Nature Makes Up Everything
Truly, we cannot exist without nature and no matter where one may hold nature in their personal set of ethics, there is indeed, no way to escape her influence. I argue in this essay that nature exists all around us, makes us up, and is an inescapable law of our reality that should be governing our business, our methods of resource extraction and the arrangement of our societies. Nature in fact, the very thing that created Us as human beings.
Nature Surrounds Us
The air in the room, the sunshine outside, the ground beneath our feet: we can consider all of these to be properties of “nature”. And it is from this nature that we build our buildings, our automobiles and our technological devices. Nature shapes and forms our landscapes, the places we build our cities, and provides us with the food that we consume and water we drink to stay alive.
However, nature is not merely something external. Nature is also something deeper, that reaches into the very fabric of whom we are.
We Are Made Of Nature
Through our daily diet, our respiration of breathing oxygen and nitrogen, and our absorption of water, air and much more, we become nature. It is the many products of nature that allow our required vitamins, minerals and macronutrients to be available for our existence. Without the many principles and processes that exist around us in the natural world, there would be no base input to create a human being. It is by the products of nature that human beings can physically exist. It is also by Nature’s processes that we came into being: we are a fruit of her tree, and made of her soil.
Nature Created Humanity
There are many different ontologies in trying to understand the origin of humanity. If we acknowledge that by natural processes, life can arise, than it is true that Nature is our Creator. One may look deeper at evolution itself and question the forces behind the veil of evolution, which in truth, is one of the ultimate mysteries of humanity. However, if we are even to subscribe for one second to evolutionary theory, if we are to believe that our genes are effected by the outside environment, if we are to acknowledge that we require “nature stuff” in our diets to exist, than we are to acknowledge that we are indeed nature itself in living form. We are nature materials incarnate, arranged as living vessels of conscious awareness, constituted merely by the “stuff” of Earth. Is it the Christian God that brought all of this motion into being? Is it Allah? Is it the HUM of the everlasting Ohm? What has set forth this operation schema that the universe seems to then operate accordingly by?
Christian Ontology Diverges our Nature Connection and Nature Source
I argue that by subscribing to the Adam and Eve creation story, we alienate ourselves from Mother Nature. By holding ourselves to an ontology by which we are drafted out of the sands of Earth by the hands of God, we, by side-effect, do not view nature as our source. Despite the proof in our reality that nature evolves new life forms, assembles new and odd things into being, we deny its tentacle reach into the very fabric of our existence. It is also through this Christian paradigm, that we justify to ourselves, the rule and dominion over the Earth:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – Genesis 1:26
By viewing ourselves separate from Nature, as advocated through biblical translations, we in effect cut ourselves off from our necessary connection to nature and the Cause and Effect of natural processes. This is a very dangerous place to be psychologically, because it buffers us mentally from any consequences we may have to our alterations of the Earth system. By not acknowledging our “Nature Ontology”, to which I call our “natural arisal from earth processes”, we deny our deep intricate tie to these processes, by which our creation and destruction ultimately rest.
Nature’s Cause and Effect
It is through the Earth system, and the many cascading cause and effects that have brought us into being. It is by cause and effect, that today, we continue to modify the world around us. The effects of our aggregated pollution into both the atmosphere and oceans, for example, may cause our (a) human health effects such as cancers, (b) our changing climatic patterns and (c) our effects upon other creatures.
We can see cause and effect at even smaller scales, such as our industrial expansion. Let’s take the example of damming a river: Previous to the dammed river, we may have fish populations and biological communities, that after the dam is built, are lost, by the effects of the dam wall construction and its reduction of living organisms to move through that barrier. The effects may be a dead ecosystem, or a steady decline or loss of fish populations entirely. This is a very basic example of how human alteration directly effects nature. The loss of the fish may mean little to our hungry stomaches if our agricultural fields are watered, but the moment our fields go fallow, we may wish we had kept some fish.
Our direct connection to nature, is inescapable, irregardless of our preferred ideology of ontology. It is true that every moment of every day, we human beings, as an aggregated force, affect the living fabric and even the geologic structures of our planet. We modify the composition of our atmospheres through our industrial wastes, and we modify entire waterways through engineering.
What We Do To Nature We Do To Ourselves
What we miss the whole long while, perhaps fueled by the Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden ideology, is that we are directly affected by what we do to our external environment, no matter how external it truly feels, or how external our religions tell us it to be. The reality is, that by changing our world, we so too change ourselves. What we do to our planet, we so do also to ourselves. It is by these principles that pollution finds its way back into our bodies — this is why things such as BPA-free in plastics have become commonplace — we were finding BPA’s back in our own bodies as it moved through the trophic system.
If we tell ourselves that God gave us this planet to rule over, then we ought to, at the very least, keep a clean household. Even if you don’t agree with my argument at all, one surely would acknowledge that keeping a dirty household might negatively effect one’s health (mentally and physically). Common rules of hygiene validate this connection to factors in our environment and our health (like wiping the bacteria from a dirty kitchen, for example). Why, then, do we not apply these same principles to our larger world? Shouldn’t we keep the Earth system in good shape, at the very least, to ensure our mental and physical well-being?
What we do to our world indirectly comes back to us. Whatever our religions may be, this fact is inescapable. By breaking ourselves from tied thought, we need to look truly at the reality of the world before us. If we are unable to see that Nature is our ultimate fabric, then, we are unlikely to respect her, and in return, lose those incredible systems which support our very well being. If we are unable to see Nature as ourselves, than we will continue to pollute and destroy, of which the aforementioned is inescapable.
We must realize that the Garden of Eden could exist around us here, at the present, if we were to work at it. If global governments agreed, we could create a healthier planet. If we were to understand and listen to our natural systems, and to see how they link together and how they include us, we may be able to restore, modify, or adjust them in our favor. Rather than pushing against the current, we may be able to go “downwind” with nature at our backs, as opposed to being the large massive confronting hurdle before us, as we see it. “Man vs. Nature” embodies this illness in our psychology. Embracing Mother Nature is absolutely a necessary step in advancing our society. Understanding that we must work within her frame, is not a weakness to our industriousness, but rather a token of wisdom in moving with the larger forces which ultimately dictate us.
Mother Nature is the Home Team
In a world with so many problems, what could be of more value than moving forwards with those large forces at our backs, and being on their side, rather than stubbornly confronting them? If we were to fight nature, will we forever win?
This is a battle we cannot win — mother nature must not be seen as an external adversary or as a hunk of rubbled rock. Nature exists within us, around us and composes us. It is by her processes that we have come, and we ought to listen to the rules on the board, as we didn’t create this game and there are certainly areas that mother nature views as “out of bounds”. By respecting our boundaries with nature, we so too respect ourselves. Her laws, in the end, are the playground that we exist within. They are inescapable. And whatever we contest, Mother Nature will likely have the last retort: as my old geology teacher, a baseball fanatic, once said, “Mother Nature is the home team. She gets the last turn at bat”.