As Close To Eden As You’ll Get

by Lance Ekum on · 55 comments

Today, it is an honor to have Daphne as our guest writer.  Daphne is a wonderful friend, caring lady, and all-around ‘giver of joy’.  A talented writer, Daphne shares thought-provoking and uplifting  articles at Joyful Days – a blog with a real focus on finding happiness and abundance through personal development.  A recent example of one of her articles is Back to the Start: Why You Do What You Do, in which she discusses the value in examining the decisions we make as we work to better understand ourselves.

Daphne’s words will uplift and inspire you.  You can follow along with her by visiting her blog Joyful Days.  For regular updates, subscribe to her RSS feed.

Today, we’re headed into the jungle!  Read along, as Daphne talks about…

As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” ~ St. Augustine

The name of this blog caught my attention from the beginning. A jungle to me was a dark foreboding place, and I wondered why Lance named his blog “Jungle of Life”. Later I found out more about a jungle and was amazed at its beauty and what it can teach us about life.

The Original Jungle

The Bialowieza Puszcza is a half-million acre jungle straddling the border between Poland and Belarus. It is Europe’s last remaining fragment of old-growth wilderness. Trees here reach 150 feet, with moss that’s grown on them for half a millenium.

(The source for all quotes on the Bialowieza are from “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman.)

Lesson #1: Life proceeds from Death

In the Bialowieza, the profusion of life owes much to all that is dead. Almost a quarter of the organic mass aboveground is in assorted stages of decay.

If you have ever walked in a jungle, you’ll remember stepping on the dried and decaying leaves that cover the ground. Death and dying are a natural part of the life cycle. In our developed cities, on the other hand, we have tried to separate dying from living. We put the old and dying away in hospitals or homes, instead of living among them, keeping them part of us, and imbibing their wisdom. This is the opposite of nature’s way.

Lesson #2: Life takes care of itself

The Bialoweiza is the only place left with all nine European woodpecker species because some of them only nest in hollow, dying trees. “They can’t survive in managed forests” says forester Andrzej Bobiec, “The Bialowieza Puszcza has managed itself perfectly well for millenia.”

Humans as a species try to manage everything we come into contact with. We like things to be clean, orderly, predictable. Our overzealous management of people and places often upsets the natural balance, and causes something to be lost.

We sometimes forget that life on earth managed perfectly well before we came along, and will continue to do so after we leave. Perhaps it is time to stop micro-managing people and places and trust life to nurture its own creations.

Lesson #3: Divisions are man-made

An iron curtain bisects this paradise, erected by the Soviets in 1980 along the border to thwart escapees to Poland’s renegade Solidarity movement. Although wolves dig under it, and roe deer and elk are believed to leap it, the herd of the largest of Europe’s mammals (wisent) remains divided, and with it, its gene pool – divided and mortally diminished, some zoologists fear.

Nature does not try to own things. We do. We like boundaries and territories. We divide the world we live in into “yours” and “mine”.  We guard our portfolios at work, we want ownership rights for our property, we even think our children belong to us.

By claiming our ‘territory’, we restrict the flow of ideas, of energy, and of love across boundaries of nation, race, religion, and socio-economic classes. When we can release the need to own, then maybe we can enjoy all that life has to offer.

Was Eden a jungle?

I don’t know about you, but my mental image of Eden was more like a pretty English garden than a primeval jungle. Yet that’s probably not what the original Eden was like at all. Perhaps even our concept of paradise is contrived, landscaped, managed.

Would you recognise Eden if you were walking in it? Could you accept the disorder and the decay without wanting to clean it up and arrange everything neatly? Maybe this messy life you have now IS Eden, or as close to Eden as you’ll get. Let’s appreciate and enjoy the “jungle of life”.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Mindful mimi May 11, 2009 at 5:24 am

What a true post. I am always surprised at how complicated we really have made our life thinking we were making it easier, simpler and more practical. Having small children asking a lot of WHY questions especially makes you realize that 🙂
Why do we put dead people in a box? (at a recent funeral)
Why can’ t priests get married? (catholic ones that is)
Why can’t we work from home? (and stay with our children)
Why can’t the whole world be a place of play loudly and as we like it, using any props we find? (asked all the time).
I often have no really valid answer. I try to give freedom to play, grow and be creative. So maybe they will be able to rectify our mistakes
Thanks for this post. And thanks Lance for introducing Daphne.


Chase March May 11, 2009 at 5:52 am

What a wonderful way to start my Monday morning.

I love how you organized and managed this blog to get your message out. Perhaps it is impossible for us to get away from over-complicating things. We have the power to control things and think we must use that power all the time. It would serve us to well to consider that there are times when we shouldn’t.

One last point. A jungle can manage itself just fine but I’m not sure that I would like to live in one.

Chase March´s last blog post..I Can’t Watch (Again!)


Stacey Shipman May 11, 2009 at 6:04 am

Daphne (and Lance!) I have been questing “rules” my entire life so this post resonates loudly for me. The need to control, I think, is based on fear. Fear of what? Only each individual can answer that. The disorder is what makes life fresh. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be stale?

My life is definitely “eden”. Just last night, my husband and I were sitting out on our deck with a fire in the outdoor fireplace, the big dipper shining over head and I thought, this is the best part of life right here. The day may bring ups and downs, but at the end of it, I am warm, loved and sheltered. What more do I need, really?

Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..Back to Your Senses Sunday: 20 Reasons to Practice Yoga


Laurie | Express Yourself to Success May 11, 2009 at 6:26 am

Interesting insights.

#3 resonated most with me. We want things, we own things, we have to tend to things, we have to protect things. Our time is used up controlling our things and we rarely have the opportunity to enjoy them. I’ve found that the fewer things I have, the more selective I’ve become when obtaining them and the more I enjoy them once I’ve got them.

Laurie | Express Yourself to Success´s last blog post..You’re Amazing


David Cain May 11, 2009 at 6:35 am

I really enjoyed this post, Daphne. I had never heard of the Bialoweiza.

You are right that divisions are man-made. Even the division between humans and nature is only a function of how we think. Man-made constructions are just as natural as, say, a birds’s nest, but unfortunately we tend to destroy a lot of other things in order to construct our ‘nests.’

David Cain´s last blog post..You Are the Greatest Story Ever Told


Rupal May 11, 2009 at 6:39 am

Fantastic post. The words ring so true for me and so pertinent to freeing myself from a life that includes negativity, labels and arrogance. I love idea of the release from ownership in our lives. Along the same lines of release of labels…without boundaries, the world just seems so rosy colored and willing to accept me as much as I it.

Thanks for this!

Rupal´s last blog post..Q & A: Core Series: Beginnings


Daphne May 11, 2009 at 7:02 am

@ Lance,

Thank you so much for having me here, and I LOVE the photo you chose! You have such a gift for choosing pictures that express exactly what the post is about. This was pure genius.

@ Mindful Mimi,

Wow those were very good questions! I get these from my young nephews and thank goodness for them – they help us see the world not as it is, but as it could be and perhaps should be. “Putting people in a box” is a good one. The very book I quoted from in this post suggests that this is actually harmful for the environment as coffins today are made from metal and other non-biodegradable material that obstruct the natural decay cycle. In the olden days people, like the elephants, would just go to a special place to die. So much more natural. Yes we do make life complicated. I wonder why. Perhaps because the adults don’t ask as many questions as the children!

@ Chase,

I share that need to control things. I’m sure that I wouldn’t like living in a real jungle either because it’s all so unorganised! I’d get to spring-cleaning my little corner of it right away. And that’s when I realised that perhaps even Eden is not good enough for us, we who want so much more than that! You’re right that we should stop to think whether our trying to control things is necessary or helpful.

@ Stacey,

I think you’re right. My desire to ‘control’ any jungle space I’m given would be out of fear of being attacked by insects or big animals. In the same way, my need to control parts of my life are probably due to fear too – of being hurt, of looking dumb etc. So your insight is very valid for me. Glad to hear you had a piece of Eden last night! It does sound idyllic.

@ Laurie,

Thanks for your comment. I like your point about having fewer things making us more selective and appreciative of them. I’ve found that it’s a virtuous circle – the fewer things I make do with, the fewer I want. Nowadays when I go shopping, all the pretty new things that used to excite me just don’t get my attention anymore.

@ David,

You’ll like the book “The World Without Us” from which I got all this information, and the book contains so much more insight about our earth. Divisions do exist in our minds, as you point out, and I like your point about humans vs nature, as if they were separate. And yes isn’t it interesting how big our ‘nests’ need to become to satisfy us? I mean, a bird’s nest is just enough to house her babies. We, on the other hand, need not only bedrooms but living rooms, kitchens, garages, storerooms… We must be the biggest ‘birds’ around!

