The attributes of God are revealed within every created thing. “Nature,” Bahá’u’lláh writes, “is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.” It is the embodiment of God’s name, “the Creator.”
Material resources will always be required to sustain civilization. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá observed that humanity will be “constantly taking out of nature’s laboratory new and wonderful things.” As we learn how best to utilize the earth’s raw materials in order to advance civilization, we must be conscious of our attitudes towards the source of our sustenance and wealth.
Seeing the reflection of God’s attributes in nature and understanding them as an expression of His will inspires in us a deep respect for the natural world. This should not be viewed as a call to worship nature. Humankind has the capacity to emancipate itself from the world of nature; “for as long as man is captive to nature he is a ferocious animal, as the struggle for existence is one of the exigencies of the world of nature.” Nevertheless, the natural world is a divine trust for which all members of the human family—as the stewards of the planet’s vast resources—are responsible.
“We need a change of heart, a reframing of all our conceptions and a new orientation of our activities. The inward life of man as well as his outward environment have to be reshaped if human salvation is to be secured.”
— From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi