Don’t just see the provision – see the provider
As eco-awareness is spreading, people are increasingly appreciating how dependent we all are on nature. Without nature’s provision of our basic necessities, we wouldn’t be able to live.
Yet this desirable eco-awareness can morph into an obsessive fixation with nature – an obsession that manifests philosophically as naturalism. By seeing nature as the be-all and the end-all, naturalism exiles God and replaces him with nature. Such fanatical naturalism comprises a dead-end in our spiritual evolution.
While all living beings depend on nature, we humans have the intelligence to appreciate its complexity and intricacy, as we often do through science. But we can perceive something more: the divine hand behind nature. The Bhagavad-gita (09.10) reminds us that nature works under Krishna’s supervision.
An infant eats whatever food is provided without thinking where it comes from, but a child notes that getting food such as French fries requires putting some coins into a machine. And an adult understands that behind the machine is the intelligence of the maker, who has set up the system by which the food is provided.
Similarly, subhuman living beings simply live on nature, without consciously contemplating the source of things. Whatever eco-friendly behavior they exhibit is simply due to biological instinct, not considered intention. When we humans rise slightly above the force of biological drives, we learn to contemplate the complex natural mechanisms that make our existence possible. And when our consciousness evolves further, we perceive that beyond these complex mechanisms is a super-intelligent transcendental supervisor.
This capacity to perceive spiritual reality is humanity’s defining privilege. When we value nature’s provision not as a lucky accident of unguided natural processes, but as the benevolence of the supervisor of nature, we can put our spiritual evolution on the fast track and realize our eternal identity as blissful parts of the Supreme.
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