Such a fundamental aspect of all conscious life on Planet Earth.
As many of you know, weekend posts on Learning from Dogs are usually pretty innocuous. But two things came together to make me want to offer today’s central thoughts while they were fresh and clear in my mind.
The first thing flowed from good friend, John Hurlburt. Together with Jon Lavin, John had helped me develop my Statement of Purpose for my book. It was John who proposed a chapter under the heading of “The biological interconnectedness of all conscious earthly life“; a proposal I embraced with open arms.
The second thing was that Alex Jones, he of the blog The Liberated Way, published a post yesterday that, succinctly and beautifully, supported John Hurlburt’s thesis.
What do we mean by the idea that all of us are connected? (…. and ignoring the many of you who wonder why the question even has to be asked.)
I’m going to answer that most fundamental of all questions in this rather roundabout manner.
As someone who in previous times has been a glider pilot (aka sailplane in US speak), and a long-distance sailor (Tradewind 33), the weather about me was very much part of my life. Long ago I came to love clouds. Yesterday morning we had to take puppy Oliver to the vet and, unusually for this time of year in Southern Oregon, overhead there were beautiful grey stratus clouds covering 90% of the sky. There wasn’t the time to grab my camera but the following stock photograph found on the web is close to what we saw.
Still en-route in answer to the question, take a look at the next photograph; also from the web.
Now to the next photograph. (Hang on in there!)
See how the road, a man-made road stretching away to the horizon, is such an intimate part of the landscape and the sky.
Now to my final photograph.
I see a strong and clear theme behind these four beautiful images. A theme that answers the question of what we mean by the idea that all of us are connected.
It is this.
Our planet’s atmosphere gives us all that we need to live. All the oxygen and water and other essentials for all of life. Over millions of years it has provided all that life has needed to evolve and grow.
The land prospered. Beautiful animals arrived. Then came man and over time he left his mark on the lands of the planet. For aeons of time, man and animals shared their lives upon the land. Indeed, man and animals frequently demonstrated they had the capacity to love each other without denying the fact that both man and animals, in many cases, were also meat-eaters. To state the obvious, the beauty of the obvious, is to say that everything on this planet is connected under Nature. Man, animals, lands: all part of that same Nature.
Let me close by republishing with Alex’s permission his post from yesterday.
One in nature
The joy of knowing nature and self are one.
Sitting upon a fallen dead tree, one that could have but did not kill me when it fell in the storms last year, an orange butterfly flew and settled next to me. Here we were, butterfly and I, enjoying the warm sun sitting on the same tree trunk like two people on a park bench. The butterfly would after a time fly away returning later to sit next to me. In this moment I shared something in common with this butterfly, different species, but living on and coming from the same planet earth.
Another day it is raining, I huddle under the garden conifers eating raspberries, watching the clouds empty their water upon a thirsty garden, my cat Pebbles sitting at my feet. Out of the fallen branches two little mice played, oblivious to me and the cat, which did not seem to notice them.
For many people there are degrees of separation from nature, us and them. For some like me, Ubuntu, I am because we are. There is only connection, the animals and I are one.
Camping in the rain, a knocking at the tent door. I looked out of the tent, I looked into the eyes of a frog, which then vanished into the rainy darkness.
Last words from John.
1. Competition is a natural result of evolution.
2. Population growth intensifies competition.
3. Nature maintains our equilibrium.
4. Denying Nature is a sure path to extinction.