Naturally so

It’s common knowledge that a deeper connection with nature is good for our Edward O. Wilson notes that humans have been immersed in nature for most of history, having only migrated to urban living relatively recently. This need to relate to nature in some way, it seems, remains embedded in our psychology. It’s ‘natural’ for us, so to speak, to be close to the land, trees, animals, rocks, rivers and streams. In fact, in the days of Plato, Thales, and Spinoza, the general thinking went that all non-human beings, and that includes pebbles, sand, flowers, and leaves were “full of gods”, imbued with soul, mind, even consciousness. Nature was not simply “out there” to be viewed, analysed, and classified, but was interacted with in some way, much like we’d interact with another human being. Seeing non-human beings as ‘like us’ makes the world a much busier and friendlier place. As poet David Whyte writes in his poem (on page 129), “Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation”.

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