Free Essay

Man and Nature

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jhern
Words 1428
Pages 6
Man and Nature

Have you ever stopped to think about the relationship between yourself and Mother Nature? For most people chances are slim to none, in fact many may not even consider the fact that there might even be any kind of relationship between nature and themselves. As far as anyone might be concerned in today’s society, nature could just mean their backyard, or neighborhood park. In reality there is much more to you and I and this wilderness we refer to as nature. In this paper I argue that there exists a higher connection between man and nature that serves to unify all living things. Today, man and nature are commonly referred to in opposition of one another. Man destroys nature in order to expand and urbanize while nature destroys all man creates over time. People tend to see nature as some uncontrollable wild factor full of danger and chaos. Many think like Thomas Hobbes who would say that the very state of nature is chaotic; that if man were without society he would be inherently evil selfish with only self interest in mind and life would be lonely, difficult and short. However, if taken from a Rousseauian stand point, nature and man share an interest for self-preservation giving them a natural sense of compassion and the state of nature is calm and peaceful. I would have to say that the Rousseauian perspective makes more sense and ties into reality better than Hobbes’s state of nature. The main reason being that all nature moves towards a state of homeostasis or equilibrium, in other words, peace. For example, the human body constantly adjusts to the surrounding environment. When cold we shiver to warm up and when too hot we sweat to cool down. And when sick we have white blood cells to fight off the diseases. Not only in our bodies can this self-preservation be found, but also throughout all life. Every living species plays a specific role in the balance of their ecosystem. Producers support the consumers who support the decomposers who then give nutrients back to the producers. They all represent pieces of a puzzle, if any of the pieces were missing, all balance would be thrown off. So where do humans fit in all this? Well, according to modern society we have set ourselves apart from our once “barbaric” and “savage” lifestyle. Humans are now the alpha predator, no longer apart of the food chain. We live in our modern homes safe from the dangerous wilderness outside and think ourselves above nature because we are not “animals.” However, if modern science (evolution) has taught us anything, it is that we came from these so called animals. To go even further into our direct relationship with nature, many people who have experienced alternate states of consciousness through psychedelic drugs claim to have encountered first-hand a direct connection with nature. These connections are explained as highly euphoric and peaceful, very spiritual and transcendent in essence. The term drug is used lightly in the sense that most psychedelics derive from natural plants containing psycho-active chemical properties. One psychedelic chemical, Dimethyltriptamine or DMT (aka the spirit molecule) is the most potent hallucinogen known to science. It can actually be found in many plants and small mammals which has led to strong conjecture that it even exists in the human brain, however its use is claimed to be unknown. In other speculations it is believed to be an active chemical that allows people to dream, spiritually connect with nature and alternate dimensions of reality.
I myself can attest to these claims through my own experiences. For what feels like a few hours, the drug only lasts around 5 to 15 minutes. There is an overwhelmingly powerful energy that captures your entire being, like a constant resonating frequency that you become a part of. However intense it may have gotten there always existed a calm presence that reassured everything was okay and it will take care of you. There was a point at which my entire body became aqueous and it began to meld with all of my surroundings. It felt as if there were roots sprouting from every inch of my body that connected my soul with the universe. I could