Loss of intimacy with NatureEdit
Many factors with the changes of our world culture have contributed to the erosion of our intimacy with Mother Nature. In William’s “Ideas of Nature,” he explains that as human confidence grew over our history, so did our desire and capacity to “intervene” in nature’s processes. This quotation directs our attention to how scientific discoveries have eliminated the mystical presence that seemed to be the unknowable controlling entity behind the laws of nature. A more modern example of such a dicovery is the field of genetics. Though it wasn't one of the original pieces of science that might be blaimed for eroding our intimacy with Mother Nature, a scientific understanding of our genes, heredity, and evolution,has distanced us from our Mother.
Lack of intimacy with Mother Nature has had a profound impact on the environment. As our human civilization continues to grow, our touch with nature inversely diminishes. We seem to lose our sensitivity to the world outside of our artificial walls and barriers. This has a very detrimental effect on the environment. When we become indifferent to nature, we lose a sense of responsibility for taking care of it. Things have changed quite a bit from man’s more pastoral roots. As more and more people move into the cities, and as human cities and civilization expands more and more, we see a definite loss of intimacy with nature. This causes us to feel ssuperior to nature and exploit it for our use. Global Warming, deforestation, and animal extinctions are all signs of this loss of intimacy with nature. We no longer, as a whole, feel a closeness or emotional connection with nature.
Ancient Cultures and NatureEdit
Many ancient cultures and religions shared a common intimacy with nature and its creations. This contrasts starkly with our modern day culture of materialism. Although many of these ancient cultures and religions died off in place of others, there are still remnants that survive even today
Many concepts or proverbs of the Native American culture reflected the dedicated compassion for Nature. Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth. Walk in balance and beauty.
Many cultures embodied the idea of nature as motherly, or woman figure. This clearly shows a deep and spiritual connection that the Native Americans had with the world around them. In fact, for the most part, Native American religions were centered around nature and animism. Important spirits and dieties were manifested in animal form and other things in nature.
Many cultures and religions in ancient China were also especially close to nature. Although nature was not as central in Toaism, it did stress the importance of simplicity and the balance of nature. For example, money and material possesions were looked down upon and instead it stressed the spiritual benefits of living in simplicity. This view of a full life stresses the importance of being one with nature.
Impact of lack of intimacy with natureEdit
Our loss of closeness and intimacy with nature is evident in our human civilization's radical changes since ancient times. With this developing theory of anthropocentrism, technology, medicine, and almost every aspect of human life has progressed forward leaving Mother Nature behind. The morals which once held strong - to protect nature, to live and let live, to give back to nature - have all but remained insurmountable in the face of cultures progression.
Global Warming is the epitome for our indifference and disregard for nature. Numerous scientific communities around the world agree that it is a problem that has been growing faster and faster since the Industrial Revolution. For example, the last two decades of the 20th century were the hottest in 400 years. In addition, Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing. Recent studies have even speculated that many regions of the North Pole may be depleted of their ice mass by 2040.
Williams, Raymond. Ideas of Nature. London, 1980. Print.