A recent response to the appearance of this meme/quote from noted Canadian astrophysicist…
I like this quote as it is essentially the cornerstone of Pantheism, although for me I feel more inclined towards Panentheism. Over the last years, sitting here looking out across the vast expanse of the lowlands beyond my hillside window, and having time to observe the processes and cycles of Nature I have become increasingly convinced that this marvellous Matriarch called Earth, manifesting its myriad of lifeforms from minuscule to those of greater magnitude, is literally a Matrix of Metaphor… the purpose of which is to provide all the insight, information and learning that we need to understand why we are here, and how we should live.
Although some of this learning can be gleaned from scientific endeavour this is hardly the most necessary or useful source of education as the most important lessons are available to anyone who employs their ‘Natural’ emotional intelligence… which is why the ancient cultures understood more about how Nature works through their instincts and intuition (both undervalued and underused elements of our human potential in the ‘civilized first world’ in which ‘we’ — in the West — so arrogantly claim to live) and also why the cultures of the ‘elders’ emphasized the need to live in harmony with Nature.
The damage we have done to this planet in the short space of a couple of centuries, and continue to do, is plain to see and we are more frequently exposed to our species’ misdeeds these days, through social media memes and worthy bloggers, than we have ever been able to observe in such a detailed way before in history. Nonetheless, humanity’s obsession with materialistic living, and continued tendency to ask ‘when will they do something?’ rather than ‘what can I do?’ leads us steadily and (seemingly) inexorably to a time when Nature will be forced to shake the world, like a wet-dog shaking droplets of rain from its coat, or a cat brusquely ridding itself of parasites.
An amazing aspect of Nature is its apparently enduring resilience, one could say its ability to forgive and overcome the misdeeds done to it… Even so Nature will not be the One to blame if we make our own home inhospitable to us and our adversely impact our continued existence as the self-proclaimed ‘pre-eminent’ species on the planet.
To suggest that Nature provides us with metaphors from which we should learn is, in my humble opinion, more than merely mundane… it is the insight that we should be capable of as proof of our Spirituality… but receiving such insight and employing the wisdom we thus glean seems to be the current sticking point in mankind’s own evolution.
This good Earth appears, at a glance, to be a complex place, which makes the fact that the way in which humanity could forge it into Heaven by working with Nature — (i.e. demonstrably loving every living being and thing) — is so simple it is as inherently awe-inspiring as the One Source from which everything has sprung!