Thinking About – The ‘Natural World’
I’ve heard these two statements spoken many times but I wonder how helpful they really are.
The first one doesn’t have to refer to a lake, it can be a forest, a garden, a landscape. Both statements make some kind of sense but they perpetuate the lie that somehow humans are not a part of Nature. I guess we have inherited this odd belief from the Biblical quote that suggests that humans have dominion over Nature. We look at the animal kingdom as an observer. As if we are looking at something separate from ourselves.
The quote about Druidry is better. At least it is suggesting that Druidry can bridge that gap, but is there really a gap to bridge? If an alien species came to the Earth many people hold the opinion that they would instantly want to talk to humans. There is a wonderful moment in The Day the Earth Stood Still where Keanu Reeves is asked by the military, “What do you want with our planet?” Reeves looks around, at the plants, the birds, the miriad of other species and asks, “Your planet?”
We may have changed vast areas of the environment to be friendlier to our own needs, and we see that these changes somehow make us the dominant species, but take us out of our controlled environment and we most certainly are not.
We are just another animal.
We are a part of the Natural World.
So when we look at a man-made lake, a garden, the moors, and ask if they are natural, is it right to see them as unnatural? Is London as much a part of the natural world as an anthill is to a colony of ants? I know there will be some who read that last statement and question it. But why is something that a human animal creates any less natural than any other animal?
I’m not talking about just the destruction we cause here. I’m certainly not on a human-bashing guilt trip. What about the glorious works of art, our music, the way we love, all of these things are a part of the natural world of this planet. To keep them isolated does nothing but help us extend the myth that we are somehow separate, and to many superior, to other species on this planet.
We share this world, equally, and by acknowledging that we are a part of the natural world, we can then understand that we have a responsibility towards each other, the other species around us, and our home.
And we can really feel that this is our home, as much as the Tundra is to the reindeer, the ocean to the whale, the sky to the eagle.