Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Humanities and Cultural Studies

Department or Program Chair

Chase Clow, PhD Candidate

First Reader

Chase Clow, PhD Candidate


One's place in the natural world is an ancient topic of discussion. A search for connection to nature and understanding the role we humans play in the greater universe, has been prevalent in cultural, religious and spiritual beliefs for all of human existence. In the modern era, people in wealthy, developed nations are increasingly losing touch with the natural world. This lack of connection robs people of the comfort and disease preventing benefits given to us by nature. Having a connection to nature provides a specific lens through which to see the world, which can help to improve one's overall sense of well being as well as inner peace. This lens consists of three main focuses. The first, nature encourages people to appreciate beauty and find a sense of spirituality in the world. The second, nature assists people in understanding the cyclical process of life and teaches them to not fear death, but to accept it as part of the process. The third, connection to nature helps people to develop a sense of belonging and oneness with the universe. Through these different aspects of appreciation, we gain the ability to expand our thoughts and create a more positive world in which to live. In the words of Buddha, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world” (Easwaran, 1987).