Pronoia excerpts…~ Rob Brezsny
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll confess that there are few glories more sublime and more freely available than taking a walk in nature. Simply to imagine it can fill you with sacred joy. Close your eyes and visualize yourself sauntering along a wide dirt path in a meadow bordered by the woods. Feel the resilient strength of your leg muscles. Relish the freedom of swinging your arms in rhythm with your stride. The sun’s rays are so sweet you can almost taste them. The ever-shifting qualities of light and temperature resemble caresses. What’s that rustling in the bushes? Maybe a lizard or gopher informing you that you’re not alone.
At a certain point, the breeze becomes stronger. Branches of nearby trees begin to wave, unleashing a tremulous whoosh. Instinctively, your heartbeat quickens. Your flesh prickles with a reflexive alertness. But of course there’s no danger. What you’re experiencing is spontaneous excitement at the rising energy; a heightened awareness of the teeming aliveness that surrounds you.
Gaze slightly upward. Welcome in the far horizon and the sweep of the ancient sky. Give names to the clouds. Shout out praises to the birds, saluting them for being so skilled at soaring through the air. If you can see a pale slice of moon, thank it for its artistry in managing the tides.
Up ahead on the trail is a tree that wants your affection. Be empathetic. Try to remember all that it remembers, and sing a song to it as you pass. The dust and dirt deserve your kind attention, as well. Pick up a rock that catches your eye, announce to the world that it is a magic talisman, and marvel at its unique shape and heft as you roll it around in your hand.
One more gift to bestow: Under your breath, just loud enough to be heard, tell the Earth that you can hear the sound of its turning, and it’s making you giddy. Say, too, how much you love the fact that in all eternity, this moment will never be repeated. Though you may drink in the delicious atmosphere with a trillion trillion more breaths, this special dispensation of air molecules will never fill your lungs again.
To your surprise, the Earth replies to you in your native tongue, rising above the thrum of its whirling with a more familiar tone. It quotes the poem by Charles Baudelaire, as translated by Louis Simpson. “Ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking … ask what time it is, and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: ‘It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.'”