I was asked about whether Nature is ‘spiritual’ and about Nature’s ‘spiritual influence’.  The reality is that Nature is not spiritual, it is in essence material since it is comprised of matter or the material energy. However, it can contribute to a sense of peacefulness in us and serve as a catalyst to arouse an interest in things that are spiritual.

In this talk we explore the subject and draw on some wonderful Vedic verses as follows:

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [all material manifestations including the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both. – Bhagavad-gītā 2.16

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego–all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. – Bhagavad-gītā 7.4

Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe. – Bhagavad-gītā 7.5

Ignorance consists of considering that which is temporary as eternal, the impure as pure, misery as happiness and the non-self (the body or mind) as the real self. – Yoga Sūtra 2.5

 

O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge. – Bhagavad-gītā 14.6

The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, O son of Kunti, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions. – Bhagavad-gītā 14.7

O son of Bharata, know that the mode of darkness, born of ignorance, is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results of this mode are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul. – Bhagavad-gītā 14.8

O son of Bharata, the mode of goodness conditions one to happiness; passion conditions one to fruitive action; and ignorance, covering one’s knowledge, binds one to madness. – Bhagavad-gītā 14.9

From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance develop foolishness, madness and illusion. – Bhagavad-gītā 14.17

 

The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.  – Bhagavad-gītā 13.22

Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.7.5

In this way the conditioned soul living within the body forgets his self-interest because he identifies himself with the body. Because the body is material, his natural tendency is to be attracted by the varieties of the material world. Thus the living entity suffers the miseries of material existence. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.13.28