Illinois River, near Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Just as lovers seek union, we are apt, when we fall in love with our world, to fall into oneness with it as well. We begin to see the world as ourselves. Hunger for this union springs from a deep knowing, which mystics of all traditions give voice to…
When Hildegard of Bingen experienced unity with the divine, she gave it these words: ‘I am the breeze that nurtures all things green…I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.’

Indigenous traditions around the globe know the self as one with its world. Nature is alive and seamlessly whole, often symbolized by a circle: the sacred hoop of life. Not only our fate, but also our identity is interwoven with all beings.

Now it can dawn on us: we are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our isolation. We can come home again to a world that can appear to us now both as self and as lover.

…we come home to our mutual belonging. We return to the experience that we are both the self of our world and its cherished lover. We are not doomed to destroy it by the cravings of the separate ego and technologies it fashioned. We can wake up to who we really are, allowing the rivers to flow clean once more, and the trees to grow green along their banks.

— Joanna Macy
World as Lover, World as Self. Courage for Global Justice and Ecological Renewal