It’s a combination of order and chaos, somehow indecipherable, yet beautiful. And, if we study it for a while, we start to see some sort of order or pattern.
Lichen is something we commonly see growing on rocks and tree branches. But how often do we stop to really ponder its fascinating, beautiful and intricate patterns?
Initially it looks like it all is in turmoil. We can pick out some patterns but others appear random and beyond our grasp and which we sense will always be so.
But isn’t that also often true of our own emotional experience?
Our emotions can appear random, complex, and hard to decipher. But, when we look closely, we can often find a pattern.
Just as we stop and study the patterns in the lichen, so too we can stop and give attention to our emotions. If we sit still and quiet for long enough we will allow a calm to settle around the chatter of our mind, enough for us to start to see a bit more clearly. We must not try and achieve it by force or by willing it to be so, because that would only trigger more chaos. We must just let it happen, let it come from inside. It takes time.
It cannot be rushed.
In time, we will see the patterns and where they repeat. We may even have a eureka moment in which we perceive the interconnection between disparate concepts or ideas to reveal something new.
“There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort.” Frank Herbert.