Sunday, July 04, 2004


Nature Worship

William Vallicella quotes an entry in Edward Abbey's journal (January 11, 1968) to make the point that worship of nature is ultimately unsatisfying.

Simone Weil says something similar in Waiting for God (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), p. 171:
The love we feel for the splendor of the heavens, the plains, the seas, and the mountains, for the silence of nature which is borne in upon us by thousands of tiny sounds, for the breath of the winds or the warmth of the sun, this love of which every human being has at least an inkling, is an incomplete, painful love, because it is felt for things incapable of responding, that is to say for matter. Men want to turn this same love toward a being who is like themselves and capable of answering to their love.
Like ourselves, in that He shared fully in our human nature, but infinitely greater than us in His divine nature. St. Augustine sums it up at the beginning of his Confessions: "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee" (fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te).

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