On this sunny late-summer’s day, the grass feels warm beneath me, and the air is filled with the melodies of birds, the fluttering wings of butterflies, and the persistent hum of bees. Above, the sky stretches in a vast expanse of blue, punctuated by the occasional cloud drifting north. Such an idyllic scene poses a question: What should capture our attention? The sheer breathtaking beauty of it all or the underlying suffering that structures this beautiful tableau?
Even as I bask in the sun’s warmth, an unseen world of predation unfolds. Insects prey upon one another; birds, in turn, feast on these very insects. When not foraging for sustenance for themselves and their young, birds are engaged in the endless task of evasion, avoiding predators like cats. The daily struggle for survival transcends size; every creature, big or small, is ensnared in it. To pause and marvel at life’s wonder is a luxury few creatures can afford. It’s not just animals; humans too grapple with suffering. Happiness, for many, is fragmented or fleeting.
Our existence here isn’t the culmination of some harmonious design. Evolution is indifferent, not a moral compass but a mechanism ensuring life persists. Despite nature’s evident brutality, why do we, especially poets and writers, find solace and inspiration in it? Perhaps it stems from our collective yearning to answer the most profound question: Why does anything exist at all?
I find solace in the idea of a deity, not bound by religious dogmas, but the God of philosophers. While religious narratives often pivot around human-God dynamics shaped by historical events, philosophy doesn’t confine itself in this manner. It seeks understanding from a fresh perspective, sometimes drawing upon pre-existing notions. As I muse upon the grass, thoughts of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Marion, and their contemporaries fill my mind. They too grappled with nature’s ferocious beauty, humanity’s potential, and the enigma enveloping our every moment.
Humans thrive on narratives. It’s through these stories that we discern our place in the world and find societal cohesion. Yet, I wonder if our reliance on narratives overshadows the essence of existence. If we momentarily desist from inscribing ourselves into the grand narrative of society, perhaps we might uncover our authentic selves in those fleeting moments of communion with nature and the reality it embodies.
The cosmos and our place within it didn’t originate with a singular event, like the Big Bang. Instead, the universe’s narrative finds its genesis in our present experiences. To truly fathom our essence, we shouldn’t just peer into history but immerse ourselves in the present. The answers lie there.
I reside in a village surround by fells populated by grouse. Their impeccable adaptation to their surroundings makes me ponder humanity’s place in nature. It’s not that we haven’t achieved greatness; we undoubtedly have. Yet, in our ascendance, have we truly grasped our essence and our symbiotic relationship with nature? Have we crafted a world that aligns with our true self or merely one that reflects the characters of a contrived narrative? What if, just what if, we could’ve built a world as magnificent as ours but more attuned to our genuine nature?