Natural May 5, 2014


Throughout history, there has always been a dissonant conversation between those who feel we as humans are dark creatures who need to be controlled and those who feel that we are born with and innate goodness that allowed to blossom will heal the world. Of course, it’s both. This passage is part of my own inquiry.


To say there’s a moral order to the Universe is to speak of physics as if it were nature and not our understanding of how nature works. It’s how we fool ourselves into thinking we are the architects of this journey. This is real knowledge: marching barefoot from the concentration camp, a man stumbles and others fall on top of him because they know he will be killed.

It’s our impulse to protect what falls, to bring water to the thirsty, to love what is hurting. Even today, at the food mart, a woman struggles at a pay phone and I fumble without thinking, “Here, use my cell.”

Before we learn to judge and hesitate, we break surface like whales looking for each other. It’s not moral. It’s natural. I know a vet who lost a leg. Now he rescues homeless dogs. I know a psychologist who stopped seeing clients because he was drowning in their stories. Now he’s a painter who gives portraits to the dying.

I keep asking, “What does it mean to be alive?” Each day reduces me to this question. And each breaking and joining for sixty years has been an answer that like water slips through my hands.

On the way home, I fall on the ice fiddling with my groceries. Two young boys are there in a flash: gathering what broke, cleaning what didn’t, helping me up.

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  • Tom DeZell

    It is the God in me patiently waiting for me to lean on that Goodness. It is the pain that I have felt for my entire life, pain that I allowed to cripple me for so long; I see it easily in others.

  • Dear Mark,

    I hope this email finds you in good health and happiness. I wanted to first, thank you from the deepest part of my soul, for being such an inspiring and dedicated teacher to me, and for so many others. Your beautiful perspective and profound wisdom is reflected in all that you do. Your weekly reflection is no exception to the amazing spiritual journey you continue to take me and others on. I will be forever grateful to you for so many reasons. I was compelled to share with you my answer to your question this week. I hope you enjoy the read. My life has been ONE big moment. Everyday, since I can remember, presents me with a beautiful opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Just as the sun rises with no hesitation each morning to shine her beauitful light into our lives without question, she is there. I feel very much the desire to do the same for everyone I know, and for people I may never see or meet again. I wake up each morning, with a smile on my face and the excitement of Christmas morning in my heart, as I walk into my daughters room to gently wake her up with a kiss on her forehead and say, “Good morning LOVE.” At that moment, my heart is in line with such gratitude for all that I have and it set’s the tone for the rest of my day. I believe we all have so much to be grateful for. We just need to pay close attention to it or perhaps create a touch of gratitude for someone else. Just as nature is there to give back her positive beauitful energy with no hesitation, I believe we should give back our beautiful positive energy to one another as well. Mother Nature doesn’t know our names but yet she is there for all who pay attention to what she has to to offer us. And boy, her offering is endless. I call it, “Borrowed Energy.” No different than smiling at a stranger, giving someone a much needed hug or taking a moment to thank our brave service men and women for all they do. I am there. This passed Easter, I was buying a stuffed bunny rabbit for my daughter, who is now 17. As I was paying for it, a mother of three young children were in front of me. She was juggling her bags in one hand, caring a child in the other, and her other two children were hanging on each of her legs. I asked, ” Do you need any help going out to the car?” She replied, “No thank you but can you tell me. Is there any more stuffed bunnies left?” I replied, “Yes, there is one more left on the shelf.” She said, “My daughter would love that bunny. I must send my husband back to get one.” I hope it’s still there when he comes.” We wished each other a Happy Easter and she walked away. I quickly left the store in hopes to find her. With no coincidence, her car was right next to mine, I waited unil she put her last child in the car seat before telling her, “I’d be happy to run back inside and get you the bunny.” She said, ” You would do that?” I replied with a smile, “It would be my pleasure.” I was back in a flash and I handed her the last bunny. She said with amazement, “Thank you so much!” “Can I do anything for you?” I replied,”Yes, Have a Happy Easter and enjoy your children, they grow up so fast and it will the best journey you’ll ever take.” We gave each other a hug and went our separate ways. No different than a beautiful sunset… I was there. I touched her life and she touched mine.

    Thank you again for all you do.

    I will remain forever grateful,