Almost five years ago I taught a course on “the wild spirituality of nature” at the College of Marin in the SF Bay Area.  The main voices we heard were the Two Johnnies:  John Muir and John Burroughs.  It was a great class with insightful discussions.

The two representative quotes below summarize the “nature religion” Muir and Burroughs celebrated.  Maybe what they left us is a map out of traditional religion into something else, when even the words “religion” and “spirituality” will be absorbed by the immense beauty and wonder of Nature itself.

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“Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us.” ~John Muir, Journals (1875)

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“Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all–that has been my religion.”

~John Burroughs, Journals (1910)


Note:  I would not use the word “spirituality” for a class again.  It’s one of those words, like “God,” that has little or no content or meaning, at least for me, any longer.

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