by Cassie Steele –
If you ever thought that seeing the dazzling colors of the aurora borealis or the majesty of the Grand Canyon transported you to a spiritual state of mind, science has actually proven your right. One study by researchers at Michigan State University, for instance, found that children who spend more time outdoors are more spiritual than those who spend the majority of their time indoors. The findings of these and many more studies are testimony to the many spiritual benefits that living in the country can bring.
How Can the Countryside Bring You Closer to the Eternal?
In the study mentioned above, scientists find that being outside, close to nature, instils a strong sense of fulfilment and purpose. In the study, those who were outside for five to 10 hours per week (which many would argue is on the low side when you live in the country) reported a feeling of spiritual connection to the earth, and also felt a stronger sense of wanting to protect it. The researchers made another unexpected finding: those who were outside for longer were more appreciative of beauty (colors, balance, symmetry), and they showed more imagination and creativity!
Country Living and Embracing the Essential
Everyone from journalists at The New York Times to The Guardian have noted the recent resurgence in popularity of psychics. Today, they say, the affluent and those with a budget for affordable psychics are turning to spiritual healers as a way to find greater meaning and purpose in their lives. Psychics, they add, are fulfilling the roles of life coaches more than they are of fortune-tellers from the days of old. For people who live in the country, this clarity that city dwellers crave can often be a gift given from day to day. Picking fresh fruit from your orchard, walking through wide open spaces, and listening to the sounds of nature contribute to a peaceful state that can lend clarity to the process of making life decisions.
Conduits to the Sacred
A Baylor University study found that counties in the U.S. with more picturesque natural scenery and better weather had lower rates of membership with religious organizations, but this in no way meant they were unspiritual; quite the contrary. In fact, said researchers, stunning mountains and waterfronts “can serve as conduits to the sacred, just like traditional religious congregations.” Scientists reminded readers that religiosity and spirituality were perfectly compatible. That is, nature can enhance the value that people find in their respective religious organizations. Indeed, many religious organizations in country towns encourage their members to head to nature for greater peace
Living in the country provides a uniquely calm, focused state of mind that is key if one is to feel the beauty of spirituality. For so many thinkers, natural landscapes were easily the fastest way to go from a feeling of stress and loneliness to one of peace and connectedness. Children, too, can benefit greatly from this lifestyle, which allows them not only to benefit directly from nature’s bounties, but also form part of its continuance through horticultural and other earth-based pursuits.