Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pattern Living

Our lives are governed by patterns. We understand the ways of the seasons and know when to plant and harvest our crops. And we know when to dress warmly and when to prepare for the summer heat. We know when a storm is coming because we've seen certain patterns in the clouds before. And we begin to understand the patterns of our lives, perhaps too late to do anything about them.
We study the patterns of our bodies and so are able to treat our illnesses. We can watch our weight for changes and adjust our diet accordingly. We can be prepared when our bodily rhythms change with time. And we can be prepared for growing old.
We can study the basic building blocks of all matter in the universe. We are better able to create new things, transform older things, and destroy obsolete things.
Patterns are everywhere in our lives. We can learn a great deal from them.

Patterns can tell us a great deal about the nature of the universe in which we live. And yet so often we simply rely on the earlier understandings of our forebears. Those who went before us, centuries ago, could only see the patterns in their immediate surroundings. And so their answers were incomplete. Today, we can see things on a much more global scale. And hopefully we can learn more about the nature of the universe by seeing the patterns with a much broader view.
For example, persons who lived in a harsh climate may have perceived God as a strict deity: easy to punish, and slow to appease. Yet, those who lived in a more lush environment may have seen numerous deities controlling the many life-giving forces of the world. But today we understand that the world has many different types of climate in every sort of range. The pattern is much broader than our ancestors could have ever imagined!

Every bit of understanding in the universe comes from seeing and understanding patterns. And some of the patterns are so clear.
The "birth, life, death, and silence" cycle is repeated throughout the universe everywhere. It plays itself out in our lives, and in the lives of stars. It governs the behavior of all elemental particles. And it also signals the recycling of raw materials from one life to the next.

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