Think of the universe as a single, huge organism. Its vastness is a perceptual, projected reality; even though "out there" you may be seeing a big football stadium filled with thousands of people, the real phenomenon is a small electrical impulse inside your brain that you, the nonlocal being, interpret as a football game. Yoga Vasishta, an ancient Vedic text, says, "The world is like a huge city, reflected in a mirror. So too, the universe is a huge reflection of yourself in your own consciousness."
It is, in short, the soul of all things.
Adapted from The Essential Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra.
Wendall Berry, in his book Home Economics, reminds us that in the original Greek, economics--oikonomikos--means "house" plus "steward" or "manager." Sharing the same root, oikos, the word "ecology" is closely related in concept--it is the relationships among among organisms who share the same home. Thus, as Berry explains, a most important measure of the health of the planet is the health of the households.
All of us bring food, packaging, cleaning products, building materials, appliances, and more into our homes. All of this has an impact on the environment and on our health.
Adapted from True Food, by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer, and Wendy Gordon (National Geographic, 2009).