Daphne´s last blog post..As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


Nathalie Lussier May 11, 2009 at 8:04 am

Daphne, great to see you here. 🙂 I love the picture you painted of Eden… life can be messy, and although we tend to want to control things & organize (i.e. have rows in a field or garden) sometimes life does its own thing. 🙂

Great way to get us thinking and looking at life differently!

Nathalie Lussier´s last blog post..Confessions of a Budding Business Owner


Stacey / Create a Balance May 11, 2009 at 8:12 am

Beautiful words here. I think I struggle living near a big city (chicago) because so much of the brick and mortar seems against the natural flow of nature. The fences, the traffic, the city-like routines…they have always felt unnatural to me.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part Four (Career)


Evelyn Lim May 11, 2009 at 8:21 am

I have just finished reading the book Journey of Souls. The idea that we have chosen to be physically incarnated in our current lifetime resonated very well. So there is no better place to be rather than right here, right now. Eden is how we make our life and situation to be. We create meaning and find beauty in our existence. It is out of the ordinary, that we experience the extraordinary.

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..What Do You See if You Are Standing Next to God?


Writer Dad May 11, 2009 at 8:23 am

Hi Daphne! Wonderful to see you here. What a beautiful Monday morning post. I love #2. Life does indeed take care of itself and the lot of us are just a blip on the timeline.

Writer Dad´s last blog post..Serial and Milk: Available Darkness – Chapter 3


Roger | A Content Life May 11, 2009 at 8:42 am


Thoughtful post!

I really liked “Lesson #1: Life proceeds from Death”. It reminds me of the Lion King and Circle of Life. It’s so true.

Roger | A Content Life´s last blog post..Beware of False Kindness


Positively Present May 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

Daphne, this is a wonderful post! I really, really enjoyed reading it. It’s so great how you tied your post into the concept of a jungle over here at The Jungle of Life. I agree with Roger about this reminding me of the circle of life. Such a great concept and a wonderful post! 🙂

Positively Present´s last blog post..the power of adversity: a book review


Laurie May 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

Our world has so much beauty in it. I looked at Lance’s vacation photos and thought , “Wow! How gorgeous it is! ” We do attempted to control our environment to meet our own agenda. It seems we do too much of that missing what is on the journey for us to discover.

Eden? I believe we have no idea of the beauty of Eden. I think it will blow our minds when we are able to walk on the New Earth and see what Eden was like. I’m reading a book called “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. He discusses all this. It is incredibly interesting and just causes you to yearn for what it will be like. Meanwhile, I’m totally enjoying the beauty in the jungle, desert, ocean, and all the other beautiful places in our world.


Daphne May 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

@ Rupal,

Ownership and labelling can do a lot of harm, especially if we’re on the wrong end of it! I wonder why it’s so hard for people to accept each other just as we are. This is something I struggle with too. We know it in our minds, yet the challenge is to live it in our hearts. I wish the world were more like your model of it – accepting everything and everyone just as they are.

@ Natalie,

It is a great honour to be here, since Lance is a blogger I looked up to from the start. Life does get messy, and sometimes I look around and say “I can make sense of this!” and sometimes I just accept that there will always be a mess somewhere, so just relax and enjoy it!

@ Stacey,

I so identify with you. When I travel to cities for work and my friends get envious, I look at them incredulously. I really don’t see the big deal about being in an urban, built-up place because it is not natural. Where I really feel happy is at a beach, any beach will do.

@ Evelyn,

Journey of Souls sounds like an interesting book. I like its title. “Eden is how we make our life and situation to be” is so true. Some of us are already living in paradise and give thanks, some live in paradise yet don’t realise it, and some can make a living hell of wherever they are! I vaccillate between being these 3 types of people.

@ Writer Dad,

Hey, good to see you here too! Yep, in the long run our life is just a blip. You’re certainly making your blip count though. Your latest poem for Mother’s Day was awesome!

@ Roger,

I’ve forgotten much of Lion King, though I do remember the Circle of Life and it’s so true and beautiful. Funny how we need a children’s cartoon to remind us of the important truths in life sometimes!

@ Positively Present,

You bring such wonderful warmth wherever you go. Thanks for your lovely comment. I’ve been obsessed about the “Jungle of Life” theme ever since I met Lance! Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you!


