Mar 28, 2009

I went to the park today

I have this strange "love-hate" relationship with nature. I never understood how Pantheists can worship nature ... living sentient creatures feeding on other living sentient creatures in a never-ending fight for survival, with no other purpose than just keep on feeding and breeding, until death.

And yet, being in nature always made me feel good. I have such a fascination for the beauty of it, even if I'm aware of the the ugliness behind all of this ….

I like the park. And I like my boots.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, your boots are pretty awesome.

I find that the more I think about and contrast the beauty and chaos of the world and the universe, the smaller and more insignificant I feel. I used to get scared as I started to put it to scale, but I've since come to terms with the fact that humans aren't the center of nature. Now when I get that small and insignificant feeling, it's a humbling experience and I love it.

ZK said...

I've always felt myself insignificant in comparison to nature and the universe in general... What are we compared to stars, planets, black holes? Tadbits of dust...

As for the ugliness of depredation... well from my personal point of view the beatuy within nature outweights "its ugly parts". After all, if it's seen from a materialist point of view that's what nature is all about: different ways of physical and chemical interaction among particles.

By the way, your boots are nice and you're gorgeous.

Billy said...

I have considered along the way many roads of thought - many systems of belief... walked along Paths that others had gone down before me, beating down the brush... knocking sticks and fallen trees out of the way...

Of these ways of thinking that are shared by surprisingly large numbers of people --- Wiccans, Neo-Pagans, Druidism, Sufism even...

... Nature-worshippers are the " least " misguided in the sense that their illusionary clinging to idealology seems to cause the least amount of collateral damage to not just them --- but to other humans around them in the immediate sense, as well as the collective sense.

To understand " Nature " as being principally dominated with the ruling characteristics of Earth, Air , Fire, Water & " Spirit " .... ( energy/ life-force/ " Chi " ) seems to be useful in calming people who are making a transition in their ways of thinking. Everyone grows and becomes more aware at differing rates... and each person's exact level of being on the scale of growth is measured and matters only against the backdrop of that individual's Life interpretations & experiences.

At least this type of spiritual person doesnt usually impose their beliefs onto others or attempt to forcibly coerce society to believe as they do, supporting the faith in which they simply like the " sound of " .. or like the " plot " ... but in reality, deep down inside... fall far short of conviction within themselves because their entire premise is a supposition and not based upon any proven realities.

Anonymous said...

I was pagan for a short time it was my major stepping stone away from Christianity. during that time i never looked at nature the way you do don't get me wrong i see your point just its not something many people dwell on. death is natural and in my mentality at the time was an invitation to be reborn. for me even to this day their is something almost magical about going camping in the woods watching the sun rise and set cooking my food over an open fire, watching the stars at night...... i could go on and on. perhaps it is due to me growing up in rural America but nature has always calmed me. the simplicity of it you don't see a bear kill more than it can eat and then thy to store it somewhere that it will go bad.
over all most would view this as worshiping where we as a race came from. we as humans are not all that different from animals we both have feelings and emotions both are concuss at least to an extent. the only real reason were not behaving just like wild animals is due to an accident or coincidence that caused our ancestors to develop a more fully functioning brain, at lest for the most part you would be surprised how dumb people can be around here. for nature worshipers being in nature is like going home after being away some place you would rather not be the comfort of going back to where you grew up assuming you had a good childhood its like Christmas sitting under an old tree realizing that it was there before you were even thought of and as long as someone doesn't cut it down it will be there long after you. that nature is were your food and the air you breath come from that in a perfect world humans would take care of nature the way it takes care of us. we only have one world and were destroying it as if it has no value. that every time someone liters or throws something away that can be recycled were shorting not only the lifespan of this world but our race.

Anonymous said...

Yes nature is both bleak and beautiful. The terrible truth and logic in the story of every organism is there - beneath what we perceive as ugly, pretty, cute or whatever.

So why is nature good for the soul?
Maybe because it provides a break from the everyday bullshit we wallow in most of our lives.

TOBY said...

Objectively, Nature is Nature. Living and Dying.

But Subjectively, "Man is nothing compared to what nature has to offer."

