TED Conversations

Simona Rich

Self Improvement Blogger, Simona Rich

This conversation is closed.

Does living in harmony with nature make you grow as a person?

When I lived in UK I met many creative people interested in self improvement, spirituality and natural living. They were people from the cities, either London or cities abroad.

When I moved to India, I witnessed some breath-taking locations untouched by the Westernization bug. However in those locations people were all about blindly following religion and culture, without much independent thought.

Even to this day I wonder why generally people who are most in touch with nature are least interested in spiritual and mental growth.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 2 2013: well i guss the same things that made it beautiful untouched nature meant the people weren't touched by outside ideas. It's hard for me to answer your question, Simona, cause I've never been in those extremely primitive, untouched places.

    Are you sure they were blindly following their old ways, Simona? Maybe they had thought about it, and really liked their old ways. What is your evidence they were blindly following?
    • thumb
      Aug 3 2013: They are blindly following. I lived with Indian families. I've been in close touch with the Indian culture for 2 years now.

      It's not that they thought over it and stuck to their old ways. The people from the lowest and middle castes in India don't question things. And if they did, the culture is structured in a way to suppress any different thought. If someone tries to be different, he/she becomes an outcast.

      The highest caste of India is changing, but they are mainly taking the worst culture traits of the West. I noticed that a Tiny part of the highest castes of India is starting to develop. That could be because they tasted the Western way of life, turned their backs to nature and they got the diseases of the West as a result (stress, depression, obesity, etc.). So that maybe made them think long and hard about what's happening, and that's when they found the spiritual side of life as well as improved their personalities.
      • thumb
        Aug 3 2013: Simona, I think this is an extremely interesting conversation, but it's hard for me to comment because I've not been among these simple, close-to-nature people. I was trying to think how it would be to live among the hillbillies in America here, they are very rural people, maybe they'd be like you describe. I could possibly think that if they've found a lifestyle that works for them maybe they don't want to question it too much. But my experience has been that even the simplest people do somewhat question their life, examine it, they just might not question it in quite the way you or I would. It's somewhat depressing to think that to be close to nature you have to be a simpleton, perhaps some of what they were doing was sophisticated but you were not tuned into it?, it seems to me there are many kinds of sophistication and some might not be as obvious as others. I do find that I talk to people who are not as sophisticated to me and I can communicate very sophisticated ideas if I take it a little slower, use language that I think will work for them, ask some questions to make sure they're following me. What would you have liked to communicate to your Indian friends that you felt unable to?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.