On the Nature of Love and the Love of Nature

Posted: Aug. 16, 2019, 4:52 p.m.
I don't know who made this meme, but I like it.

(Clever title, right?)

"Love" and "Nature" are both widely used words and, as such, betray the inadequacy of words. We use these words all the time. We see them in the media, in advertising. It seems to me that most of us don't even know what they mean, really.

I'll just start this little thing by defining what each word means to me. Your truth may differ.

Love is the most misunderstood, least recognized and most corrupted word in the English language in 2019. It is also one of the most widely used and therefore meaningless words. You're gonna love the way you look! Show her you love her by presenting her with a shiny rock. I love my spouse, but OMG, I'm so in love with my affair partner!

So what is love, anyway? Love is Samadhi

The term 'Samadhi' derives from the root sam-a-dha, which means 'to collect' or 'bring together', and thus it is often translated as 'concentration' or 'unification of mind'. - Wikipedia

Samadhi is also sometimes interpreted to mean the destruction of the individual ego. When you truly love someone (or even something), they are you and you are they. As such, you want only good things for them. You are one with them and do everything you can to please them. They will inspire you to great achievements, and you will fall on your sword for them if it comes to that.

Ask yourself, do you really "love" that Instagram post? When you smash that little heart icon, is it really coming from your heart?

Now that we've established what love is, let's move on to Nature. (Then we can get to the good stuff.)

Nature is the totality of life on this planet, the perfect system in which nothing is wasted. In nature, nothing really dies. Energy transmutes into other forms. The energy of the gazelle goes into the lion. The energy of the old tree goes into the soil and moss. The closest thing to a garbage dump in nature is a mushroom (quite a tasty and even useful thing).

Are nuclear power plants natural? I would say no. There's no life energy there feeding anything of value, and there's a scary amount of life-extinguishing waste.

Humans seem to be the only species that can be foolish enough to work at right angles to Nature instead of in parallel with it. I think we're also the only species of animal that is capable of corrupting or losing touch with our capacity to love.

Nature and Love have something in common. Have you figured it out?

There is no "ego" in love or Nature. Lions are proud animals, but a lion won't kill more gazelles than he needs to kill to feed his family just to show what a badass he is. In fact, a herd of grazing animals will continue grazing nearby as the lion's family eats their buddy Fred. No need to run into a hungry lion's territory when we have a fed lion right here. Too bad about Fred. Nice guy.

I love nature. It can seem cruel, with everything trying to eat something all the time, but when you see how efficient it is, you have to love it. And who says it's more cruel for a crow to steal a robin's egg than it is to slaughter millions of animals a day in factories? Would anyone say that?

Nature is also more aesthetically appealing than anything that defies it. That's subjective, but it's also indisputable. (I love paradox too.) The Hoover Dam is pretty cool looking and all, but the river, creeks, and canyons that were lost to make room for the party boats of Lake Meade were cooler. Heck, the Hoover Dam doesn't even really defy nature; the river will overpower it eventually. It's not permanently toxic like our garbage dumps and nuclear facilities. I don't think anyone would argue that those things are pretty in any way.

We are made of the same "stuff" as the rest of nature. We have the same fractal forms, the same Golden Ratio. What's really cool about being human is that we have this incredible capacity for figuring things like the Golden Ratio out. We could literally build a paradise on this planet if only we weren't such spiritual toddlers! We could find our place in nature and probably extend our lifespan tenfold, live happily with an abundance of fresh food and clean water, a joyful social life, more love than we can presently even imagine.

I'm really, really hoping we figure it out as a species before it's too late.