Is Mother Nature Real?

It’s not often that we tackle a question of such enormity.

And the answer is quite complicated but we’ll give it a go.

However, if you’re hoping for Mother Nature’s real name by the end of this article… you’re probably going to be disappointed.

So, Mother Nature, is she real or not?

And if so, how might this be true?

What Is Mother Nature or Mother Earth?

We use Mother Earth as another way to say Mother Nature. The two terms are directly interchangeable in most uses.

This is a human personification of the natural world which focuses on the way that nature creates life and nurtures that life. This is given a feminine presentation (perhaps in contrast with the Father God that many of the world’s religions offer).

There have been mentions of such a goddess in Roman Mythology (from Lucretius in his poem De Rerum Natura where Venus is given the role) and in Greek mythology where Demeter assumes the mantle from the original Mother Gaia.

The Greek religion has Demeter’s grief for her daughter, Persephone, as an explanation for the wintertime which is hard on most living things. Persephone must go to Hades each year as a penalty for eating pomegranate seeds (the food of the dead) and then Persephone returns to her home when her time is served.

The time when her daughter, eternally a young woman, is freed from Hades to return to Mount Olympus each year is when Spring returns, and the life-giving warmth of the planet is revealed to everything on the Earth.

You can also find mention of Earth goddesses in Norse myth and the term was used in English for the first time in the 1200s though it did not have a heavy religious aspect to it.

As you might expect, these ideas are mirrored in other religions around the world including those of the indigenous tribes of the Americas and of Southeast Asia.

The Earth Mother As Goddess

With global warming and climate change ravaging the only planet that we have, we might be forgiven for thinking that this concept of nature as a goddess is now outdated.

In fact, some scientists now even talk of our children suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder“!

Yet, despite this bleak prognosis, the UN has made April 22, International Mother Earth Day and the international community is coming together to articulate that this concept is essential to communication a call to action.

Humans have caused huge suffering to the natural world and now is the time to rectify that damage before it is too late.

This has also seen the current decade named the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The Mother might be injured, but she is not out for the count.

Gaia Theory & Mother Nature

There’s no doubt, in our minds, however, that the best way to demystify this concept and remove the idea of “god” from nature is to turn to Gaia Theory or the Gaia Hypothesis.

This concept, first proposed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, outlines the planet not as a collection of individual parts but as a single creation.

Each part is essential for the operation of every other part. Thus Gaia becomes our “Mother Nature”. Not some God that sits atop a Greek mountain with other Gods but a living breathing ecosystem and the only one that we have.

Gaia is not capricious or vengeful but she is the spirit of the life that we all participate in and we would do well to take care of her. For if she falls? We all fall with her.

Final Thoughts On Why You Can’t Fool Mother Nature

So, there you have it. Mother Nature is real. Not just in the ancient religious sense but also as verified by modern science (Lovelock and Margulis are not cranks, they’re world-class universally respected biologists).

And her life ensures our lives and her death would surely bring about our deaths too. She’s needs our care even if she’s not a deity. She’s an ecosystem and she’s ours.