Every living thing is holy according to William Blake

Human beings have a tendency to judge and grade species of life both animal and vegetable on what they look like and how useful they are to humans. There is a tendency to judge according to aesthetic appeal. If it's "pretty" as a flower it is worth looking after and cultivating, but if it is insignificant and small then it can be classed as a weed.

This makes very little sense because obviously God, in whatever way you want to view the Divine Creator, valued all creations equally. But most humans are unable to see this.

Poet and artist William Blake once wrote "For everything that lives is holy." That makes total sense to me. Everything that is alive has a spiritual essence and source. No plant or animal is any better than any other.

Portrait of William Blake by Thomas Phillips (1807)

In Public Domain

William Blake by Thomas Phillips (1807)
Credit: In Public Domain

Understanding the Creator and Creation

Surely if you think otherwise you are basically arguing with your Creator? It is like saying that God made a mistake in making some forms of life. It is like saying we know better than God!

But isn't this what people are always doing? People are choosing some forms of life as favourites over others that they feel can be destroyed and often this is over nothing more than some aesthetic appeal.

If it is pretty, cute, cuddly, unusual, or trendy even, then it has a good chance of being cared for and conserved but if it is very small and "ugly" or has nothing immediately appealing about it, then the chances are it will be judged by humans as of no importance or even as something to be eliminated, like a pest or a weed.

In reality, every single form of life, both tiny and large, both ugly and beautiful, have their parts to play in the incredible jigsaw of the ecosystem of this planet and of the universe. Every creature and plant has a purpose even if people are unable to understand that or see it.

Because humans are unable to appreciate the value of all living creatures and plants vast numbers of species are becoming or have become extinct. Natural habitats are destroyed and people do not care.


Euphorbia pulcherrima

The Poinsettia is associated with Christmas
Credit: Photo by Steve Andrews

Petty Spurge

Euphorbia peplus

Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus) is a common weed
Credit: Photo by Steve Andrews

Petty Spurge is a humble plant

A common weed

The Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus) is a small green plant that most gardeners would readily pull out and throw away. It doesn't look very interesting or attractive to the ways that humans judge plants, but yet it is a close relative of the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) that people grow and display for Christmas, and regard as a very beautiful and ornamental plant.

So what is the difference in human terms? The one plant is small and green with nothing colourful about it, whilst the other is the size of a small tree and has bright red bracts around its flowers. One is pretty and the other is a weed, according to how people view these plants that are botanically related and in the same family, the Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).

In actuality, although the Petty Spurge may be viewed as a weed, it is a potentially valuable medicinal herb. It has actually been shown to be a remedy for some forms of cancer.

In the rose family (Rosaceae), again there are many plants that people like because they look attractive and ornamental and others they ignore or treat with disdain because they are small or have no notable features or pretty-coloured flowers.

The Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans) is a small creeping plant that is thought of as a weed. It has a yellow flower. A botanist would know it was a member of the Rose family (Rosaceae) though, even though at first glance it doesn't look much like the types of Roses grown for their beauty in our gardens.

Could it not be that being able to see the spirituality and beauty in any living thing would give us a better understanding of the Creator and the Creation?

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.