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There have been similar quotes about nature worship or simply the recognition of nature as a divine force. The Earth is considered a spiritual home sufficient enough for spiritual enlightenment.
“My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.” – Oliver Sacks, British neurologist
“I believe in God, only I spelt it ‘Nature'” – Frank Lloyd Wright, American interior designer
The belief of nature as an embodiment of divinity is termed “Pantheism”. Although a relatively new term, this belief has been around since early civilization. As what its etymology suggests, pantheist or pantheistically inclined people, considers the universe at large as a manifestation of divinity.
With the massive growth of technology, modern science has been able to discover more about the mysteries of life. The astounding discoveries are a reawakening of man’s pantheistic nature as implied in this quote:
“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.” – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (1994)
Some pantheists in history faced execution because of their unconventional beliefs. Giordano Bruno, an Italian Dominican friar, was burned alive in 1600 A.D. Rome. The same fate was given to Lucilio Vanini, a monk in the 1600s, whose tongue was severed first before he was burned at the stake. Baruch Spinoza, a 17th century philosopher is credited for formally introducing pantheism as a respectable philosophy in the West.