Quotes about nature

A collection of quotes on the topic of nature.

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Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Viktor Schauberger photo
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi photo
Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Stephen Hawking photo

„We are all different — but we share the same human spirit. Perhaps it's human nature that we adapt — and survive.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

Official Trailer
Hawking (2013)

Noam Chomsky photo
Francis Bacon photo
Adolf Hitler photo
Emanuel Swedenborg photo

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Waris Dirie photo
Gregor Mendel photo

„Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection in various forms. He appeared to Mary Magdalene so that they might take him for a gardener. Very ingeniously these manifestation of Jesus is to our minds difficult to penetrate. (He appears) as a gardener. The gardener plants seedlings in prepared soil. The soil must exert a physical and chemical influence so that the seed of the plant can grow. Yet this is not sufficient. The warmth and light of the sun must be added, together with rain, in order that growth may result. The seed of supernatural life, of sanctifying grace, cleanses from sin, so preparing the soul of man, and man must seek to preserve this life by his good works. He still needs the supernatural food, the body of the Lord, which received continually, develops and brings to completion of the life. So natural and supernatural must unite to the realization of the holiness to the people. Man must contribute his minimum work of toil, and God gives the growth. Truly, the seed, the talent, the grace of God is there, and man has simply to work, take the seeds to bring them to the bankers. So that we "may have life, and abundantly."“

—  Gregor Mendel Silesian scientist and Augustinian friar 1822 - 1884

Mendel makes several allusions to biblical verses, including John 20:15, Matthew 25:26 and John 10:10.
Sermon on Easter
Original: Jesus erschien den Jüngern nach der Auferstehung in verschiedener Gestalt. Der Maria Magdalena erschien er so, daß sie ihn für einen Gärtner halten mochte. Sehr sinnreich sind diese Erscheinungen Jesu und unser Verstand vermag sie schwer zu durchdringen. (Er erscheint) als Gärtner. Dieser pflanzt den Samen in den zubereiteten Boden. Das Erdreich muss physikalisch-chemisch Einwirkung ausüben, damit der Same aufgeht. Doch reicht das nicht hin, es muß noch Sonnenwärme und Licht hinzukommen nebst Regen, damit das Gedeihen zustandekommt. Das übernatürliche Leben in seinem Keim, der heiligmachenden Gnade wird in die von der Sünde gereinigte, also vorbereitete Seele des Menschen hineingesenkt und es muß der Mensch durch seine guten Werke dieses Leben zu erhalten suchen. Es muss noch die übernatürliche Nahrung dazukommen, der Leib des Herrn, der das Leben weiter erhält, entwickelt und zur Vollendung bringt. So muss Natur und Übernatur sich vereinigen, um das Zustandekommen der Heiligkeit des Menschen. Der Mensch muß sein Scherflein Arbeit hinzugeben, und Gott gibt das Gedeihen. Es ist wahr, den Samen, das Talent, die Gnade gibt der liebe Gott, und der Mensch hat bloß die Arbeit, den Samen aufzunehmen, das Geld zu Wechslern zu tragen. Damit wir »das Leben haben und im Überflusse haben.

Rudolf Steiner photo
Mao Zedong photo

„Marxist philosophy holds that the law of the unity of opposites is the fundamental law of the universe. This law operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man's thinking. Between the opposites in a contradiction there is at once unity and struggle, and it is this that impels things to move and change. Contradictions exist everywhere, but they differ in accordance with the different nature of different things. In any given phenomenon or thing, the unity of opposites is conditional, temporary and transitory, and hence relative, whereas the struggle of opposites is absolute.“

—  Mao Zedong Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 1893 - 1976

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People
Original: (zh-CN) 马克思主义的哲学认为,对立统一规律是宇宙的根本规律。这个规律,不论在自然界、人类社会和人们的思想中,都是普遍存在的。矛盾着的对立面又统一,又斗争,由此推动事物的运动和变化。矛盾是普遍存在的,不过按事物的性质不同,矛盾的性质也就不同。对于任何一个具体的事物说来,对立的统一是有条件的、暂时的、过渡的,因而是相对的,对立的斗争则是绝对的。

„The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.“

—  Henry Beston, book The Outermost House

p. 57: Ch. 3 http://books.google.com/books?lr=&id=edhCAAAAIAAJ&q=%22The+three+great+elemental+sounds+in+nature+are+the+sound+of+rain+the+sound+of+wind+in+a+primeval+wood+and+the+sound+of+outer+ocean+on+a+beach%22&pg=PA57#v=onepage
The Outermost House, 1928

Claude Monet photo
Claude Monet photo
Douglas Coupland photo
Werner Heisenberg photo

„The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.“

—  Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist 1901 - 1976

“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.” in 15 Jahrhunderte Würzburg: e. Stadt u. ihre Geschichte [15 centuries Würzburg. A city and its history] (1979), p. 205, by Heinz Otremba. Otremba does not declare his source, and the quote per se cannot be found in Heisenberg's published works.
The journalist Eike Christian Hirsch PhD, a personal acquaintance of Heisenberg, whom he interviewed for his 1981 book Expedition in die Glaubenswelt, claimed in de.wikiquote.org on 22 June 2015, that the content and style of the quote was completely foreign to Heisenberg's convictions and the way he used to express himself, and that Heisenberg's children, Dr. Maria Hirsch and Prof. Dr. Martin Heisenberg, did not recognize their father in this quote.
Statements similar to the quote were made by Francis Bacon, in "Of Atheism" (1601): "A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion", and Alexander Pope, in "An Essay on Criticism" (1709): "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
There is a passage in a lengthy essay written by Heisenberg in 1942, "Ordnung der Wirklichkeit” ("Reality and Its Order"), published in Collected Works. Section C: Philosophical and Popular Writings. Volume I. Physics and Cognition. 1927-1955 (1984), that parallels the ideas expressed in the quote (albeit in a much expanded form):
"The first thing we could say was simply: 'I believe in God, the Father, the almighty creator of heaven and earth.' The next step — at least for our contemporary consciousness — was doubt. There is no god; there is only an impersonal law that directs the fate of the world according to cause and effect... And yet [today], we may with full confidence place ourselves into the hands of the higher power who, during our lifetime and in the course of the centuries, determines our faith and therewith our world and our fate." (English translation by M.B.Rumscheidt and N. Lukens, available at http://www.heisenbergfamily.org/t-OdW-english.htm)
Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, a protégé of Heisenberg, did publish a version of the quote itself in Die Geschichte der Natur (The History of Nature) (1948), appearing to consider it an adage:
"Aus dem Denken gibt es keinen ehrlichen Rückweg in einen naiven Glauben. Nach einem alten Satz trennt uns der erste Schluck aus dem Becher der Erkenntnis von Gott, aber auf dem Grunde des Bechers wartet Gott auf den, der ihn sucht. Wenn es so ist, dann gibt es einen Weg des Denkens, der vorwärts zu religiösen Wahrheiten führt, und nur diesen Weg zu suchen ist lohnend. Wenn es nicht so ist, wird unsere Welt auf die Religion ihre Hoffnungen vergeblich setzen." ("From thinking there is no honest way back into a naive belief. According to an old phrase, the first sip from the cup of knowledge separates us from God, but at the bottom of the cup God is waiting for the one who seeks him. If so, then there is a way of thinking that leads to religious truths, and to seek only that way is rewarding. If it is not so, our world will put its hopes to religion in vain.")
Misattributed

Julian (emperor) photo

„The rite, therefore, enjoins upon us who are celestial by our nature, but who have been carried down to earth, to reap virtue joined with piety from our conduct upon earth, and to aspire upwards unto the deity, the primal source of being and the fount of life.“

—  Julian (emperor) Roman Emperor, philosopher and writer 331 - 363

Upon The Mother Of The Gods (c. 362-363)
Context: When the Sun touches the equinoctial circle, where that which is most definite is placed (for equality is definite, but inequality indefinite and inexplicable); at that very moment (according to the report), the Sacred Tree is cut down; then come the other rites in their order; whereof some are done in compliance with rules that be holy and not to be divulged; others for reasons allowable to be discussed. The "Cutting of the Tree;" this part refers to the legend about the Gallos, and has nothing to do with the rites which it accompanies; for the gods have thereby, I fancy, taught us symbolically that we ought to pluck what is most beautiful on earth, namely virtue joined with piety, and offer the same unto the goddess, for a token of good government here below. For the Tree springs up out of the earth and aspires upwards into the air; it is likewise beautiful to see and be seen, and to afford us shade in hot weather; and furthermore to produce, and regale us with its fruit; thus a large share of a generous nature resides in it. The rite, therefore, enjoins upon us who are celestial by our nature, but who have been carried down to earth, to reap virtue joined with piety from our conduct upon earth, and to aspire upwards unto the deity, the primal source of being and the fount of life.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“