see with closed eyes beautiful fractal geometric patterns that spiraled into and back out of itself. There was a feeling of deep understanding for the inner structures of reality, how everything in the universe is interconnected. Time became an illusion as it is a mere concept of our imagination, it slowed down to the point where it simply did not exist. All senses are intermeshed, as you hear something the sound waves resonate throughout your entire body, thoughts and sounds become visible, it truly felt almost like a state of enlightenment. People who have taken DMT all tend to have very similar stories pertaining to a state of enlightenment, seeing or meeting transient beings/ diseased relatives from other realms of existence and obtaining an uttermost understanding and respect for all life (DMT, Schultz & Strassman). I believe that there is more to not only DMT, but other psychedelics (psilocybin mushrooms, lysergic acid diethylamide/LSD, peyote, etc.) that modern science chooses not to further research. Rather than exploring the inner recesses of human consciousness through the effects of psychedelics, which really gives people a new and unifying perspective on reality, to possibly discover something about ourselves, we are left wondering. They are naturally occurring substances that give people a deeper connection and understanding to life itself. Not only through these substances can we find a deeper spiritual connection with nature, but through religion and philosophy as well.
The goal for most contemporary religions generally revolves around achieving a state of godliness, enlightenment, nirvana, etc. Likewise with philosophers, ever seeking the absolute truth to become enlightened of reality. This can relate to natures drive towards self-preservation or homeostasis and the evolutionary process. How evolution plays into nature’s equilibrium is that the adaptation of species to better itself to its environment in order to thrive is a form of homeostasis, just on a larger scale. And if all species are constantly adapting, then technically all species would then be constantly evolving. Taking a side note into a little mathematics, there exists a particular ratio that Plato considered to be the most universally binding of mathematical relationships. Known as phi (a + b is to a as a is to b), aka the golden ratio or divine proportion, it is usually rounded to 1.618 but essentially goes on to infinity. The ratio forms in the shape of a spiral and can be found throughout many forms of nature: seashells, whirlpools, hurricanes, sunflowers, pinecones, etc. It is this very proportion that constitutes the evolutionary process. When observing the natural proportions of organisms in their growth the ratio can be seen to fit perfectly for most, if not all species. It even influences our aesthetics and how we view beauty, hence golden ratio in art. Artwork incorporated with the divine proportion are found to be more visually satisfying than those without. It all points to the ever striving movement to a state of perfection in nature which humans then try to reenact through religious practices and philosophic teachings. Much like physical evolution, humans work in the evolution of the mind, exercising thought and cognition to better perceive/make sense of/justify the world around us. Eastern religions like Buddhism can even relate to the psychedelic connections to nature in that through practices like meditation. It is believed that through meditation one can achieve alternate states of consciousness in which one can “become one with everything” or connect spiritually to all of nature and the universe.
From the Earth (nature) man is born, and unto the Earth shall man return. Every physical element that makes up a human being comes from the earth, therefore we are a part of nature. We have experimented with our own consciousness found enough to know that we definitely play a part in this world and we owe it to all of nature to do the best we can to maintain a balance on this earth and its environment. All life is as one, co-existing together we grow and adapt, learn from the past to move on towards a brighter future. Interwoven are we humans into this mixture of life, forever are we connected, unified and whole.

