Interdependence

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Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo

Quotations for Gardeners, Walkers, and Lovers of the Green Way
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California


"When we try to pick anything out by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
-  John Muir 

 

"How can we fret and stew sub specie aeternitatis - under the calm gaze of ancient Tao? The salt of the sea is in our blood; the calcium of the rocks is in our bones; the genes of ten thousand generations of stalwart progenitors are in our cells. The sun shines and we smile. The winds rage and we bend before them. The blossoms open and we rejoice.  Earth is our long home."
-  Stewart W. Holmes 

 

"This planet is an exquisitely arranged and interconnected system.  What's controlled in one place is going to have consequences in another place.  Our job as gardeners is to try and figure this out no matter how small our allotted space might be.   Discipline has to be the watchword for our controlling hands.  It means not gardening without thinking of the garden as a habitat: for mice, for squirrels, for bees and wasps.  For other living creatures beyond ourselves."
-   Marjorie Harris, In the Garden 

 

"Omnia vivunt, omnia inter se conexa
Everything is alive; everything is interconnected."
-  Cicero 

 

"A spiritual sensibility encourages us to see ourselves as part of the fundamental unity of all being.  If the thrust of the market ethos has been to foster a competitive individualism, a major thrust of many traditional religious and spiritual sensibilities has been to help us see our connection with all other human beings."
-  Michael Lerner

 

"One could not pluck a flower without troubling a star."
-  Francis Thompson  

 

"As is the inner, so is the outer;
as is the great, so is the small;
as it is above, so it is below;
there is but One Life and Law:
and he that worth it is One.
Nothing is inner, nothing is outer;
nothing is great, nothing is small;
nothing is high, nothing is low,
in the Divine Economy."
- Hermetic Axiom 

 

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos by M. Mitchell Waldrop  
Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell 
Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life by Steven Strogatz 
Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory by Neil Johnson  
Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means by Albert L. Barabasi 

 

                             

 

 

"When I reflect that one man, armed only with his own physical and moral resources, was able to cause this land of Canaan to spring from the wasteland, I am convinced that in spite of everything, humanity is admirable.  But when I compute the unfailing greatness of spirit and the tenacity of benevolence that it must have taken to achieve this result, I am taken with an immense respect for that old and unlearned peasant who was able to complete a work worthy of God."
-  Jean Goon,  The Man Who Planted Trees   A heartwarming story about the impact of one man, Elzeard Bonfire, who planted trees from 1900-1946, in the area where the Alps thrust down into Province, France. 

 

"As is the human body, so is the cosmic body.
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe." 
-  The Upanishads 

 

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
-  Aldo Leopold 

 

"We are seeking another basic outlook: the world as an organization.  This would profoundly change the categories of our thinking and influence our practical attitudes.  We must envision the biosphere as a whole with mutually reinforcing or mutually destructive interdependencies."
-  Ludwig Von Bertalanffy 

 

"Where there is form, there is nature.  Where nature and humans interact, there is a garden.  Where there is a garden, there is an implied co-creative partnership."
Perelandra

 

"Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination."
-  Alan Watts 

 

"... there is nevertheless a certain respect, a general duty to humanity, not only to beasts that have life and sense, but even to trees and plants.  We owe justice to men, and graciousness and benignity to other creatures ... there is a certain commerce and mutual obligation betwixt them and us."
-  Michel de Montaigne 

 

"I continue to handpick the beetles, mosquitoes feast on me, birds eat the mosquitoes, something else eats the birds, and so on up and down the biotic pyramid."
-  William Longgood  

 

"Life just seems so full of connections.  Most of the time we don't even pay attention to the depth of life.  We only see flat surfaces."
-  Colin Neenan  

 

"Alfred North Whitehead once pointed out that when we really understand the biological and physiological functioning of the human body and the behavior of the molecules which constitute it, it becomes impossible to entertain the notion of a discontinuity between the the body and its external environment.  Living on this mountain, I can't help but realize that my body is completely integrated with the body of the mountain.  Every time I drink the water that spills out of it into the mountain stream, the cells of my body assimilate it.  My body is now largely composed of the water that comes from this mountain.  We grow our food in the mountain's soil.  The plants start out as a sing seed, and, by taking water, light, and minerals from the mountain, eventually manifest themselves
as fruits, vegetables, flowers.  Thus, we take the mountain into our very being; we consume it.  Our septic system even returns our waste to the mountain.  How could we feel separate from it?"
-  John Daido Loori, Three Gates of Zen, p. 159 

