September, 2009, Rev. December 2010
The Common denominator among all living things
Finding A Way For The Greater Good
An Urgent Task
January 10, 2012 Climate News Network: Humanity faces a possible collapse of global civilisation, according to two Californian scientists. Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, of Stanford University, US, argue in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, published by the UK’s national academy of science, that civilisation is faced with a menacing array of environmental problems…. http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/01/are-we-doomed-it-all-depends/
THE GREAT AWAKENING
In just over 250 years we have consumed or destroyed what took millions and millions of years to evolve…
We now understand that the majority of life on Earth has never been – and will never be – known to us. In a staggering forecast Edward O Wilson, eminent Harvard biologist, predicts that our present course will lead to the extinction of half of all plant and animal species by 2100…. – “Animal Extinction – The greatest threat to mankind”
Over the last 60 odd years we have become preoccupied with, and fixated on ourselves, our man-made lives of production, indiscriminate consumption and lust for profit. self-gratification and status. In this process we have increasingly excluded from our daily decisions and equations the well-being of others and Nature’s life supporting eco-systems. We can now see how this myopia has wreaked havoc upon both our environment and all species with in it –our societies, our communities and ourselves.
While we were flying high our natural world (and us) began to get sick, really sick . Greed took over from compassion, and wealth negotiated itself more wealth at the expense of the average man, woman and child setting the stage for a global uprising and reawakening.
We forgot our deep and profound responsibility to care for and nurture the greater whole. We forgot that we abide in Mother Nature’s womb, dependent on Her every second of every day. Just as we depended on our mother for nurturing and sustenance while in her womb, we depend on Mother Nature’s health, abundance and generosity for our daily nurturing and sustenance and FOR SURVIVAL as a species. This amnesia has resulted in us almost consuming ourselves out of existence and, in the process, we have lost our connection to community, to each other and to the essential natural processes of life.
Without Nature We Do Not Exist. Period
It is an illusion to expect healthy, balanced lives without a healthy, balanced natural world. Her health is our health
A Perfect Storm is approaching – a combined environmental, economic and social collapse UNLESS we change our attitudes and priorities in life NOW, and even then, we may well have passed the tipping point of what our biosphere can handle.
The major difference this time, than the Great Depression or any other time in human history, is the environment – its massive degradation and depletion by man – the degree of which has never before been seen on this planet – and the cumulative effect is the cause of Climate Change.
We depend upon a healthy, balanced natural world for our very existence – as does all life. Our eco-systems have been plundered, pillaged and polluted to a point, in some cases, of no return; species are disappearing at an alarming rate totally destroying the biological and crucial biodiversity balance of the planet. Our common life’s values and the dignity of cultures have been dismantled as we gave ourselves over to the Age of Consumerism. When Drilling for Oil has become a greater priority than clean water and healthy food, we have no choice but to revisit our values in life. What we do and choose now will set the destiny of humankind for centuries to come.
Who Owns Nature Anyway?
There is nothing that we humans manufacture that does not originate from our natural world – NOTHING. We endlessly extract materials from Her for our clothing, buildings, products, household goods, transportation and energy sources, as if Nature was infinite. .
WE dam Her up; box and fence Her in; package and bind Her; dig Her up; chop Her down; chew Her up and spit Her out; imprison and confine Her; and attempt to mold Her to our own purposes and needs. We patent Her, copyright Her, take financial bets on Her in the financial ‘futures’ commodities markets; dump our poisons, garbage and residual toxin waste into Her. We have taken 90% of the big fish from the ocean and trawl the bottom of our seas for profit, not having a clue what we are destroying or exterminating (SEE: Nature News Blog: Scientists ‘lag behind’ – Human impacts on the deep sea increases http://ow.ly/6lhCY )
We mercilessly confine and enslave our animals in tiny spaces, to force them to produce more, bigger, faster, for more profit; often creating great suffering in horrendous conditions. We ravage Her, spray Her with poisonous toxins, manipulate Her, suck Her dry and re-engineer Her – thinking we know better than Nature. We do all this and still expect Her to infinitely keep giving and giving and giving and still benevolently provide for us!!?? What insanity. We have pushed our environment and Nature beyond Her capacity to regenerate naturally and feed our voracious appetites, wreaking havoc on the entire planetary system as we try to dominate, control and change Her to suit our whims and fancies and quarterly profits and bank accounts.
