George Washington Carver, the great American botanist, said, “If you love it enough, anything will talk with you.” Much more than a nice sentiment, this is a fundamental truth of the universe. But in order to communicate with nature, we need to learn new and subtle languages.
We humans communicate primarily through spoken words or written symbols, which takes a lot of initial training but, once learned, allows very rich exchanges. It also gives us the ability to pass down ideas from one generation to the next, which is vitally important. The teachings of the Vedas, the classical philosophy of the Greeks, and the words of Jesus and Krishna still live in our hearts and homes though written thousands of years ago.
We can, of course, communicate also with animals. As anyone with a pet will tell you, rich lifelong bonds are formed, filled with mutual love and joy. With animals we learn to rely more on nonverbal communication: touch, tone of voice, body language, or mental images. Some people, speaking this language better than others of us, become dog trainers, horse whisperers, and animal psychics.
In his remarkable book, The Elephant Whisperer, Anthony Lawrence shares how he learned to commune with wild, rogue elephants. His part was to be caring and loving. Then, he relates, they taught him how to communicate with them. When he died, elephants spontaneously visited his grave to say goodbye, some walking for hundreds of miles in order to pay their respects.
What about plants? A breakthrough book on this subject, The Secret Life of Plants, showed that surprisingly rich communications take place all the time in the vegetable kingdom. Here, the language becomes even subtler. We need to talk through kindness and listen with our hearts. Yogananda called Luther Burbank “an American saint” because of his ability to feel the common link between man and plants.
An Indian sadhu told me a remarkable story. Two weeks before I met him he had gashed his leg very badly while in the jungle. A companion, trained in herbal healing, raised his hands and began to slowly circle, explaining that he was asking the plants for help since he was unfamiliar with the plants in that area. After some time a tree “volunteered” its healing powers and he made a poultice from the leaves. Now, two weeks later, I could see only the faintest of scars from the gash.
Nor does communication end with the animals and vegetables. Yogananda wrote about J.C. Bose, a leading physicist, biologist, and botanist who showed that a common thread of awareness extends even into the mineral world. Many people communicate with gems and crystals, and the Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, has shown that music and thoughts can influence the very shape of water crystals.
And it doesn’t stop there. A principle of modern quantum physics says that the universe at the level of its most fundamental constituents responds to consciousness! Our thoughts reach to the world of subatomic quanta and influence the universal energy field that some call “zero point energy.”
When we consider all this objectively it leads us to the inevitable conclusion not only that are we connected to everything in the world, but also that we can communicate if we learn the right language. If we return to Carver’s statement, we see that the universal language is love. Why? Because it is God, residing at the heart of all things, who is constantly whispering to us through them, and love is His native tongue.
In that love,