[This is Part II, please read Part I first – Admin]
It is probably accurate to say that everything humans set out to do, is really done solely for their own benefit. The premises here is that the advancement of humans, over all other forms of life, sentient and non-sentient, and of human possessions and human control, human influence and human ownership and wealth, is the ultimate (selfish) objective of all human activity.
This has turned out to be a very dangerous folly, because it forever attempts to “push forward” the impacts of humans on the planet (the true cost) upon some other generation, and with a huge emphasize on only the present while degrading the obvious lessons of the past (and all other forms of existence), while flat-out refusing to acknowledge the true likelihood of the future.
In other words, we are very guilty of extremely short-sighted thinking and ‘historical revisionism’ and false ‘future projections’ to justify our present way of life and thought processes, which is the only thing that receives any real emphasis and attention. We do this in everything humans do, law, education, medicine and all aspects of living.
This need to constantly ‘press forward’ is really never examined for what it desperately tries to hide. But we are no longer able to get away with this now like we’ve done in the past, especially for the last one hundred years. The true price tag for this present existence is now rapidly catching up to us presenting a truly terrifying future.
It is the Earth and all of its lifeforms (including humans) that paid the true price for this behavior of ours, but we are loathe to acknowledge this fact. We’ve achieved our present standards of ‘success’ today only by constantly exploiting our own propensity for selfish behavior and greed and by plundering everything else in a fit of gluttonous glee.
But was it our right to always take whatsoever we wanted, despite the long and short-term consequences this activity causes? Some would argue “Yes”, but if this is true, then we also have the exact same right to do the opposite by the same means.
If we had not the right (but did it anyway as history proves, this point is not in question), then we still have the same right to stop what we’re doing.
If we had (or assumed) the authority to take whatever we need for our perceived benefit, then we also have the same authority by the same measure to stop doing it. But this time, it might be by an entirely different group of people, who have abandoned the intellectual cages of restraint and are responding to a higher law then that of human law. It does exist — read on.
Authority and responsibility go hand-in-hand, you cannot have one without the other. We are no longer on a path of sustainability and haven’t been for a very long time. We are on a path of self-destructive, planet-altering destruction and we know it.
Clearly we should stop, but the means to do so seem to elude us. We think we could, if we really wanted to and if everyone would pull together, but we acknowledge that this is not likely to happen. The awareness and intelligence and leadership that is necessary, right down to each and every individual human on this planet, is sorely lacking. It’s simply not there because our minds have been blinded to the truth and to the deceptions we all still hold within.
And we know this, we know that deep down inside most of us can’t find the wherewithal to stop doing what we know is ultimately self-destructive behavior. This then poses an ethical problem of such magnitude and importance, that it bears close examination.
Humans for example, do not have the right to clear cut a forest and destroy all the life found within, solely for their own benefit. Nor do humans have the right to destroy the Amazon jungle and change it into a savanna. We do not have this right because we cannot create the life we destroy and we rely upon all of this life to sustain us all. We owe our entire existence and sustenance to the health and abundance of other life and none of it is human.
Only the Earth and the sun create life, through the condition and health of their natural systems, which they do quite well if left alone, specifically by humans. Humans have greatly circumvented this opportunity for life by taking all life, creating massive extinctions and widespread environmental destruction. Humans have attempted to become gods of ‘their’ domain, but lack the ability to actually create anything. All humans can really do is refashion what is already in existence (and breed of course).
But this ability to refashion and fabricate as opposed to create other living things does not imply a license to destroy everything else on the planet strictly for human benefit and use. Just the opposite is actually true. You wouldn’t tell an engineer to redesign the train while you were speeding down the track would you? If you did so, at some point, the train would crash due to the tinkering going on, killing all aboard.
Likewise, a planetary crash of our civilization is now underway, primarily because we keep trying engineer the place into something ‘better’ then it already was. We’re doing this because we are actively working against the planet. This really means we are ultimately working against ourselves and have been for a very long time now.
Recognizing that we are not creators but really fabricators only is very important. Even though we can manipulate things like DNA today and understand subatomic structures and quantum theory, we are not creating anything that was not already there. Fabricators respect the materials they have available to them, they don’t deride or abuse them. Do potters mix sawdust in with their clay? Do gardeners pour oil on their plants? Those that fabricate and facilitate respect what they do and the materials they work with. If they did not, they would quickly destroy their supply of available materials. Sound familiar?
It is the lack of respect to life and even the material things of the Earth, all of which we we owe very our existence to, that has deceived humans into believing that they are the true masters of all things, when in reality, humans have not mastered anything at all. Just look around if you don’t believe that.
