There is hardly a term more loosely defined and commonly used as “natural” or “nature” — nor one more intrinsically important to health and happiness. Clearly, the terms are so common and irreplaceable we had to use both in the title of this post.
In this post we will continue building a foundation of truth and understanding started in Part I by reestablishing honest and worthy definitions for Nature as the absolutely crucial reference that It is.
Despite widespread familiarity with “nature” there is scarcely any term which is more misused in media and marketing. Considering that life is consciousness embodied in nature, it follows that reverting to honest semantics for nature is foundational for returning its essential harmony to our everyday lives.
Still, individual human perception is so varied that to some, “Nature” is considered their “church” as both a connection to the divine and sanctuary from a sterile technological existence; while to others, Nature is largely regarded a merciless arbiter of death and destruction to be conquered at all cost.
When we remember that Nature is also the object of the systematic process of discovery known as science, It becomes most worthy of our humble human exploration and understanding.
A Context for Nature
Throughout this post and our other musings you will notice Nature referred to in both capital and lowercase form. The former will denote Nature in its proper, specific, and “wholistic” form, while the latter will generally refer to its improper, unspecific, and common usage.
We will explore the idea that the huge spectrum of interpretations of what is “natural” is largely due to human existence being at the threshold between the natural and artificial worlds.
Nature of course encompassed all that the human mind could comprehend before its ingenuity evolved to extract and refine the particularly useful aspects of natural resources.
Clearly, human ability to refine and synthesize resources has dramatically increased with industrialization, and with it the line between “natural” and the relatively new concept of “artificial” became all the more blurred.
At Sacred Source, we consider Nature to be an ineffable concept in Its true sense. Nonetheless, generally speaking, “natural” has no distinct or legal definition, and thus its meaning must be inferred by context on a case by case basis.
As a result, “natural,” along with the inherent healthiness it implies, has become one of the more deceptive adjectives in marketing and common discourse.
This puts the concept of “natural” in crucial need of honest semantic rehabilitation… But first we will highlight a related and similarly degraded term which will exemplify the true “naturalistic fallacy” afoot.
The Artificial Elephant in the Room
No disrespect to real elephants — they are clearly one of the most sentient and intelligent species that humans are blessed to share the Earth with.
The misuse and degradation of the terms “natural” and “holistic” have become perfectly analogous to the delusory times in which we live.
For example, when:
1. A global pharmaceutical / supplement company identifies a useful compound found in nature; and
2. Artificially isolates and extracts said compound:
a. From pesticide-laden, synthetic fertilizer-fed, mono-cultured, “conventional” crops;
b. With economic slave labor and industrial machinery; or
c. Perhaps instead synthesizes it from petroleum; and
3. Then combines it with artificial fillers, preservatives, and stabilizers; and
4. Mass-produces the resulting product with more economic slave labor; and
5. Packages it with toxin-leaching, hormone-disrupting, artificial materials; and
6. Ships it worldwide through one of the largest corporations on earth:
a. Which happens to get “sweetheart-deal” shipping rates which are lower than cost to the publicly-supported shipping company; and
b. Is therefore supported by taxpayer subsidies and cheaper than anyone else can compete with; and
c. Which itself pays less total out-of-pocket tax (zero) than one of the (economic slave) laborers who produced the product; and
7. Then labels and markets the product as “natural” or “holistic,” because they “found it in nature” — and who doesn’t love the rain forest?
This mini outline of the artificial elephant-in-the-room is not to judge anyone for using or even producing such products — it is likely we all have done so at some point, and sometimes there is no better alternative (especially considering the relative monopoly of such entities and practices).
Of course not all of the above practices are necessary for a product labeled “natural” or “holistic” to be wholly misleading and totally in opposition to the true meaning of either term, but you get the idea.
To varying degree, fair discernment of any one of the practices outlined above would disqualify such a product from being:
· Honestly labelled as natural or w/holistic;
· Something we would consciously choose to support;
· Something we would readily put into our body — or into the environment — unless there was no other viable option.
And yet such products and practices are the status quo.
It is counterproductive and likely hypocritical to judge anyone for supporting such products, but at some point judgment must be justly directed to the actions themselves — if we are to improve and acknowledge the consequences of actions (reality).
We cannot change others, but we can change our own actions…
The mention of the economic aspects of the scenario outlined above is to highlight just how unnatural and full-of-holes it is for real people to be exploited into enabling such (artificial) entities and untenable practices to dominate commerce as we know it.
