During every visit to the Arctic I return grateful for the life deepening experiences I receive. Nature is so close and so vast. In this amazing silence and space, I feel gratitude for life-in-abundance stimulated from the scarce and sometimes hostile environment. It is also about the daily experience of freedom empowered by a self controlled mindset and I feel a deep sense for stewardship of what is around me. What is a man in the wilderness of the Arctic? The answer is stunning: A breathing heartbeat.
Through some events, I have learned to accept a higher authority than my freewill. It has been my experience that things that are meant for me, come to me anyway. Every situation, every person, every word, every experience – all that is meant for me, finds me at the right time. Either straight or through twisted paths, like my way through the High Arctic.
I thought much about life by observing other people’s living conditions and how nature can be even in such remote and deserted places abundant and became very grateful for each of its turns. The experience of a higher authority – call it god or the acceptance of the now – led me to trust more faithfully into a life of pure presence. The Inuit shaman Angaangaq encourages the civilized world: “Melt the ice in your hearts. Start with a smile and pray for our children that they may see many more spring times coming to the land.” Life is not about power and luxury. It is about a deep sense for the world around you and to treat it with love, with universal love, which goes far beyond loving your family and dearest friends. It is not driven by self interests and its fake relationships. It does not attempt to gain something for itself. You just give all your passion and empathy to all around you without expecting anything back. Christians have as foundation to love even someones enemy. It is the unconditional acceptance of the current situation, whatever it brings, and with that power in mind take your decision for a loving action. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In this space lies your power to choose the reaction and in your response lies your growth and freedom” (Stephen R. Covey). Only love can change the person opposite of you. Not because you tell the person to change, but because your loving mindset will establish the possibility for a change by the person itself.
On one of our last evenings of a journey in the High Arctic, I stood there, watching the sky, the tundra and rocks and the colorful houses of the Inuit settlement. The whole setting was far from what western civilization defines as desirable – no palm trees, no drinks, no music, no pool, no wealth. But I was deeply touched by the modesty that laid in the air which gave me confidence that love in authenticity is the base for a life in abundance. We experienced intense days in a permanent state of being in the flow. I learned that time was not important, we just needed to live in the very moment. Something that many people are seeking today. Still, this and many similar journeys will never come to a real end because our experiences in the Frozen Latitudes live on and help us to clear the fog from our personal and the society’s web of lies, that create the daily burdens of unhappiness. I found out that by trusting that a way will be found through all unexpected and possibly unpleasant situations, we were able to experience the living reality of the spiritual dimension of Frozen Latitudes. We realized that all fear existed only in our mind. In the here and now there was no problem, we just had to trust the moment and be present enough. The world needs these untouched Pure Landscapes for the benefit of mankind which is growing beyond its limits. Early Christian monks like Augustine of Hippo (abt. 400 AD) and more recently Charles de Foucauld (19th century) were seeking solitude, inspiration and spiritual connection with god in the deserts of Africa. I can confirm that the Frozen Latitudes offer similar conditions for spiritual experiences where trust can be found. Its virginity calls for humility and a plea for all of us to pay attention to the remaining wild places of the earth’s cryosphere and the importance of being preserved for future generations. May mankind recognize the value of pristine landscapes, without the urge for giving it an economic value, which will only cause its destruction.