Our Spiritual Bond with Nature

–by Rachel Carson 

A large part of my life has been concerned with some of the beauties and mysteries of this Earth about us, and with the even greater mysteries of the life that inhabits it. No one can dwell long among such subjects without thinking rather deep thoughts, without asking oneself searching and often unanswerable questions, and without achieving a certain philosophy…. Every mystery solved brings us to the threshold of a greater one. […]

The pleasures, the values of contact with the natural world, are not reserved for the scientists. They are available to anyone who will place themselves under the influence of a lonely mountain top — or the sea — or the stillness of a forest; or who will stop to think about so small a thing as the mystery of a growing seed.

I consider my contributions to scientific fact far less important than my attempts to awaken an emotional response to the world of nature. So the “wonder” book, and “Remembrances of Earth” I should consider more important than any mere reporting of scientific fact. […]

Beauty — and all the values that derive from beauty — are not measured and evaluated in terms of the dollar. […]

I believe natural beauty has a necessary place in the spiritual development of any individual or any society. I believe that whenever we destroy beauty, or whenever we substitute something man-made and artificial for a natural feature of the Earth, we have retarded some part of humanity’s spiritual growth.

I believe this affinity of the human spirit for the Earth and its beauties is deeply and logically rooted. As human beings, we are part of the whole stream of life. We have been human beings for perhaps a million years. But life itself — passes on something of itself to other life — that mysterious entity that moves and is aware of itself and its surroundings, and so is distinguished from rocks or senseless clay — [from which] life arose many hundreds of millions of years ago. Since then it has developed, struggled, adapted itself to its surroundings, evolved an infinite number of forms. But its living protoplasm is built of the same elements as air, water, and rock. To these the mysterious spark of life was added. Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity.

–Rachel Carson. Passage from Brain Pickings. [] 

Tukuram Poem:   My Lucky Rock

I said to a squirrel, “What is that you are carrying?”
and she said,
“It is my lucky rock; isn’t it pretty?”
I held it and said, “Indeed.”

I said to God,
“What is the earth?”
And God said, “It is my lucky rock;
isn’t it wondrous?”

Yes indeed.


Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907–April 14, 1964) — the pioneering marine biologist and writer who catalyzed the modern environmental movement and ushered in a new literary aesthetic of writing about science as something inseparable from life and inherently poetic. Carson examined the question of beauty as a lens on comprehending the universe in a stunning speech she delivered before a summit of women journalists in 1954, later published under the title “The Real World Around Us” in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (public library)

About pancho

To live in radical joyous shared servanthood to unify the Earth family.
This entry was posted in ahimsa, anarchism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, fearlessness, meditation, natural philosophy, nonviolence, Peace Army, poetry, science, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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