It is our responsibility to maintain the symbiotic relationships needed for healthy oceans, soils, forests, rivers and natural resources, being prudent about how much we “take”. There is an intelligent interdependent eco-system to be mindful of. For example, when we cut down a tree, we don’t just chop down a tree, we destroy an entire eco-system. A tree embodies an entire universe within it. Many other species depend on a tree, including the human species. Destruction of one species has a domino effect all throughout the food chain and web of life. Many indigenous cultures believe that the land is not “ownable” SEE “The Land Owns Us” AND The Earth is Not Ours, We Merely Borrow it From Our Children: Lessons from the Maya Q’eqchi http://ow.ly/6lg2Z
Our Modern World
We now live in a “McDonaldized”, homogenized, sanitized world of indifference, separation and division. Globally, we have an entire generation of disaffected peoples and youth, hanging out there without a lifeline with no sense of Self; their identities tied to transitory things and possessions, feeling disconnected, confused, isolated and yearning for reconnection and a sense of purpose. (Read More…
We find ourselves tied to computers and cell phones, televisions and video games, rushing here and rushing there. Our unnatural, busy lives find us encased in artificial environments, shut-off from the beauty and wonder of the Natural world and each other. We live in air-conditioned homes, air-conditioned offices and transportation, air-conditioned restaurants, air-conditioned airports and planes, air-conditioned hotels, air-conditioned learning institutes, air-conditioned hospitals, nursing homes, doctors offices, constantly on the “go” with little or no connection to each other or what is going on around us. Dumbed down and Numbed out by mass media, advertising and over-stimulation.
Taking time to commune with Nature and our fellow partners (species) in life, let alone with ourselves, has become a luxury and in the western world, something most of us have forgotten. We are on the treadmill of a global, corporate world tied to a financial system designed for one thing…to make more and more profits, no matter what the risk or outcome to our planet. We will have to rethink the present thrust and link of consumption-to-profits, understanding that the “bigger and more is better” age has passed. The days of getting rich at the expense of the our natural world and the poor are ending. We cannot “grow” our way out of the tremendous social, environmental and economic issues facing us. If all of humanity were to refocus on restoring that which we all depend upon for our livelihoods and survival – Nature – an entirely new business and social model would evolve for the 21st Century.
One of the areas where we are the most disconnected from the natural world is in our business lives
Our business, financial and manufacturing decisions must have a new base line where “cost/benefit” analysis takes on a new meaning beyond just quarterly profits where natural resources and human beings are just a dollar sign on the balance sheet and therefore dispensable. Everything we manufacture, take/extract from or dump into Nature must consider the impact of the end life cycle for all products and their effect on both the environment and human health for they are integrally tied together. One of the foundation questions for all decision-making must be: “Will this Harm the Natural World or Human Health?” If the answer is “yes”, then back to the drawing board BEFORE we invest heavily in new and seductive technology and products. A fundamental shift is already underway in our approach to business–witness the growing awakening in Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship and references to Corporate Community and Foundations. SEE: bankofnaturalcapital.com/Valuing the Invaluableshows why and how to value the economics of nature – (Part of the UNEP hosted TEEB Study into The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity)
Money and Technology Alone Cannot Fix this
We will have to re-engage our minds, hearts and spirits to evolve a holistic interconnected solution and accept that we humans do not have all the answers.
It often feels as if we have sold our souls to technology, forgetting our humanness and organic natures. We seem to be racing to keep up with technology’s time and have lost touch with the natural rhythms of life and organic regenerative processes. You cannot grow a 100-year-old oak tree in 7 days…it still takes 9 months to have a baby! The sun will rise and set at its own pace and in its own time. There is a reason for Nature’s maturation processes; and re-engineering Her to justify our growth and consumption and to force Her to give more faster will only throw the entire biological and biodiversity balance out of sync creating greater and perhaps irreversible problems. The human body (and nature’s body) is incredibly designed to accept, digest and disperse natural substances. It is not designed to assimilate a lot of genetically engineered foods, pesticides and chemicals and does not know what to do them. Imbalance occurs and illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, obesity result. One eats less when the food is wholesome and nutritious and the body responds accordingly to health and well-being. We humans and nature will pay a great price if we continue trying to manipulate and control life out of context. Science does not have all the answers in its search to understand what already exists and we just do not have sufficient knowledge of the interdependent intricacies of our natural world. If anything, we should be paying attention to Nature’s needs to provide for us through Her natural processes, as indigenous cultures know. Nature is our Greatest Teacher if we will only slow down, reconnect and honor her innate wisdom and intelligence.
