- Education and Science»
Planetary Fate in Control of the Virtuous
We can see quite clearly that our planet Earth is in a state of chaos. Living beings are being oppressed in myriad ways. The oceans are being contaminated, the air is being polluted, our soil is being sucked dry of its fertility, all beings are being bombarded with carcinogens, our non-human family are being confined and brutally slaughtered, synthetic drugs are now a widely accepted solution to illness, humans are starving and being enslaved, innocent people are killing each other in favor of the ruling class or religious/cultural ideologies, and the list goes on. These unfavorable conditions are due to the common belief that we human beings are superior to other forms of life and therefore justified to conquer and rule them. This flawed ideology has been passed down to us from countless generations of outer conquest and materialism. We are unconsciously destroying the only environment we know of that can support life. We have given up any responsibility we have to the well-being of ourselves and the Earth. We’ll continue destroying our habitat simply because there’s nothing to stop us. We are now facing times in which we’re reaping the consequences of our foolish actions over the millennia. There soon won’t be an environment to conquer and rule, and along with the environment will go the human race.
There has been a fundamental view that has been plaguing our ecosystem and societies over the millennia. The bloated ego, mans mental images of himself, tells him that he can thrive independent of nature, acting as a source of his own wealth, when scientific observation clearly shows that all complex forms of existence originate from and are dependent on all simpler forms of existence. The majority of human cultures, especially in modern times, have been striving to impose their ideas of perfection on a system that is and always has been intrinsically perfect. Biological systems thrive only when in a state of symbiosis, living in close physical relation and aiding in each others growth and development. Humanity is currently in a state of antibiosis, the opposite of symbiosis, living at odds with his creator and himself.
As human beings, we have a unique way of relating to our environments, we call this culture. Culture is a force that limits our imagination and scope of potential if left unquestioned. Cultural norms, or collective habits, can become extremely detrimental to the well-being of our planet when under influence of the bloated ego. Our western culture tells us that gaining control over the physical world will bring about widespread happiness and prosperity. It instructs us to drown out our conscience with mind-altering substances, (though some psychoactive plants have been proven to catalyze growth in consciousness), mindless gossip, technology, useless materials, sexual stimulation and excessive food. It comforts us through the deceptive belief that our ego’s can be immortalized. It tells us to fear death and thus deny the fact that we are growing closer to it every moment. We as a collective know deep down that we are living a cultural lie, that we are constantly searching for something that cannot exist. This search has driven us to collective madness and despair. Our patriarchal culture tells us to believe that this is the only way of living, and if we can’t find happiness outside of ourselves, we will assuredly never find it. This is a fallacy.
The simple truth is that we are the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink and the place we live. Our modern societies have developed their great power by the means of annihilating and extracting the very life that has rendered their existence possible. We have discarded the priceless wisdom that our indigenous neighbors have passed down to us from countless generations of inner discovery. This is the knowledge that we are but a strand in the infinitely intricate web of life and that what we do to nature, our great mother, we do to ourselves. Once we can collectively understand this, then we can begin to heal the planet and thus ourselves. We are living in an extraordinarily critical time in history in which we have the conscious decision to perish as parasites or flourish as symbiotes, to live sustainably and flourish or continue our foolish ways and destroy our only home.
Having confidence in the conscience of humanity is critical in this endeavor of bringing our societies and mother Gaia back into harmony. Surely, the majority of our species would prefer a peaceful existence over a hostile one. However, many of us suffer from a sense of powerlessness, feeling that we cannot bring about meaningful positive change. By observing history, we can see the transiency of the ‘great’ civilizations and hierarchies in the past. We can also see that individuals or small groups of individuals are invariably the shepherds of societal change. Our ancestors tell us through their various accounts that nothing is set in stone. History disproves the notion that one individual, or a small group of individuals, cannot make meaningful positive change in the world.
Therefore, the question is raised ‘Where can we start as individuals to bring about meaningful positive change in the world?’. Through introspection, we find that the answer is very simple, so much that it’s often overlooked. The change that we seek begins with the individual inquiring what it means to be human. Did 13.8 billion years of evolution conspire toward our degeneration or advancement as a species? Were we manifested on this bountiful planet to quarrel with, exploit and reject each other or to cooperate with, support and love each other? Which of these two would allow us to thrive? Charles Darwin, the founder of modern evolutionary theory, wrote in his 1871 book “The Descent of Man”, “Those communities which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring”. He was telling us that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change”.So biological evolution, while based in the survival of the fittest, is more fundamentally based on cooperation, adaptation, flexibility and altruism. This observation shakes the very ground of our existence and the understanding of our origins. This is not to say that natural selection is useless or ‘wrong’, on the contrary it’s necessary for all life to seek higher form and function. Likewise, our technological and industrial development is not useless or ‘wrong’, but contributes to our evolution as a species. However, now we’ve reached a point of development where we have a choice to abandon the self-destructive and irrelevant pursuit of progress in exchange for a more symbiotic and relevant pursuit of progress. If we can step back, observe scientific truths, recognize the futility of our current world view and then accept the fundamental unity that exists between all beings, we can come to know peace.
If planet Earth is to remain a hospitable environment for our species, we need more allies of the natural world. Foremost, we need more individuals to seek inner enrichment. This will allow them to see the big picture, abandon their desires for decadent and unnecessary things and reconnect with the simple joys of living. Going hand in hand, we need more people to radically lower their carbon footprint, increase their carbon sequestration and practice land stewardship through sustainable agriculture, implementation of green energy, elimination of mindless consumption, and radical political activism to redistribute power to the people in pursuit of the greater good. If we can work towards these ideals as a collective, I would not be surprised to see world peace within the next decade.
Though our modern western culture has wrought havoc on Earth, that is not to say that culture itself is inherently evil. Cultures are nothing but manifestations of a particular peoples relationship with nature. Our goal must be to abandon our cultural view which sees all things as divided and to adopt a holistic view of the world which sees all things as one; To unconditionally trust our hearts sense of right and wrong and our minds intuition instead of public opinion. We have reached a time in history where our planet, along with its human inhabitants, simply cannot be exploited any longer if we are to survive and thrive. By refusing to exploit and be exploited, to judge and be judged, to belittle and be belittled, we can create an overarching global culture that honors and respects the many facets of humanity and nature. We together can create a world that respects the existence of all beings and their future generations; a world where everyone and everything has equal opportunity to thrive.