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Love Nature, Love Life

Umbrellas421 words

Translated by Greg Johnson

Greek translation here

Not for an instant do I forget the struggles of our time. Not for an instant do I forget the struggles of the past that made us who we are. Not for an instant do I forget that to exist is not just to dedicate and devote oneself but also to fight. Nor do I forget that life has intense moments and calm moments, joys and cruelties.

Life in general (and our life) is an image of nature from which it proceeds, which Heraclitus already said, in an rather topical aphorism, almost thirty centuries ago: “Nature loves contraries: through them she produces harmony.”

Homer said the same thing in a different and poetic manner, emphasizing that our existence is part of the cycles of nature: “As leaves are born, so are men. The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the forest is green again in spring. So too with men: one generation is born as another is erased” (Iliad, VI, 146).

For our contemporaries, always more numerous, who pass their days in the artificial world of the cities (which are no longer actual cities), it is often difficult to see beyond the concrete, glass, steel, and electric light, that nature, despite its apparent absence, continues to embrace us and draw the lines of force of our existence, between infancy and oblivion: “like the leaves . . .”

Forgotten nature, however, sometimes remembers us in the most unexpected yet inevitable way:  when rain falls on the city, and the genius of man cannot control it. It is a reflection that suggests a profound little book with the provocative title: Love the Rain, Love Life.[1] Its author, the writer and philosopher Dominique Loreau, is a woman who lives in Japan, which probably contributes to her immanentist perception of existence. I will quote the first and most essential lines of her essay: “In this extremely rational world, where modern societies impose their laws on nature and man, there is a phenomenon that no one can ever control: rain.”

This is a new, long-range thinking. It makes us aware that, despite appearances, nature, the mother of us all, continues to set the pace of our existence despite the artificiality of the city. So thank you for the rain to remind us of this reassuring truth. Now it seems much more friendly, even though it is sometimes a bit too insistent in the European north.

Note

1. Dominique Loreau, Aimer la pluie, aimer la vie (Ed. J’ai lu, 2011).

Source: http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/2013/01/aimer-la-nature-aimer-la-vie/

 

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4 Comments

  1. rhondda
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Venner is a very wise man.

  2. White Republican
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Dominique Venner writes: “This is a new, long-range thinking. It makes us aware that, despite appearances, nature, the mother of us all, continues to set the pace of our existence despite the artificiality of the city.” I can commend William Ophuls’ book, Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011), as an outstanding exposition of this “new, long-range thinking.” This elegantly written and truly challenging work seeks to outline a public philosophy informed by ecology.

    Ophuls writes (pp. 29-31):

    “Ecology is the surest cure for modern hubris. To understand ecology is to see that the goal of domination is impossible — in fact, mad — and that the crude means we have employed to this end are destroying us. To understand ecology is also to see that some of the most vaunted achievements of modern life — our extraordinary agricultural productivity, the dazzling wonders of technological medicine, and, indeed, even the affluence of the developed economies — are not at all what they seem but instead are castles built on ecological sand that cannot be sustained over the long term. In short, ecology exposes the grand illusion of modern civilization: our apparent abundance is really scarcity in disguise, and our supposed mastery of nature is ultimately a lie.

    “To put it more positively, ecology contains an intrinsic wisdom and an implied ethic that, by transforming man from an enemy into a partner of nature, will make it possible to preserve the best of civilization’s achievements for many generations to come and also to attain a higher quality of civilized life. Both the wisdom and the ethic follow directly from the ecological facts of life: natural limits, balance, and interrelationship necessarily entail human humility, moderation, and connection.

    “Like any other species, homo sapiens is subject to natural limits. Technology does give human beings an ability to manipulate the environment that other species mostly lack. But humanity’s success in this regard is in large part illusory because it has been purchased at a high price — symbolized by the accelerated extinction of those other species, with all that this implies for our own long-term future.

    “Technological man has neither abolished natural scarcity nor transcended natural limits. He has merely arranged matters so that the effects of his exploitation of nature are felt by others. Other species, other places, other people, other generations suffer the consequences of the intensified ecological imperialism of the modern age. The current environmental problematique testifies to the impending failure of this strategy.

    “The limits on human action are physical, biological, and geological but also systemic. Reserving a fuller discussion of complex adaptive systems governed by a multiplicity of interacting feedback loops for the next chapter, I simply note here that the biosphere and all its subsidiary ecosystems are characterized by nonlinear dynamics that make them difficult to understand and harder to control. In fact, we cannot really know what the ultimate limits are.

    “To put it the other way around, just as games are constituted by the rules that regulate play, the limits themselves constitute natural systems. To be without limits is to be without structure and therefore to be entropic — chaotic, useless, or unintelligible. And limits do not oppose freedom: ‘Structure and freedom,’ says Jeremy Campbell, ‘are not warring opposites but complementary forces.’

    “To attack limits is therefore foolhardy, for it risks destroying the system. And to aim at control is ill-advised, if not impossible. From the systems point of view, the soundest and safest strategy is not control but cooperation — accepting limits and working within them to achieve reasonable human objectives rather than seeking domination and riches at the expense of the system.

    “Limits, however, are an affront to the self-image of modern man, who believes he is master of all he surveys and can act as he likes without consulting the rest of creation. To accept that the human species is but one small part of an organic web of life that places fundamental constraints on our actions is bitter medicine indeed for the heirs of Bacon and Descartes. But it seems that we shall have to swallow the medicine nonetheless, abandoning the delusion of radical separation that fuels the illusion of unlimited mastery.

    “Humility is therefore the essence of ecological wisdom and the foundation of an ecological ethic. Not only are limited natural systems opposed to unlimited human appetites, but limits also oblige us to come to moral terms with the web of life — that is, to renounce hubris and to find a place within nature instead of above it. From this follows a duty to deal justly with the nonhuman world as well as our own posterity.”

    As Adolf Hitler indicated in Mein Kampf, the piece of Jewish babble that man can control nature is to be emphatically rejected. It is, however, still repeated by rote by millions.

    • Bobby
      Posted January 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Good observations and thank you for the reference. It’s interesting that the left in the U.S. and elsewhere, will argue against immigration control and yet claim to be concerned about environmental issues at the same time. Just another example of the lefts infinite capacity for delusion. The horrible consequences of this leftist lunacy, is that the corporate communists, benefit and get support from the very left that claims to be against them. I reject the term, corporate “fascists” as being inaccurate, as fascism at least claimed to work for the race, which international companies do not, just as the communists did not.

  3. T.A.W. Easson, GB
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    The most correct vision would be to attempt to reclaim our place WITHIN Nature’s orchestra, rather than furiously maintaining our crude, arrogant and destructive efforts at taking on the role of the conductor and stubbornly forcing the harmonies down whichever path we choose, forgetting, in our hubris, that we are not the one’s playing the instruments or writing the music.

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