The Inner Desert And The Outside Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is probably the most luxurious, rich and spectacular ecosystem in the world. Colorful, alive and overwhelming, exploding with life at any second, this rainforest is probably the archetype of what life, in its primal, unlimited expression, can be.

On the other hand, Sahara is probably the deadliest place on this planet. Dry, insanely hot during the day, freezing cold during the night, the huge, sandy desert is the archetype of death: bare, simple and unavoidable.

And yet, there’s a close connection between these two places. A couple of years ago, a group of scientists discovered something very unusual.

First of all, they discovered that the Amazon rainforest is basically a “leached” ecosystem. What does that mean? Well, because of the constant rain, the nutrients in the soil are quickly washed away and dispersed, which should mean that the huge jungle would have very few resources to feed itself. Second, they discovered that, from a depression called Bodele, in Sahara, known for its constant sand storms and its incredibly dried soil, sand was carried away all over the Atlantic Ocean, until it reached, yeap, you guessed, the Amazon rainforest. And, surprisingly enough, that sand proved to be very rich in minerals.

By itself, the Amazon ecosystem couldn’t maintain such a high level of energy, because of its own nature: washed by rains, its resources would quickly drain. But, with the support from the Saharian sands, unspectacular and pretty much dead, but rich in minerals, the forest is constantly replenishing its nutrients stock, and keeps vibrating with life.

Well, that’s the kind of stuff you may learn from Discovery channel, on a nice Sunday evening, with a glass of red wine.

The Inner Desert

But, as I turned off the TV and got ready to sleep, something stroke me. And, as I finished my glass of wine, I realized what it was: we all have these internal exchanges going on. We all have our own visible, life boosting, colorful and enchanting appearance, just like the Amazonian rainforest, and we take it for granted. Forgetting that the very use of it should dry it away pretty quick.

So, we all must have an inner desert inside, a remote area deep down our souls, where there’s not much fun, not much life, where it’s cold and hot at the same time, where there’s no laughter, or color, or vibration. We all have our dark side. Our empty, dead inner desert. And from that desert, through an internal, magical alchemy, we channel nutrients to the rainforest. We replenish its energy and we keep going on.

We choose to hide this desert, most of the time. And for a good reason: it’s not a comfortable side of ourselves. It would be so much fun to present ourselves to the world with our spectacular rainforest, isn’t it? And, as a matter of fact, we actually do that. We push the desert deep down, because it embarrasses us and we pull the rainforest forward. Look, aren’t we spectacular, or what?

But the desert, as dry and as dead as it is, it’s fundamental. It’s indispensable. We couldn’t’ survive without it.

Knowing to accept our dark side is one of the most difficult, complex and embarrassing processes I know. It’s hard to even accept the fact that our dark side is actually useful for the bright side. How could that be? The desert is just a desert. And a rainforest is a rainforest. They’re fundamentally different.

Beyond these appearances, though, lies a much complex reality.

First of all, there are winds. There are currents. The dark side is always in touch with the bright side, like Sahara is in touch with the Amazon, via the Atlantic currents and winds. Just because we choose to ignore these exchanges, it doesn’t mean they will cease to exist.

Second, there’s much more to the pale appearance of the desert than we want to admit. Just because it’s just sand, it doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Just because our dark side consists of anger, repressed feelings and sadness, it doesn’t mean we can’t channel those energies somehow.

And third, the rainforest, our public face, our conscious appearance couldn’t survive in its spectacular state without some inner fertilizer. The mere fact that we’re constantly trying to boost with life, laughter, joy and happiness, well, that takes a lot of energy. We need something to feed this system.

The Surprising You

There comes a time when you realize you’re not as nice as you thought you are. There comes a time when you don’t want to comply anymore. There comes a time when you simply don’t take any more shit in the face from anyone.

That’s the time when you get in touch with your inner desert. That’s the time when people start to look at you scared, almost not knowing who you are anymore and tend to back away. Let them do that. Maybe it’s safer for them.

But keep holding that awareness of the inner desert, as well as of the outside rainforest, pray that your inner winds will keep blowing sand over the rainforest, accept the fact that every part of yourself has a precise function in the grand scheme of things and keep moving forward.

6 thoughts on “The Inner Desert And The Outside Rainforest”

  1. Love the analogy, Dragos!

    I’d personally take it in a slightly different direction. Rather than my dark side, I think my inner desert is all those rather dull, uninteresting things that need to be handled to make awesome stuff happen.

    Because for every event/class/course I might want run, there’s a lot of background research, reading, and thinking involved. It might look like a desert from the outside, but it’s so rich in nutrients for making shit happen!

    • That’s even more interesting, Vlad, and I think it’s also closer to reality. Boredom, grey areas, lack of excitement, these parts are also necessary in the grand scheme of things. Somehow 🙂

  2. Now i know my problem i spend my rest time watching the Sports Channel. Your TV time has inspired a great post. I love reading articles like this where you really are nourishing our minds, and isn’t that the point, so many of us do nothing to nourish or grow our inner minds, we rarely water them, let alone feed them, and that means we are missing out on a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.


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