“Something happens to you when you begin to think about this planet as a single living organism. And when you begin to live in that awareness, nothing is ever again quite the same. Nothing can be the same after that. Nations began to look like people to me, like familiar friends. The distinctions between religion, biology, and politics began to blur. I began to wonder why I had always assumed that human thought was the only kind of thought—as if nature would be content with a single species of flower, or just one kind of tree.” ~ Ken Carey
Here’s the tragedy of our times, down and dirty: We are hostages of a system that compels us to continue destroying the world in order to live in it. We’re hostages –and we have made a hostage of the world in turn. It’s cut and dry structural violence. We’re all victims of being conditioned and brainwashed by a hyper-violent culture which does not work well for healthy human beings, and definitely doesn’t work well for the biotic community.
I know you don’t want to hear it. I know it hurts that such is the case. But hear it we must, lest apathy reign supreme and we continue allowing important information go in one ear and out the other. Feel it we must, lest we continue drowning in pandemic Stockholm syndrome. It’s all so deliciously absurd; the illogical irony of our time. The shackles are comfortable. The noose makes us feel safe.
The leash allows us just enough room to feel free. The threats from the powers that be keep us codependent and obedient, baying like sheep in a farmyard. But the stakes are too high to continue remaining ignorant and myopic. It’s not only the health of the environment that’s at risk, but the health of our species as well.
As Terence Mckenna said, “If a radical political alternative is not opened up, then I think we are essentially going to amuse ourselves into extinction. Business as usual at this point is a death sentence on the human race.”
As it stands, business as usual has no business in a healthy world. Something’s got to give. And it begins with our overall perspective, our general disposition, and our basic worldview. It’s time to actually think outside of the box that we all claim to be thinking outside of.
The box is poisoned and polluted, both figuratively and literally. The box is clogging our oceans with plastic and poisoning our air with carbon monoxide. It matters not at all if this is causing climate change or not. What matters is that it is fundamentally unhealthy to every single species that drinks water and breathes air. Bottom line!
So what can we do? How do we maneuver through the muck and mire of a fundamentally unsustainable system that’s the only thing we’ve ever known? We flip the script. We turn the tables. We redefine what it means to be a human being living on planet earth. We transform doubt into epiphany into revelation.
We overcome the weltanschauung. We make worldview and self-view an interchangeable concept, a harmonious union. It’s practicing Namaste not only with each other, but with the entire planet. Earthmaste: The divinity in me recognizes and honors the divinity in the planet. It’s personalizing the Gaia Principle. Self-as-world and World-as-self. Eureka!
Can it be so simple? Yes and no. To be truly harmonious and healthy is both very easy and very hard. It’s hard because we have the tendency to avoid the horror of our enslavement to this unhealthy system of human governance. It’s just too painful to see it and feel it directly. So we dance around the perpetual violence of the vampiric system because we fear the law, the state, the military, and mostly the ignorant masses still married to a dog-eat-dog system.
But we can only be kept ignorant for so long. We live in the age of information, after all. The fruit is easily plucked from the Tree of Knowledge. There are a million-and-one alarm clocks blaring: Wake up! Smell the vanishing roses. Smell the oil spill. Smell the ambergris of too-many beached whales. Smell the rotting flesh of species dying at record speeds. Take a big whiff. Our sense of smell is the best way to remember things. And the error of our ways should not be forgotten, lest future generations make the same mistakes.
If, as Aldous Huxley claimed, “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” then it behooves us to take account of our most recent history as a species and learn a very important lesson: infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet with finite resources.
And then we must learn to act accordingly: as independent creatures living on an interdependent planet. Let’s be the sliver of consciousness that juts out from a sea of unconsciousness, the thorn of awareness that sticks in the side of all who are not aware.
Our independent volition has to align itself with interdependent health and wholeness or we are doomed as a species. There’s no way to wiggle out of this issue. We can face it head-on and figure out a necessary balance between nature and the human soul, or we can ignore it and display apathy and indifference to being out of line and grossly misbalanced with the greater cosmos.
The issue has been slapping us across the face for some time now, and so far we’ve been turning the other cheek and meekishly mewing to each other that “change takes time.” But that disposition won’t fly anymore. It’s crunch time. It’s time we slapped back. It’s time we take responsibility for our unhealthy actions. It’s time we soul-centrically crush out as eco-centric beings overcoming an egocentric epoch.
The issue won’t resolve itself. It will take millions, perhaps even billions, of people who identify as self-as-world and world-as-self. It is the most pressing issue of our time. We’re in dire straits. We’re a species in decline. It’s time to rise up out of our infantile egocentrism and embrace the far superior mature eco-centrism.
It won’t be easy, but flipping the script from destructive-self vs. conquerable world to self-as-world and world-as-self, will help greatly. It’s an undertaking of Herculean magnitudes, but it’s one we must not back down from taking. As John Green said, “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”