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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tugging on Nature is Tugging on all Things.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.

-John Muir

James: I propose that while all environments are helpful, nature is one of the best places to understand interconnection and interdependence. It is sometimes difficult to see the importance of interconnection in the concrete mazes of our cities where we have sacrificed a sense of community on the altar of individuality. It's still possible to witness the interconnection in city life but difficult with all the shiny, bright distractions. Yet walking mindfully through nature's wonders (forests, mountains, jungles and beaches, etc) it is immediately clear that there is a rhythm. There is a well balanced community that exists in a constant state of co-operation. Glaciers feed streams, streams become rivers, which water trees and other plant life.

The green foliage grows high and deep providing ample food for the deer, which in turn shit out seeds for future grass plants elsewhere in the forest providing for a constant migration and survival of that vital plant. It is hard not to feel small in such a intricate yet vast natural system of interdependence. Yet it's not feeling small in a depressing way but rather feeling apart of something. In the city it's as if we are in a sanitized, isolating bubble bouncing erratically without much control but bouncing into one another from time to time. Yet not long enough to form much of a bond.

Often in nature, if one plant goes extinct then it can throw the whole system of interdependence off, which can eventually bring down the entire eco-sytem. We humans are no different but we think we are. We think that we can worship individuality and not face the consequences of living in this illusion. Yet the consequences of basing our culture around individuality couldn't be clearer. We think that man has become so smart that we have mastered nature and don't need her but obviously this is a delusion based on our greed to consume endlessly. Our greed is so ravenous that we are killing our own host--Mother Earth. We are shitting where we eat, sleep and live. Yet like a drug addict destroying the lives of everyone around them, we push on thinking we can out smart nature. Oh foolish man.

~Peace to all beings~

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Anton Elohan Byers said...

Nicely written.

The false self cannot experience something that has no name--it lives and breathes abstraction; it therefore cannot experience the natural self or the natural world.

Our connection is in allowing the false self we identify with as reality to dissipate and natural world to reach through the natural self that remains. The perceptual mode is one of being and experiencing, being a part of, not being apart from.


Grace said...

So much is said in that one little quote you shared from John Muir. I'm going to put it on my blog.

kate micaela said...

You have a good point there. I guess serving is a lot more meaningful.

Duncan said...

Thank you for this post. I love this quote and used to use it in email signatures. It is nice to know someone else saw the connection between Muir and the Dharma. The naturalist perspective of connectivity is often overlooked in our technologically heavy society. Thanks again.

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Wall Mirrors Gal said...

In the circle of life, nature and people are certainly interconnected. And - this blog highlights why we need to take care of where we live, eat and play.

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