It hasn’t been my experience that full-force nature directs the mind toward thoughts of positive vibrations or divine master plans. Nature itself is enough, its stories written in blood and shit and electrons and birdsong, and in this we may ultimately find all the sacredness we seem to need.-- from False Idyll by J.B.MacKinnon
See also Prey to a Crocodile by Val Plumwood, quoted here and in full via here
Excellent piece by McKinnan, with some great points in. I wonder if it's the diminishment of what 'spirituality' means now that's at issue, though.
A genuinely 'spiritual relationship with non-human nature, as with other humans or with a conception of the divine, surely has to encompass acknowledgement of pain, sufffering, indifference and all the rest.
In that sense, I'd share my sense of the spiritual in 'nature' with someone like Robinson Jeffers, who would well have understood the fascinated horror of maggoty brainpains and indifferent rocks. Beauty and violence have always been siblings.
The Bloody Sire
BY ROBINSON JEFFERS
It is not bad. Let them play.
Let the guns bark and the bombing-plane
Speak his prodigious blasphemies.
It is not bad, it is high time,
Stark violence is still the sire of all the world’s values.
What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine
The fleet limbs of the antelope?
What but fear winged the birds, and hunger
Jewelled with such eyes the great goshawk’s head?
Violence has been the sire of all the world’s values.
Who would remember Helen’s face
Lacking the terrible halo of spears?
Who formed Christ but Herod and Caesar,
The cruel and bloody victories of Caesar?
Violence, the bloody sire of all the world’s values.
Never weep, let them play,
Old violence is not too old to beget new values.
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