 

Biodiversity: An Introduction by Kevin Gaston 
The Diversity of Life (Questions of Science) by Edward O. Wilson  
Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela 
Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity by Eric Chivian
Plant Diversity (The Green World) by Andrew Hipp
Demons in Eden: The Paradox of Plant Diversity by Johathan Silvertown

 

                                  

 

 

"By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive Truth."
-  Yuko Mishima  

 

"When this is, that is.
This arising, that arises.
When this is not, this is not.
This ceasing, that ceases."
-  Pali Canon 

 

"Working in my garden or walking in the countryside, I have never come across anything in nature that is superfluous and does not fulfill a function.  There seems to be no redundancy or unemployment in these natural worlds.  Be it rock or plant, bird or tree, or even the bacteria within the soil, everything occupies a vital place
in the dance of life."
-  Michael Lindfield, The Dance of Change 

 

"At the deepest level of ecological awareness you are talking about spiritual awareness.  Spiritual awareness is an understanding of being imbedded in a larger whole, a cosmic whole,  of belonging to the universe."
-  Fritjof Capra  

 

"Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses. 
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving. 
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in, 
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us 
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting, after the long season of tending and growth,
the harvest comes."
-  Marge Piercy, Seven of Pentacles    

 

"Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life's whole;
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear."
-   Lousie Seymour Jones, Who Loves a Garden

 

"Because of the interconnectedness of all minds, affirming a positive vision may be about the most sophisticated action any one of us can take."
-    Willis Harman 

 

"It is especially important in this discussion to recognize the unity of the total process, from that first unimaginable moment of cosmic emergence through all its subsequent forms of expression until the present.  This unbreakable bond of relatedness that makes of the whole a universe becomes increasingly apparent to scientific observation, although this bond ultimately escapes scientific formulation or understanding.  In virtue of this relatedness, everything is intimately present to everything else in the universe.  Nothing is completely itself without everything else.  This relatedness is both spatial and temporal.  However distant in space or time, the bond of unity is functionally there.  The universe is a communion and a community.  We ourselves are that communion become conscious of itself."
-   Thomas Berry,  The Dream of the Earth,  1988, p. 91. 

 

"Every explicit duality is an implicit unity."
-  Alan Watts

 

"My life is not my own business."
-  Anthony Hopkins

 

Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life Through Creative Journaling   
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth    
How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook  
Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words  
Nature Journaling: Learning to Observe and Connect with the World Around You
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within  
Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories
Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling - Basics and Beyond  
Inner Journeying Through Art-Journaling: Learning to See And Record Your Life As a Work of Art  

 

                             

 

 

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty."
-  Albert Einstein

 

"A mystic sees beyond the illusion of separateness into the intricate web of life in which all things are expressions of a single Whole.  You can call this web "God, the Tao, the Great Spirit, the Infinite Mystery, Mother or Father," but it can be known only as love."
-  Joan Borysenko

 

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"I am a part of all that I have met.
Yet, experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravl'd world whose
Margin fades forever and forever
When I move."
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson,  Ulysses 

 

"I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me.  That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea.  There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water."
-  D. H. Lawrence

 

"There are sacred moments in life when we experience in rational and very direct ways that separation, the boundary between ourselves and other people and between ourselves and Nature, is illusion.  Oneness is reality.  We can experience that stasis is illusory and that reality is continual flux and change on very subtle and also on gross levels of perception."
-  Charlene Spretnak

 

"You are only made of non-you elements.  That is, your body is composed entirely of non-body elements - dirt, plants, decomposed bodies, stardust, etc..  Thinking about the human body in this way one may come to understand that independent existence is a mental construction, unverified by physical interrogation."
-  Source Unknown

 

"The interconnectedness of all life does not have to be an abstract concept.  We can live it.  It doesn't matter whether we garden indoors or outdoors; we can honor our world.  It is all a prayer."
-  Judith Handelsman  Growing Myself  

 

"See deeply the beauty and interconnectedness of all life; then think, speak and act from what you see."
-  Maggie Streincrohn Davis, Caring in Remembered Ways 

 

Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology edited by Allan Badinger  
Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela 
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer  
Paganism: An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higginbotham 
The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems by Fritjov Capra 
Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows 

 

                             

 

 

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.  This is the interrelated structure of reality."
-  Martin Luther King Jr.

