Monday, December 21, 2009

Nature just is...

One of the most wonderful and at the same time annoying things about Nature is that it just exists. We can tease apart pieces of it, distill apparent rules that allow us to predict what will happen. We can harness aspects of it to our will. We can create barriers and change local environments to our liking. In the end, over time, Nature always wins. (bigger versions)

We are a part of Nature, but it is perhaps our self awareness that leads most of us to think of it as everything but ourselves. Any perceived obstacle to our individual goals becomes a problem that can be solved by religion, science and technology. We tend to behave as if special knowledge is the only limit to our achievement, our exertion of will on everything, our ability to have everything that we wish and nothing we do not. Special knowledge, regardless of the discipline, has become the most valuable thing in most cultures, it is the foundation of all trade.

In a way it's surprising how few people realize this. Most people desire money… for "obviously" more money would allow more beautiful possessions, more situations to have others do work for yourself, more perfect land to call your own. The problem is money is always a generalized and dilution form of power, it is the glittering shiny object to wave before the masses, it has practical uses, but the desire to attain money instead of knowledge, instead of understanding, becomes a tool that will be used by those who seek to control others. Those who seek money are destined to become slaves, perhaps happy and unaware, but still slaves.

Other people seek land or weapons or laws. The problem here is that all possessions and territory are yours only as long as everyone else decides to play by the same rules. From time to time one country will invade another and cast aside the agreed boundaries. Thieves will take what they wish. All weapons will be surpassed or evaded over time. Laws and regulations are modified to the needs of the people and ignored by others. Things, even virtual ones, are never permanent.

On the grand scale of things we don't have very long to make whatever impact on the world we will… Perhaps the greatest thing we do is pass what we have learned to those who follow, to give them a chance of reaching higher, of achieving more of what they wish, of being more than we can be ourselves. Eventually though, Nature wins. All that we have, all that we create or learn or achieve will be lost because we are only a part and can never be the whole of all that is or all that will be… as time flows, all things decay, erode and are lost.

Faced with the confusions and trials of daily life we all usually tend to seek some balance… a balance that usually tips more to the practical parts of life as we age. It is a sad thing to lose that wonder of simply existing and experiencing. But the time when we have no worries or responsibilities is short lived and as we begin to understand the world we begin to lose the best connection with it that we as individuals will ever have…