Our Oneness with Nature

flame lily 6.1-41

Recently, I read a post “Jumping The Gun” by Melissa who blogs at Livelovebegreen. Once again my thinking around the whole issue of our relatedness to nature was challenged.

Having pondered on her words, I’d like to offer some thoughts on the subject. I feel the best way of doing this is to simply share a few brief posts each containing a single thought which has helped me to enter in to a deeper relatedness with nature. So here’s the first post and thought.

For too long we’ve fallen under the illusion that we’re actually not part of nature, that somehow we are separate from her. Sadly, when you detach yourself and observe, measure, analyse and dissect long enough, you begin to believe that you are actually not part of what you are observing and measuring and dissecting. It’s a very subtle thing. It’s almost as if you begin to feel that you’re totally unrelated to it and that it has this inferior quality to it, because being human and somehow above nature far outstrips it. In other words, what you are is totally unrelated and superior to to what you see nature to be.

It’s only when we begin to make the long journey back in to seeing ourselves as being intricately connected and in complete union with nature, that we start feeling and experiencing the profound mystical oneness we have with it. In this oneness we know that whatever we do to her, we do to ourselves.

I’m deeply suspicious of any view, whether it be religious or scientific or any other philosophical view, that does not acknowledge this oneness, this profound and mystical union we have with all of creation.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Life, Nature, Photography, Relationships, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Our Oneness with Nature

  1. Brilliantly put. If people begin to remember that we are a part of nature, hopefully they will start taking more care of it, as it is, in fact, a part of themselves.

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  2. theINFP says:

    I agree, it is too easy to stick ones head in the sand. I like the picture, so inviting 🙂

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  3. Hear, hear, Don…. We are intrinsically connected to all things. We cannot close our eyes to the beauty, or the chaos surrounding us; it effects us all.
    So many things get in our way: Technology, grief, anger – so many human things. For some I believe their lives are ‘too full’ of self concern to be cognizant of nature. We see the degrading of much of the stable and precious resources as man forgets his dependence upon our home. I do not have the answers, except to say that self responsibility must be firstly on our agenda. From there, responsibility toward the whole becomes achievable.

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  4. I agree. We are all one with nature but many of us have forgotten. There’s a beautiful North American saying that echoes this thought that I shall now have to go and look for…. I’ll be back when I find it 🙂

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  5. I’m back! This is the one I was thinking of:

    “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

    – Chief Seattle, Duwamish (1780-1866)

    All the best to you 🙂

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  6. ladyfi says:

    I totally agree – we are all connected and what we do to nature, we do to ourselves.

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  7. Kathy Marsden says:

    During my recent grief journey and my deepest sense of self that for a time just could not connect to the changed landscape of my life, the comfort I found came from Nature. It was more than beauty. It was even more than the physical touch of wind in my face. It was the awareness that I was part of the life force. I sensed a deep connection to the tree outside my window shedding its leaves without resistance (or so it seemed),to the bean seed I planted and watched unfold day by day, to the lavender I slipped and grew and placed in my kitchen window, and stroked to receive the scent….there were so many comforting little things to let me know that I was still in touch with life. Don’t really know how to say it, Don. This sense of belonging runs deeper than I can express.
    I look forward to reading your thoughts on this subject.

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    • Don says:

      Beautiful Comment Kathy. Thank you for your personal sharing. As I read your comment I was reminded of Rilke’s words: ” In times of trouble we should endeavour to stay close to one simple thing in nature.” Your experience with that tree is so meaningful to me and I can understand when you say things like. “Don’t really know how to say it;” how do you describe it? It’s all such a wonderful mystery.

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  8. josna says:

    Don, thank you for this beautifully expressed post. It strikes me that what you say goes for humankind collectively as well as individual human beings in relation to the natural world. Doris Lessing talks about our having lost the “Substance-Of-We-Feeling”—We being our fellow human beings, but also all of nature. This is one thing to acknowledge, and I think that the Environmental Movement has made it easy for us to nod our heads to it, but quite another to fully internalize and feel, so that, in Kathy’s words, we are aware that we are part of the life force. I only feel that intermittently, and my whole sense of wellbeing, as well as the way I interact with others, would change if I felt it all the time. Kathy, your response is very moving. Thanks to both of you, my fellow Beings (along with the lavender and the beanstalk)!

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    • Kathy Marsden says:

      Thank you, Josna. Your acknowledgement is a gift to me and much appreciated!

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Josna. I love that phrase of having lost the “Substance-of-the-we feeling – puts it beautifully. My experience is like yours. I too feel it intermittently and wish I could feel it a lot more. Sometime ago I had an amazing experience with Yellow Bill Kites. It was fleeting, but wonderful. I often go back to it in memory and experience it again. I suppose that’s one way of experiencing it for a longer period of time. But then I wonder if we are meant to hold onto such experiences or to have them too often. Perhaps their fleetingness is what gives them their mysterious and wonderful essence.

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  9. Pingback: Beaten Eggs, Chief Seattle and A Model Of Me | mybeautfulthings

  10. Healthy A-Z says:

    Beautiful reminder of our connectedness… to nature and to each other as well. I so enjoy the expression of your impressions!

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  11. Don, I think humans have been negligent and disrespectful of nature. My personal belief is that both mankind and the earth were made by the same Creator. We are failing in our care of both. But let’s not give up… we can pass on respect to all life around us and teach by example.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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    • Don says:

      You’re right, Wendy, but you know what it’s like, sometimes we tend to act as if we ourselves are the sole creator. Thank you also for your sound word of hope and brightness.

