WHAT CAN MONGOLS TEACH US IN OUR URBANIZED WORLD ABOUT A REALTIONSHIP TO NATURE AND INNATE HUMAN POTENTIAL?

 

Mongols possessed extraordinary physical abilities: endurance, discipline, sturdiness, hardiness. They have something to teach us with respect to our relationship to nature and our relationship to ourselves.

 

Their physical strength derived from their culture and was an expression of it. They needed to be out in nature most of the time. So they were strong and trained due to constant exercise.  They used their physical and sensory abilities to the fullest. They were part of many invigorating life forces – wind, temperature changes, horses, camels. They had a culture where there was optimal possibility to develop many abilities, physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual.

 

The Mongols’ lifestyle reminds us of the considerable potential we have for development of our own abilities.

 

The Mongols perceived with their senses very well. They had keen sight, hearing and smell. They could detect people in the distance miles away and see and hear animals amongst trees miles away. They perceived other people’s feelings and intentions by looking at them. It was hard to hide anything from them or escape from them. 

 

The Mongols originally came from the forests of Siberia. They said their people descended from a blue wolf and a fallow deer. It has been observed that people from forested regions feel a high degree of reverence for their environment. Green plants, herbs and trees symbolize healing, growth and regeneration. Trees shelter and protect people and wildlife. A life close to nature brings an awareness of interconnectedness and gives people a sensitivity, flexibility, and adaptability.

 

The Mongols were known for being intuitive. Intuitive means the ability to perceive with the senses and to comprehend without conscious reasoning. It means grasping something by a single flash of insight. Intuitive understanding and instinctive understanding stress an automatic and spontaneous reaction to something.

 

In our times, our urbanized way of life may be causing estrangement from nature and emotional alienation from the natural world. As part of nature, however, we will always need air, land, and water.  We will always benefit from being connected to nature and having reverence for Mother Earth.  Adaptability to the natural world is the hallmark of all living things. Intuitive, emotional, and rational grasping of life is the hallmark of our species.  But, in our times, some people condemn intuition and instinct as “irrational” and inferior and even connect disgust and shame with it.

 

The Mongols, under exceptionally bellicose leadership, acquired the world’s largest land empire.  They took a stand against civilized life in the 1200’s. Their stand was coarse and primitive and involved the use of violence.

 

But while we cannot admire the Mongols brutal use of violence to accomplish their goals, we can learn from them about the pulsating life in ourselves and the environment. Their deep feeling for nature, their sense of belonging to nature, and their sense of adaptation to the living world has long been admired by friend and foe alike.