Spirituality and Nature Essay

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Spirituality and Nature

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. (Psalm 148:7-12)

When considering the reading that we have done so far in class I am struck by the relationship that is drawn in many of them, between the appreciation of nature and spirituality. While I am not a Christian in the typical sense there is still no doubt in my mind that there is a benevolent and
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While there is absolutely no way to prove scientifically that this feeling is legitimate or correlated directly with our interaction with our environment it seems impossible to dismiss such an overwhelming response to the landscape. Furthermore, belief in accessing God through nature is not confined to the Romantic era. Nature is implicated in the worship of God in the Bible, and in many other of the major religions. Philosophical beliefs such as theosophy, popular among artists in the late 19th early 20th century maintained that there was an underlying spirit that ran through every living thing and that could be captured through art, writing, dancing, etc. The reaction seems innate, uncontrollable and seems to link the past to the present to the future, aspects of the experience that are explored by William Wordsworth in his poetry, and by Radcliffe, in her novel Mysteries of Udolpho.

In Radcliff's Mysteries of Udolpho there is no doubt in the narrator's mind that one can feel closer to God through interaction with nature. The novels heroine delights in "the wild wood-walks, that skirted the mountain; and still more the mountain's stupendous recesses, where the silence and grandeur of solitude impressed a sacred awe upon her heart, and lifted her thoughts to the GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH" (10). Emily turns to nature when her father is on the verge of death for comfort, dwelling on the night sky as "the worlds, perhaps, of spirits,
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