[RiddleRose]: 298.Meditations.Nature

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2007-02-07 02:05:44
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What is it about nature? Why is so much centered around it? What spiritual, or mystical, or pragmatic sense tells humans to love it, or worship it, or hate it so much that they destroy it? I mean, if you go back far enough, humans were not much more than animals, Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, Austrolopithicus, and all that jazz. Gradually we evolved, becoming removed from the most basic form of nature. 

We started to domesticate animals, proving our dominance over them. We started to farm the land, proving an intelligence surpassing that of animals. At this moment humans began to lose touch with nature. 

I mean, think about it. If we were still in tune back then, we would have continued like animals, who do things according ot base instinct. Even mammals, who show some attachment to each other in the form of caring for their young, do not try to overcome their instincts. But that is what humans did. Of our own free will, we changed ourselves, changed our basic makeup to ignore an instinct such as "when winter comes, go to a warmer place". We still had the "cold is bad" instinct, but now instead of moving like the animals do, we killed the animals and took away their skins, and made rude coerings for our naked bodies. 

And it's really that free will that defines humanity. That's why systems like communism don't work, not really. It's because in the basest part of every human, somewhere deep inside, we know, in some fundamental part of our being, that the only thing that distinguishes us from a monkey is our free will. 

A monkey may be smart, but it doesn't have the brainpower to produce free will. It can't consciously decide "I want to go to sleep now", no, because it doesn't have a sense of self. It is simply tired, so it goes to sleep. It may know that it is different say, from another monkey, certinly it knows that. It has different instincts than that monkey over there. That monkey is eating nuts, but this monkey is eating fruit. 

That's what we did to ourselves. We developed a free will, and a sense of self. Along with that came all the rest, and eventually our brains got big enough and strong enough to become what we are now. An what are we now? So removed from nature, from the earth and from animals that not only do we destroy them wantonly, we don't even use the things we destroy.

Even in it's killing frenzy, a shark will eat what it destroys. What one shark doesn't finish, another will. When a lion kills an antelope, it may not finish the entire antelope itself, but it will bring it back to the pride, and the pride will finish it. If the pride doesn't, hyenas will. If hyenas don't, vultures will. And so on and so forth. Thus does nature clean up after itself.

But humans don't do that. Humans just destroy and destroy and destroy, and rarely do they give back to nature, back to their mother the earth. When a human kills a cow, it may be for food, but then the food may be packaged and sold, and then thrown away after a few days in someone's refridgerator because the human who bought it decides that it has been too long sitting, and must have gone bad by now. 

Then that package of food may be thrown in a dump, where there are chemicals pumped into it to destroy it further. Those chemicals prevent nature from doing it's clean work of decay and decomposition, which would naturally dispose of the food and provide food for many scrounging little creatures.

Of course, this isn't true of all humans. In many places, humans are still very much in touch with nature. In the few remaining Native American tribes there is still great respect for nature, and it is used gently and with no harm intended or caused. In parts of Africa the humans live in their tribes much like animals, perfectly in tun with their surroundings, living with the land, not off the land.

In harsh environments there is often a greater respect fo nature than in the milder climes. In Iceland or Greenland, or in Siberia or Antarctica, you will find humans who can tell when a change in the weather is coming simply by the slight difference in cloud formation. You can find humans who move according to the seasons and the food supply, humans who still retain their depedence on the continuity of nature, of the surety that there will be food the next day, or week.

In the desert you will find humans who move according to where there is an oasis that causes the grass to grow that will feed their animals. Those humans know the desert very well. They know their little corner of nature backward and forward, inside and out. And not only do they know their nature, they know how to live with it, how to placate it, how to be without being destructive. These humans live so close to nature that they can feel the pulse of the seasons and the tides. They know.

High in the mountains of Tibet, and on the tundra in Mongolia, and the wilds of Austrailia, in the frozen reaches of the far north, and the steamiest Equatorial rainforest in South America, in these places you will find humans who can live with nature and not off nature. But in the places we humans name, "civilised", there is where nature is lost.

There the comfort and security of humans takes the front seat, leaving nature scrambling for some say in something, anything, and screaming and screaming to deaf ears when she is ignored, and toxic wastes and nuclear bombs and simple litter are dumped cruelly and without a thought as to her comfort, her well-being, onto her surface. Phew, that was quite the run-on. In these places, the USA, most of Europe, much of Asia, much of Australia, and anywhere else where "advanced" humans have settled, in these places is nature forgotten. 

Of course, there are humans who see what is happening. There are even some humans who try to do something about it. But in the end, what does it do? To the very few humans who see and care, who hear the earth crying out and do something about it, there are millions more who don't, or who see and don't care, or who see and care and don't do anything. 

2006-07-28 Kiddalee: Where I live, the trees used to be as wide as 3 men. I don't know how the settlers managed to cut them all down!
Sometimes, I try to picture them that wide, growing far apart, at least twice as tall as the tallest there still are. I stop when I begin feeling as though I can hear them scream.

2006-07-29 RiddleRose: i went to see the sequoias and the redwoods this summer... i don't know how they cut them down, not only in the practical sense, but how they got the nerve to! it would be like going into a cathedral and smashing all the stained glass windows! desecration of a holy place sort of thing. and i'm not even religious! rrr... it makes me mad. X(

2006-07-29 Kiddalee:   Yeah, when my dad catches huge lake trout in the Georgian Bay, he throws them back, because it would be such a waste to destroy something that has managed to get so big. Well, that's what he told me, but I think he'd rather eat bass (which are smaller) anyways.

  I've been to BC, but when I went to their provincial park, I couldn't walk through it, because there were too many people who didn't care to (other guests at my aunt's house), and I didn't get a sense of its magnificence at all.

  But think of yourself, living with a peasant's technology. You have acquired a little plot of land by immigrating. Now you have to make a living, and the only way you know how is to get a buddy, and one long saw, cut the trees down, and then assist your horse in pulling the stumps out by the roots so you can farm there.
  I mean, so many people are unable to live without destroying nature. It's not all big, polluting companies who care more about money than life. Besides, the farming of that time period was far less destructive than it is now. Yes, it's a shame that they turned all that growth into nothing, but at least at that time they weren't yet dumping pollutants all over the soil.
  Oh, and by the way, First Nations farmed, too.

2006-08-07 RiddleRose: i know. i have nothing against farming until they start killing more than they grow. at that point i say, "what's the point?"

2006-08-08 Kiddalee: YaY organic free range farming!!!

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