Chania Girl May 11, 2009 at 9:38 am

I enjoyed this post very much, Daphne. I learned about something I didn’t know (thank you) and was left several things to think about. I had never considered before what an “Eden” might be like but probably would not have thought of a jungle. Having read your post, though, it seems so much more fitting. Lovely metaphor.

Chania Girl´s last blog post..Happiness 101


Audra Krell May 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

Great post! Love thinking about everything the jungle is and could possibly be if I’m open to reality. I believe we need to manage our lives and keep from living excessively in the material sense, but there is an egocentrism to assuming that we are to blame for every change the earth undergoes. God created the earth and it will go on, no matter how hard we strive (or don’t).

Audra Krell´s last blog post..Abandoned Inside


Vered - MomGrind May 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

I need to constantly remind myself that “life takes care of itself.” It’s a struggle, because I LIKE to manage things and to be in control, even if “being in control” is just an illusion.

Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day To The Moms Who Blog


suzen May 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

What a wonderful post! There lies a lesson in humility here too. We need to accept that the jungle was there before we ever arrived, and gee, somehow or other, it managed to BE what it is before we came along, and will go on long after us as well. We were meant to be a part of creation, not re-create it.

The thought provoking inspirations found in the Jungle of Life are a treasure! There is great love here!

suzen´s last blog post..Parenting – Passages – Letting Go


Hilda May 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Hi Daphne,

# 2 particularly resonates with me right now. For the last couple of years different energy workers have suggested to me that I was a control freak or perfectionist and I’ve always rejected the idea. I had a stereotype of these creatures in my mind, and I don’t reflect my prejudiced concept!

But in the last week or so, I’ve recognised how I do unconsciously try to manage situations so that they’re more comfortable for me to handle. And right now I’m practicing letting go of wanting things to happen in a particular way and allowing life to manage itself. And then I read this! I love the synchronicity of it all 🙂

Thanks so much!

Hilda´s last blog post..Make somebody else’s day!


Diane C. May 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Hi Daphne, I enjoyed your article. I especially like Lesson #1 about life proceeding from death. I am grateful to see a beautiful dead tree from my window that birds like to perch on. And, I love to go exploring in wild desert areas near my home and see how the animals make use of dead cacti. I prefer to see things in their natural state, but I think Eden is wherever we happen to be, even in a concrete jungle.

Diane C.´s last blog post..Birds on Saguaros


Tess The Bold Life May 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Lesson 1: I agree with how we treat the elderly. I believe this is part of the dread of getting older. We know where we’ll end up at the end. Accept for how I treat my own aging parents and other aging people I don’t know how to change this.

Lesson: 2 Stop micro-managing people and places. Yikes I think we’re talking about Letting go here…
and trusting. I’m doing better in this area yet still need to grow here.

Lesson:3 I think this is an area where I excell.

I believe all lessons mentioned have to do with letting go of fear.

I love Mindful Mimi’s comment.

Again it’s all about letting go and in letting go we become free.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Monday Magic Freebie Cheryl Richardson’s New Book


Julie May 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Hi, Daphne. This was a beautiful read! I loved how you made the relationship between the forest and life. I think if we just take care of what we “touch” in life (people, animals, plants, surroundings) and also let everything be as it will… If we just nurture and “be,” then we participate in life and contribute to it instead of trying to control it. Everything is so much brighter and smoother and happier that way. Even the forest, as in your example, nurtures and “is.”

Looking to Nature can teach us SO much about life, and death, too. I responded to a photo post that showed a skeleton of a tree, telling its life story. It amazed me that several readers thought it depressing when I was describing the beautiful cycle of life. Death takes many shapes, too, and one form that occurs every day is when we sacrifice our wishes on someone else’s behalf. In opting for the “death” of getting our way, loving friendship blooms.

Julie´s last blog post..Making Life Beautiful for You


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings May 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm

This was a great post. In modern day society we have so many rules, regulations, territories and order. It’s almost claustrophobic (especially for a free spirit like myself). The jungle is a beautiful example of the exact opposite. In fact, nature in all its forms is the exact opposite. That explains why I feel so good walking along a beach (so long as I ignore all the signs leading down to the beach telling me what I can’t do). Thanks Daphne and Lance!

Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s last blog post..Monday Funny – Ellen DeGeneres


Daphne May 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm

@ Laurie,

I’m sure you’re right that we have no idea of the beauty of Eden. What you’re doing now, walking through the jungle, desert, ocean… that’s the Eden we have now, and you have a gift in being able to enjoy it all without needing to manage it. Thanks for this wise comment.

@ Chania Girl,

I have no idea what Eden looks like too, probably because there isn’t just one definition – it maybe different for each of us. Yet I too did not imagine Eden to be a jungle, though it could well be. Sometimes we don’t recognise paradise when it’s staring us in the face! I appreciate your lovely comment.

@ Audra,

Your point about egocentrism is very valid. We probably can’t destroy or restore the earth all on our own, much as we’d like to think we’re that important and powerful! The earth has a strength that includes ours, yet goes far beyond.

@ Vered,

I like to be in control too. I like knowing where everything is, and I have my own ideas about where everything should be. I’m working on letting go.

@ Suzen,

You’re spot on about learning humility. When we consider that so many things didn’t need our help to come into being, they just were… I like your point about just BE. That we can enjoy being part of creation without trying to re-create it.

@ Hilda,

I totally identify with wanting to control so many things, including outcomes. Have you visited Davina’s Shades of Crimson site? She posted a wonderful affirmation that I’m using to help me let go.

@ Diane,

Your example of a dead tree which gives rise to bird life is great! And that is so true in so many other ways. You have eyes to see and appreciate, and that is wonderful! I’m going to look out for such examples in my life too.

@ Tess,

You leave the most wonderful comments – verbalising your reactions and thoughts on all the key points in the post – proof that you read and think about what you see. Not many people take the time or mental energy to do that, as you do. I’m an even bigger fan of yours now!

@ Julie,

I remember your post of a dead or dying tree very well, and also the comments and reactions. It’s interesting that where many people see death and decay, you see life. You’re truly in tune with the rhythms and ways of nature, and able to see the whole cycle rather than project your own fears and wishes onto what you see as many of us do.

@ Sami,

Good point about having so many laws, regulations,, territories… things about modern life that we take for granted, which our early ancestors would probably not have understood or seen a need for. They tried to live with nature and conform to natural patterns, whereas sometimes I feel we try to make nature conform to us!


Daphne´s last blog post..As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


Dr. J May 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm

The balance between letting things happen and making things happen is a funambulist’s nightmare 🙂

Nice read, however!

Dr. J´s last blog post..Nibbles: Sporadic activity, the rise of cheap food and no fat tax at Ryanair


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now May 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

The jungle that is life is going full force right now. Who knows how much longer I will have a job. We’ll see.

Instead of trying to control my destiny I’m just practicing riding the wave. Each turn has a new lesson and I’m ready to learn a valuable one really soon.

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Make Every Employee Feel Cool


Dan and Deanna May 12, 2009 at 12:40 am

Daphne, thank you for all that you have written today. Really enjoyed it. Thanks to you, we found a new blog to come visit and learn from. Have a good day.
Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”


Barbara Swafford May 12, 2009 at 1:17 am

Hi Lance and Daphne,

Daphne, I love how you worded the part, “Perhaps it is time to stop micro-managing people and places and trust life to nurture its own creations.” There certainly is a lot of truth in that statement. With age, I’ve learned not to try and control what others/places and let nature take it’s course. By not micromanaging, I find there’s usually a pleasant surprise around each corner. THAT makes life a whole lot more interesting.

Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..The Secret Is Out – Our Blog Posts Are Not Being Read


Hilda May 12, 2009 at 6:17 am

Hi Daphne,

I have been to Davina’s site, but hadn’t been this week. Have just gone now and read what you’re talking about and it’s so perfect! Thanks again 🙂

Hilda´s last blog post..Make somebody else’s day!


LifeMadeGreat | Juliet May 12, 2009 at 6:39 am

Hi Daphne

Very sobering yet peaceful post. I could feel the quality of a jungle as I stepped through it.

Perhaps Eden is within us.


LifeMadeGreat | Juliet´s last blog post..Coping With Praise


Daphne May 12, 2009 at 7:03 am

@ Dr J,

I learnt a new word today! Tried to visit your site to find o to find out if you are really a funambulist or just using that as an example, but was denied access.

@ Karl,

Sounds like a really uncertain situation at work right now. I guess riding the wave is better than going under it… so you’re holding up well. All the best, and I’ll be watching for updates.

@ Dan and Deanna,

Lance’s blog is awesome, and was my model for what blogging was all about when I first started about half a year ago. Hope you enjoy wandering round this wonderful jungle!

@ Barbara,

You gave a nice perspective – that instead of knowing how everything turns out because we planned it, we can let ourselves enjoy the surprise when we let things take their own course. Sounds like many of us have control issues, me included!

@ Hilda,

Glad you liked the affirmation. It is exactly what you wrote about in your comment!

@ Juliet,

I’m intrigued that you could feel peace, and very happy to know it. You’re right that Eden is probably within us, around us… maybe IS us.

Daphne´s last blog post..As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


Lance May 12, 2009 at 7:46 am

Hi Daphne,
Thanks much for this great piece you’ve written. It fits here so well, and has really given me much to think about. I’m especially drawn to your first point, this idea of a natural cycle that a jungle has. And isn’t life like that, or at least, can’t it be? What this really has me thinking about, though, is also the natural cycle of my whole life. Physical, mental, spiritual. They all are part of that cycle, or at least, can be, if we allow that. Learning, for instance, can follow a natural cycle as we allow ourselves to listen to that “little voice” inside. The one that says to maybe try something new, or go someplace different, etc. When we listen to that voice, that’s part of the natural cycle as we grow and learn. When we don’t listen to that voice, when we hold back from what our heart is saying, we stifle that natural cycle. Much like your example of the cities from up above. Anyway, this is really bringing up some great thoughts for me. And I love how you’ve tied it all in to a real jungle! Daphne, thank you, once again, for this wonderful comparison.

All – Thank you, everyone, for your deeply thought out comments. They all add so much to the conversation, and I really believe that it’s these comments that make these posts here really settle in with us. And make them ‘real’. In this jungle of life we’re all living in (I know mine sure seems like a jungle sometimes), we may encounter things we don’t want to, we may get lost in the thick of it all, we may have to forge our own trail, we may lose sight of what’s ahead – through it all, though, the sun will still rise, we’ll encounter help along the way, there will be scenery to enjoy, and sometimes we’ll be in awe of all that is truly around us. And isn’t that much like life! Maybe our own “Eden” is amongst us…


Hilary May 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

Hi Daphne and Lance .. what a wonderful life of life in the jungle .. so well put – no jungle in the thoughts.

I agree with the elderly .. and when they are in care .. the Nursing Homes seem to consider they know best, rather than the relative – me: in this instance (the daughter) .. or are inconsiderate enough not to ask – because they don’t have to.

We have a description here in the UK “The Nanny State” .. it’s terrible – no-one can make any decisions, or take responsibility for themselves … if they ever get themselves into a tricky situation they will lose the plot .. our brains are made for using ..

hence Daphne’s (and yours Lance! and ours!!) brain could manage wo well in the jungle ..

It would be brilliant if we all lived in harmony .. your Bialowieza wilderness and the Iron Curtain reminds me of a story I must write ..

Great post – thank you ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hilary´s last blog post..Love – a Chapel and an Opera House (two stories)


Nadia - Happy Lotus May 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Hi Daphne!

Excellent post! I love the imagery too. 🙂

I have always found it funny when people expect life to be all proper and neat. It is not meant to be that way. I have no idea where I realized that but somewhere along in my life, I just found life to be this beautiful mess and we have to see the beauty where ever we are. There are definitely beautiful places on this planet but I think paradise is a state of mind!

Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..The Thing About Passion


Liara Covert May 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

This is a wonderful post for self-reflection. To remember every situation works itself out is very useful wisdom. Life does take care of itself, provided human beings detach from the conditioned need to control and direct what already has a natural energy flow.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..Hold that thought!


FatFighterTV May 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Thanks for this wonderful post – so powerful and written so beautifully. I find #1 interesting in that in some countries, the elderly DO live amongst everyone else, instead of in hospitals and homes. My family is originally from Egypt, and there (as well as in other countries, I’m sure) families live so much closer together, sometimes in the same apartment building, from beginning until end.

FatFighterTV´s last blog post..New Report: Saltiest meals in the U.S.


Daphne May 13, 2009 at 4:27 am

@ Lance,

“Learning, for instance, can follow a natural cycle as we allow ourselves to listen to that “little voice” inside. The one that says to maybe try something new, or go someplace different, etc. When we listen to that voice, that’s part of the natural cycle as we grow and learn. When we don’t listen to that voice, when we hold back from what our heart is saying, we stifle that natural cycle.”

Wow, I loved what you said here. That little voice sometimes is so soft that I easily drown it out. When it doesn’t go away after a year or so, I know that eventually I’ll listen. Thanks for this.

@ Hilary,

The “nanny state” is often used to describe my country too. And yes some professionals think that they know more that family. In a sense they know more about the theory, but not the reality, since we are the ones who witness most. I was fortunate to have very good healthcare professionals around, yet I have also seen atrocious mistakes being made. You just have to keep your eyes open for potential problems. You’re doing great, girl. Keep that chin up.

@ Nadia,

You are wise. Many people don’t even accept the mess, right till the end of life! I often think that I’m blogging in a group of highly evolved and actualised people, and you are certainly one of them! I have to work on myself everyday and accept the mess as normal. Of course the trick is to know which messes are not normal and so we need to act on.

@ Liara,

Detaching is indeed an important ability to develop. Only then do we have the trust to leave things as they are to play out in their own time.

@ FatFighter,

Thanks for your comment. Yes I think societies like Egypt, Tibet, and a few others still have a strong familial fabric, and that’s wonderful (and sometimes frustrating!) I’m not sure how ‘natural’ retirement villages or homes are. They have their place I suppose, as long as they remain integrated into society at large. Thanks for providing the example!

Daphne´s last blog post..As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


Jannie Funster May 13, 2009 at 5:46 am

Eden is in the mind and heart! And there for the taking and enjoying whenever you want it.


John May 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Great post and very insightful. I agree that things gets complicated because we tend to make them that way. I think it’s very true that we’re always focus on moving forward that we forget to be present in where we’re currently at.

John´s last blog post..Powerful Lessons in Personal Change


Arswino May 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Great article to contemplate, Daphne.

When I read this part “We like boundaries and territories. We divide the world we live in into “yours” and “mine”. We guard our portfolios at work, we want ownership rights for our property, we even think our children belong to us”, I realized that we, human are too selfish and only think for ourselves and never for the future impacts.

Thank you, Daphne.

Arswino´s last blog post..How To Build and Achieve A Dream


Mike King May 13, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Brilliant picture you’ve painted. I’d definitely thing that Eden was a full on jungle. I love the jungle and see nothing but God’s perfection in it. This article Daphne reminds me of the History channel show called Life after People. It looks how nature recovers itself after man and reinforces to me at least, the beauty and forgotten power of nature.

Mike King´s last blog post..6 Steps to Setup an Effective Brainstorming Session


Sara May 14, 2009 at 10:40 am

Lance — Thank you for letting Daphne share this wonderful post with us!

Daphne — I had never heard of the Bialowieza Puszcza. I loved how you took the natural life of this jungle and compared it with how we sometimes control our lives. I’m living in Switzerland right now and this means I’m watching the winter dying and spring emerging. It’s amazing how flowers burst out of rock walls and tiny buds come up, even where snow still covers the ground. I’m watching birth, but know that it will die again in the fall…only to return. Your post really made me see this is the natural way of life and the beauty of this change. Thank you:~)

Sara´s last blog post..In Switzerland


J.D. Meier May 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Beautiful post!

I liked the way you juxtaposed concepts to make your points really pop out … especially the life proceeds from death.

J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Author a Distinctive Story


Caroline May 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

What a great thought provoking post! Would I know Eden if I were walking in it right now? I think so…I am more aware and conscious than ever before. My life is the garden of Eden…things die and decay and new opportunities blossom and grow.

Caroline´s last blog post..Trusting…


Daphne May 15, 2009 at 1:15 am

@ Jannie, so true! Eden is inside us.

@ John, we do tend to complicate things, don’t we? At least I do!

@ Arswino, yes we are so protective of our portfolios, our reputation, our profits, and that’s a very narrow view though also very natural. It takes a big person to truly share!

@ Hey Mike, I’m not completely sure but I think Life After People is based on the book I quoted in this post, The World Without Us. Brilliant book and movie both!

@ Sara, gosh Switzerland in spring must be so pretty. Watching flowers grow out of cracks in stone really remind us how resilient life is, and how it will probably go on long after we are no longer around. Glad you liked this post!

@ JD, thanks. My simple mind works best on one point at a time, which is why I had to juxtapose one concept at a time. Glad you think it works!

@ Caroline, how wonderful that you consider your life the garden of Eden. If we all could think like that, there would be world peace, really!

Daphne´s last blog post..As Close To Eden As You’ll Get


brandi May 15, 2009 at 12:39 pm

this is truly an article to challenge our preconceived notions of beauty and order.

I was riveted-really. What a great piece!

brandi´s last blog post..the unofficially official joy rebel day


Henie May 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Daphne and Lance!

I continue to marvel at the two of you! Truly, these are simply not just words…you both have the gift of speaking from the heart and then sharing it with so many!

To me, Eden is exactly where I am! It has every abundance I could ever want, including friends like you two!

Being grateful is a form of “Eden” in itself!

Incredible post as always, Daphne! And Lance, thanks so much for giving us Daphne’s gift to enjoy here! :~)

Henie´s last blog post..Social Intercourse (SoIn)


Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl May 16, 2009 at 8:47 am


I loved your post! I must admit that I have been guilty of clearing away the dust bunnies under the bed when they get too rampant. I will think of this post when I am cleaning and trying to make everything perfect and give myself a little bit of license to live just a little less managed! Awesome!

Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl´s last blog post..The House on the Rock


The Commenter Formerly Known As Jannie Funster May 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Oooooo, it’s 8:31 p.m. Central Time, which means in just a few hours (potentially,) Lance might post his Sunday Thought For The Day.

I can’t wait !!!!!

My alarm is set in case I fall asleep before midnight.

I might be able to comment First. Then, and only then, shall I know glory, fame and fulfilment.

Fingers crossed. 😉

The Commenter Formerly Known As Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Folks, I couldn’t make these up if I tried! (and song video coming next post, I hope.)


Daphne May 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm

@ Brandi,

Glad you liked the post. I was challenged to re-consider my idea of beauty and order too!

@ Henie,

Gratitude must be one of the qualities overflowing in Eden, and you have spades of it! Happy to know that you feel like you are already living in Eden. What more could a person ask from life? Your comment lifts me up as always!

@ Amy,

Your dust bunnies are probably cousins of mine – they’re everywhere aren’t they? I go into a spring-cleaning frenzy now and then too. However, sometimes I look at them and think “No, I have better things to do than you…” 🙂

@ The Commenter Formerly Known as Jannie Funster,

I look forward to Lance’s Sunday Thought of the Day too! Unfortunately I think I have to apologise for beating you to the first comment this time. Hope you don’t mind… 🙂

Daphne´s last blog post..Half Portions, Double Enjoyment!


Robin Easton May 18, 2009 at 11:08 pm

This is an amazing post! Having lived in the Australian rainforest I resonate completely with all the truths you have shared here. The rainforest is SO wise that any amount of time in it (if we are open) will completely dismantle all our orderly preconceived domesticated notions and concepts about Life. I will never be the same; the rainforest completely rearranged my DNA through imprinting me with her ancient wisdom. If we are open Nature will heal, realign and humble us into GREATNESS. I know that sounds contradictory, but it is a greatness that is not of brain but of the soul. We “re-member” and become safely embedded in “the whole”, “the one”. We no longer live in separation from.

I too am familiar with “The World Without Us”. Excellent, brilliant and astounding work. I love how you have taken key aspects of the jungle and applied to to us humans and how we live life. I actually talk about all these points in the book I just finished, but do so in story form. You are very wise and insightful. I am honored and pleased to meet you, Daphne. I left you a response to you comment on my blog. You touched me deeply. Robin

Robin Easton´s last blog post..Do You Dream Music?


Daphne May 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

Dear Robin,

What a lovely comment. Thank you! You are quite an adventurous soul to have lived in a rainforest and I’m full of admiration. I have jogged in one (and nearly got lost and thought I would have to spend the night there – that fear increased my respect for the rainforest a hundredfold!) and can only imagine your courage and resourcefulness at living there full time.

I really like what you said about “re-member”. Yes we tend to think of ourselves as separate from nature, until we realise that we are a member of this wonderful whole, and when we join with it again – remembering. That’s such a beautiful concept.

Just read your reply to my comment on your blog. Glad we found each other – brought together by a post on Eden! Really cool.

Daphne´s last blog post..Half Portions, Double Enjoyment!


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