April 07, 2011
The Value of Directly Experiencing Nature
Author and vision quest leader Flynn Johnson shares with us a story of Mouse, who encounters the world and meets a variety of friends along the way... and as we begin to see similarities between ourselves and Mouse, we see how sometimes the labels and names we give things presents as much of a barrier to direct knowledge of the totality of that thing as it does some sense of having categorized it. Johnson explains the difference between factual knowledge and a more mystical union with direct experience, "wisdom explains itself as a gnosis, a knowing that penetrates below the surface of things to the underlying soul of what is perceived." Johnson shows us how through transforming where we put our attention, we bear witness to sacredness, and the sense of ineffability intrinsic to everything.
I love the way such depth of understanding of life, human experience, and our relationship with one another and nature is expressed through a simple story about Mouse's journey in "Journey to the Sacred Mountain." Flynn Johnson provides us with fresh insights in each new chapter, named after characters Mouse met on his journey, as each animal's part of the story is shown to reveal further insights of self awareness and spiritual truth. Johnson's inclusion of elements from Native American spirituality, Buddhism, mystical poetry, and psychology provides readers with a beautiful feeling of having undergone a vision quest, as does a special section full of summaries of people's stories who've undergone vision quests.
I highly recommend "Journey to the Sacred Mountains" to anyone interested in better understanding vision quests, and all readers seeking deeper knowledge of the truth nature so eloquently reveals whenever the we show we are open-minded, open-hearted, and willing to humbly learn.