Such shameless and ubiquitous degradation of words, meaning, and human beings is not only legal in business today it is ‘part and parcel’ of marketing and building a “successful” business, brand, or political campaign.
In fact, it is common for marketing / PR departments to be effectively detached enough from their own organization’s production (and reality) that they would claim ignorance (“plausible deniability”) of their own company’s practices.
Intentional compartmentalization of people’s perception (consciousness) or cognitive dissonance is the name of the hegemonic economic game. It is artificially induced collective schizophrenia wherein ultimately everyone suffers but no one takes responsibility, by design.
Such collective insanity has allowed our social constructs from business, political, and religious institutions alike to become cancerous to the natural world and humanity that spawned them — well beyond what any sane person would allow.
As vast and systemic as the problem may seem, the solution simply involves re-integrating the fractionated “compartments” back into their natural state of wholeness…
Holistic vs. Wholistic Semantics
Many are familiar with the term “holistic” as meaning “all-encompassing, incorporating the concept of holism,” with holism basically being the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
At Sacred Source, we generally accept such a definition, and the concept of holism, but see the trouble caused by the common, degrading, and deceitful use of “holistic” as a label for just about anything that includes plant matter or a compound found in nature.
In response, we feel compelled to distinguish from the relatively meaningless, ‘full-of-holes’ version of holistic by resurrecting the “w” to help in remaking the concept ‘whole.’
It is because meaning and integrity have been so collectively degraded in the postmodern world in which we live that we feel that words like “holistic” and “nature” need to be explored, honestly defined, and put into context.
Of course, with no legal definition for the word “wholistic” there is no stopping the marketeers (sic) of the harmful generic products and practices outlined above from labeling theirs as such.
For now, resurrecting the silent “w” (wholeness) is a symbolic distinction from the now generally meaningless label of “holistic.”
We define “wholistic” as truly all encompassing — in the spirit of what “w/holism” is meant to be.
Therefore, it goes beyond mere physical, obvious, or cherry-picked aspects to include the literal whole. It invariably includes the unseen, subtle, and essential (energetic / spiritual) aspects which humanity hardly has words for.
Our definition of wholistic could be considered idealistic, as it is — in the utterly practical sense of recognizing and harmonizing with the laws of Nature to the extent possible within a given context.
Therefore, the definition is dynamic in that it entails a widening scope of factors as perspective and ability expands.
In contrast, as the definition of “holistic” is rendered meaningless by corrupt marketing practices to include basically any product or practice imaginable, its trajectory of meaning is diametrically opposed to “wholistic” by Sacred Source standards.
As always, context is crucial though because some worthy products and practices may still be termed “holistic,” and so some digging into the reality behind the label is generally needed for accurate interpretation.
The contextual definition of wholistic outlined above is practically necessary to conceptualize “Nature” in Its true sense.
When referring to the “whole” of something, we are referring to it in its entirety, by definition.
As humans, we typically think of nature as the gross physical world separate from human creations and existence.
Yet in the real sense, Nature includes the physical, elemental, and unseen fundamental realms of subtle energy which make up human bodies, the “space” between, and distant stars alike.
As humans, we tend to forget however that we scarcely know how anything in nature works in its entirety.
Current Limits of Human Perception
For some perspective on the limits of common human perception, we should first consider that visible light comprises only 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum (1).
Subtract from that tiny fraction the portion of things which are contextually relevant but are beyond our visible scope in scale (e.g. from microns to miles) and time (history), and we begin to get some idea of just how limited our sensible perception is.
Compounding the problem of common human perception is the phenomenon of “tunnel vision” that naturally kicks in when we are under stress — a state which we are artificially and relentlessly manipulated into through media of all kinds.
Likewise, we have all experienced looking for something that is right under our nose, but not realizing or even “seeing” it.
They say “hindsight is 20/20,” but with realistic perspective we begin to realize just how limited, imperfect, and subjective even that official version of “perfect” vision is.
It is particularly important to realize that Nature extends well beyond physical matter and “Mother Earth.” Earth as the Mother of all (earth-based) life is a useful metaphor, but Nature ranges infinitely beyond the physical or earthy sphere we are relatively familiar with.
Nature includes the entire universe / cosmos which we tend to view in an “otherworldly” sense, but It is a Natural realm nonetheless which includes Earth and all that exists regardless of human involvement.
As we will explore further, even technology and artificial creations have a basis in Nature due to their material existence being derived from Its elements and subject to natural law.
In truth, science — in its principle un-corrupted form — is the systematic process of the discovery and understanding of the natural laws which govern our existence.
