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Signs Everywhere
By Radha Burnier
Through the ages, sensitive minds have found enduring inspiration in Nature’smanifestations. They have hinted at lessons that every human being can find inthe exhaustible variety of phenomena and forms around us. But we are generallyblind to these “signs” of the Divine Presence that, according to Islamic tradition,are manifested everywhere. Those who have Shakespeare will remember hiswords about finding “tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons instones, and good in everything.” As a wise Teacher pointed out in the early yearsof our Society, a hint must be taken from wherever it is found. Hints are abundantin Creation.Jesus also taught his disciples to “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;they toil not, neither do they spin.” There are many beautiful and fragrant flowerswhose very presence brings happiness to passersby. L. Schmithausen in hisscholarly work on
Buddhism and Nature 
, draws attention to the view that they areexamples of spiritual perfection, not afraid, free of desire, anger, love ofpossession, and so forth. Through Nature, the Divine Mind reveals coutless othersplendours. Jami, the Sufi mystic wrote “My world-endowing Beauty, to display itssplendours, in a thousand mirrors shines.”David Bohm the physicist, pointed out in his book
Wholeness and the Implicate Order 
, that order and beauty constitute a fundamental aspect of Reality. Naturemanifests, but only partially, the majesty and artistry of that Reality in our world ofsense perception and mind, in a vast number of things we come into contact within Nature. In his
The Imprisoned Splendour 
, Raynor Johnson wrote: “We maydraw attention to some bird songs, to the magnificently rich colouration of rosellparrots, to the colours and patterns of deep-sea fish (where there is practically nolight) and also of butterflies, and to the perfection of colour and construction ofthe peacock’s feathers…Wherever we look in Nature we see the evidence ofartistic exuberance far beyond utilitarian survival.” Such manifestations inspire usto lift our eyes to the “Beyond.”
The inscrutable Intelligence directing evolution also reveals itself everywhere.The well-known biologist E. O. Wilson, who specializes in entomology,particularly the study of ants, tells us that they “gather food, fight off enemies,deposit rubbish and fallen comrades in neat heaps outside their nest, and pull offsome of the most amazing feats of engineering in the animal kingdom. How docolonies achieve this, when the brains of their individual members are solimited? . . . No one, it seems, is pulling the colony’s strings, so how does itmanage to function as a whole?” With all respect to this eminent specialist, wemay say that something
pull the strings of the colonies, and that is theCosmic Mind, the intelligence of the Universe.Evolution is a vast movement taking living beings towards perfection and thehighest level of consciousness. At the human stage, we have the privilege ofwatching and learning where we are going form the signs around us—nearer tosupernal beauty, intelligence, and truth.
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