Quotes: about Nature


Mark Twain in one of his lectures writes about the Law of Periodical repetition

Nature has no originality. She has a superb and amazing and infinitely varied equipment of old ones, but she never adds to them. She repeats- repeats- repeats. When she puts together a man and is satisfied with him, she is loyal to him, she stands by him through thick and thin forevermore, she repeats him by billions and billions of examples, and physically and mentally the average remains exactly the same, it doesn’t vary a hair between the first batch, middle batch and last batch

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

42 thoughts on “Quotes: about Nature

  1. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Twain is one of my favorites. His logic is so simple and plain that it is often overlooked. Thank you, my Nairobi brother, for reminding us all of this! 🙂

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  2. john zande says:

    … not until a fine mutation comes along, and wins old natures heart 😉

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  3. Maria F. says:

    This is a great quote, and thanks for sharing it. I think Nature has a pattern which definitely repeats itself, and this quote I believe is alluding to this idea. The mutation comes along, yes, but to the detriment of humans. Nature continues to run its course despite them and other catastrophes. It took me long to realize that Nature has the final word on everything; so I’ve sort of stopped condemning humankind (I was born human, so I didn’t have a choice there). I may condemn their actions however, but I’m learning to stop right at that point.

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    • makagutu says:

      Nature is indifferent to us. It will run its course. And yes, there is no point in blaming the damned human race, even their actions. We can say they could do better but that is always with reflection.

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      • Maria F. says:

        Yes, but looking at it from another point of view: Nature actually may CLAIM us; so we may actually be in her best interests… so I wonder if this indifference is actually an act of love (seeing it from that point of view), but the fact that Nature comes to claim our bodies is the battle that gave rise to religion in the first place. To die then is what gave rise to good and evil, and those that die, according to religion, will have to seek “redemption”. So what may seem as an act of indifference, may actually be an act of generosity. Death is what has nurtured religion for centuries, mortality. Thus “redemption” is what may still “save” humankind. It’s what feeds all religions, I dare say. But apart from a religious perspective, death may be the greatest gift of love, a sign that we may indeed be in Nature’s best interests…

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        • makagutu says:

          Is it possible to have life without death?
          Maria you raise very many interesting possibilities.

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          • Maria F. says:

            Thanks Makagutu. It could be, yes, but in the physical realm, in the particle, the death in reality is of the self. I do think there’s a continuity, I dare say, but it doesn’t have anything to do with reincarnation (this by the way, is why most Buddhists will not speak about it, because they cannot explain it) or an afterlife. There is a “continuity” because we are after all organic matter, and my corpse will feed an infinite amount of organisms, or fuse itself with matter if I choose to be cremated. So technically speaking, I am organic matter, unfortunately I carry an identity, but I am still matter that will sooner or later “merge”. It has nothing to do with any religious view, I see it as a technicality of the physical world, we are particles that simply transform when we die. What we lose is the ego.

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          • makagutu says:

            I think the Buddhist got it right but the explanation is wrong. There is continuity in the sense that life goes on, but not in the sense I return as a chicken.

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          • Maria F. says:

            I’ve been listening to Buddhist podcasts for years now, and they have not even mentioned the subject. I dare say, there is a modern sect which appeals to more intellectual audiences, so my impression is they stayed away from it altogether.

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          • makagutu says:

            I think this

            1. Nothing is lost in the universe

            The first truth is that nothing is lost in the universe. Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents, our children are born of us.

            We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.

            is related to the discussion we have been having about life being continuous

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          • Maria F. says:

            Thanks Noel, you helped me out in explaining this somewhat abstract concept, which I do believe in, but is hard to explain. Thank you!

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          • makagutu says:

            You are welcome Maria.
            Am never sure of my abilities at explanations. Am glad this one time I was of help

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          • Maria F. says:

            You did, and it’s such an abstract concept that most could be thinking that one is alluding to some sort of “afterlife”, yet I don’t think so.

            Do you think it’s a kind of “Pantheism”? “Pantheism” is an interesting term that has been adjudicated to Einstein’s religious views. Even though Einstein did mock the Bible on a number of ocassions, he did admit in public the allusion of holding some kind of religious belief, but I don’t think he actually stated what it was. It was much later that the term “Pantheism” came to be associated with his views on religion, and he did have quite a lot to say about it. Most of what I can mention here is that he felt “humbled” by the lack of knowledge we actually have about the universe.

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          • makagutu says:

            In Spinoza Ethics which unfortunately I haven’t managed to finish reading, he develops the idea of the Pantheist god and I think all Einstein’s reference to god is to Spinoza’s god.

            I think humility is the attitude of most people who realize there is so much we don’t know about the world around us.

            I would like to meet a person who believes in a reincarnation if she knows a person who was a donkey in a former life.

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          • I know plenty of people who are cockroaches in this life. Does that count?

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          • makagutu says:

            What were they in the previous life?
            But if as MT says man has descended, don’t you think the cockroach is a higher life form :D?

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          • Maria F. says:

            I was actually going to make the joke about the cockroach, but I didn’t want to insult neither Kafka, nor cockroaches themselves, which are prehistoric animals. So you think Einstein was religious then, because Spinoza’s God was a God after all.

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          • makagutu says:

            You mention Kafka, it reminds me of Metamorphosis. What a sad story.

            I don’t think Einstein can be considered religious in the common usage of the term. Spinoza’s god and nature are inseparable.

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          • Maria F. says:

            I agree, and this is what he told the media when they asked:

            “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

            Ha! And he probably sticked his tongue out too!

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          • makagutu says:

            I have been reading of atheism in antiquity and what is interesting there are groups of men who believed there were gods but that they didn’t concern themselves with the affairs of men and also that they didn’t need any worship

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  4. Of course, there’s the problem of Jeebus. You know, the anomaly who was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. he was different. unless of course you don’t believe in Jeebus. In that case, you are wrong and will burn forever. Or not. Depends on whether you believe in bullsh*t or not. Anyway, Twain is my guy! Did you know most of his writings on religion weren’t published until long after he died? He left instructions that his publisher wait many years til after his death to publish them. That’s the power the virus of religion has. Even Twain didn’t want to deal with the blow back he’d get from christian idiots because he dared to question their beliefs. He waited til after he died to have his writings criticizing them published. Too much power is given to religion. Far too much power. I’m rather sick of it myself.

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  5. Tish Farrell says:

    Somewhat related to the above, Noel: Was listening to a radio programme earlier of how we have polluted the world’s oceans with plastics which in turn is killing seabirds in large numbers – and how much of this is down to ordinary careless mortals tossing stuff away. It made me think that the false notion of a heaven to be aspired to after death, has allowed us (just because some of us think there will be somewhere better to go) to make a rotten mess of the heaven we already have. Why should any of us ever have thought there would be anywhere better…

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  6. Sonel says:

    Must be why I love Nature so much. Great quote and post my friend. 😀

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  7. Arkenaten says:

    He was such an astute person, as were many back in the Old Days and before.

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