The Biology Of Love Part III
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
One of the highlights of the Mendocino trip was a “blind walk” down part of the Fern Canyon Trail. The rules were simple: Line up, roses and thorns, either roses or thorns put a blind fold on, join hands and observe the rule of total silence; no whispering, giggling, tittering etc. At the half-way mark, maintaining the silence, slowly remove the blindfold and install one on your partner. The results for the classes that followed the rules were stunning. When our eyes are open they gobble up 75% of the available sensory energy, leaving 25% to be divided between the other four senses. When the eyes are closed, the non-visual senses become more active and acute. This is why, in no small part, people often choose to close their eyes during prayer, contemplation or meditation. At the end of the walk, the blindfolds were removed and the silence was broken with a burst of chatter. Most of them had “visualized,” or felt and heard things that were totally new to them. When they crawled through an old redwood tree trunk, under a limb or over a small bridge, they felt utterly blind and helpless. Truly they had put their trust in their partner’s hand. During the debriefing it was common for the girls to describe feeling confidence and trust; not so much for the guys. Hopefully, I refrained from injecting any analysis or possible symbolism, but let their inner voices be their guide.
There were, of course, many possible lessons, either physical, mental or spiritual. I have often been confused by a passage, somewhere in the Bible that states, “Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears listen.” Well lah tee dah. In spiritual terms are we not all blind, so what good is that? It’s as bad as the corny quip, “I see, said the blind man to his deaf wife.” But then I am reminded about the first time Biodesigners led me out to Plateau Point deep within in Grand Canyon. We could “feel” the silence before we could look down into the inner gorge. It also reminded me that we desperately need Nature and other people to help guide and direct our spiritual growth. Robert Burns wrote: “To see ourselves as others see us, would from many a blunder free us.” John Muir once quipped, “People depend on a small glass dial, with a magnetic needle inside, to guide them out of the wilderness and ignore the fact that their Creator can be a spiritual guide.”
Like many ideas like this, I felt it was important to encourage students to question, probe and explore possible options, but not my job to suggest or recommend possible pathways. At some point each year I cited, “The Teachings of Don Juan,” by Carlos Castaneda: “Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good and you should stay on it. If it does not, you should leave it.”
Like many of the field trip activities, the blind walk was mostly experiential with no right or wrong answer or experience. My hope for them was that they would gather new insights, information, perhaps a bit of wisdom on their personal journey of finding the fire within.