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  12. Pingback: Oneness | poemattic

  13. When I am low, it is nature that revives me – not ‘things’. When I am happy, I rejoice in nature and long to share it with everyone. Alas, there are too few who respond. It pains me to see the destruction we have wrought on our world, and this will come back to affect us in so-far unknown ways. What a pity everyone doesn’t have you appreciation, Don, and you ability to put it into words so well.

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    • Don says:

      Linda, I sense you’re a person with deep soul and I can hear your struggle. I know something of how it feels and I often have the same kind of pain. The other day I watched helplessly as the authorities cut a number of trees down. There was absolutely no reason for to do it. The excuse was they had become messy. Just so sad and you’re right, it always comes back to affect us. Thank you for your comment.

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  14. renxkyoko says:

    We are one with nature. I feel somehow, every human being knows that.

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    • Don says:

      Yes, I think it is written in to every human being. The tragedy is that we seem to be so unconscious to that fact. It’s a wonderful thing to see when a person discovers that. As you say, it’s there, but we have mislaid it. Thank you for that insight. So true.

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  15. darrelhoff says:

    every now and then, I have these moments… realising i am sharing this planet with something far greater than i. look at the butterflies, insects… animals, birds… they know something… that sometimes humna beings don’t…

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  16. Don, I couldn’t agree with you more but you know that already. When we get caught up in our hectic schedules and personal bubble we lose sight of the fact that everything, including us, are interconnected. We are all a part of the life-breath of Earth. Interestingly though, the earth can carry on without us but we cannot survive without the earth. Wonderful post, Don. Thanks for the mention as well.

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Melissa. ” ..the earth can carry on without us but we cannot survive without the earth.” So, so true. Hard for us to contemplate that. I think our arrogance doesn’t allow us to go down that road. If only we could, perhaps we’ll grow in to a deeper humility which in turn will enhance our relatedness to nature.

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  17. Greg. says:

    Nature is red in tooth and claw. How lovely then that not all aspects of nature are cruel. But what melancholy a thinking person experiences considering nature beyond the beautiful bits.

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Greg. As I said in a previous post, I’m not so sure who is more red in tooth and claw when it comes to nature and us. I think us. We kill and maim without any thought, nature does it to survive and will never take any more than what is needed. There’s something magnanimous about that even though it still remains difficult to contemplate. Suffering will always remain a mystery.

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      • Greg. says:

        A book called The Selfless Gene (as opposed to The Selfish Gene made famous by Dawkins) goes deeply into evolution and the problem it has with human altruism, which seems to oppose the survival of the fittest as the driving force of the standard evolution model. I think we must have a coffee Don, and take this further.

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      • Don says:

        I’m aware of the book but I haven’t read it. Sounds intriguing. I’m all for a coffee Greg. Look forward to that.

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  18. Kathy Snay says:

    Don, Well said as always. I try so hard to get the oneness aspect across and here you did it so well. Thanks again, Kathy

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  19. Bev says:

    As always Don, your blogs are so thought provoking. As you know, Brian and I and our boys (with extended partners) love our holidays in the bush. There is something really special about getting back to basics and I always come away feeling restored in my soul. Only nature in all it’s forms can do that for me.
    Much love,
    Bev

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    • Don says:

      Hi Bev. So good to hear from you. Your love of the bush has always inspired me and when you’ve spoken about it I’ve seen that appreciation and love in you.I can just imagine what those holidays mean to you. We just go away for a day in the bush and the restoration is wonderful, so I can imagine what it does for you and the family. There is as you say something profoundly restorative about nature, even in its wildness and unpredictability. Appreciate your comment

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  20. dmgartphoto says:

    Agreed Don. We are no more, no less than a piece of the big pussle.

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  21. nrhatch says:

    Nature rocks!

    * Nature does not ask, “what do they want me to be?” Its glory lies in its authenticity.

    * What good is a house, if you haven’t got a decent planet to put it on? ~ Henry David Thoreau

    * Nature speaks with many voices. Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart.

    * Celebrate the joy of nature . . . the unexpected mysteries of life!

    * The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. ~ Voltaire

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  22. wisejourney says:

    I believe that the concept of oneness is worth pondering a good deal more and in so many ways. Thank u for reminding me of that.

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  23. T. Caine says:

    Don, great post. To answer your question there actually is a term and study given to humans’ inherent and integral link to nature. It is called Biophilia and was coined by American Biologist E.O. Wilson (I would highly recommend reading his book of the same title). It is described as our innate tendency to be happier in the presence of natural systems.

    Wilson and his studies have gone on to influence the creation of many things in exploring how we can respond to and strengthen our waning connection to nature. For example, I happen to be an architect, but the firm I work at consistently carries Biophilia as part of our mission statement in designing buildings–bringing nature into part of every spatial experience.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you for your enlightening comment. I don’t know the term, probably a sign of my ignorance. The book sounds wonderful and I’ll certainly try and get hold of it. I love those words of yours – “our innate tendency to be happier in the presence of natural systems.” Isn’t it strange how ego has turned it all in to a fight and an overcoming of the natural. It’s almost as if the natural actually scares us. Thanks so much for your comment and I have found your blog to be extremely interesting and challenging.

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