‘Ibotenic Thread’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 1999)

It comes to all of us

I suppose

Who aspire

Perspire

Inspire

Expire

To be good

To do good

To feel good

In the eyes of our selves

In the eyes of others

In the eyes of mothers

Fathers

.

Only to flail

Slip and slither

To the base of a well

In our own private Hell

Where none can fathom

What depth there can be

Beneath what we see

Before where we started

And find in that place

A smidgeon of grace

Midst the vastness of space

Recalling us to life

For further exploration of the depth of ‘natural self-inclusion in neighbourhood’, please visit http://www.spanglefish.com/exploringnaturalinclusion


Evolution in Response to Receptive Invitation

Radiant Receptivity (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 2020): To be a Guiding Light of Life; Radiating into Darkness; One needs to Receive the Light of Life; From out of Darkness; Into Flowing, Flowering Form; Around the Stillness; Within One’s Dark Receptive Heart. This Place where Female calls Male receptively; Into welcoming Embrace; And Male receptively responds; In Spirited Congregation; Around the Altar of Her Soul; Bringing the Light of Life; To Flare from the Fathomless Depth of Being; That is Becoming; Endlessly

https://youtu.be/es6eg8e_0aY

Here, as in the above short video presentation, I want to ask a simple but ultimately deep and far-reaching question:-

“Who or what is your neighbourhood?”

Why do I ask this question? Why does it deserve your special attention when you are already so bombarded with so many other concerns in your modern everyday life? What difference could seeking an answer to it make to your life, my life, human life, life on Earth?

What thoughts, feelings, sensations and intuitions are aroused in you as you contemplate this question? Does it arouse your…


Spider Oak’ (Photograph by Tom Cairns for Bath Natural History Society, 2013)

How we answer this question affects not only the way we understand life, but also the degree to which we hold ourselves responsible for what happens to us.

Here it may help us to take a step beyond our immediate human concerns and consider what a tree, for example can tell us about decision-making.

It’s a helpful example, because a tree actually records its life experience in its bodily form: its branching pattern, its leaf and bud scars, its growth rings, its healed and unhealed wounds.

When we examine this record, how do we interpret it?

Do we view it…


Confluence’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 2021) Here combined are the local tangible elements of Earth (solid), Water (liquid) and Air (gas) formed from the intangible elements of Fire/light and Space/darkness, symbolized further by the two wings, two tail streamers and head and body of an arctic tern (which migrates annually between Arctic and Antarctic circles). We also see a transition from radial/spherical symmetry associated with stillness and bilateral symmetry associated with movement. Correspondingly, the imagery symbolizes the vitality of the mutually inclusive bodily and soulful/spiritual middle in bringing seemingly opposite but actually complementary viewpoints (as per left and right wings) into confluence.

All arises from and all returns to silence.

All dynamically includes and is included within silence.

There can be no sound without silence.

Silence is in the depth of our souls and the tread of our soles.

Calling all into flow-formation

The everlasting grace of infinite, receptive space,

Ignored by Pride & Prejudice,

Adored by Sense & Sensibility*.

* https://admrayner.medium.com/natural-inclusionality-a-new-natural-philosophy-of-sense-sensibility-6ba8ea79f513

For further exploration of the silence within, throughout and all around us, please visit http://www.spanglefish.com/exploringnaturalinclusion


From Abstract Exclusion to Natural Inclusion

Confluence’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 2021) Here combined are the local tangible elements of Earth (solid), Water (liquid) and Air (gas) formed from the intangible elements of Fire/light and Space/darkness, symbolized further by the two wings, two tail streamers and head and body of an arctic tern (which migrates annually between Arctic and Antarctic circles). We also see a transition from radial/spherical symmetry associated with stillness and bilateral symmetry associated with movement. Correspondingly, the imagery symbolizes the vitality of the mutually inclusive bodily and soulful/spiritual middle in bringing seemingly opposite but actually complementary viewpoints (as per left and right wings) into confluence.


Ptear Drops’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 2000)

There’s nothing more upsetting

Than being ignored

When that receptive calling for what we need -

Food, water, knowledge, understanding, love -

To keep us alive

Dwelling in the seat of souls

Goes unheard

By blithe spirits

Certain of their prowess

Soaring above us all

With heads in the clouds

Excised from bodily belonging

In natural neighbourhood

.

Talking down to us

In superior tones

From outside

Like airy fairies

Lacking substance

While seeing only what’s made to measure

Unaware of how we feel and what we know inside

Our embodied inner vision

Which we could tell them if they…


‘Reaping the Whirlwind’ (pen, ink and watercolour sketch on paper by Alan Rayner, 2017) A moody reflection on the vicious spiral of needless conflict caused by the abstract estrangement of human nature from Nature

When you hear someone call out in pain

Do you assume there’s something wrong with them

That needs to be put right?

.

A lack of resilience

A screw loose somewhere

A basic design fault

A deficient sense of humour

A failure to adapt,

Keep calm and carry on

Regardless

.

Or do you wonder

What’s gone wrong for them

That calls for attention?

.

A good slave

In a good slave-owner’s eyes

Is one who does what they are told

Without complaint

.

So, who’s wrong, what’s wrong

When a slave calls out in pain?

.

Is it the…


Loving Error’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 1998) The heart of natural energy circulation brings responsive pulsing and receptive draining into reciprocal relationship through the natural inclusion of space here, there and everywhere into dynamic form

No man is an island entire of it self” (John Donne)

I have never felt self-sufficient. Very far from it. I am acutely aware of my own fallibility and consequent need for trusting companionship with others who can help me out of a fix while I do the same for them. I am equally aware of my unique individual qualities, experience and skills and how these can contribute co-creatively with others’ to the common good. I feel pleasure and joy in making my contribution and benefiting from others’. I recognise that collectively combining complementary individual qualities is the essence of…


Sphagnum Moss’ (Oil painting on canvas by Alan Rayner, 2003) A labyrinthine network; Of Life; In a matrix of death. A close interdependence; Of One with the Other; Fills Like a Sponge; With Water; Or Blood. Cushioning; Soothing; Healing; Filtering. Raising Ground out of Water; For others to root in; Building on the Backs; Of past endeavours. Death Feeds Life; In a succession; Of amplifying Diversity. But a distanced humanity; Walled Into Itself; Feeds Death With Life.

Life becomes a dreadful fright

When nobody can be trusted

Individually or collectively

To know or do what’s right

Least of all yourself

.

Is this what’s become of us

You and me

In this age of post-modernity

As we struggle to find our way clear

From complex entanglement

In webs of deceit

Constructed to entrap

Our minds, hearts and guts

In paralysed bodies

Awaiting consumption?

.

Is there really no way to know

What does and doesn’t make sense

As we wait in suspense

For who knows what

To ingest us as prey

In order to live

On what…


Tumbledown’ (Oil painting on canvas by Alan Rayner, 2007) Painted following a visit to the geologically unstable landscape on the Dorset coast around Lyme Regis and Seaton and its revelations of prehistoric life on Earth.

How can I, how can we

Escape those legacies of past pretence?

Those lofty aspirations

That distract us

From being as we are

Becoming what we can be:

Simply needful creatures

Looking for sustenance -

No more, no less

Than what keeps us alive

Our means to love and be loved

In our passing

From cradle to grave to cradle

In each other’s continual company

.

All these human inventions

That cut us adrift:

Money, property, status, certainty

And the fear of their loss

Through holes in our defences

Passing down generations

From what’s gone before

To what comes again

Alan Rayner

Alan Rayner is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist, who is pioneering the philosophy of natural inclusion

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store