Reconciling With Oneself

Our relationship with nature has gone under a metamorphosis, evolution, or devolution that’s up for debate. Early in the lifespan of humanity, animistic ideas were prevalent, an idea that proposes that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence, the dust beneath you has a spiritual essence to it, and the trees have a spiritual aroma to them. It proposes that we all are a function of the same thing and homogeneous on the chain of being, not greater or smaller.
Historians believe that animism is foundational to human spirituality, dating back to the Paleolithic period and the hominids that existed at that time. Around 400 B.C. Pythagoras talked about the individual soul’s connection and union with the divine soul, implying that he believed in an overarching “soulless” of humans and objects. In Republic, published around 380 B.C., Plato identified a tri-partite soul in both individuals and cities, while Aristotle defined living things as things that possess a spirit in “On the Soul”, published in 350 B.C. Though many thinkers attempted to establish a link between the natural and supernatural worlds, the modern definition of animism was not coined until 1871, when Sir Edward Burnett Tyler used it to define the oldest religious practices in his book Primitive Culture.

Since the advent of agriculture, we humans have been manipulating nature in our ways dividing it, selling it, or depleting it. With the coming of colonization came the Anthropocentric, belief that we humans the most important entity in the universe have the power to plunder it, mine it, steal, sell it, exploit it, think of any negative verb just prefix it, and there you have it our current relationship with nature. If nature was another fellow human our relationship would be termed toxic.

This toxicity is now bestowing us with its fruit that includes temperature rise, the Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s. The last decade (2011-2020) was the warmest on record, Changes observed in Earth’s climate since the early 20th century are primarily and sadly driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, raising Earth’s average surface temperature. These changes affect our health, ability to grow food, housing, safety, and work.

Real change would begin when we understand, the people of the world understand that there is no nature and us, there is no nature and us; we are one,

We are the same
You rise as I awake
Filled with anger
Yet so pristine
We are the same
We are the same

Khalid Khursheed
Class 10th

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