The mystery of creation is not that mountains are magnificent, that flowers are colourful, that birds are little flying miracles of iridescence - the real mystery lies in the fact that we can appreciate these things.
Mountains, flowers, birds are matter, physics and chemistry, atoms and molecules. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
Is a mountain beautiful in itself? Is it beautiful if no-one is looking at it? I think not. Beauty arises when we, as sentient beings, look at a mountain and respond to it with awe, with pleasure – it is our awareness, our consciousness, our appreciation that is so amazing.
For some people a mountain is an ugly thing, a fearful thing, a place to be avoided as they drive hell for leather for the city. Their response also is a miracle, a mystery beyond our powers of comprehension. They are aware and self-aware – where on earth did that power come from?
Some people say that conscious awareness emerges from matter when it organises itself into sufficiently complex living forms. I say they must have bats in their belfry.
God made the universe, including the world we inhabit, and he saw that it was good.
He gave us eyes to see, and the spark of divine consciousness, and we see also that the creation is good. Admittedly it does not always feel good to us, as when a tsunami destroys and kills, but even then, our ability to feel fear, horror, and empathy is a miracle we somehow take for granted.
To me the most awe inspiring thing about the creation is that I can wonder at its splendour. It is the wonder that is the most wonderful part of all.
The middle verse of Ron’s poem below,“Horses in a frosted field”, expresses the same idea: horses, as they set about filling their stomachs, presumably have a rudimentary consciousness. We, “the species that reports these things” can “marvel at the sun-birth over Cockshoot Wood”.
HORSES IN A FROSTED FIELD
Sun-silhouetted, their shadows thrown towards me:
Two horses in a frosted field
Muzzles deep in silvered grass
Bowed in dumb submission, survival their goad.
But I, a different breed,
An animal of sorts, and pampered,
The species that reports these things,
Marvel at the sun-birth over Cockshoot Wood,
And how, though they've moved away heads down, I stay;
Staring at the groping light through mist
And at bare beseeching limbs of trees trying to grasp the sun.
Its shortened solstice-journey just begun,
But blazing gloriously.
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