Nature has always played an important role in the development and daily life of humanity. In earlier years, century, and millennia, the understanding and use of Nature determined if people would live or die. They respected it, valued it, and lived in harmony with it.
However, as soon as humans started making more modern discoveries and advancements that developed from the scientific foundations of previous centuries and coalesced in the Age of Enlightenment, then abuses of Nature began. Humans thought they stood above Nature because of their intellectual prowess. It’s been the case ever since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Today, technology outstrips decisions of ethics, and those decisions are often based on apparent conflicts with Nature: cloning and genetic engineering being two examples.
Nature and the composition of our total being — body, mind, and soul — are inextricably linked. We need Nature for learning; we need it for discoveries not only of physical creation but also of spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. Those discoveries and connections come through Heart.
As the Romantic writers and philosophers saw the abuse, disrespect, and disregard that Ego-driven industrialists heaped on Nature, they exposed the insanity. Of course, the Ego-goals of a greedy consumer base fueled the advancement. I am making a judgment call here, because I feel whenever Nature is abused and it is deliberate, knowledgeable, and purposeful, then that is Ego. Heart-principle, Heart-motive does not destroy Nature. Sometimes, that may mean humans are inconvenienced. The alternative to living in harmony with nature? Well, it’s not good for Nature or humans.
William Wordsworth, one of those Romantic authors and thinkers, near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, saw the battle. He framed it in a sonnet, “The World Is Too Much with Us.” The first four lines lay out his view fairly clearly.
“The world is too much with us; late and soon, / Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; — / Little we see in nature that is ours: / We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” That Ego-desire of commerce, of want, want, want has blinded humanity to our close connection, our dependence on Nature. Most humans have more affinity for materialistic things that they do for Nature, even at the expense and destruction of Nature.
Note that fourth line: “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” Heart-truth, the essence and core Self purposefully forfeited for a dirty, filthy benefit of some sort. I love the remaining ten lines of the sonnet, one that basically raises awareness of the mythical gods of the past because they were all attributes of Nature in some way or another. Wordsworth basically says screw christianity because most of the drive of the Industrial Revolution derived from those principles. Not all christian beliefs did so, but it was the prevailing mindset.
So, what’s my point tonight? If it comes down to who loses, Nature or us, the game is over. We lose out on convenience, profit, business, jobs, control, or whatever else Ego-ensconced simpletons want. And they use all those reasons to do things like justify unsafe environmental practices, destruction of forests, rivers, oceans, and extinction of species. We just don’t get to do that — that is, we don’t get to do that and think we can get away with it.
In her seminal book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson explores this uncontrolled and burgeoning abuse of Nature. She points out the necessity of valuing it and benefitting from it: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Where do you and I find beauty? If we see it in Nature, do we preserve it, conserve it, renew it?
I must admit again tonight that I have not gotten to where I will get tomorrow — some suggestions and thoughts about directly relating with and interacting with Nature. Maybe indirectly, too. I shall see.
In the meantime, spend some time outside. Take it in. Tell Spirit what you see and what it means to you. That’s a beginning, and if you haven’t done it lately, it may not be a slam dunk in finding meaning. But ask your Heart; fellowship with your Heart as you take it in and seek meaning.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!