Meeting the Soul Spirit Activities of a Burdock

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 8:40 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
Meeting the Soul Spirit Activities of a Burdock
by  Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

There is a difference between entering into an intimate relationship with the plant and utilizing plants as nourishment, or using a plant for healing purposes. When utilizing a plant like that, we gain the effect of the specific plant but its being or soul spirit activities and its qualities are not felt or sensed by us. This is totally fine and completely necessary in order to live an ordinary and healthy life. However if we want to enter into a soul spirit relationship with plants and the living world of nature on its own terms we must free ourselves from concepts, assumptions and individual desires.

If we want to work spiritually with a plant, we would want to meet the invisible but very perceptible, activity of the plant. This can only happen if we develop and create an intimate relationship with the plant itself. Such an attitude takes an inherent interest in the living world of nature that children often exhibit. Children have not yet developed their intellectuality and begun to veil the world with concepts through which they separate themselves from the outer world. Children delight in colors, movement, form and sounds and engage with them out of no apparent reason than pure joy and genuine interest. As adults we perceive that which we have concepts to perceive. For example when we look at a burdock, we already know that it is a burdock, -the burdock is already known- it is a concept.  We may even know it 'active ingredients', its nutritional value or healing qualities.

To be spiritually with a plant begins by entering a mood of inner Silence.  This Silence is not the ordinary silence we are familiar with. It is a presence and not simply the absence of noises.  It is a holy presence that is very alive and active.  When for example we take a walk in the woods we suddenly feel surrounded by the presence of a living Silence and feel a deep intimate connection with this holy presence. This entrance into Silence is the gateway through which it becomes possible to enter into unity with the living world. In Silence we feel seen; it is as if some presence perceives us as we perceive the presence.

Within this inner mood of Silence we may focus on the plant with genuine interest, as if seeing the plant for the very first time. Through the contemplative mood of inner Silence we discover the inner qualities of wonder and awe.  Within this inner Silence of wonder we lovingly attend to the plant itself, for example the burdock and let the soul spirit activities of the burdock reveal themselves. We invite them to reveal themselves on their own terms, a process called phenomenology. We are letting the phenomenon speak for itself without imposing anything.

Matsuo Basho, Japanese poet, once wrote “Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo.  And in doing so, you must let go of your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise you impose yourself on the object and don’t learn. Your poetry arises by itself when you and the object have become one, when you have plunged deep enough into the object to see something like a hidden light glimmering there.”

To plunge deep enough into the subject and experience the inner glimmering light as Basho invites us to do, we must enter into the inner life of nature. This requires that we enter empathetically into the plants own interiority. Interiority does not mean inside or hidden. The interiority is something completely perceptible.  We enter interiority  through inner Silence. In Silence we are united; us, the earth, the cosmos and the living world.  Being within Silence shifts us from being on lookers of the living world, others or ourselves, into having a felt relationship and connection with the plants, the world, others, and ourselves.

When this interior connection occurs from within inner Silence, there is sometimes an emotional response, such as we are sympathetically brought to tears.  It is important to let these emotions pass and just be present within Silence. The emotional response is not the plants connection with us, but our own surprise of experiencing this intimate connection.

For further exploration:
Silence, Robert Sardello
Cooking for the Love of the World, Anne-Marie Fryer
Heartfulness, Robert Sardello

Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.

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by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound

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