this is something I would now like to address in this and possible on-going future articles relating to plants and well-being, for the greatest good of the whole and to assist us in our on-going journeys to well-being and beyond.
And remember: ’for those who will listen and for those that will go there is a less well trodden path that only a few will know’
But I now hope to help make that path a bit wider and bit more known!
Gordon Stronach, 27/09/2018.