The symbiosis of life is co-dependency and adaption. Humans have never been in charge of this process, they remain entirely dependent upon it like all life forms with the exception that they are not contributing to this process in any meaningful or necessary ways.
This is an important point, because what it means is humans are not needed on this planet. If they ever were, as a process of evolution from eons back, it is no longer true anymore. It is quite possible that we have ‘outlived our usefulness’ as a planetary species in the process of evolution. Somehow, we went beyond that and became the one truly destructive species that seeks to wreck havoc upon all the Earth.
It is the planet itself that brought forth all life on Earth in a symbiotic relationship of dependency and adaption. Life creates life, feeding life, renewing life, nurturing life. Humans feed off that life, owing their entire existence to those other lifeforms and even the inanimate materials of this Earth, but humans do not contribute to this symbiosis of life in meaningful ways (our gut bacteria don’t really count) and therefore, are not needed. In other words, we are simply tolerated guests now, and as guests, we have no right to trash the place solely for our benefit.
Nature is entirely neutral in this regard however, recognizing neither the so-called rights of human existence or anything else for that matter. Nature is quite capable of extinguishing any and all species rather rapidly as we are now finding out. If humans do not quickly learn to work in cooperation with the Earth and its natural systems, then humans will actually be the responsible party for wiping themselves out long before the Earth actually does, because we will have first killed of the food supply that sustains us.
This also means that most human activities today are ultimately really working against human existence on this planet. This is what civilization has come to signify. It is the human attempt to adapt his environment to his demands and needs, but failing to adapt himself. Civilization as we know them today (and many of the past) is ‘against nature’ and natural law.
Humans are an aberrant and capricious species, variable in our doings and demands as it suits us, but always struggling against the nature cycle and rhythms of this planet. Our civilizations are our attempt to overcome the natural world and to govern ourselves into complex societies so we can do it more efficiently. Where we have failed (among our many faults) is to adapt human practices in cooperation with the natural world that sustains us, instead of seeking to overcome nature and destroying and consuming much of it as a result.Nature is often characterized by the ‘struggle for survival’, which has come to mean from a human perspective as trying to adapt nature itself, which really means to try and make nature work against itself. This has only barely worked to the barest degree (agriculture for example) and for an exceedingly short time at incredible expense. We’ve now managed to wreck the entire place for every other species as a result and severely jeopardized our own survival, effectively accomplishing the exact opposite of what we set out to do.
Natural selection put humans here, but by the same token, natural selection will also remove humans, ESPECIALLY if we keep on killing everything else that we still need to survive. When we become so destructive and so wasteful in our ways that the biosphere can no longer sustain us, we will have created a negative feed-back loop of terrifying consequences. Some scientists are now telling us that we are there already.
Humans are doing their damnedest to ensure that this does not happen, but for every action they are taking (including their general day-to-day existence), they are actually reinforcing the negative side of this equation simply because our day-to-day existence and all of our activities are now so terribly out of balance with nature. We are greatly accelerating our possible demise by several orders of magnitude.
This is something that most science and technology are not willing to tell you (and why technology is actually inherently bad), but it’s true. By existing like we do, we are hastening our own destruction daily. It’s true because we keep on insisting that we can live in direct opposition to this world. The price of this existence doesn’t seem to matter to us, nor are we willing to honestly assess the short or long-term true consequences of our behavior. Every so-called ‘solution’ being offered that I’ve seen promoted follows this fallacy.
Here’s an example, a list of “50 People Who Could Save the Planet“, which is really, absolutely ridiculous. Not only can humans NOT save the planet at all and never could (we are not in control), not one of these hand-picked and ‘expert’ humans are advocating what really needs to be done with respect to human existence and activity.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is really what is now happening in our world today as it slowly disintegrates itself as caused by our actions. There are immediate consequences such as open pit mining destroying the topsoil, and long term consequences such as polluting all the streams, rivers and aquifers from such actions. We can safely say that for every human action, there is an equal and opposite negative reaction within the environment (at least, usually it is compounded many times over).
If we were truly smart and wise, we would not tolerate our own behavior. We would punish the bad human behavior that is causing our own destruction. We would do the same to any killer that was running rampant in our midst, we would put a stop to it quickly before he killed us all. We would do the same if we retained the ethics and sense of personal responsibility that embraces the life the Earth gives us.
There is something else that bears coverage, because it has a bearing upon human conventions and assumptions. Nature triumphs over all human efforts (and reason) irregardless of whatever we may “think”. Things like human laws, ethics and morality are strictly human social constructs, constantly revised and subject to the interpretation of current society.
