Hiking for Wholeness

“We must learn to view everything as part of “Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement”                                David Bohm, American physicist 1917 – 1992

The elections have been certified. Opposing camps are each in their own bubble and aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Our world is as divided as ever, despite certification of election results, despite the growing pandemic numbers, despite the cry for help from the unemployed, the almost-homeless, the ones grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, or the loss of a loved one to police brutality and racial profiling. Division weighs heavy. The sides blame or shake their head in disbelief. Maybe they suspect, fear, or know that the force is against them and deny being that force. We can’t look the other way and say, “I didn’t cause your fears, your suspicions, your evil acts; this is not my world.” The fact is this world is all of our world. We are in this together.

What If? We conduct our business, walk through our days, share with those we love or feel affinity. Can you give to the man-down-the-street who disagrees with you? Can you keep a friendship going when you discover your friend believes in conspiracy, or believes they’re the “good guy”? Does the woman on the other side of the divide, want you in her life? What if? What if we adopted a family we disagree with for Christmas? Gave them what they ask for – if it’s within our means? What if we shared without judging? I received an unsolicited phone call from a woman belonging to a group of volunteers who wanted to spread a positive message with a bible verse. This woman called me across the divide, shared from a faith that isn’t mine. 

The Balancing Act When I do the Covid safe thing and hike the hills around my home, I find my belonging. I’m part of a world that is whole. Trees, grasses, moss, lichen, shrubs, insects, worms, animals, birds support each other in their survival! Too much lichen? The tree dies. No birds of prey? Too many rabbits will nibble the greenery and the grasses die. No grass? Erosion follows. You see, it all hangs together. So I hike to remind myself, to think, to find solutions. We haven’t acted as if everything hangs together. We’ve sponsored our species – (hu)man – over plants, trees, soil and animals. We’ve cut trees – too many – and spewed toxins into the air. We are the ones who’ve created the imbalance. Is nature sending us a message? Is it necessary for the continuation of the whole that 2 million people die from a pandemic? When a rabbit population grows exponentially, because of an imbalance in nature, rabbits starve and die. 

Thinking in Slogans We’re taught to think in slogans and save ourselves and the planet. “Better to wear a mask than a ventilator” makes sense. “Reduce, reuse, recycle”. A slogan to save the planet that isn’t a solution anymore. Reduce, reuse- that’s a beginning. “Family will hang together”. Try it. Kids in lockdown doing long distance learning don’t bring families together; it tears them apart, if the parents are juggling jobs and teaching, and never get a break. “Time for Nature” causes the hordes to descend on our National Parks and pollute the environment. If we can’t teach people how to behave as part of an ecosystem, sending people into nature leads to disaster and not a turn to “Whole” thinking. Among the political candidates in 2020, I found only three with slogans that infer we’re part of a whole. Beto O’Rourke “We’re all in this together” Sanders: “Not me, Us”. Hickenlooper: “Come together”. (Who is coming together here though?) Others focus on America in contrast to other countries. America isn’t a separate world that stands on its own. Trump uses, “Make America Great Again”. Amy Kobuchar says: “Amy for America”. Wayne Messam, “Wayne for America”. Are these folks thinking that their loyalty to America solves the problems w’re having? Maybe, what we need is Yang’s “Make America Think Again”; it cleverly stands for “Math”. However, doing the math of the divide we’re in, doesn’t bring us together. Congress is trying with the extra spending bills, and you can see where that’s going. Not much “whole” thinking there. Biden who uses the slogan, “Our best days still lie ahead” is on to something, because the current days are not very good. Not that it brings people together, to have a better future hanging out there like a carrot on a stick. People’s appetites for a better future across the divide are different: some want hot-dogs, others carrots-on-a-stick and they’ll fight over who gets what. 

Hiking toward Wholeness So I’ll keep hiking to experience my connection with the “Whole”, I’ll shop locally to support businesses with disparate views, give financial support to all people who’ve suffered in the last wild fire, and contribute to the food bank to feed people no matter what their belief, their opinion or reason they need help. The whole of this planet in this universe will bump along until it doesn’t anymore. “Share the Love” for the holidays, not by buying a new Subaru but by driving the old one that is doing just fine. I agree with Tom Steyer’s ”Climate Change Cannot Wait” and “Actions Speak Louder than Words”. 

You can find the documentary on David Bohm and his search toward proving Wholeness here
Comments and shares are always appreciated! 

2 thoughts on “Hiking for Wholeness

  1. I have just discovered your book “Walking Gone Wild”. I am 75 and a beginner walker. I took walking for granted for so many years, and that the ability would be there when I wanted it. But back issues are making it clear that if I don’t walk I will not be able to. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains so there is not shortage of beautiful vistas. Your blog is very motivating.


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