It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun - the very source of all our life - as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come - through science - science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe.
We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize oneís littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility.
Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs.