Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 59-64 (Part Nine)

July 21, 2008

[Continuing with extracts from my journal of 8/24/98- written while back-packing through the Wyoming High Desert]

If I were to write my own personal scripture, it would begin with these words: “This is the first commandment; that you walk naked on the earth and know that you are of the earth, not physical as the earth is physical but spiritual as the earth is spiritual.” I have come to understand that “naked” does not necessarily mean without clothes, but rather knowing your own vulnerability.

Sometimes being naked—just having naked feet when walking over rough stones—can show me my vulnerability.

I’ve written a lot about contact with nature as part of a spiritual path. Real contact with nature shows us our vulnerability. A walk in a park won’t do—even those that have ostensibly natural, wooded areas. Parks are created to give us the illusion of contacting nature without showing us our vulnerability.

When I risk falling down a rock-slide while climbing to a plateau in the High Desert—when I then come upon a rock, an immense, solid rock, and see how the wind has worn away the face of the rock—when I let a few little chips fall off in my hand and know the rocks vulnerability: then I think of the vulnerability of my own body, my own mind, my own soul.

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