 

"All human beings are interconnected, one with all other elements in creation."
-  Henry Reed 

 

"We are members of a vast cosmic orchestra, in which each living instrument is essential to the complimentary and harmonious playing of the whole."
-  J. Allen Boone

 

"All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
-  Chief Seattle, 1854

 

"I believe that the universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole.  (This is physics, I believe, as well as religion.)  The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks and stars; none of them seems to me important it itself, but only the whole.  The whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine.  It seems to me that this whole alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and that there is peace, freedom, I might say a kind of salvation, in turning one's affections outward toward this one God, rather than inwards on one's self, or on humanity, or on human imaginations and abstractions - the world of the spirits."
-   Robinson Jeffers, 1934

 

"There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe...
At every crossing of the threads there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects
Not only the light from every other crystal in the net
But also every other reflection
Throughout the entire universe."
-  Anne Adams, Indra's Net of Jewels  

 

 

  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
 
Winter Spring Summer Fall
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December 

 

 

"All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts.  His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in that community, but his ethics prompt him also to co-operate (perhaps in order that there may be a place to compete for).  ...   The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals..."
-  Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac 

 

"The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature.  Man can no longer live his life for himself alone.  We realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all this life.  From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe."
-  Albert Schweitzer, (1875-1965)

 

"Each portion of matter may be conceived of as a garden full of plants, and as a pond full of fishes.  But each branch of the plant, each member of the animal, each drop of its humors, is also such a garden or such a pond."
-  Leibniz

 

"From the first dawn of life, all organic beings are found to resemble each other in descending degrees, so that they can be classed in groups under groups.  This classification is evidently not arbitrary like the grouping of stars in constellations."
-  Charles Darwin 

 

"Bamboo shadows sweep the stairs
but no dust is stirred;
moonlight reaches to the bottom of the pond
but no trace is left in the water."  
-  Zenrinkushu

 

Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated Worlds by Wendy Johnson
The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation by the Findhorn Community
The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Messervy 
A Garden's Promise: Spiritual Reflections on Growing from the Heart by Judith Couchman 
The Soul Garden: Creating Garden Spaces for Inner Growth and Spiritual Renewal by Donald Norfork 
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer
Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden by Martin Hakubai Mosko
Sacred Circle Garden by Karen and Mike Garofalo
Sacred Gardens by Michel and Judy Marcellot
Spiritual Gardening: Creating Sacred Space Outdoors by Peg Streep
Gardens for the Soul: Designing Outdoor Spaces Using Ancient Symbols and Healing Plants by Pamela Woods 

 

                             

 

 

"Soil . . . scoop up a handful of the magic stuff.   Look at it closely. What wonders it holds as it lies there in your palm.  Tiny sharp grains of sand, little faggots of wood and leaf fibre, infinitely small round pieces of marble, fragments of shell, specks of black carbon, a section of vertebrae from some minute creature.  And mingling with it all the dust of countless generations of plants and flowers, trees, animals and – yes – our own, age-long forgotten forebears, gardeners of long ago.  Can this incredible composition be the common soil?"
-  Stuart Maddox Masters, The Seasons Through

 

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."
-  John Donne, Meditation XVII 

 

"We modern folk are not so different from this.  We speak of being in tune, of needing harmony and rhythm to feel complete and alive.  We create our own realities with our words and our songs, our eyes and our hands.  Each world is defined by our own outline, the envelope of skin and nerves and light and air we inhabit.  Every time we push against something, we feel ourselves."
-  Rosalind Fordham

 

"Pets: perhaps they were my first clumsy attempts to grope through the enfolding veils of acculturation in order to know those other worlds, in order to break down the barrier, but without the intelligence yet to comprehend that I was doomed to destroy what I would possess.  What the child does not see is that no creature lives without context.  And that is what it finally dies for the lack of.  Its nest, its air, its earth, its river, its sea.  Which growing garlic or farming or any activity with a border open to - I suppose - the universe, or whatever engages you in the contemplation of an ever-expanding sense of context, can finally, if you let it, begin to reveal the boundless extent of."
-  Stanley Crawford, A Garlic Testament, p. 80  

 

Seeds and Cuttings
Hydrofarm Hot House Seed Starter 11-by-22-Inch   
Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Shrubs, and Trees 
Hydrofarm Jump Start Indoor Grow Light System 
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free  
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners  
Hydrofarm Germination Station with Heat Mat  
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual    
Burpee Seed Starter: A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and Outdoors
Plant Propagator's Bible
The New Seed Starter's Handbook
RION MLT3 Mini Lean-To Greenhouse
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing  
Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs

 

                                    

 

 

"Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.  Connection is health."
-  Wendell Berry

 

"I am the dust in the sunlight, I am the ball of the sun.  
I am the mist of morning,  the breath of evening.
I am the spark in the stone, the gleam of gold in the metal;
The rose and the nightingale drunk with its fragrance.
I am the chain of being, the circle of the spheres,
The scale of creation, the rise and the fall.
I am what is and is not . . .
I am the soul in all.
-  Rumi

 

"If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper.  Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper.  The cloud is essential for the paper to exist.  If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.  So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are."
-  Thich Nhat Hanh, Interbeing  

 

"If both of us were the same, one of us would be unnecessary." 

 

"I propose that there is another kind of power based not on resources, things, or attributes, but rooted in the social and cooperative relations in which people are enmeshed by virtue of group life."
-  Frances Fox Piven

 

"Now the secret is that the other eventually turns out to be you.  The element of surprise in life is when suddenly you find the thing most alien turns out to be yourself.  Go out at night and look at the stars and realize that they are millions and billions of miles away, vast conflagrations far out in space.  You can lie back and look at that and say, "Well, surely I hardly matter.  I am just a tiny little speck aboard this weird spotted bit of dust called earth, and all that was going on out there billions of years before I was born and will still be going on out there billions of years after I die."  Nothing seems stranger to you that that, or more different from you, yet there comes a point, if you watch long enough, when you will say, "Why that's me!"  It is the other that is the condition of your being yourself, as the back is the condition of being the front, wand when you know that, you know you never die."
-  Alan Watts, Swimming Headless, 1966

 

"Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves."
-  Nagarjuna

 

"We are all connected to everyone and everything in the universe.  Therefore, everything one does as an individual affects the whole.  All thoughts, words, images, prayers, blessings, and deeds are listened to by all that is."
-  Serge Kahili King 

 

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man.  We are made up of thousands of others.  Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success."
-  George Matthew Adams

 

"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life -- the light and the air which vary continually.  For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."
-  Claude Monet 

 

"At the edges of one mind are other minds.
Everything gives birth to something;
One thing is indebted to everything.
I water the peach, peaches feed me in time." 
-  Mike Garofalo, Above the Fog 

 

Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick  
Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory by Neil Johnson   
The Essence Of Chaos by Edward Lorenz 
Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav  
Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity by John Gribbin 
Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life by Steven Strogatz 
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritjof Capra 

 

                             

 

 

"An elementary particle is not an independently existing, unanalyzable entity.  It is, in essence, a set of relationships that reach outward to the other things."
-  H.P Stapp 

 

"Some say that Buddha-nature is similar to the seed of a plant; when it receives the nourishing rain of the Dharma, it naturally sprouts - leaves, flowers and fruit appear, and the fruit contains its own seeds.  This is the view of ordinary, unenlightened people.  Those holding such a view should learn that the seed, flowers, and fruit each and at the same time have the pure mind.  Within the fruit there are seeds.  Although the seeds are not visible, still the root, stem, and the rest grow.  Without outside assistance the branches multiply and a large tree appears.  This procedure is not inside or outside; it is true for any time of the past or present.  Therefore, even though we have an unenlightened view, the root, stem , branches, and leaves all live, die, "totally possess," and become and are Buddha-nature simultaneously."
-  Dogen,  Nature and Buddha Nature 

 

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The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
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       From January 1, 1999 through March 1, 2011
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