Sign up to receive occasional updates.


With few exceptions, in virtually all of today's dictionaries the word nature has this definition:

the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.

We find this curious, but predictable, for we have found that many definitions in dictionaries today are written from the viewpoint of industrialization instead of from the viewpoint of Life.

We even found this definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, as definition 11a: "The phenomena of the physical world collectively; esp. plants, animals, and other features and products of the earth itself, as opposed to humans and human creations [italics ours].

This definition—which is the one widely in use today—states clearly that humans are separate from nature, as are their creations. This is true in practice today, but not true in fact.

Though humans may act independently of nature as if the rest of creation doesn't exist, in actual fact, we humans are just as much a part of nature as any other species,

To its credit, the Oxford English Dictionary also has other definitions of nature that are more true to life.

Definition 11b says: "In wider sense: the whole natural world, including human beings; the cosmos." However, they make note that this definition is obsolete!

Definition 10a speaks of "the creative and regulative power which is conceived of as operating in the material world and as the immediate cause of its phenomena."

And there is our definition, which we would state as "all the phenomena from a creative source."

Nature in the Oxford English Dictionary