"The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no longer live his life for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all this life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe."
- Albert Schweitzer
Wordsworth said that his god dwelled in the light of setting suns. No doubt he did not realize the danger of doing so. The sunset is not as free from man's destruction as one would think. The blight of smog and concrete perverts its beauty all too easily. Perhaps it would be wiser to put one's faith not in that which colors the rainbow and the sunset, but that which makes the blood red and the grass green. Man's disruption of living systems, and his propensity for slaughtering entire species of plants and animals, may make one wary of this idea, but at least humankind is subject to the same laws of life and death as every other living thing. We can kill the phenomena, but not the spirit of the life force. In this day and age, a faith in wildness, rooted in "reverence for life," is directly contrary to the beliefs and aims of much of society. But unless we learn to control our own potential for destruction, and seek to elicit the beauty that lies within, we may one day wake up to a world that is not worth living in. A re-evaluation of humankind and our place in the world is vital to our own well-being and the welfare of all living things on this planet.
Excerpted from The New Horizon, a photography/essay project I wrote in 1969 for a high school humanities class. It still rings true nearly thirty years later.
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