by Krishnamurti Foundation Trust (kfoundation.org)
Nature is the rivers, the trees, the swift-flying birds, the fish, the minerals under the earth, the waterfalls and the shallow pools. What is your relationship with them? Most of us are not aware of that relationship. We never look at a tree, or if we do it is with a view of using that tree, either to sit in its shade or to cut it down for lumber. In other words, we look at trees with utilitarian purpose; we don’t look at a tree without projecting ourselves and utilising it for our convenience. We treat the earth and its products in the same way. There is no love of the earth; there is only usage of the earth. If one really loved the earth, there would be frugality in using the things of the earth.
But we have not given a thought to it; we have not sat down to look at the stars, the moon or the trees. We are too busy with social or political activities. These activities are escapes from ourselves, and to worship nature is also an escape from ourselves. We are always using nature, either as an escape or for utilitarian ends—we don’t actually stop and love the earth or the things of the earth. We don’t enjoy the rich fields, though we utilise them to feed and clothe ourselves. We don’t like to till the earth with our hands—we are ashamed to work with our hands. There is an extraordinary thing that takes place when you work the earth with your hands. But this work is done only by others; we think we are much too important to use our own hands! We have lost the sense of tenderness, that sensitivity, that response to things of beauty. It is only in the renewal of that sensitivity that we can have understanding of what is true relationship. That sensitivity does not come in the mere hanging of a few pictures, or in painting a tree, or putting flowers in your hair; sensitivity comes only when this utilitarian outlook is put aside.