What we don’t recognize is that human ethics and morality actually come from things like resource availability. We are quite willing to change our ethics and morals whenever it suits us, and out of necessity. Killing your neighbor to protect your home or your food is considered ‘justifiable’ when there is a food shortage, but not justifiable when there is plenty to go around.
The deeper truth is we develop our sense of ethics and responsibility and things like democracy and equal rights and womens suffrage and all civil issues because of what was all once natural abundance. It is permissible at times to demand we share and declare it “equitable and fair” in times of abundance, and to pursue things like justice and “rights”, and at other times, demand that we preserve what’s left for ourselves and no others when things are in short supply. Rights and justice go right out the window when we are in dire need of the things we need to exist. In other words, our ethics are actually variable and are not set in stone, they are found in direct relationship to what nature itself provides.
But there is a huge time lag in today’s world in what is available and what is not, and this has caused us to fall into a trap of believing that our ethics and morals are here to stay. Hardly. They will be discarded INSTANTLY whenever we need to do so like a hot rock or when another murdering President is (s)Elected to office and declares an entire group of people worthy of genocide. We devise ethics and morality to suit us whenever we want, they are as capricious and variable as we are.
Human societies are greatly removed from the reality expressed in nature, which serve to insulate us from nature itself by our constant efforts of civilization. But the fallacy is that civilization can always protect us from this reality when it really can’t, not forever. Civilization itself will then inexorably follow the reality of nature during the cycles of abundance or shortages of natural resources. We know now that this is going to follow a pathway for the worse for all humanity, because we know that we are now running out of everything.
It is only a matter of time now before our ethics and morality and sense of what is right and what is wrong will also change too. Watch for it, it’s already happening if you know where to look. Desperate people (resource shortage) do desperate things (change their values, morals and ethics) in a direct relationship to their situation. We are all really governed by the immutable laws of cycles of nature more then we think, while civilization (humans) remains as variable and capricious as it ever was.
Nature does not recognize ANY human qualities and remains immutable and omnipresent as far as humans are concerned (this is the reality), superseding ALL human constructs of civilization, ethics, morals and values and law. If you don’t believe this, then you didn’t watch the news on the floods in Iowa.
If humans were to go extinct, nature and natural law will still exist (whatever we still haven’t destroyed that is).
Humans very often fail to account for nature, especially modern humans, and if they do, they only think of nature in certain ways, such as something to be controlled or exploited, but once again, it is the exact opposite that is true. Humans are controlled by nature itself, we live is specific geographical locations because we must, we are subject to weather variations and temperature extremes, we are still totally incapable of controlling our immediate environments to our liking and instead, insulate ourselves from nature by building homes and cities.
Most humans still believe that human constructs such as civilization and morality and ethics are more real and more important then nature itself, but this is not true. By placing humans above nature, humans have attempted to circumvent natures natural laws. It will only work for a time, until such time as nature itself will exercise its own “moral authority” over humans, triumphing totally over all human attempts to declare authority or control.
Even human existence is not more important then nature. How could it be? Kill nature, you automatically kill all humans. Kill all humans and nature does just fine. It’s pretty simple really. The answer lies in who needs who and who sustains the other. Humans will tell you otherwise, that human needs and demands should always triumph over nature, but they are wrong because it always leads to self-extinction. The collapsed humans societies of the past prove this, they destroyed their environment and they died out.
It won’t be nature that kills us — it will be humans that have killed humans. Humans should only take what they need in cooperation with nature, this is the only way to sustain human life (and all other life on this planet).
Going a bit further, the application of human morals and ethics (from which spring human laws) is a only a fabrication of human reasoning as conditioned by nature, but these ethics do not have a physical existence in the real world. In other words, they are held in our minds only. We could just as easily fabricate in our minds the magical existence of Thumbelina, or Peter Pan and call these fairy tales just as real as we do human law or ethics.
The point here is modern humans have utterly failed to hold in their minds (and therefore govern their actions and behavior and lifestyles) laws and ethics and morality (which governs actual behavior, ie., lifestyles) that are in cooperation with the Earth itself (nature and natural law). Most laws and behaviors today are antithetical to our continued existence, despite their being codified into law. They should not be obeyed or followed by anyone as a result.
Our mental constructs are illusions only, and should be torn down, to be replaced by a cooperative ethics and morality that works with the immutable laws of the Earth. Many indigenous tribes understood this and thought it was a crime punishable by death to destroy the Earth. We are now coming full-circle to this understanding. The destroyers of the Earth are destroying us all and should be destroyed.
We can tear it all down (but not to be rebuilt), but we must first tear down the walls in our minds before we can accomplish anything else. Our ethics and their sources are rooted far deeper then we think. If we align them with the way the real world works, we would change the face of our society and civilization and our existence forever.