Works Cited

DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Dir. Mitch Schultz. By Rick Strassman. Perf. Joe Rogan. 2010. YouTube Documentary.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Nature of Man

... Reflection Paper on the Nature of Human Being, Reason for Being My concept of the “Nature of Man” is a combination of the different discipline of knowledge. First of which is that Man is a rational being. He has the capacity to think and reason which makes him distinct and superior from other living creatures. He is always drawn to finding reasons for his behavior and answers to his very existence. Man being rational also comes with his ability to learn. Even without formal education and training, he is endowed with a highly sophisticated tool to learn things and adapt in his environment. As oppose to what some philosopher’s claim, Man is born with innate tendencies and inherent characteristics from his parents that is waiting to be realized with stimulation from the environment. The combination of genetic, environmental and cultural factors are important component in the development of his Personality. Man is not only a thinking being. He also has the capacity to feel different range of human emotions. He has the capacity to love and care. The capacity for fear and anger. To experience joy, happiness and grief. We need to experience and feel different range of human emotions as these gives color to our very existence. But problems come when we are unable to manage our emotions. When there is imbalance between our thinking and feeling. Man is also a spiritual being. It is the spiritual side that connects man to his creator, his......

Words: 561 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Man and Nature

...UGFN1000 In Dialogue with Nature Man and Nature- A dialogue among scientists through the ages Notations: (I: Myself, J: Joseph Needham, C: Rachel Carson N: Issac Newton) I: Welcome to the seminar ‘Man and nature’. I am honoured today with Mr. Needham, Mr. Newton and Ms. Carson. J&C&N: I: Our pleasure. The relationship between man and nature is one of the most vital relations human is currently handling. Humanity’s progresses are largely dependent on the resources our mother nature offers us. From ancient times, nature is human’s best friend and greatest foe. Human is suffering from natural disaster. Meanwhile, many of our daily essentials, such as water and food, are obtained from the nature. In my view, the relationship between man and nature has evolved from ages to ages. To examine the relation, I believe we should first inspect on the advancement of human understanding towards nature. The explanation towards natural phenomena starts from supernatural power. At ancient times, human understanding towards nature was limited, thus resulted in belief of deity. Ancient Greeks used different deity to explain astronomy and natural phenomenon, for instance, Zeus is the God of thunder, Apollo is the God of sun and light, while Poseidon is the God of ocean. Also, different Heroes and Heroine are involved in respective horoscopes. Greeks were not alone. Various primordial civilizations also reflected their incapability of understanding nature in creating deity......

Words: 2122 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

The Nature of Man

...The Nature of Man[1] Though man shares with the other animals external and internal senses, he is at the same time also endowed with two qualities peculiar to himself, knowledge and will. By knowledge is meant the power of generalisation, the conception of abstract ideas, and the possession of intellectual truths. By will is meant that strong desire to acquire an object which after due consideration of its consequences has been pronounced by reason to be good. It is quite different from animal desire, nay, it is often the very opposite of it. In the beginning children also lack these two qualities. They have passion, anger, and all the external and internal senses, but will finds its expression only later. Knowledge differs according to the capacity for it, according to the latent powers in a man. Hence there is a variety of stages amongst Prophets,[2] the Ulamas, the Sufis and the Philosophers. Further progress is possible even beyond these stages, for divine knowledge knows no bounds. The highest stage is reached by one to whom all truths and realities are revealed intuitively, who by virtue of his exalted position enjoys direct communion and close relation with the Most Holy. The real nature of this position is known only to him who enjoys it. We verify it by faith. A child has no knowledge of the attainments of an adult; an adult is not aware of the acquisitions of a learned man. Similarly, a learned man is not cogniscant of the holy communion of the saints and the......

Words: 1520 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

The Nature of a Man

...THE NATURE OF MAN Michael C. Jensen Harvard Business School mjensen@hbs.edu and William H. Meckling University of Rochester Abstract Understanding human behavior is fundamental to understanding how organizations function, whether they are profit-making firms, non-profit enterprises, or government agencies. Much disagreement among managers, scientists, policy makers, and citizens arises from substantial differences in the way we think about human nature—about their strengths, frailties, intelligence, ignorance, honesty, selfishness, and generosity. In this paper we discuss five alternative models of human behavior that are commonly used (though usually implicitly). They are the Resourceful, Evaluative, Maximizing Model (REMM), Economic (or Money Maximizing) Model, Psychological (or Hierarchy of Needs) Model, Sociological (or Social Victim) Model, and the Political (or Perfect Agent) Model. We argue that REMM best describes the systematically rational part of human behavior. It serves as the foundation for the agency model of financial, organizational, and governance structure of firms. The growing body of social science research on human behavior has a common message: Whether they are politicians, managers, academics, professionals, philanthropists, or factory workers, individuals are resourceful, evaluative maximizers. They respond creatively to the opportunities the environment presents, and they work to loosen constraints that prevent them from doing what they wish. They...

Words: 13167 - Pages: 53

Free Essay

Nature vs. Man

...English 122 Nature vs. Man In the world now there are views of what can or should be done with the environment, use what is available to save any animal/plant/bug for the future. Then there are the options that go between those two extremes. Looking at some of the views from our readings as well as other sources, we’ll see what is looked at as right and wrong ways to use and preserve nature. There are many views on how the Earth should be used or preserved, but the how to do it with the world’s increasing population makes the answer so important to those that will come after us. While not about nature, Aldous Huxley’s “Time and the Machine” talks about time and how man has made himself a slave to time. Knowing that we have a limited amount of time in our lives, many want to do as much to fill that time as can be done. Most in the western world view time as something that needs to be taken advantage of, that there’s always a deadline for creating or making something. In some eastern cultures, there isn’t the hurry seen like we have. They aren’t as concerned for man-made time as they have “not been made conscious of the existence of minutes.” (Huxley, 366) He goes on to say that people living in large cities can live “without being aware of the daily march of the sun across the sky; without ever seeing the moon and stars.” (Huxley, 366) This goes to show that people are too into the passing of time and don’t look at taking time to relax and exist with nature. ......

Words: 1048 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

How Does Golding Represent the Inner Nature of Man

...The inner nature of man is a corrupting force that is masked behind civilisation. The barrier that the inner nature of man hides behind is taken down on the island by the boys hunger for power, the freedom they are given and fear. When the inner nature of man is allowed to come through, it manifests itself in the form of savagery and the beast. The first way we can see the boys overriding civilisation is when they first they realise there are no adults and that they have unlimited freedom, 'the fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realised ambition overcame him', the contrast between 'solemnly' and 'delight' whilst being very close together shows how easily and quickly they are letting their ambition overtake their initial views and ideas. Ralph has the ambition to control the island, whilst Ralph holds onto civilisation we can see that his ambition is very primal and this ambition comes from the freedom. Piggy contrasts to the idea of the lack of adults being a good thing, "Grownups know things," said Piggy. "They ain't afraid of the dark. They'd meet and have tea and discuss. Then things 'ud be all right-", the use of tea whilst describing the adults show that Piggy thinks that adults are a sign of civilisation. This shows us that Piggy believes that freedom isn't a good thing and that the boys cannot be trusted with it, Piggy likes the rules and order of civilisation and this is what stops him from being a savage. This also leads onto the fact that Piggy......

Words: 1073 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Man Versus Nature: Technology Versus Environment: Money Versus Wild Life

...Man versus Nature: Technology Versus Environment: Money Versus Wild Life Bristol Bay Although the fishing industry has long been associated with the contribution of marine pollution little work has been done on the effects on the industry itself of marine debris and other pollution. The fishing industry is responsible for discarded nets, hooks, fishing poles, and many times sunken boats, among other gear. In many circumstances this is not the intended plan when going fishing to catch their paychecks. In fact the fishing industry pays a high price for these losses from the time they have to replace their nets to the pulling of old nets and trash out of their new nets on a regular basis. When questioned about the effects of marine debris on their fishing activities, Shetland fishermen responded that 92% had recurring problems with accumulated debris in nets, 69% had had their catch contaminated by debris and 92% had snagged their nets on debris on the seabed. Many also experienced fouled propellers and blocked intake pipes. On average, 1-2 hours per week were spent clearing debris from nets. Debris could cause a restricted catch and many boats avoided particular fishing areas altogether due to the high concentrations of debris. It has gotten to the point for many fishers that they can no longer fish certain areas known to be well stocked with money fish due to the time consuming issues with trash and fishing debris in those specific waters due to left behind gear.......

Words: 3821 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Concept of Naturalism and to Build a Fire

...characteristics. The plot involves man against nature and the burden of survival requires either adaptation or destruction of the characters involved. In this style of writing, nature or the natural world is continuously pushing man to his limits. When man heeds the warning signs, he may conquer it. But, when he ignores these warnings, it will defeat him. Naturalism is a general understanding of reality and humanity’s place with reality. It mirrors the events of daily life and shows how humans have to be careful when dealing with the natural world. In naturalism, nature is always waiting for man to make a mistake. Jack London in “To Build a Fire” focuses on the idea that nature is indifferent to man. He shows how violent and uncaring nature is. This short story features an unnamed man and his dog venturing into the Alaskan wilderness in the middle of winter. “To Build a Fire” is a short story that illustrates the concept of naturalism and how the natural world, which is dangerous, will gain the upper hand and man will perish. In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”, the narrator makes it clear that the “unnamed” man is in a dangerous situation with the elements. The man is facing weather seventy-five degrees below zero and he is not prepared to survive. Jack London writes that the cold, “did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold.” The man is......

