Civilization vs. Nature

Civilization vs. Nature

Speculations by Stefan Stenudd

This photo I regard as a symbol of the everlasting battle between civilization and nature. The grass grows in the pavement. When left alone, nature always returns and conquers. Is it possible to have a civilization that doesn't need to fight back?

       I'm no Thoreau. I enjoy city life. Although I can become aghast by the majesty of a mountain and the smell of forest air, nature makes me impatient at length. I need to return to the turmoil of the city.

       A friend once called me the most urbanized person she knows. That might be. The city boy who occasionally has a little sip of wildlife, if not too wild and not too uncomfortable.

       Still, I enjoy the fact that nature just doesn't give up. We may force it to retreat, when we construct our society with cement, steel, and glass, but we can't make it stay away for good.

       As soon as we turn away momentarily, nature creeps right back up behind us. It has the patience and perseverance of something continuously renewing itself, as the main trait of its existence. Nature forever returns, because that's what it's all about.

       Of course, civilization has this trademark as well, sort of renewing itself as a process on which it is based. It is built, it withers, and gets rebuilt. But compared to nature, it's an amateur.

       Civilization contains resistance against its own renewal, and accomplishes it only by severe damage to itself. In civilization, change is reluctant and costly, whereas in nature it simply never stops.

       So at length, the renewal of nature is irresistible. Civilization should learn from its example and adapt to it, instead of furiously fighting it.

       Actually, that's the core of the message in the Tao Te Ching. The grass gladly growing in the middle of the pavement says the same.

Stefan Stenudd
December 9, 2010

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My Books

Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon (paid link).

Fake Lao Tzu Quotes - Erroneous Tao Te Ching Citations. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd.
All's End. Science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Attacks in Aikido. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Aikibatto. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.