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Excerpt from The Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav (Reverence – Chapter 3 Page52/53)
Reverence is a perception, but it is a holy perception. The perception of holiness is not one we use continually. It is one that we apply to religion, but not to the process of evolution or the learning process of the human Life, and so we do not approach the need to learn and all of the learning experiences of our lives with regard for their purpose against the background of spiritual development. Perceiving in this way is true reverence, because it allows you to look at what you are going through and to see it within the framework of the evolution and the maturation of your own spirit. It is true reverence, because it enables you to look at all the evolutions that are taking place simultaneously with your own, in all the kingdoms of Life, and fully appreciate, or at least see very differently, how they unfold.
Only when we see through eyes that lack reverence, for example, does the feeding of one animal upon another appear to be a cruel system instead of one where species learn to give to each other, where there is a natural give and take and sharing of the energies between kingdoms. This is ecology: the natural redistribution of energy between kingdoms. It is only our kingdom, the human kingdom, that wants to warehouse energy, to use much more than it needs and to store what it does not, so that the balance of the cycle is disturbed so dramatically. If each of us took only what he or she needed for that day, it would be perfect. Animals do not warehouse like us, except in the case of animals that need to for winter.
The perception of reverence allows us to see the interdependency of different species from a more comprehensive and compassionate perspective. It allows us to see the significance of each living creature, and its experiences, to the compassionate unfolding of the Universe. This perspective is much less likely to create violent or destructive responses within us as we grow through our lives because it reveals in each moment the value of all Life.
Approaching and regarding Life with an attitude of reverence permits the experience of being unempowered but not cruel. As you work toward becoming reverent, your tendencies toward harming others and other forms of Life diminish. As you acquire a sense of reverence, you develop a capacity to think more deeply about the value of Life before you commit your energy to action. When you are fully reverent, you cannot harm Life, even though you are unempowered. Without reverence the experience of being unempowered can become a very cruel one because a disempowered person is a frightened person, and if a frightened person has no sense of reverence, he or she will harm or kill indiscriminately.
Reverence is a level of protection and honor about the process of life so that while a person is maturing toward the journey of authentic empowerment, he or she harms nothing. Because we have no reverence, our journey to empowerment often includes the experiences of victimizing life. Therefore, there are victims and victimizers. The process of destroying Life while we are learning about Life that has characterized our evolution would cease, or at least would be very different, if we approached life with a quality of reverence.
It is because we have no sense of reverence, no true belief in the holiness of all Life, that Life is destroyed and tortured, brutalized, starved and maimed while we journey from unempowerment to empowerment. If a sense of reverence were brought into the process of evolution, then as each of us, and our species, move through the cycle of being unempowered to becoming empowered, the many leanings that are contained within that growing process of evolution would not likely produce violence and fear to the extent that it is now experienced.
The destructions of human Life, plant Life, animal Life, and the planet would be considerably diminished, or would cease, if there were an active principle of reverence within our species, if there were the perception within our species, and within each of us, that although we are engaged in evolutionary processes that require personal learning, that does not authorize us to destroy Life while we are learning, or because we are. We would not have the karmic energy of destruction, only of learning. Even though learning is contained in destruction, the karmic consequences of participating in violence and destruction are a high price to pay for it.
It is not necessary, in other words, to learn what we need to learn and have it cost somebody his or her life. It is not necessary for progress and the experience of progress to cost the destruction of nature. It is not necessary, but without a sense of reverence for Life, who cares that it destroys Life? Without reverence, Life becomes a very cheap commodity, as it is upon our planet now where the entire process and the sacredness of evolution is not regarded, accepted, or honored.
If we perceived Life with reverence, and understood our evolutionary process, we would stand in awe at the experience of physical Life and walk the Earth in a very deep sense of gratitude. As it is, there are billions of human beings who are filled with regret that they are on the Earth, with overwhelming experiences of pain, despair, discouragement, depression, starvation and disease. These are the things of our planet. They result largely from the fact that so much of the human condition is without reverence.