biophillia image crop from photo by nadi whatisdelirium via LaWhimsy
Word Nerd

Word Nerd: Biophilia

Word Nerd Header Apr 2016 via LaWhimsybiophilia definition Word Nerd via LaWhimsyBiophilia is a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature. First coined by Erich Fromm in the 1960’s to describe a biological drive toward self-preservation, biophilia is the combination of bio (life) and philia (friendly feeling toward). The definition of biophilia was extended upon in the late 70’s/ early 80’s by Edward O. Wilson to mean the “rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.”. 

Biophilia describes a love of life, nature, and humanity and the pleasures that derive from being surrounded by these things. Biophilia is the connection that we humans subconsciously and innately seek out in nature and other living beings. We all experience biophilia and it’s through biophilia that we seek out not only our own survival but also our ability to thrive as the individuals that we are.

biophillia image crop from photo by nadi whatisdelirium via LaWhimsyIt’s not just in nature, with it’s grandiose and intricate and simplistic delights, that we seek out biophilia but also in all the living beings, from the smallest blades of grass, to the stately elk, to the most complex and confusing of all – fellow humans. We need it all to survive and to thrive. This is the biophilia that our instincts know to search for and connect to and derive love and pleasure and strength from and what we then feed back into in turn… ~ Ella

I find biophilia to not be such a hypothetical human tendency, but rather one that seems to describe a very instinctual living being tendency. Perhaps that’s over simplifying, but I find that co-existence with nature is an essential part of life, of true living and biophilia aptly describes this need, this desire. What do you think?

Namaste ~ Ella

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1 thought on “Word Nerd: Biophilia”

  1. I agree completely. I’m certainly a biophiliac myself in exactly the way you describe it for yourself.. It is instructive to look at it the other way round. Biophilia is surely a universal feeling. Loneliness and especially an absence of life has only negative connotations. Especially the latter which has been treated over the years as a kind of horror in films for example. I do not however think something so all pervasive should be described in a way which implies that there is an alternative state of existing let alone an exercisable choice. Rather it should be categorised as a sense. The sense of co-existing perhaps.

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