Technology is a tool. It is not a God. There is a place for technology in our lives but we need to keep it in perspective as it relates to both human and nature’s health. There are no quick fixes for the massive dilemma we all face. Short term thinking for quick profits is one of the ways we got ourselves into this danger in the first place. Climate Change is an outcome or result of many, many causes. We throw billions (trillions) of dollars at the climate change problem without thinking things through to their logical conclusion, ending up with profits driving the proposed solution instead of the ultimate consideration – the overall, ultimate impact on the environment and human health. Everything in Nature has a purpose. She may not have gone to school, she may not have a PhD. She may not dress and look like us, but her wisdom and intelligence is far and beyond our intellectual comprehension. Nature is the master recycler and Her systems are primary teachers for us all, if we will only give her a chance by supporting Her basic nature, She will restore herself for the benefit of all.
The Perfect Cycle
Everything we put into Nature eventually cycles into the human body, back into the environment and returns to the body – an endless cycle. It is a complete, perfect cycle, shown to us by the natural world. We are the end-user/loser. Let us embrace this understanding with all of our hearts, in all we do, becoming aware of our vital daily role in the greater scheme of things.
What we put down our sinks, drains and sewers recycles back into us. Our water treatment plants are unable to filter out all the pharmaceuticals, vitamins, toxins that we eliminate and so we re-ingest them. The antibiotics and hormones we feed our animals; the chemicals, pesticides, poisons we put on our body, on our crops and in our soils recycles back into us through our food or water or air.
This impacts all of life as all life depends on water and food. Our essential pollinators of bees, butterflies and bats; the birds, fish, and beneficial insects are all affected by our poisoned and polluted eco-systems. What we do to Nature, we do to ourselves.
This New Paradigm is About Relationship -In its Broadest Sense
We are on the greatest rediscovery in human history. We are embarking on bringing to consciousness our profound inter-connectedness with all things and all beings –that which is common in all. It is about focusing on that which supports and unifies us instead of that which separates and divides us and celebrating the differences. All living things act as one complete organic, interdependent organism for optimal efficiency and we are an integral strand of this awesome, incredible system.
Remembering that we are a part of the great web of life, not separate from it, can invoke feelings of wonder and awe enabling us to reform community, spurring us on to thoughtful action for a healthier and just world.
Restoring Respect and Dignity to All Species
All species are equal in their own right. If we are to sustain the magnificent, symbiotic web of life that is all life-supporting, this understanding is paramount – understanding the importance of the bee, the tree, the fish, the bird even a grain of sand that are essential to a balanced, natural world – our world.
This re-remembering has great power as we return to wholeness, restoring respect and dignity to ourselves, to others, other cultures and the natural biology of life. As this unfolds, we will reconnect with our blessed human-ness and purpose on this planet in relationship to all that lives.
FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN
We have a once in the human-race opportunity here. To merge with all of life as a species within it and to re-engage our role as good stewards of this Planet Earth – using our minds, heart and spirits to restore respect and dignity to all life. To work with Nature and not against Her. We must give her what she naturally needs to keep restoring and caring for us. We must put her front and center in all we think, all we do and all we act upon. All knowledge we humans have, originated in the Natural World, science is just discovering what already exists. Nature has the answers. Nature is the keystone to our life on this Planet. Her intelligence is beyond the human knowledge gained from books, lectures and formal education. She is wondrous, glorious and mind-boggling. Take the time to observe Her, listen to Her, Touch Her. Respect, Honor and Love Her
As top of the food chain we, the human species, are responsible for the care of this planet we all share, and ultimately, for our own SURVIVAL.
May we renew our sacred covenant with Nature
and vow to re-engage, honor, respect and
celebrate the incredible dance of all life
between Nature and Humans.
Copyright 2009 Pam Jacob. All Rights Reserved, April 2007, 2008 /Revised Nov. 2010/Aug 2011