There is a teacher ever-present in our midst, but in our daily lives running about with concrete and soles between our feet and the earth, she fades away from our conscious awareness. But, having mothered our cells into combining to make our lives possible, and providing everything--absolutely everything--to sustain us until our parting day, she is always running in parallel.
I will refer to this teacher as Gaia, because I resonate with the Gaia principle which suggests that all organisms and even the inorganic matter are personally enmeshed into an encompassing, self-regulating macrosystem which maintains life on Earth.
Gaia--nature--evolution--Earth. However we choose to conceptualize her, she is alive, she is breathing, she is flowing. She is patient, quiet, and non-judging. She contains all the wisdom of billions of years.
In his book Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets writes:
"There are more species of fungi, bacteria, and protozoa in a single scoop of soil than there are species of plants and vertebrate animals in all of North America... interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitants with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and colletively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind. The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment."
Imagine that! The whole planet, silently communicating cell-to-cell through mushroom fibres only one cell thick--as if through a neural network! Stamet believes the mycelium operates at a level of complexity that exceeds the computational powers of our most advanced supercomputers.
In their book Journey of the Universe, Brian T Swimme and Mary E Tucker write,
"It is extremely difficult for humans to take in the fact that nature's way of producing forms is different from that of an engineer constructing something with a blueprint in hand. What we can say with some certainty is that nature is creative...profoundly exploratory... with all our theories and mathematics and computers, life's creativity is beyond our control... and today we are beginning to imagine that we might have a particular role to play in this dream."
If we are created in nature, we are a part of nature. Our own creativity is by default an extension of nature's creativity, and our actions as a part of the great organism called Earth naturally travel along the myriads of various channels which connect us to every single thing--and affect the entire planetary ecosystem, whether physically or spiritually.
To learn about nature is to learn about ourselves. To immerse ourselves in nature is to look within ourselves.
Gaia is capable of teaching us in many ways: with her flows and ebbs, her cycles, her intelligence and her creativity... and through plant spirit teachers, from the tall birch tree to the humble weed.
To learn more about Gaia and intelligence in nature, take a look in the Consciousness, as well as Plant Spirits, categories of our book store. Click here to read about Plant Spirits.