"When we try to pick anything out by itself, we
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
of stalwart progenitors are in our cells. The sun shines and we smile. The winds rage and
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
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."
"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
"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
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
change the categories of our thinking and influence our practical attitudes. We must
the biosphere as a whole with mutually reinforcing or mutually destructive
- 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."
"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
"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
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
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
a universe becomes increasingly apparent to scientific observation, although this bond
ultimately escapes scientific formulation or understanding. In virtue of this
everything is intimately present to everything else in the universe. Nothing is
itself without everything else. This relatedness is both spatial and temporal.
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
- Alan Watts
"My life is not my own business."
- Anthony Hopkins
"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
"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
"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
- 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
outward toward this one God, rather than inwards on one's self, or on humanity, or on
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
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"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
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."
"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
- 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."
"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
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
"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.
"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."
"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
"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
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
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
past or present. Therefore, even though we have an unenlightened view, the
stem , branches, and leaves all live, die, "totally possess," and become
are Buddha-nature simultaneously."
- Dogen, Nature and Buddha Nature
The Spirit of Gardening
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