Contrary to what many in media push as “science,” science is not whatever a “scientist” says, or even what a “scientific consensus” agrees. True science is an objective process for the of discovery of truth, but sadly the human construct of a scientific establishment is anything but objective.
While technological creations depend on natural laws in order to exist, their relative dis-harmony limits their ‘lifespan’ and ability to coexist with Nature and the life which created them.
To widen to an even more realistic view, scientists have invented terms such as “dark energy,” “dark matter,” “the quantum field,” and “[a]ether” to categorize aspects of fundamental Nature which lay beyond the bounds of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Such terms appear foreign and mysterious to the lay person — and even to the scientists who coined them — but only to our current human understanding.
The phenomena such terms refer to are as native and common as anything we are familiar with in our physical world, and actually much more so.
For example, dark energy and dark matter are theorized to make up 96% of the energy and mass of the universe, with physical matter only comprising the leftover 4% (2).
These phenomena permeate the so called “empty space” which surrounds human perception of physical matter along with the interstitial space between atoms which constitutes the vast majority of what appears as physical matter (3).
They can be said to make up the essential energetic matrix of the physical world, but most relevant here is the fact that all such phenomena mentioned, and more, constitute the entire reality of Nature that we pretend to know so well, and which many strive to conquer in their everyday lives.
The thought of a fish attempting to fully define and understand water — and then criticize and conquer it — comes to mind.
In yet another dis to Mother Nature, what is termed “supernatural” or “magic” is really just effects of natural (Law) phenomenon which are unseen or not understood by observers.
Nature is in fact the basis of the entire world in which we live, from the simplest habitat to the most technological artificial lifestyle and beyond into the subtle foundational realms of consciousness.
As a result, useful and precise definitions of Nature and “natural” are elusive and obscured by relativity.
What’s worse is the fact we are conditioned into viewing Mother Nature as an enemy to be manipulated and controlled lest we succumb to “her will” of natural disasters, the elements, or wild beasts.
Yet the fact remains that our bodies, minds, and the natural world which supplies all energy and sustenance for life are manifestations of the same Nature which many malign, manipulate, and scapegoat whenever convenient.
Natural acts of death and destruction need to be put into the context of the utter abundance and diversity of life within which they are but a small part.
Indeed, natural causes of death and disaster invariably lead to evolution and more abundance, and thus they are temporary and illusory in the grand scheme.
Within the Epic Beauty context, Nature with a capital “N” refers to the wholistic, eternal, and universal energetic Source of all that is — from the indescribably subtle to the gross material realms. It goes by many names, yet none can really define It due to Its ineffable and infinite existence.
In other words, Nature could be considered as equivalent to the entire creation of “God” or the “Universe,” however such terms tend to carry highly biased interpretations which can repel those whom would most benefit from understanding our universal Natural origins.
The concept of Nature is much more relatable to most, and thus re-defining Nature to include our self and the unimaginable divine orchestra that is the universe is a founding purpose of Sacred Source.
What isn’t Nature?
Given the vast expanse of true Nature, it is logical to ask “what else is there?” Science is of little help in answering such a question considering its encapsulation within It, and thus connecting with intuitive ancient wisdom becomes the one reputable option.
The answer is perhaps most clearly offered by ancient Hindu / Yogic traditions, although it can likely be found in all true religions.
Nature comprises all that is seen, imagined, and experienced in the world — including the unseen subtle realms which manifest the same. Nature is known as Prakriti in Yogic traditions, and in the subtle essential / energetic aspect as the “Holy Ghost” of the divine Trinity of The Bible (4).
The supreme Self or Observer / Witness stands apart from Nature, at least for the purposes of human understanding. It is known by many names in the Yogic traditions such as Isvara, Brahman, or the supreme Purusa, and is equivalent to “The Father” of the Bible (5).
In the grand scheme, Nature can be thought of as a Self-creation of First Cause / “God,” but for the purposes of understanding some distinction is helpful.
From the human perspective, the (true) Self is nearly always mistaken for the artificial self / ego; however the former stands apart from Nature as its unchanging Source, while typically the latter is a lower derivative of It (therefore “artificial,” relatively speaking).
Together, Nature as creation and the supreme eternal Self as Creator comprise All there is, but we must remember It cannot be justly conceptualized or defined by words.
It is helpful to think of Nature as encapsulating all that changes, and the true Self being the unchangeable Observer. By then remembering the maxim that “change is the one constant in the world” we gain perspective to help connect with the eternal Observer within us all.
