When did humans become separate from nature? At what point did they exempt themselves?
We breathe the air, drink the water, bask in the sunshine, and walk the earth. We eat the plants. We eat the animals. We return to the earth when we die. They do not keep the human molecules locked away in a lab, for our own private use. How could you ever draw a line between humans and nature?
Everything we do, have, and make, was once a plant, once an animal, once a stone. We are nature. What we make is nature. Factory buildings, supermarkets, atom bombs, spaceships, pesticides, and file folders. Making life more dangerous and difficult for ourselves, and for our fellow creatures does not dissolve the connection.
Putting humans and their creations in a different category causes us to forget that what we do to nature, we do to ourselves. We first see ourselves as separate from nature, then more important than nature. We may even start to view nature as our own personal property, to do with whatever we please, blinding ourselves to the fact that we are intricately bound together.
Making a distinction between humans and nature, is like making a distinction between wet and water, or trying to separate a bird from its song.
You are nature. I am nature. We are one.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein