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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...   

song for theme #27: Belonging to Nature

“Amazing Place” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “Amazing Grace” by John Newton / traditional

Amazing place, our Earth profound

Its cycles, its ecology1

Tread softly on its fertile ground

Let its ecosystems2 be


Leave, not take, and you can belong3

To biotic community4

Wilderness how sweet its song

Life’s dynamic harmony


Live lightly on the land and share

With all creatures great and small5

Your lifestyle says that you care

When through you nature stands tall6


Our species had a million years7

Belonging to nature’s scheme

Now standing apart the time nears

To live a sustainable dream



1— Ecology is the study of living things and their interrelationship with each other and the environment.

2—An ecosystem is a self-sustaining, interacting community of animals, plants, and their environment. Each living component has a continuing, dynamic relationship with the others. If numbers of species A fall, numbers of species B, which preys upon A, will similarly fall.  With less predation of A its numbers begin climbing, and likewise numbers of species B recover as well. While matter cycles through such systems, with solar input, energy moves in one-way (linear) fashion through the associated food chain.

3—Daniel Quinn’s 1992 classic book Ishmael tells the human story in terms of “takers” and leavers” and provides insight into

      what “belonging to nature” means. 

4—Critically important to such a community is its biological diversity and genetic variation. It can be gauged by counting the

      number of species the ecosystem contains.  Preserving biodiversity can be important to the stability of the ecosystem, and may

      have practical benefits in that little studied or unknown species can be sources of new drugs for medical treatments, food crops,

      inspiration for engineering design, etc. 

5—This line is from Cecil Frances Alexander’s old Anglican hymn. Its first verse is: “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures

      great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.”

6—“Stands Tall” here, as in the (theme #23A) song for Sustainability “The Earth Can Stand Tall,” refers to existing with integrity. Its opposite is compromised, diminished—as in rain forests’ being clear-cut, wilderness being mined, pollutants fouling water/air.  

7— The evolutionary paths of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans split around ten million years ago.  The first members of the

      genus "Homo" appeared around 2.5 million years ago, and our “Homo sapiens” species around 250,000 years ago. 

Comment: this theme has value as emotional armor.  Retreating to the beauty or loneliness of wilderness in times of emotional difficulty has a long history of giving those who do so renewed strength. Response to the comment of theme #25: this person either values freedom from limits (see Fig #1 Basic Choices in Part Ia) or, like an ignorant child, is unaware of the need for limits. The number of similarly ignorant people has reached billions; what their machines can do has reached awesome. Their collective activity raises a question

 “Why does society persist in destroying its habitat?” Paul Shepard (“Nature and Madness,” in Ecopsychology) considers answers like “lack of information, faulty technique…greed,” etc. before referring to “human psychopathology.” He writes, “The West is a vast testimony to childhood botched to serve its own purposes, where history, masquerading as myth, authorizes men of action to alter the world to match their regressive moods of omnipotence and insecurity.” Those who value limits / ethics see this collective action as wrong.

                      back to theme #27

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!