There’s this thinking being echoed in society now that paints humans as interveners in reality and nature. As if our existence is not in alignment with nature. The frame of this conversation is like this:
The frame is that we are opposing forces. The evolutionary biologists think that nature is trying to kill us all the time from all angles every chance it gets, and our job is to survive it and “spread our seeds” so we win against the forces of nature. There’s an adversarial and antagonistic nature to our relationship with nature. Which isn’t true.
We humans are animals, like animals are animals. Chimpanzees are our cousins. We are mammals, like cats are mammals. We share so much of our biology with so many animals. We breathe like they breathe. We defecate like they do. We sleep like they sleep. We even look very very similar to many primates. It’s almost as if they’re lesser humans. I honestly feel my cat feels fear like I feel fear, she feels anger like I do, she feels hunger like I do, she feels love, envy/jealousy, and gets defensive like I do.
What about plants and insects? It’s freaky how much of our DNA is shared with these creatures. They live and die like we do. They’re just as much part of the cycle of life as we are. They adapt to the same physical environment, with the same chemical compounds in the environment, as we do. We adapt to them as they adapt to us. We’re all partaking in a single dance that’s been going on for billions of years, all on the same planet, being fed by the same sun.
We are just as much a part of nature as any other living thing.
Our conscious awareness and presence doesn’t change that. How do you know your friend is any more conscious than your pet? You don’t really know. You look at yourself in the mirror, and see your friend looks more like you than your pet, so you think your friend is more conscious like you are than your pet is. But how dare we presume animals aren’t conscious? Imagine assuming that about your mother. That’s deeply insulting. If you insult a person, they’ll understand the insult and show you how insulted they are, and you learn not to insult them like that. But insulting an animal, they may not understand the insult, they won’t tell you they’re insulted (even if maybe they are), and you don’t learn that it’s insulting to the animal. So we assume animals aren’t conscious like people are. But we don’t really know that.
Besides, our consciousness is just as much part of our nature as our bodies are. It’s no different. Our consciousness is natural. The decisions we make consciously are part of nature. Nature, this outside reality that surrounds us, formed us as we are, with our consciousness. Exercising our consciousness is not something outside the cycle of life, it’s part of it.
To be the full you as you are is the most natural thing you can do.