Connecting To Your Inner Nature

My class did an interesting, but simple experiment dealing with nature. We were all told to escape for a short time to some form of nature without any outside connections (cellphone, laptop, etc.,) and in another place in an urban setting and record what we felt, saw, heard, and contrast/compare the two. The results were interesting, but somewhat expected to say the least. Many really felt ‘at home’ with the nature setting, and felt antsy in the other–even the ones that are most comfortable with the city. People in the nature setting felt at ease, could think better, empty themselves of worries while in the urban setting they were overloaded, overwhelmed by the chaos of overbearing commotion of the city.

In connection with my past blog posts, I spoke about the struggle between ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’ and after this past experiment I’ve come to a conclusion. When we are forced to go out the nature setting, we mostly see it was a wilderness because we weren’t purposely planning to go into it as we were forced to–we didn’t go when we were comfortable. However, if we go when we choose to and with the intention of it, we see it as nature. The reason why I feel more people were feeling the difference o the two settings and felt more at ease with the nature setting was because we all have an inner nature that we crave. We all need to connect with this and feed it and when we find ourselves in a comfortable nature setting, and go back into the urban areas, we feel the difference and it feels like something is missing. In all our hustle and bustle of the modern age we need to connect with this this ‘cleanse’ ourselves and reconnect with this essential part of us.

So I made a link to a way we can achieve this: Yoga. Why? If you look through the article, it says it allows you to focus, to let go of worries and just relax and ‘cleanse’ yourself of the baggage of today’s fast life. We can get that same feeling we get in nature, and reconnect with that spiritual inner nature we have, the roots of who we are as human beings. I think we can all benefit from looking into it, or even giving yourself 15 minutes a day to just sit and relax and think about nature and who we are as beings.

Perceiving Wilderness

We here a lot of talk these days of the ‘wilderness’ and what exactly it is. We perceive it in many different ways, but truly, it is a word that is quoted by Roderick Nash to be “… a noun that acts like an adjective.” Many think of it to be the physical woods, the overgrown forest in our backyard, or maybe an unfamiliar place miles and miles away.

But really, I believe we think of the woods itself to be a wilderness because it is  unfamiliar to us as a society. To the Native Americans the woods was no wilderness to them, but rather the cities that began to build up and prosper, infringing their land. We see the woods or overgrown forestry, to be a wilderness because we fear it. For many, it is something we aren’t comfortable with as we did not grow up in it.

Why would we be uncomfortable with it? Wilderness broken now from its Latin origin of ‘wilde–wild’ and the ‘ness’ being the ‘state of being’. We can perceive then that ‘wilderness’ to be uncontrolled and in the state of being uncontrollable, something unfamiliar.

The photo on the left represents the wild of nature, exemplifying the contrast of the wilderness in technology form and the wild of the physical nature itself being uncontrolled. The motorcycle is viewed as a ‘controlled power’ and brings out the wild nature in us all in the thrill of the risk. However, it being a form of wilderness doesn’t scare these particular people as they are familair and comfortable with it, and don’t perceive it to be ‘wild.’ However, if they got lost in the woods, they may feel it to be the wilderness. Someone who grew up on the country side, deep in the woods that sees a motorcyle go by, may see it as a wild being, as they aren’t familiar with it–it isn’t in their comfort zone.

But Nash says we all have a ‘wild’ in us, we are all animals, and as we are born from the wild and nature, we so will return, as this motorcycle built from the elements of the nature, is brought back. We are all in a technology world and generation that we find familiar and within our comfort zone. Stepping out into another world, such as the  rough physical nature of the Earth may be scary and unfamiliar, but we can still go back. We all are animals–only with honed talents we have learned to control, just as we have learned to control the technology we have created, and therefore made ourselves more comfortable as we are used to it and have gotten used to the  control of being used to it.

So are are uncomfortable with the wilderness of nature? Or are we scared to realize  what we all still have inside of us?