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"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."
Gregory Bateson

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Throughout Time and Around the World - Nature, Humans, and the Destructive Disconnection

"When the wise man learns the Way,
He tries to live by it.
When the average man learns the Way,
He lives by only part of it.
When the fool learns the Way,
He laughs at it.
Yet if the fool did not laugh at it,
It would not be the Way.
Indeed, if you are seeking the Way,
Listen for the laughter of fools." Lao Tzu

"When we try to pick out anything else in the Universe, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir

"I am drawn to the wild not because it is wild but because it is sensible, logical, ordered, stable, resilient. Wild nature is everything we're struggling to regain." Carl Safina

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." - President Lyndon B. Johnson upon signing of the Wilderness Act, 1964

"Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here." Alan Watts

"One does not need to have faith in myth, mystery and authority. One does need a faith, an affirmation that the Universe is friendly to life and its evolution." Bill Hanson

"I awake each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savour the world. This makes it hard to plan my day." E.B. White

"Man talks of a battle with Nature, forgetting that if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side." economist Fritz Schumacher

"We evolved as creatures knitted into the fabric of nature, and without its intimate truths, we can find ourselves unraveling." Diane Ackerman

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Albert Einstein

"Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal, merely personal feeling. This is what is the matter with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars. Love has become a grinning mockery because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table." D. H. Lawrence

"You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion, or challenge the idealogy of a violet." Hal Borland

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." E.B. White

"Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them." Mark Twain

"The world is not to be put in order, the world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order." Henry Miller

"We have repressed far more than our sexuality: our very organic nature is now unconscious to most of us, most of the time, and we have become shrunken into two dimensional social or cultural beings, aware of only five of the hundreds of senses that link us to the rich biological nature that underlies and nourishes these more symbolic and recent aspects of ourselves." Norman 0. Brown

"It is a fact of life that our senses, feelings and emotions are facts of life. They are as much a part of nature and our nature as is the land, sea and air. For example: the sensation of thirst is as real and true as water itself" Michael J. Cohen

"The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." Voltaire

"Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does." George Bernard Shaw

"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think." Gregory Bateson

"There is a constant and intimate contact among the things that coexist and co-evolve in the universe - a sharing of bonds and messages that makes reality into a stupendous network of interaction and communication." Ervin Laszlo

"There is no known, sustainable, substitute for Nature, the real thing and its eons of intelligent, life supportive, creation experience. Each artificial substitute we create falls short of nature's balanced perfection, thus producing our pollution, garbage and relationship conflicts. 99.9% of our thinking is disconnected from nature. This is like spending only 12 hours per lifetime learning how to read and write and then expecting to do it adedquately" Michael J. Cohen

"We go to sanctuaries to remember the things we hold most dear, the things we cherish and love. And then--the great challenge--we return home seeking to enact this wisdom as best we can in our daily lives." William Cronon

"...the woods, too, are laced with death...unlike the killing in the human world, the killing here is not driven by hatred, not justified by idealogy, not amplified by technology, not passed on through generations in a fever of revenge." Scott Sanders

"America's last wild places are everyone's good dream--our national commons--the enclaves we set aside for solice and renewal." Annick Smith

"Humans are a young species, and my little life abides in a very big place, where epochs glide by as swiftly as the mongoose. And strangely enough, when we put our human concerns into their proper, small place, we can turn our attention completely to the small things. To a cricket hidden in a crack of lava. To each other." Sallie Tisdale

"When we pause to sense them, we become wonder-struck and experience a richly satisfying frame of mind--for lack of a better word--we call joy." Diane Ackerman

"There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy." Hippocrates circa 450 B.C.

"The soul of man... is a portion or a copy of the soul of the Universe and is joined together on principles and in proportions corresponding to those which govern the Universe." Plutarch circa 75 A.D.

"Wherever you may go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator." St. Basil

"As I get older, I burrow more and more into the hills. The Great Spirit made them for us, for me. I want to blend with them, shrink into them, and finally disappear in them. ...All of nature is in us, all of us is in nature. That is as it should be." Pete Catches, Sioux medicine man

"Nature is the unseen intelligence that loved us into being." Elbert Hubbard

"Look at those cows and remember that the greatest scientists in the world have never discovered how to make grass into milk." Michael Pupin

"For what else is Nature but God and the Divine Reason that pervades the whole universe and all its parts." Seneca the Younger circa 25 A.D.

"Nature does nothing uselessly." Aristotle circa 350 B.C.

"Human subtlery. . . will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superflous." Leonardo da Vinci circa 1470.

"Those things are better which are perfected by nature than those which are finished by art" Cicero circa 1500 B.C.

"The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence." Thomas Berry

"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature." Frank Lloyd Wright

"What greater grief than the loss of one's native land." Euripides circa 450 B.C.

"That which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I see as my own nature" Chuang-tzu circa 370 B.C.

"The purpose of life is to live in agreement with nature." Zeno, circa 520 BC

"If you would learn more, ask the cattle, seek information from the birds of the air, The creeping things of earth will give you lessons and the fishes of the sea will tell you all. Speak to the Earth and it will teach thee." Job: 12, 7

"And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth. " Plato circa 400 B.C.

"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another." Jovenel

"The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge." Maria Montessori

"No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born." Pearl S. Buck

"Every cell in your body is seeking fulfillment through joy, beauty, love and appreciation." Deepak Chopra

"We belong to the ground. It is our power and we must stay close to it or maybe we will get lost" Aborigine (Jennifer Isaacs)

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves." John Muir

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends to do otherwise." Aldo Leopold

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet." William Blake

"Wildness can be a way of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope." Wallace Stegner

"A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau's Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life." Stewart Udall

"This is how a human being can change: there's a worm addicted to eating grape leaves. Suddenly, he wakes up, call it grace, whatever, something wakes him, and he's no longer a worm. He's the entire vineyard, and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks, a growing wisdom and joy that doesn't need to devour." Jedaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273

"The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of the exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by the land as it is by genes." Barry Lopez

"Wind over the lake: the image of inner truth." I Ching circa 1200 B.C.

"Remember, your mind is not your own. It is a gift from nature. It is imperative to use it positively, constructively. To do otherwise, to use it for worry, anger or negativity is to abuse the mighty gift." Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni

"Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world." R.D. Laing

"Most of us have become Ecozombies, desensitized, environmental deadheads. On average, society conditions us to spend over 95% of our time and 99.9% of our thinking disconnected from nature. Nature's extreme absence in our lives leaves us abandoned and wanting. We feel we never have enough. We greedily, destructively, consume and, can't stop. Nature's loss in our psyche produces a hurt, hungering, void within us that bullies us into our dilemmas." Michael J. Cohen

"Until mankind can extend the circle of his compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace." Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize, l950

"There is an ecological unconscious that can be drawn on to restore people to harmony with the natural world, a bond between our species and the planet as tenacious as the sexual instincts Freud found in the psyche." Theodore Roszak

"In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life--no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, --my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, --all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing, I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a part or particle of God." Ralph Waldo Emerson circa 1860

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." William Shakespeare circa 1580

"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." Walt Whitman

"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people." Albert Einstein

" From the masses to the masses'
The most Revolutionary consciousness is to be found
Among the most ruthlessly exploited classes:
Animals, trees, water, air, grasses." Gary Snyder

"As we gain satisfaction from artificial substitutes for nature we forget that there is no known substitute for Nature, the real thing and its eons of intelligent, life supportive, experience. Each substitute we create falls short of nature's balanced perfection, thus producing our pollution, garbage and relationship conflicts." Michael J. Cohen

"It is difficult to get people to understand something when their salary depends upon them not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

"We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well - for we will not fight to save what we do not love." Stephen Jay Gould


"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."
Alan Watts


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