We live in a web of inter-connection, inter-dependence, and inter-relatedness – the web of life.
Human beings co-evolved with nature, and in nature. Everything in nature is genetically and molecularly linked. This isn’t just a fanciful notion, for scientific sequencing of the human genome reveals that we share more than we might have imagined with other animals. Over 90% of our human genome is identical to that of the lion.
Deep inside, we know that every aspect of our lives intertwines with nature. We depend on nature for the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water that quenches our thirst. Nature exists inside, as well as outside, us. Nature forms the connecting link.
We share Earth with the rest of our family. In addition to kindred human beings, our family includes brother and sister animals, plants, birds, fungi – all life on Earth. We are the human animal. And Earth is our home.
Our deepest essence is rooted in nature, intertwined with all beings everywhere, with Earth our home, and with all of creation.
Thank you for this post, Lesley. It’s an important reminder that is timely for me, because I’m feeling the need to slow down and deepen my connection.
In the face of all that is happening with our Earth, we all need to deepen our connection, and to experience ourselves as paticipating in this web of life. We each contribute to the great cosmic dance. Thanks for all you do, too, Kate.
The problem with the brother and sister metaphor about the earth’s living organisms is that it only holds if you eat your brothers and sisters and vice versa.
An interesting thought…… I used the words “brother” and “sister” to convey the sense of family. The Native American term Mitakuye Oyas’n means “all my relations” in Lakota. It expresses both Native American and Zen Buddhist spiritual convictions that Earth, its elements and creatures, are sacred and interdependent. From this perspective, everything is related. We are one family. And though I don’t eat rocks for dinner, I consider stones to be integral members of our Earth family. Native Americans think of stones as being bones of the earth.
Deb, I don’t understand your comment. Just looking out the window one can sense the interconnectedness, inter-relatedness and inter-being of all beings, all kingdoms, all One. Thanks Lesley, beautiful post
My problem is that instead of accepting the natural world as it is, the metaphor is a way of anthropomorphizing it. Yes, all life is interconnected, but unlike brothers and sisters, the fact that predation is an essential part of this interconnectedness means that there is an I herently violent aspect to it. If I watch a lion kill a baby water buffalo it is patently true that the species are interconnected, but to say that they are brothers and sisters seems to imply the species have feelings of tender regard for one another.