Nature is often misunderstood, or we may see it as the stuff of books and movies. We are confused about what to do with the food we grow, we are not sure what goes in our local supermarket, and we tend to turn away from many nature-based products that we consider to be “unnatural”. I want to offer some insights into how the four elements of nature can enhance your life.
Our Earth is made up of Water, Fire, Air and Earth. These elements have their own distinctive qualities and all support each other. We need water for life, for breathing, and for life support. All living things, animals, plants and so on need air to live.
The four elements have different cycles. For example, water can only exist at a certain temperature, it has been known to freeze, thaw and dry at different times. In general, water will cool as it warms, but can reach its highest temperatures when it is raining or snowing. Some plants cannot survive in the absence of air, and so the main climate of the planet depends on the season, the type of soil and the level of rainfall.
Nature, in the Western tradition, is seen as a relatively straightforward collection of different colors, sometimes seen as a static landscape. A sunset, a rainbow, a deer, a bird, a forest and so on are often seen as part of Nature. In fact, Nature is much more dynamic than this. The world is full of life, and we should use our imagination to take some of the chaos and excitement out of the everyday. In particular, Nature and science should work together to make life better, healthier and more sustainable.
Nature is alive, it is important to use our minds to control our environment. We need to eat and sleep, and we need to communicate. We need to learn how to enjoy living, and how to respect the lives of others. It is vital to ensure that our surroundings are safe and beautiful. Often the environmental impacts of our modern society are invisible, yet they impact our health, our homes and our children’s education.
Nature provides ancient spiritual knowledge and it is important to learn the past benefits and knowledge that are available today. Our mind is the key to success and our relationships. Nature provides a lesson in thinking, in learning and in creativity.
We can learn about the progress of science and how scientists have understood it. Our daily lives can become a living laboratory. Learning can also be a cycle of discovery and innovation. People who learn by observing nature and by experience are more creative and inventive.
Learning in Nature is a chance to appreciate life in a new way. We are surrounded by the wonders of Nature but only a small proportion of us use this “flavour” to learn and discover. We must learn how to apply ourselves to discovering new knowledge, and we must integrate this “natural education” into our lives.
Learning in Nature is a cycle of discovery and innovation. How we grow, what we grow in, how we use it and so on. We can develop many creative skills, our intelligence can be increased, we can listen to our inner voice and learn what it wants. We can find connections between the real world and the unseen world, between the earth and our minds. We can make discoveries that affect our daily lives.
Our past traditions of thinking about Nature are changing. Nature has a place in our schools, our universities and in our homes. Science and Nature are becoming united, interdependent and interconnected. Our minds are more diverse and our development is more innovative than ever before.
Our environment can be enriched by the reception of creative thoughts, where things can happen from natural laws. We can use Nature to build bridges between science and art, human beings and animal life. The study of Nature provides an opportunity to think outside the box, to create new ways of looking at the world around us. Nature opens up exciting new possibilities for learning and creativity.