A Balance of the Fourfold’s, By Johnny Cabrera

Ever since the first spark of philosophical curiosity began, it’s been rather difficult for me to extract myself from perusing a free or true lifestyle. However, as I’ve been attending Green Mountain College, I feel as though I have full support to live among the environment and coexist with the natural world.

In existentialism, I’ve read thoughts and ideas of philosophers like Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre, and although they may differ in many ways, they all share a common sense of understanding. Many of their ideas are derived from the ancient Greeks, but none of them (of the four I mentioned above) ever came to the same conclusion when regarding a higher power.

Martin Heidegger is the person I want to focus on right now. He believes in the idea that mortals have to be attuned with the earth, sky, and divinities, which all interconnect with “Being”. I don’t want to get too far into divinities or the idea of “Being” because it is rather slippery and takes quite a bit of effort to explian, but it basically means: to peruse what is driving you. Attunement with the earth and sky has to do with having a close relation to the planet. We live on earth, so naturally we live beneath the sky. But I want to focus on attunement with the earth. Heidegger believes that it is natural and true to acknowledge the environment in which one lives in. Don’t battle with it. And by “battle”, I mean: someone wanting to chop down acres of forest and build their suburban home on a windy mountaintop. This is against human nature to want to live in an area that surely would be difficult adapting to.

However, the point I want to make with the connection to Heidegger’s attunement with nature is: being here at Green Mountain College (I’ve realized) has pushed my connection with nature. It’s a bit of a coincident, but I appreciate it. For instance, when I go to lunch, I sometimes browse the menu and see “Including [greens/meat] from the GMC garden.” I also spend more meditative thought in natural areas, like the river. To learn, value, and understand where food comes from, or the environment one lives in, is incredibly important, according to Heidegger and “Being”. It further connects humans with nature and existing. 

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  1. Thank you for sharing the information.

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