#4 My Re-enchantment

Enchanted has two different aspects. First is that I’m enchanted when I experience something so surprising or beautiful or exciting or breathtaking or or or…that I get lost momentarily, I lose myself. Or something is enchanted—a world, a life, a forest, a moment, an ‘evening’—when it has a ‘magical’ dimension, characteristics which science cannot explain, which is often subtle enough to simply shrug off as ‘cool’, which often involve synchronicity. That first feeling of being ‘enchanted’ may be the same as ‘awe’. Awe involves the shrinking self, being lost in some form of beauty. Experiencing ‘awe’ according to the writer/thinker/professor Dachar Keltner, encourages ‘pro-social behaviors’. The natural world, the wild world, is enchanted in that while much of the ongoing evolutionary process is understood and documented, so much is still unknown. Why wouldn’t experiencing firsthand an evolutionary process at work inspire awe, be enchanting? To me, being in awe while witnessing an event resulting from the most successful process the planet has ever known, makes total sense.  Watching the fall mating rituals of elk, a dragonfly emerging from its nymph case, a datura opening at night, etc. induces awe and is definitely enchanting. Do trees have spirits? Our ancestors felt that they did. How about rocks and springs and mountains, deemed sacred by Native people? Did Terry and I really witness a funereal experience when those bison in Lamar Valley reverently, rhythmically circled their wolf-killed matriarch? That was utterly enchanting, along with everything else. Being enchanted witnessing the enchanted world is one thing. It assumes perhaps that part of the world is enchanted once we see and experience it. But what if the entire world is enchanted, as Einstein alluded to when he wrote “Live your life as if nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle.” I’ve tried imagining a world where ‘nothing is a miracle’,  where the only meaning is that which we’ve define, where we human knowledge is supreme, where everything has price but nothing has true value, and the only mystery has been kidnapped by religion and sold back to us. I can’t. Sun rising on wings, this morning