Nature is My Teacher
by Prabhash Karan

"Let nature take its course. The essential idea is not to meddle with nature. Connect nature with your nature. For this, you need not be a philosopher."

Karan's voluminous book can be regarded as a grand embrace and celebration of nature, in which the author honors Mother Earth in her entirety, encouraging readers to become intimately acquainted with the natural world. This nearly encyclopedic treatment of living life in harmony with nature is as much philosophy as it is hard science (i.e. human physiology, astrophysics, meteorology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, chemistry, geology, and the like). Karan also focuses his unique and riveting interpretation of nature through the lenses of anthropology, examining cultures throughout human history, their religious practices, mythologies, politics, technologies; deep environmentalism; and a science-based climate change call-to-action. Finally seeking that which the individual reader cares most about in his or her life, the author offers fierce encouragement for its success.

Consisting of three basic sections—Nature, the Origin of Life, and Human Emotion and Life Experience—Karan's work explores in impressive detail planet Earth itself, including such phenomena as weather, natural resources, differing ecosystems, the air and water crucial to sustaining life; human evolutionary theory; and the many ways in which we, in the present age, experience stress, anxiety, even depression, resultant primarily from our constant, on-the-move, instant-gratification lifestyles. And yet, the author succeeds in sharing a hopeful vision for overcoming such anxieties, rooted deeply in hope, love, nutrition, education, charity, community, and basic human-kindness. "For today," writes Karan, "no matter whoever says what, spare your time for the places, events, ideas, people, and activities that make your heart shout loud: 'Yes!'" The hallmark strength of this book is, quite simply, the sheer enthusiasm the author has in abundance for the subject matter at hand and the many creative ways in which that contagious passion is bestowed as a gift upon the reader. The breadth and depth of that which Karan offers is, indeed, stunning.

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