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Simona Rich

Self Improvement Blogger, Simona Rich

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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.

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    Aug 30 2013: Hi Simona Rich,
    You ask: "why generally people who are most in touch with nature are least interested in spiritual and mental growth." You mean here people you met in India, etc.

    As for now, I see 2 possible answers:

    1. Those people do not feel the need for spirituality as we do when we run our rushy or hasty modern life, because they might be already immersed in it (spirituality) unknowingly. Perhaps they are not aware of their situation or not aware of the need for spiritual life as you feel, but it does not mean they are not spiritual at their core, let it be even sub-consciously.

    2. As materialistically they need to struggle far more to make their living, compared to the Western world, they might not have the time, energy and mind setup to dedicate themselves to higher spiritual aspirations. I am talking about the general majority. There are ofcourse many examples when great spiritualists emerged from the very poors.

    Generally speaking, please be careful not to impose your Western definitions upon other cultures or societies. For example, you say they follow blindly their religions. But in the East, at least by definition, religions are not dogmatic like the Western monotheistic religions are. Meaning, one can be very religious in the East (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc), but still be very tolerant to other religions too and even to modern science. So be careful not to interpret even their blind religious beliefs as if it means they are not spiritual by your Western definitions.
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      Aug 30 2013: "As materialistically they need to struggle far more to make their living, compared to the Western world, they might not have the time, energy and mind setup to dedicate themselves to higher spiritual aspirations. I am talking about the general majority." -- I completely agree with you here and I think you've answered my TED question. Thank you.
      • Aug 30 2013: Continued from my comment below:

        I guess there's no way to do justice to, or add fulfillingly in short comment, but here's some experience to add to Yubal's attempt to cross cultures.
        When with some beautiful Siberian tribes, we found a piece of cultural insight: For some it is a severe moral wrong to dig into the ground. Surprisingly this seemingly backward or primitive idea turns out to be compelling. In North America, especially on land used for the economic gain of colonisers, the immense crush to mine metals from gold to uranium, creates poisoned groundwater, concentrated tailings that destroy the health of those who depend upon natural waters and organisms for life. All species suffer.
        Many of us may not agree with religious beliefs that the Earth is a place of or for suffering. Such a concept is social in origin, perhaps having to do with competition as a culture. Perhaps it's a natural result of temporary population overbloom. THe latter certainly seems so, as living among small cultures not exceeding their ecosystem balance do not so strongly conceive of the concept personally.
        Back to direct spirituality: the original peoples of Australia explored their nonsocial selves in nature through "Walkabout." Here's another culture that temporarily abandons society for insight, respite, adventure, in the mysterious natural world. Notice that these people were the least possession-oriented, using their cultural skills to live, touching the recognition of all the Earth as alive, of all time being a place. Limited comment here only allows a start, hoping you will understand that spirit is contained in the possibilities of every cell, every material of this, our home.
        I spoke of Lakota and generally aboriginal people; in their histories are, above all things, relationship.
        Both within their social structures and in the wild alone, they experience relationship. No place is foreign, no place not alive with relationship. Deepening feeling of relationship is spirit.

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