Does nature exist? And if so, what is it?

The question can sound weird even hard to understand. It is anyhow a question that more and more people reflect on. At the same time, it’s a question that many humans never ask themselves because the word “nature” does not exist in their language: the first nations people. They do not question the existence of a forest depending on its value for humans. The forest is here. Humans are here too. It does not go further than that. We have evolved together and exist together.

I love this drawing from Alessandro Pignocchi:

By creating and using the word “nature” we created a space, a separation between us, humans, and everything else that evolved on earth: animal, mineral, vegetal, microorganisms. Even so most of us know and accept that we are animal, a mammal, we place ourselves outside the nature concept, even unconsciously. We can say things like: “I like to walk in nature” or “we have to protect nature”. So, what is nature? Is it outside, a forest, a city parc, a garden? Am I in nature when I am home? If not where am I? And who am I then, if not a part of everything that is on earth? Am I an alien on earth?

Nature has been sometimes defined as places uninfluenced by humankind. In this case nature really does not exist. All beings have an influence, their actions have effect on earth. That is what life is made of: connections, causes and effects, communication. When those are lost or not taken into account, then life is at stake.

So do we need the word nature or not? I have no answer for that. I actually named my business “Sense in Nature”.

I think that the danger is not the word itself, it is using it and losing the fact that we are an intrinsic part of it, forgetting that when we speak about nature we speak about ourself; when we speak about humans, we speak about nature.

Not feeling these links or letting them aside in our life, when we are at work, is like getting rid of a part of our body, ignoring a part of ourselves and loosing ourselves.

Image: Alessandro Pignocchi – Petite Traité d’écologie sauvage – Ed. Steinkis – ISBN: 978-2368461078
Original text: “Maman, à quoi ca sert la nature? À rien mon chéri, tout comme toi.”