Derivatives of Nature
With some of the grand perspective now established, we come to the problem of what constitutes “natural” — or more aptly what in the world could be “unnatural” if Nature basically constitutes everything there is in the physical world and beyond?
The general definition of “natural” used throughout Epic Beauty is the quality of existing relatively independent of human influence or understanding; it is of course contrasted by artificial or man-made creations.
In being a relative and subjective term with a vast spectrum of overlap with unnatural creations, there is obviously a huge margin of error in interpretations.
In regard to physical creations, the definition of natural can easily get diluted when coupled with the observation above that even artificial creations have their basis in natural materials and a requirement of some level of compatibility with Nature’s Laws (to exist at all).
The crucial concept in reconciling this is the concept of derivatives.
Derivatives of course have a mathematical definition, but rest assured we will not dive too deeply into that realm here. All things are derived from Nature, however not all things are “naturally” created equal if we are to give any real meaning to the word.
You may also recall the concept of integrals in mathematics, most notably as the inverse of derivatives. Both concepts are vitally important in their natural qualitative sense, and they happen to perfectly exemplify one Principle of Natural Law in particular: the Principle of Polarity.
We will dive more deeply into the Principle of Polarity, along with the other fundamental Principles in due time. For now, our focus is on accurately defining “natural” in a general sense.
The degree of disharmony with Natural Law differentiates human creations within the natural / artificial spectrum.
Within the physical realm and on the side of nature in its pure form are minerals, plants, and animals which predate human manipulation.
Conversely, on the artificial extreme are man-made laboratory creations which never occur in the known natural world, such as synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, and even some “elements” such as “Element 115.”
The point at hand is that Nature has a pure state, which may be difficult to discern at times, but which exists in perfect harmony with the Principles of Natural Law, without manipulation or influence from humans, by definition.
Humans have the ‘god-like’ ability to co-create derivatives of nature which are contained within a spectrum of “naturalness.” They can be justly called natural when in relative harmony with Natural Law, and rightly labeled artificial when out of harmony.
Of course, with varying degrees of subjectivity being the norm, the “natural” label can become meaningless or deceptive in many if not most contexts. But as always: “the proof is in the pudding” as they say.
Derivatives of nature can be generally identified by their degree of manipulation by humans. For example, agriculture as we know it clearly does not happen on its own, by definition, but the selective cultivation of crops via permaculture principles can be quite in-harmony with Nature and beneficial to all.
On the other hand, the vast majority of crops grown today bare little to no resemblance with the natural order of things beyond perhaps being “plant-based.”
Practices such as use of synthetic pesticides and nutrients, genetic modification, mono-cropping, and other factory farming methods put most of the worlds food supply in the realm of 6th derivative and higher (lower on scale), away from their natural harmonious state.
The higher the derivative number, the further removed from nature a product or practice is, and therefore the less in harmony with natural systems (Law) it is.
To common understanding, such a designation may seem trivial, however the health, happiness, and freedom of everything from individual cells, to organisms, to communities, to ecosystems, to planets and beyond is fundamentally dependent on harmony with Natural Law.
This is true because each is a natural system fractally nested within, and interdependent on its larger systems, and Natural Law in its true ineffable sense is the overarching system of the entire universe — by definition.
Cleary, Natural Law deserves a dedicated exploration, but for now we point out that there is a spectrum or hierarchy to “naturalness,” wherein humans uniquely stand at the free-will threshold between higher (integral) and lower (derivative) nature.
On one end we can choose to align with the eternal and universal Natural order (Self), and on the other we can choose to be driven by our animalistic nature and take advantage of every opportunity for personal (self) gain and gratification.
We will continually explore the concept of integrals and derivatives of nature throughout Epic Beauty, as they are fundamental to evaluating the health and viability of any product, practice, or system.
The “Naturalistic Fallacy” Strawman
It is worth noting here the idea of the “naturalistic fallacy” which is falsely used to “debunk” the concept of “naturalism” by “straw-manning” it into the idea that whatever is natural is “good” and whatever is unnatural is “bad.”
As obviously simplistic as it sounds, this argument is nonetheless used to discredit the idea that “nature” is good by pointing out the obvious fact that in nature we find suffering in many forms such as violent deaths, disasters, and exposure to toxic substances.
The first problem with this deceptive argument is that it artificially limits “nature” by focusing on its physical pitfalls.
