Archive for June, 2012

How to tap into nature’s abundance

June.1. 2012

I became an avid reader of pop psychology (in the self-help department) a number of years ago, and it’s been an enlightening process.

True, there’re a lot of nutcases out there, spouting their own brand of esoteric wisdom in deliberately obscure language. They’re the ones who give pop psychology a bad name, but there’re charlatans in every field of human endeavor.

And then there’re the self-help ‘superstars,’ those gurus who seem to materialize every now and then on some PBS pledge drive. I tend to see them as a good reason not to support PBS. (Do we really need another Wayne Dyer special?)

I follow the real gurus, those who have a message, and what I try to do is understand how their wisdom apply in the real world or whether they even have any applications.

One of the tricky things about these wisdom is that many of them belong in the category of what I call ‘asthma/catmeat’ type wisdom.

They work, but under quite different conditions from what’s presupposed.

(If you’re a cat lover, this may be a good time to stop reading the rest of this article as it may contain some disturbing images.)

What’s the asthma/catmeat connection?

Well, many Chinese (especially the older generation) believe that eating catmeat will cure asthma. Now I have yet to hear of any scientific basis for this belief but it does make sense, because after you kill the family cat for its meat, the source of the asthma is gone. That’s how it works, very indirectly.

The principle works in many things – seemingly unrelated factors accounting for seemingly crazy beliefs or superstitions.

To mention another one; there’s a fengshui belief that you should never live in a house situated at a crossroad junction (often known as a T-junction). (In fact if you’re a Chinese and have a house right at the head of a road, good luck to you, you’ll never sell it to another Chinese. )

What’s the reason for this superstition? Well, it doesn’t take much to understand that if you live in the direct path of oncoming traffic, there’s a good probability that one day, some myopic driver will drive straight into your house, especially considering that in olden times, there were no such things as streetlights.

After that long introduction, let me get back to my subject – nature’s abundance.

This is one of those seemingly wacky feelgood ideas that’s floating out there of which I was especially skeptical about before.

If nature is so abundant, why is there so much poverty in the world?

But now, after thinking about it, I realize that the concept is fully rooted in reality and it’s probably one of the most powerful concepts out there, because it can literally change a person’s life.

Nature is abundant.

Just look at the natural resources out there. Fish in the sea, game in the jungles, fruits in the trees. In fact, you can stretch this further to include every natural resource that we routinely harvest, resources such as trees for lumber, oil and coal in the ground, and now wind to drive our turbines. (I won’t go into the dangers of overexploitation of these resources, that’s for another discussion.)

Truly, if you look at it from any angle, nature is abundant.

Everything’s out there for the taking. Everything.

But, and this is a big BUT, there is only one problem.

To get these resources, you’ll have to go out and get them. In other words, you’ll have to exert effort to harvest them.

Fish and wild game don’t jump into your cooking pot, you’ll have to catch them. If you want fruits, you’ll have to climb the trees. And in our own times, If you want to harvest lumber, you’ll have to go into the jungle and cut them down. If you want oil, you’ll have to drill for them.

To make it worse, nature doesn’t make it easy for you to harvest its abundance either.

To catch fish, you need skill and proper tools, the same goes for wild game and everything else we want to harvest.

And this is the reason why there’s so poverty; because people don’t go out and harvest nature’s abundance, either because they don’t want to exert the effort, or they lack the necessary skills and tools.

So it comes down to one basic fact:

If you live in the jungle, and you don’t go out and hunt for food, and you starve to death, you have no one to blame but yourself, because you are surrounded by food.

That was my big revelation.

Nature is abundant.

Everything we need is out there for the taking.

The reason why some people have plenty is because they exerted effort to harvest nature’s abundance.

And the reason why some people have nothing is because they do not exert the effort to harvest this abundance.

But you protest, you don’t live in a jungle, you’re not surrounded by wild game and fish. Where is this nature’s abundance in your part of town?

That’s the subject of my next article. Stay tuned.