Words: 1244 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Emerson Essay Nature

...edition of Nature with a passage from the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. The 1849 second edition included instead a poem by Emerson himself. Both present themes that are developed in the essay. The passage from Plotinus suggests the primacy of spirit and of human understanding over nature. Emerson's poem emphasizes the unity of all manifestations of nature, nature's symbolism, and the perpetual development of all of nature's forms toward the highest expression as embodied in man. Nature is divided into an introduction and eight chapters. In the Introduction, Emerson laments the current tendency to accept the knowledge and traditions of the past instead of experiencing God and nature directly, in the present. He asserts that all our questions about the order of the universe — about the relationships between God, man, and nature — may be answered by our experience of life and by the world around us. Each individual is a manifestation of creation and as such holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. Nature, too, is both an expression of the divine and a means of understanding it. The goal of science is to provide a theory of nature, but man has not yet attained a truth nbroad enough to comprehend all of nature's forms and phenomena. Emerson identifies nature and spirit as the components of the universe. He defines nature (the "NOT ME") as everything separate from the inner individual — nature, art, other men, our own bodies. In common usage, nature......

Words: 3638 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Frost's the Wood Pile

...compound and detriment of human nature, a particular poem entitled, ‘The Wood-Pile’, showcases these themes. A single story is often told by his assorted works; to consciously move away from modernized society in order to find something worth understanding. That what can be sought in nature, away from the roles or responsibilities infringed upon man while immersed in a modern society, are of more depth and personal importance than otherwise found. In ‘The Wood-Pile’, Frost uses visual imagery to explore the themes of nature, death, and limitations, showing that man is responsible for his own constraints. The concept of nature within ‘The Wood-Pile’ takes on a separate reality of the subject’s mind. The speaker is able to both influence and react to the nature within the frozen swamp and understand that nature is a separate yet equal force which is actively syncopated with humans. This concept is demonstrated in lines 32, 33, and 34, where Frost writes, “What held it though on one side was a tree / Still growing, and on one a stake and prop / These latter about to fall.” The visual imagery of the stake close to uselessness can be seen as a reflection of nature’s natural tendency to undo what man has impressed upon it. Man and nature’s unity in coexistence holds a tension that is driven by the back and forth of a psychological need to change. The wood pile bears witness to both its creator and on the other end of the spectrum, the force of nature which is an active......

Words: 701 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A Philosophical View on Human Nature

...What it means to be human: a philosophical view on human nature Eyong Tabot SOSC 1012 Dimitris Kagia Thursday, March 10th 2016 1 Humanity, what does it mean to be human? Are we simply static beings defined by our ability to walk upright, and perform a range of mechanical tasks? Or does our ability to process thought, pass judgment, and adapt to a changing environment completely define us? For us to determine what it means to be human, we must observe humans actions within their environment. Many philosophers gave answers to the question what does it mean to be human? Now we can form an opinion by exploring these answers. Within this essay, we will be comparing and contrasting the views of two philosophers, Socrates in “The Republic” and Jean-Jacq Rousseau in part one of the “Discourse on the Origin of inequality”. Socrates believed Human nature is unchanging while Rousseau believed humans changed. As we explore both accounts can we find an answer to what it means to be human? In Socrates’s perspective, human nature was like the three classes found in the Polis (The Greek word for community). He believed the three classes which made up the polis were: the rulers, the guardians, and the workers. The rulers created laws, the guardians enforced these laws and the workers followed those laws. The stability of the polis revolved around the boundaries set by those three classes which cannot be crossed. Thus, a worker could not become a guardian, a guardian could not be a......

Words: 1224 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Open Boat

...In Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”, Crane demonstrates his idea that man cannot even attempt to best nature by the isolation and trials of the men in nature, the hardships that even the best of men face, and the lack of understanding of nature while isolated in the sea. Stephen Crane starts off the story by leaving the men in isolation from the world, a test, which they fail, if they could best nature without help except for their abilities as humans not connected to nature. The men, from the beginning of the journey feel despair. Even though they rowed for so long all the men discovered “that after successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it” (Crane 604). The men knew from the beginning of the journey towards safety, that the waves in the sea, an example of nature, would best the men from its endurance. The men depended on the wind that nature provided them because they rode in a dingy that “man ought to have a bath-tub larger than the boat which” (603) they rode in. Second, the men cannot reach the shore by any means. Even though the “light-house had been growing slowly larger” (607), the men never reach the light-house. The lack of ability to reach the light-house shows that the men are not in touch with nature, in this case the sea, leading to their inability to reach the island. Lastly, the man cannot converse with the other men on shore, showing nature’s ability to disrupt man’s methods for communication. The men seemed dazzled and......