The second problem is that it projects an emotional and subjective conclusion of “bad” on particular events while ignoring their greater Natural context within the limitless and eternally unfolding process of life.
In other words, the supposed “naturalistic fallacy” presupposes a distorted, false, limited view of “nature” and then derides and marginalizes it for not having a subjectively defined “good” result.
In reality, there are higher realms of Nature, which as humans we are challenged to understand and integrate, thereby transcending duality and our lower animalistic nature.
In this world, the challenge is immense.
The focus and promotion of dualistic or lower (animalistic) “human nature” is so ubiquitous in society and science today that the idea of higher realms of Nature are foreign to many.
One entrenched example is how it is considered completely “natural” to be ruthlessly self-serving with a Darwinian attitude toward our natural and social worlds alike.
An appropriate context for (and dis-mantling of) the theory and application of “Natural Selection” will be included in future posts…
For now, suffice it to say that cutthroat competition is a dramatic and visceral evolutionary stage with proportionally brutal consequences.
It certainly has its place in animalistic nature — but only as an instructive dead-end within the lower stages of the supreme system of harmony that pervades the universe.
The higher realms of Nature are beyond direct (lower) sensory perception, although we can “feel” or intuitively know them if we allow and develop such abilities.
Life within the Natural world tests our discernment of right and wrong with objectively appropriate consequences regardless of which path we choose.
We are conditioned into generally regarding consequences in an unfavorable light, but with ample perspective and attunement with Natural Law, consequences can be everything we could ever hope for, and more.
To be clear, Natural Law is not necessarily “naturalism.” We leave it to others to argue over their own subjective definition of the latter, knowing that Natural Law is fundamental and universal regardless of how one chooses to define It.
The effects of Natural Law are everywhere to be observed, but like the ultimate First Cause, It cannot be seen or definitively put into words.
Its principles have to be intuitively realized through experience, while the grand orchestra of life (and death) remains the ideal schoolhouse for such discovery of the Divine.
Harmony with Natural Law is not simply another platitude to be tossed about like the label of “natural” or “law and order” in the common or legal sense.
It governs the definitions of Natural and natural in their true sense, and misperception invariably leads to proportional consequences (also known as “karma” or action / reaction, or the law of cause and effect).
Karma is another term which has been skewed by common usage, but in its native Sanskrit it simply means action or reaction, which, with a little insight can be seen as a basic principle of the Natural world as we know it (e.g. Newton’s 2nd Law), and beyond.
The concept of Natural Law is commonly misunderstood and misapplied largely because our idea of “law” is so tainted by corrupted and selectively applied man-made “positive law” that it is a challenge to comprehend the true thing.
Most human laws are intentionally designed to be subjective, arbitrarily applied, and misleading (as power tends to corrupt), and so it is difficult to grasp Laws which are universal and infallible by definition.
Note: Law in the (capitalized) proper sense within Epic Beauty context denotes the real thing bestowed by First Cause / “God” / Source / the Universe, etc., whereas improper (lowercase) “law” denotes the man-made, artificial, corruptible, “positive” variety, or a human interpretation of the real thing.
There is such inherently limitless potential in understanding and aligning with Natural Law that the basic concept inevitably had to attract obscuration by those with a nefarious agenda of controlling others.
Still, the vast majority of people and even “lawmakers” have good intentions and instincts regarding right and wrong.
The steady and relatively rapid progression of civilization stands as proof of the intuitive natural wisdom of abiding by a system of laws that pertain to everyone.
As we will increasingly find in our later focus on Natural Law specifically, the degree to which an individual or collective is harmonized with It is directly proportional to their wholistic health and beauty.
Net, in part 3 of our Foundations of Natural Beauty series we will explore the semantics of true (wholistic) beauty. We thank you for reading and joining us on this Epic Beauty journey!
1) “Visible-Light: Eye opening research at NNSA.” National Nuclear Security Administration, www.energy.gov, Oct. 17, 2018, www.energy.gov/nnsa/articles/visible-light-eye-opening-research-nnsa. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.
2) Moskowit, Clara. “What’s 96 Perecent of the Universe Made of? Astronomers Don’t Know.” www.space.com, May 12, 2011, www.space.com/11642-dark-matter-dark-energy-4-percent-universe-panek.html. Accessed Sept. 28 2020
3) Dispenza, Dr. Joe. Becoming Supernatural. Hay House Inc. 2017
4) Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Second Coming of Christ, The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. Self-Realization Fellowship. 2019
5) Satchidananda, Sri Swami. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidanda. Integral Yoga Publications. 2012
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