Modernity, Technology, and Oneness with Nature


With modernity, have humans completely isolated themselves from their natural environment?

Indeed with the booming of technology in this modern age, we have become “separate” from our natural environment – or so it seems. Lots of invented gadgets and appliances surely made our lives easier, which is a great improvement compared to centuries or millennia ago when people on earth (e.g. cavemen) were really living at the mercy of nature. But now less and less children are found frolicking outside their houses, running and screaming and always coming home with dirty clothes. And when we have unlimited access to the internet in our homes or dormitories, we’d definitely prefer facing our laptops instead and being happy in our own bubbles than socializing with other human beings or even just going outside to inhale fresh air. But still, our planet’s transition to a modern or “technological” age is not a hindrance for us to be completely isolated from our natural environment.

One of the truths in this universe is our “oneness” with all that is. Everything came from one Source, which most people call “God.” We are extensions of God, as much as our writings and our paintings are extensions of ourselves. Everything that we see around us is an extension of that Source only manifested differently in a physical way. Even these “man-made” things are still extensions of that Source because they also came from the raw materials which we always associate with nature. Furniture came from trees or metals; cars came from metals; jewellery came from the minerals under the earth; perfumes came from plants and flowers – and even makeup, books, pens, and so on. And can we say that the wave is not the ocean? It surely is – that particular wave is just an expression within that ocean. Same with everything that inhabits the earth: we are all indivisible from that which we call God or Source. Therefore, we cannot really separate ourselves from our natural environment.

Also, as a part of the ecosystem, we cannot deny that without plants, animals, or even our appliances and laptops, we cannot afford to survive or live properly in this planet. Everything in existence is interdependent with each other. We need animals and plants to survive, yet we continue on exploiting them as if humans are all that matter on this earth. We act as if the earth was made especially for one species only – the human beings – when actually we are one of the most vulnerable and helpless species. Lions, crocodiles, and wolves were endowed with sharp fangs and strong physiques to eat their prey, while humans are completely defenceless. Animal cubs have a chance for surviving when left alone while human babies don’t. Let’s admit it – we don’t really have enough respect for other species. Yet we are entirely dependent on them. So can we say that the humans are the most advanced species ever made in this earth? No. Even our actions toward nature reveal that we aren’t. We are not less than or greater than any other inhabitants of this planet. The Earth is very wonderful and powerful; and if we liken it to an animal, it would be a very beautiful and healthy dog but its ticks or parasites would be humans. We keep on destroying it – we’re too ungrateful to this beautiful earth.

Still, we can’t help but “exploit” our natural resources now that we are overpopulated and the agricultural products are sometimes not enough to feed all of us. But many poets advocate environmentalism, lots of beneficial organizations (e.g. Greenpeace) have popped up like daisies, people upload environmental videos on Youtube, and schoolchildren are being educated about environmental science. Bit by bit, the people on earth are coming into the awareness about their oneness with the environment. As we all came from one Source which we are indivisible from, then the things we do would affect everything. The things we do to others also affect us. For example, you cursed and shouted at your father. Of course you’d feel bad as much as your father would. And although complete “physical” isolation from our natural environment is possible (like Rapunzel being locked up in a tower), there is no way we can get separated from our natural environment because all organisms are interdependent with each other within a balanced ecosystem. 

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