Words: 936 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Paper

...Respect for Nature: An Eco-critical Read of Moby-Dick Abstract There are many conflicting ideas concerning Moby-Dick. One of the major themes in Moby-Dick is alienation between man and man, man and society, and man and nature. Melville in Moby-Dick deals with the fight between man and nature, specifically speaking, the fight between Captain Ahab together with the crew on the whaling ship Pequod and the white whale Moby Dick. The book is an allegorical tragedy. Melville forewarned that if man relentlessly exploited and challenged nature like Captain Ahab, nature would punish us human beings. Man’s conquest and control on nature will leads to crisis. The harmonious relationship in ecosystem should be built. Human beings should respect nature and take proper advantage of nature, which could help avoid the ruin of the entire human beings. Introduction Moby-Dick, one of the greatest symbolic novels, is the masterpiece of Herman Melville. It displays the severe struggle between man and nature in American literature. And also there are many conflicting ideas concerning it. Moby-Dick is a vivid description of man’s encroachment on nature. The novel is generally regarded as an encyclopedia of many things: cetology, history, philosophy, religion and so on. Because of this, many reviews on this book from different points of view appear, such as from the point of view of psychology to reveal man’s psychic confusion as Ahab’s monomaniac syndrome; of the problems of......

Words: 3470 - Pages: 14

Free Essay

To Build a Fire

...‘To Build a Fire” Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” takes place during a harsh winter in the forest of Alaska. This story is about a courageous but stubborn man who decides to confront the mighty forces of nature. This man takes a journey that not many would have taken, with a husky dog as his only companion. As he travels through the rough landscape of Alaska, he faces many natural obstacles. Facing these barriers make him more aware about reality about challenging the forces of nature, a challenge that in many times becomes a matter of life or death. Throughout the story the main character is not given a name, he is simply known as the “Man.” A hardheaded newcomer to the coniferous forest of Alaska; a man who thinks he knows it all, but is about to come in contact with the worst weather he has ever had to face. The man’s lack of experience led him to his downfall. As his journey began he went into the trail not well prepared, because of the low temperatures a face mask was well needed and he did not bother to wear one. “He does not recognize that man is so finial that the bitterly cold Alaskan inevitably destroys the individual” (McClintock 355). The man had trouble understanding that Nature was something that can never be fought against, but still his machismo personality set in and he was not going to back down from it. Fifty degrees below zero meant nothing to him, he knew it was going to be cold and uncomfortable, and that was it. It did not lead him to...

Words: 2200 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Hobbes

...observation on how Humans really are in their natural state with his assertion he suggest since being a royalist that to preserve peace , Man should form social contract. He believed any form of government is better than none. His Philosophy along with those of Machiavelli were seen as the foundation for Modern political thinking. Just like Machiavelli assertion that humans are essentially evil and selfish, Hobbes also believes that human are inherently selfish. The Mortal God as Hobbes describes “The Leviathan” is created in order to protect the people creating and enforcing the laws. Thesis Hobbes claim that when man is left in “The State Of Nature” he is unable to preserve his life making it brutish and short therefore man should form an social contract allowing an absolute authority the (sovereignty) create and implement laws they should follow in order to maintain peace and avoid civil war. Insight 2nd Paragraph Thomas Hobbes and Niccolò Machiavelli both make similar assertion but greatly contradicts one another. Both Hobbes and Machiavelli have a pessimistic view on human nature. Thomas Hobbes believes that humans are only interested in their own self gain would do anything to preserve their security without regards for the next man as Hobbes states. Machiavelli views on nature also correlates with the views of Hobbes, he believes that man cannot be trusted because we are not consistent creatures in the end of it all we only protect our own self-interest. As......

Words: 1798 - Pages: 8