A change in perception: why nature is not your garden

Long time ago I was switching channels until Eduardo Galeano randomly appeared talking in an interview. I did not know who he was, but he said something that made my 17 year version pay so much attention: we think that nature is our garden, but it isn’t. We are it. 

📷 by Alec Douglas on Unsplash

That thought got me profoundly. In general, we are truly taught to consider ourselves separated from what we think is nature. Amazon needs to be saved. Amazon is there, I am here, we are not connected in any level. Maybe we understand that “she is the loans of the world”… but she remains there, external from me. I had frequented a great and private High School, was in a Humanities course at university and loved the “hippies”, but I had never deeply reflected about the fact that nature is more than a garden, a landscape or a forest. I mean, laying in that couch on a Sunday evening, I was nature.

That is more than saying “we are part of nature, let’s dance in the moonlight, let’s connect, live barefoot, go to the forest and sing to the sun”. Because in that way we are still thinking we are apart. If we truly understand that we are not separated from “nature”, we simply are nature right here, right now. We are not “part of” because there have never been something that we could not not be part. We don’t need to go anywhere. We just need to change our perception. 

 Do you ever really thought about it? That when you look to your garden through the window, to the image of a forest or to the buildings of a city you are not looking for something external from you?
 Do you ever really thought about it? That when you look to your garden through the window, to the image of a forest or to the buildings of a city you are not looking for something external from you?  📷 by Bogdan Dada on Unsplash

A counterculture philosopher, Alan Watts, would help us in a book called precisely “The Book”: “We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.”. Actually, he explained me why Galeano’s sentence got me so deeply: we may reduce what we see, touch or feel into language categories and intellectual thinking that there is no space for an experience of “wholeness”. We are taught to read that the world around us is parts.  

He wrote this ideas during the 50’s and the 60’s, connecting to his context. But I think that they could be helpful for us right now, with all this ecological and environmental issues popping in the world. Because maybe we are not trying to save Amazon or the Oceans. If we open our eyes to see, we could be just trying to save ourselves and all beings that are with us in this mysterious thing called life. That could be a big shift to our collective consciousness about our own nature. And, yes, to get this experience of “wholeness” the dance under the moonlight or the fight for Amazon can be important. But the simple change in perception also could be a start. If we are nature in its most magical manifestation, we should take responsibility and wake up to really see beneath the surface.

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