👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers
I remember the first time I was able to see the Redwoods in California. I couldn’t believe how massive they were. There was a sign next to a trunk of one that must’ve fallen explaining that particular tree had been around 2,000 years old. Reflecting on their sheer size and age, I remember feeling quite insignificant, but not in the depressing kind of way. It was relieving.
I get a similar feeling when I see the ocean, a mountain, or another feat of nature that I don’t encounter daily. But I think it’s possible to experience this feeling more regularly by walking around the neighborhood, hanging out in a park, or by sitting outside on a porch, deck, or the outdoor area of a restaurant. Being outside, even for a small amount of time, can help boost our moods and feel more connected to the world and to each other.
How did philosophers and other thinkers feel about nature? I’m glad you asked.
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thought and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains.
I don’t feel particularly proud of myself. But when I walk alone in the woods or lie in the meadows, all is well.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Nature is the source of all true knowledge.
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. [...] I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Except for children (who don't know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend time wondering why nature is the way it is.
Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination. For in a civilization equipped with immense technological power, the sense of alienation between man and nature leads to the use of technology in a hostile spirit - to the "conquest" of nature instead of intelligent co-operation with nature.
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still slowly ripen a fruit tree, as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
Instead of writing an outro like I usually do, I have just one ask: Go outside today. Walk around your block and look around. Go for a small hike. Sit on your deck (if you have one). Get outside for like 10 minutes and see how you feel.
✌️ Until next week, happy philosophizing.
Death & Mortality
Philosophy Phocus: Stoicism