Night and day, the recurring seasons, our breathing, our heart beat, the natural cycle of women is recurring phenomena. Growth, maturity, age and death are equally a part of our biological lifespan, just as it is with all that is living around us, treasured plants in our garden, the trees in the park, our pet dog, our family, our friends, ourselves not least. All participate in the recurring cycle of growth, maturity, age and death.
What has all this to do with our experience of stress? Unlike these matters, stress is not a naturally recurring phenomenon. Problems and adverse circumstances in the biological sense are a natural part of life, but stress is essentially pathological. Something to be avoided, and which to a great extent can be avoided.
An awareness of these naturally recurring cycles in which we participate helps the living matter which is us to run more smoothly, as it were. The problems of life which could cause stress are seen rather as incidents on the background of what is around us, and their power to disturb us and create stress is so much the less.
Our awareness of these matters, in the way that it affects stress, is more than our knowledge of the subject. We all know of birth, growth and death. Such a knowing is a function of our intellect, and is little related to our experience of stress. Nor is the awareness, which is significant, simply our emotional involvement in these things. We have a feeling of attachment to the countryside, our forests, and the long sweep of the beach. We love our mate in life, our children, our family. But the awareness that affects our stress is something different. It is an understanding of these matters which relates neither to our intellect nor our emotions. It is just the naturalness and the simplicity of it all. So simple that it defies clear description in the sophistication of words. Those fortunate people who have something of this basic human awareness do not come under stress from the problems of life in the same way as others do.