Nature is our refuge against the problems of urban living.

Pantheism is a beautiful way of believing in "god." For you are god, and I am god and the internet is god.

By the way, I am Toby from the Philippines. I hope you will take time reading my first post in my blog,

I am a relatively new atheist (just a few months). Transformed from Roman Catholicism.

I followed your blog by the way. Take care.

Anonymous said...

watch "Aguire, the Wrath of God" and "Fitzcarraldo". You will love both.

Matt said...

In answer to the pantheism comment:

While bearing witness to the actual process of predation can be rather disturbing to our human morality, the system of dynamic balance, of evolution and the survival of the fittest, the speciation and the endless, amazing forms that life has taken on this planet are all- to me, at least- utterly breathtaking. I wouldn't describe myself as a pantheist, by any stretch- atheist heathen is much closer to the mark- but I will say that the natural world evokes feelings of awe and reverence in me that truly nothing else does.

Regarding human morality, though... When we watch an animal being hunted and killed by another, it is normal to identify in some way with the animal being preyed upon, to imagine what it would be like and be repelled and unsettled by it. But at the same time, we have seen what happens to prey populations when their natural predators are extirpated- Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac" provides an incredible depiction of the resulting tableau. It's not pretty- starvation, disease, and maladaptation all tend to come to the fore very quickly, none of which are any more kind of fun to watch than predation.

The reverence I have for nature, then, is less bound up in the experience and struggle of each individual and more just utter awe at the system as a whole, at watching energy- which, at its most basic, is what we all are- as it spreads out and takes all manner of incredible forms in almost every niche imaginable on this planet. (If you have a chance, I highly recommend both the BBC's "Planet Earth" series of nature documentaries- they're incredible!- and Nick Cave's "As I Sat Sadly By Her Side" (song) as some of my favorite illustrations of this. Or, if you'd rather something darker and more sarcastic- you!? never!- "Disgustipated" by Tool is another wonderful one.)

Finally, and unrelated to the above... You are incredible. Thank you for posting, and, well, existing.

Keane said...

Check out the Enneagram. It's a personality study with 9 types based on motivation. I'm a 4. Wonder if you are similar.

Cool YouTube channel. Dig it :)

Anonymous said...

Hello from Venezuela.

I have seen your topics about God and in my life there is one thing I believe is the most acurate. I am not shure is there is a God but I believe we need a God. We need the God figure to find answers to things we do not understand or something to believe or fight for, like in the US they have Uncle Sam.

On the other hand a girl as gorgeous like you is defintly a goddes.


Asehpe said...

I wonder if calling the creature-eats-creature nature of nature (two different uses of the same word; interesting, isn't it?) "ugly" doesn't reveal also some underlying presuppositions in your own soul.

One problem with strict scientificism (the Vienna school kind, which I think is no longer a tenable, defendable philosophical viewpoint on knowledge) is precisely its incapacity to predicate aesthetic coments on the universe -- if science only deals with what "is", not with what "ought to" be or with what "appeals", then ethical and aesthetical presuppositions -- which underly your claim that the creature-eats-creature order of nature is "ugly" -- can only be done on a non-scientific basis. Where we derive our assumptions from, and why they are as they are, is of course scientifically researchable; that we use these assumptions, and the need for these assumptions in order for even science to be possible (and their apparent arbitrariness unless you admit realms other than the purely metaphyical) is a different thing. That is more in the province of philosophy.

Nature and our reactions to it; that is an interesting topic indeed. The usual evolutionary claim about why we like certain landscapes is of course that it provided us with some advantage that made us survive more often (natural selection). I'm sure one can find a rationale according to which the kinds of natural landscapes that attract us were probably also the kinds that would help us survive (e.g. they were 'safer'). Yet the fact that this has evolved (in a different sense of the word 'evolve') into a much more complicated feeling that is now capable of things not simply related to our survival (and whose philosophical motivations become much more difficult to assess) is also interesting.

Anonymous said...

Criss, I love you, but in response to your understanding of pantheism; Pantheists do not "worship" nature. They simply believe that, "All is God." God to a pantheist is not a deity to be worshiped, but the energy that is all. Oneness.

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