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Timeless Wisdom

The Three-fold Miracle
by Duane Elgin
Voluntary Simplicity, pp. 108-109

In our 'normal' daily experience we do not live with a direct and conscious appreciation of the universe. Instead, we live almost completely immersed in a socially constructed reality that so fully absorbs our energy and attention that virtually none remains to experience the wonder of our existence. The tragedy of modern industrial cultures is the superficiality that we accept and, indeed maintain, as the common denominator in human affairs. We unconsciously trivialize the human experiment with shallow pursuits of money and social status that mask rather than celebrate the magnificence of the human being.

All the while a miracle of creation surrounds us and intimately infuses every particle of our existence. American Indian lore speaks of our existence as a threefold miracle: 'that things exist at all, that life came out of things, and finally, that life became conscious of itself.'(*) The miracle of form. The miracle of living form. And the miracle of living form that is conscious of its life. We take these three amazing facts of our existence for granted. We become desensitized and behave as if these perpetual miracles were unimportant in the conduct of our everyday lives. Then, individually and culturally, we forget these miracles. Once forgotten by an entire culture, they are difficult to rediscover. Voluntary simplicity -- encountering life more consciously and directly -- facilitates this discovery.

(*) Bill Broder, The Sacred Hoop

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