Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He is her
child. She provided him food, raiment, and shelter. She nourishes
him, strengthens him, and vitalizes him. At the same time she
disciplines, punishes, and instructs him. His body is of her own
formation, his knowledge is of her own laws, and his activities are
the responses to her own addresses to him. Modern civilization is
said by some to be the conquest of man over Nature; but, in fact, it
is his faithful obedience to her. "Bacon truly said," says
Eucken, "that to rule nature man must first serve her. He
forgot to add that, as her ruler, he is still destined to go on
serving her." She can never be attacked by any being unless he acts
in strict conformity to her laws. To accomplish anything against her
law is as impossible as to catch fishes in a forest, or to make bread
of rock. How many species of animals have perished owing to their
inability to follow her steps! How immense fortunes have been lost
in vain from man's ignorance of her order! How many human beings
disappeared on earth from their disobedience to her unbending will!
She is, nevertheless, true to those who obey her rules. Has not
science proved that she is truthful? Has not art found that she is
Eucken's 'Philosophy of Life,' by W. R. Royce Gibbon, p. 51.
Has not philosophy announced that she is spiritual? Has not religion
proclaimed that she is good? At all events, she is the mother of all
beings. She lives in all things and they live in her. All that she
possesses is theirs, and all that they want she supplies. Her life
is the same vitality that stirs all sentient beings. Chwang
Tsz (So-shi) is right when he says: "Heaven, Earth, and I
were produced together, and all things and I are one." And again:
"If all things be regarded with love, Heaven and Earth are one with
me." Sang Chao (So-jo) also says: "Heaven and Earth are of the same
root as we. All things in the world are of one substance with
Chwang Tsz, vol. i., p. 20.
This is a favourite subject of discussion by Zenists.