The Natural World Is Mirrored Inside Us: We Are Part of Nature

Sometimes we feel a disconnect with the natural world. It’s common to contrast nature with humanity; we often view things that are “manmade” as being anti-nature. In this article, I want to show how we are part of nature and how the laws of nature exist within us and within the things that we make.

The universe speaks the language of connectedness

We are all connected, and how I visualise this is in the way that so many things that exist organise themselves in the same way. For example, the similarities between a tree and the neurons in our brains are striking.

 

A picture of a neuron and a tree against a plain background. . They look very similar.

 

We even call the “branches” on the neuron “dendrites”, which has Greek roots and means “pertaining to a tree”. Neurons communicate by sending neurotransmitters from the end of their branches, these jump across to the dendrites of nearby neurons and either excite or dampen the neuron. I like to think that birds work similarly – they jump from tree to tree and carry out (sometimes) useful tasks, like eating berries.

All of those branches – in the ground and the air, at one end of a neuron and the other – connect to others, and look how many there are! So many connections.

Look at this pattern in the things that humans make, compare a representation of the network of neurons in our brains with its internet equivalent:

A representation of the connectedness between neurons
A representation of how the internet is connected - it looks like a matrix made of light

Then tell me that the internet isn’t part of nature too. We’re the same, and when you scale it up and look at space, it’s uncanny.  The space between stars might not connect, but the spatial patterns between different stars and bodies look remarkably similar to the two pictures above…

A picture of deep space in purple - it's a veritable display of light

Everything leaves a mark, and sometimes those marks are uncannily similar

Have you ever paid attention to the similarities between the rings on a tree trunk and the rings on your fingerprint? The natural world leaves similar patterns everywhere.

A picture of a person's fingerprint
A picture of a tree trunk with it's rings. It's in black and white, just like the fingerprint above is.

They might not be identical, but the resemblance is uncanny. Tree trunk rings are every bit as unique to trees as our fingerprints are to us.

The earth breathes and so do we

Take a look at this video and you’ll see that the earth looks like it’s breathing in and out. It really gives a new perspective on how we’re suffocating it with our pollution. We’re making those white patches smaller and those green patches yellower.

Take Away

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back from life and contemplate our place in the grand scheme of things. We’re both very small and very big at the same time, and we are all connected to the natural world. It can help to put things in perspective sometimes, especially during challenging times.

Hopefully, this gives you a little peek behind the curtain. We get so caught up in day-to-day life that it’s good to stop and think. You know this already, but how often do you take the time to mull it over?