“I think we need a change of heart. I think we need to see ourselves in another kind of context. Instead of seeing ourselves as fundamentally, to use the old phrase ‘brains on stalks,’ living in this artificial world, in this bubble. We need to see ourselves as part of a system, answerable to other parts of that system, and I would say also answerable to God. That’s something which doesn’t come easily in the Western World. I think it’s absolutely imperative for anyone in a position of religious responsibility in the Western World to hammer on that theme as loudly and consistently as they possibly can.” – The Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking in the BBC documentary Planet Earth: The Future
I’ve just finished watching a special edition of Planet Earth on conservation and am completely fired up about the way forward. I have been thoroughly contemplating my path forward lately, having arrived at a cross roads and observing what I’ve currently got at hand – which is to say an immense amount of personal knowledge and passion for the natural world, conservation, and the magnificent mystery of our brilliant planet. Whilst I recognize that this voice will fall on some deaf ears, that is, ears which are not currently ready, or may not ever be ready, to pick up the sound – I have been moved to express what I see as possible for ourselves not only as a human race, but as a living entity called Earth.
We are living at a time when so much is at stake and so much has become available to so many people in terms of knowledge, wealth, science, opportunity, not to mention fear, hunger, disease, destruction of past wealths, and an unchecked opportunity to pollute the natural world around us. From a land which at first seemed to me to continue on unscathed by the insidious fingers of all I perceive to be concerning in this world, I again have a perspective on my planet which I fight for. Two years ago in Australia I wrote an essay on a theory of the universe which excited me, and which seemed to have coursed through me from within. I never read this theory anywhere else, only cobbled it together from my own understanding of the world around me, as well as common and intuitive knowledge.
This essay has now spread a little farther from the confines of this blog, and I hope that my message can continue spreading on – not because I feel that I have something to say which you don’t – but because it is something I am animated to animate within you. I do love you, human beings: I love what you have available to you, I love what you love, I love what you see, and although I may not see with my own eyes what you see, I see it too. I know what we feel, because I feel it too. What I’ve just become freshly passionate about are causes that have again, just like this theory of the universe, been mysteriously cobbled together like collage or patchwork. This ‘theory’ is not so much a theory as a knowing, as are all passionate causes and beliefs which we fight for: and under its’ umbrella the theory concerns every single issue on this planet.
That is, the fact of being part of a larger body; the remembrance that we are all part of one organism and thus we would do well to massage tensile membranes and work towards eradicating the calcified and impenetrable walls we’ve built within the veins of our bodies – the ‘bodies’ that are our countries, our religions, our communities, as well as the realms of our inner world.
“The only way we can get a deal with the people of the world to conserve human civilisation, is to say, it’s not any longer going to be economic growth for economic growth sake, it’s the more equitable world, where everyone has the basic things that human beings need, and then we cease to find the meaning of life in more and more economic growth and more and more consumption. Because in our kind of society where that’s what’s happening it’s not only plundering the world and unsustainable, it’s making people miserable.” From BBC’s Planet Earth, ibid.
There are certain things that human beings require, and anyone in a state of natural grace will acknowledge, absolutely, that you and I in the Western World have the essential things that we need. However, what we don’t have, and what we are so passionately hungering for, is some lasting difference, some quality of life, which is what all human beings hunger for, 100% at the end of the day: Whether that is a place to eat after a long day driving a truck across country, or a game animal killed by a Masai to provide for his clan. We in the top end of the human food chain – ‘the Western World’ – however, have everything we could possibly need. We have robotic can openers and wireless mobile phones that will write things down for you, cars that will tell you how to get where you want to – we have things doing everything for us – but we are still not satisfied. We have so much consumption and we are hungrier than ever.
This is a good thing, though. I’m certain that the people of my generation, and not only within the world of the West but the people of all nations who are growing up today, are feeling something happening which is altering the way we choose to live on into the future. I’m certain that affluent people realize, with the education we’re all receiving about what’s really going on for us as human beings on the planet – the ramifications of our mutual existence here – that the potential for change is within them. Thankfully, they (we) are indeed taking their money, or their vision, their opportunities and hunger, and doing things that we are most definitely being called upon to do. Take for instance Leonardo Di Caprio and his passion for protecting the Tiger from extinction.
I for one am not certain that the printing of masses of books is a viable option for the future, hence the snail paced production and consideration having gone into my own book and the way that I sell it. I see that practices such as ecotourism are great forces which I would like to mirror as well as contribute to, and that living sustainably, in harmony with nature and those around us, is the greatest way we can move forward. I am inherently passionate about technology and the ways we can utilize our collective creativity to generate an economy based on zero-emission transportation (and that means everything, planes, helicopters, airplanes, boats, tractors, all of it.)
I also see that my research into The Disclosure Project and ETI’s has contributed to my awareness of alternative options for transportation; I see that my love of the Symphony of Science contributes to the way forward; I see that Diane Ackerman whose books express the rapture and absolute wonderment of nature and our natural senses; I see my reading of David Attenborough’s autobiography at 19 and my spirited interest in animal encyclopedias as a child have all contributed.
How it will all come together in the coming years is uncertain, but I am certain that the message is a strong one, and that I am so sure of the way we must move forwards. I am willing to give myself to all and any causes that may require help. Heck, when I’m out on the beach in the Hamptons I pick up the trash off the sand when I’m leaving. I sold all my furs this last year and will never buy nor wear anything leather, nor anything tested on animals. I see what difference we can make, and I want to work towards making it, make leeway, make headway, let’s do it! Let’s actually do it. Let’s make the future for our beautiful children be better than is predicted. Let’s start living as one with the Mother of us that is Earth (she did in fact give birth to us, too) and embrace the new challenges which will await us. This is a rally cry! My friends, I am certain that we must do whatever we can to make leads towards a sustainable future. I know you’ve heard this before, but for whatever it’s worth, I add my voice, my truly passionate voice, my optimistic voice, to the strengthening choir.