To a Taoist, the word nature does not simply mean the outdoors, flora and vegetation, or wildlife. Like a scientist, to a Taoist nature simply means existence in the most complete and holistic sense, with all its dimensions, forces, substances, lifeforms and the laws that organize them into a coherent whole.
The natural laws that would likely most interest the
spiritual person are those that lead to a positive self-transformation. Such
laws are for instance compassion, mindfulness, patience, detachment, dietary
wisdom, meditation, or yoga. These are the virtues of character and behaviour
and the principles of life. I refer to these as laws, for by the
principle of cause and effect they
shall inevitably lead to certain results for those who integrate them in their
self-conduct. For instance, should one pursue the virtue of compassion, then
this will inevitably lead to a greater inner peace and a consequential greater
clarity. This is true for every person upon this world, no matter his ethnicity
or religious background. Because of this absolute certainty, it is a law of
nature. When you stretch forward in yoga, this will naturally open a certain
energy channel in your back. No-one can practice this posture without attaining
this effect — it is a law of nature. This is an important understanding, for it
allows us to see that on every moment, every facet of our being either is or is
not addressing natural law, either damages or increases the quality of our
being, whether it is through how we use our mind, body or speech.
The power of the lost Tao was that it did not so much prescribe these principles or laws via the doctrine of dogma, but rather that it enabled a person to directly commune with these laws as they are written in the subtle fabric of existence itself. This means that classical Tao cultivation can never be religious, sectarian or institutionalized. This also exemplifies what I mean with esoteric knowledge being a symptom of Tao cultivation. Just by cultivating your energy with esoteric knowledge, or even one's ethereal "immortal body" does not mean that one has learned how to attain one's transcendental communion with nature. It is this very factor that I believe has caused the classical Tao to cease to exist. For example, my humble capacity of this transcendental communion with the laws of nature led to an esoteric technique that I call crystal pranayama. If people solely turn towards this esoteric technique but fail to pursue transcendental communion with nature, they will but empower the state of the personal self and will not transcend the state of unclarity; they will not harmonize with reality. Always be aware that contemporary Taoism can look very impressive with its vast knowledge, and people attaining great internal power and paranormal feats through its esoteric techniques. As a seeker this will seem very authentic. However, if you notice your master does not guide you towards the Uncreated state of the transcendental Tao, enabling you to enter into mystical communion with nature, then perhaps it is time to ask yourself (or him/her) some questions. Taoist wisdom promises that Taoism can unite a person with nature, and yet those who come to seek guidance from Taoist masters will likely get statues of gods, rituals, or cultural aspects; this is then endowed with esoteric cultivation. For instance, I have read that it is a ritual in contemporary Taoism to roll around in the mud to cleanse off one's sins, while a high priest summons a certain god to forgive the pennants for their sins. I do not judge or condemn other people's beliefs, however as a soul whose path is deeply entwined with Tao cultivation, I cannot help but see that contemporary Taoism can no-longer fulfill its role of uniting humanity with nature. It can no-longer uphold the promise that it makes, and perhaps I would be allowed to respectfully discuss this issue. In the article "Transcendental Empathy" I discuss that the Tao acts as a passageway into nature. The Tao is the realm of the Uncreated; in order to make contact with this realm one must emulate its qualities. This means one must be able to empty oneself and let go of all things. You can understand that burdening the mind with needless things such as statues and rituals simply disallows this process from taking place. Once this emptiness has been attained, one's heart is set on virtue and one is able to have a sense of surrender, one naturally starts making contact with the laws of nature and her harmonizing dynamics. You can understand that if religion and human culture and tradition dictate how you must use your mind, body and speech (how you manifest), that this disrupts this mystical communion with nature. In Daughter of Xiu this is referred to as "being powerful and yet in the eyes of nature unattained".
 Buddhism teaches that a human being manifests himself through three qualities: mind, body, and speech. Through these three qualities we either do or do not address natural law.