"It is truly astonishing that we have such insight into the functioning of the universe, that we know Earth and its bio systems and the mysteries of genetic coding, that we can manipulate Earth and biological organisms so extensively, that we can deal with electronics and micro-engineering at the atomic level . . . Yet in all of this there is something that eludes us. There is something completely out of proportion, since our knowledge has not led to an expansion of our emotional feeling, our aesthetic appreciation, or our sense of the sacred. Nor has it increased our wonder." He gave an example of what he meant here: He was at a conference, where behind "the speakers' podium was an enlarged reproduction of the photograph of the planet Earth as seen from space--a blue-and-white globe majestically sailing through the dark . . . (a member) of the symposium remarked to me with a certain concern that this was not the planet Earth in any meaningful way . . . it occurred to me that it was the very physical splendor of the Earth as presented that he somehow found inadequate. It did not present the soul of the planet. It did not show the grasses, flowers, or meadows of the planet; it showed no deserts, rainforests, rivers, lakes, or vegetation. There were no trees, no soaring birds or butterflies, and no animals moving about on the plains or through the woodlands. Instead it was a colorful marble hung in the sky . . ."
In other words, the meaning of the Earth--our actual lived experience of it, day by day by night, was lacking.