Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Why do we find nature beautiful?“
Nature has no need to change. The still, vegetative and animate levels of nature that we see surrounding us are in no need of correction. Only we at the human degree need to change ourselves from living according to our inborn desire to enjoy at the expense of others and nature, to a desire to enjoy with an intention to benefit others and nature.
We find nature beautiful because its mutually opposite positive and negative forces are in balance, breaching the limits of balance only where necessary for further development. We humans are the sole creatures that exceed the limits of balance, and by doing so, we bring harm to nature.
We are the sole creatures that have an ugly quality, which is the excessive ego that makes us want to enjoy at the expense of others and nature. Even if an animal devours another animal, it takes place according to nature’s laws that act within animals, i.e. according to natural instinctive desires, and not according to an intention to harm others and to enjoy from harming others. Humans are the only part of nature that relate to their surroundings with an intention to harm, use, exploit and enjoy when feeling that they are in a higher position.
Animals harm other animals not with a calculation that they enjoy harming the other animals, but solely with a calculation that they need food for their survival and the survival of their offspring. In fact, nature has prepared exactly what and how much each creature needs in order to survive, which pertains also to humans. That is, if we would sustain our balance with nature, then nature’s other levels would exist in harmony. It might seem to us as if other creatures viciously devour one another, but we need to understand that no predator consumes more than the necessary amount. Animals, plants and even still matter all receive according to their needs, and only we people wish to enjoy from receiving surplus for ourselves.
Surplus reception for ourselves is the definition of egoism. It is an additional force of desire present in us humans beyond our physical and bodily needs, and it is the only harmful desire and force that exists in our world. Also, the cause of our suffering lies in us not knowing how to correctly and beneficially use this excessive desire that we have been given. Using our surplus desire correctly means inverting its direction to one of bestowal upon others. In other words, by prioritizing the benefit of others and nature over self-benefit, we can obtain balance with nature and experience a harmonious and peaceful life.
While nature on its still, vegetative and animate levels is free from the egoistic corruption that we experience on our human level—which is what makes us see nature as beautiful, peaceful, calm and harmonious—we need to also understand that no other part of nature has such an amazing opportunity for independent behavior than the human.
We humans are free to choose the intentions of our actions—either receiving for self-benefit alone, or bestowing upon others. No other creature in nature can egoistically receive more than what it needs for its sustenance, nor can it altruistically bestow goodness upon others and nature.
If we use the surplus desire that we have been given correctly, then we can achieve balance with nature, become its autonomous part, and feel a new sublime harmony enter our lives as a result. Moreover, our failure to do so is the cause of all of our shortcomings and suffering.
Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on June 18, 2022. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash.