“As we begin to feel our way in and through the natural world, we begin to transcend the rational, functional consciousness of viewing life as an amalgam of objects put there for our sole use and benefit. We feel our way into a range of connectivity.

“Emotional connectedness … becomes a perceptual wisdom that begins to see what systems theorist Jeremy Lent calls the ‘patterning instinct’ across several life structures. It can evolve into what visionaries like Douglas E. Christie describe as a contemplative gaze.

“If we can remain long enough, feeling our way with and through this enduring intensity of presence, I do not think we can escape the organic empowering mystery staring us in the face at every one of life’s turns. We can attend to the inner essence, the womb of our becoming, the nurturing breast that provides our daily food, and the creative vitality that awakens our imaginations, intuitions, and sense of mystery.”