5d. Finding Positive Hope
“Materialism feeds and empowers the ego-mind. The ego is the overshadowing psychic force driving the self-perpetuating illusion of materialistic self-image. It’s the voice that tells you that you are what you label yourself to be; that you are your thoughts; that you are something to be defined. When in truth, nothing is definable. We are all simply an amalgamation of quantum energy — part of an incomprehensible process of energy and frequency convergence within a vast cosmological continuum of expansion and contraction.”
Finding positive hope means experiencing transformation at a personal level. It involves the use of creative energy to change the poisons of the toxic myth of Economic Growth into the nectar of a life sustaining society committed to the healing and recovery of our world.
It can be deeply challenging and exciting. It means being closely in touch with your values and choosing to live an ethical life filled with personally generated meaning. It means existing in a state of compassion and love as much as you can. It means being dedicated to personal excellence rather than ‘competitiveness’. There are more and more people looking for and finding this.
The New Sciences tells us that we are all made of energy. We are here to enjoy the experience of being alive. We are here to make things better for each other because if you suffer – I suffer. I admit I am sometimes racked with fury and sadness at what I see people are doing to this beautiful planet, often without even noticing. In reality I swing between finding beauty and solace in the place and moment and despair for what a culture of ignorant idiots and fascists are doing to my world.
I live in a very pleasant place, the least inhabited area of Cornwall UK, where the summer lanes are alive with wildflowers and all sorts of wildlife. When I see people driving their cars through these lanes and just chucking their rubbish out of the windows – I find it hard to believe that I am the same species as these wreckers.
I attempt to live in a relationship with the nature around me, sharing a yield from my garden with nature, living lightly on the earth. The farmer on the dairy farm next to us likes to shoot the rooks out of our trees because they ‘make a noise’, whilst filling the valley with his own varied forms of pollutions. This feeling of being an alien on my own planet perseveres even to my family.
My ‘heart’ brothers and sisters, the indigenous peoples of this earth such as the Kogi, the Kayapo, Lakota and Sioux Indians, Masai or Australian Aboriginals live in tune with the earth around them, as much as they can. They have different stories to our own, ones that don’t end with the destruction of our environment. But our stories of economic growth also despoil these peoples – we are taking them over the edge with us! We are systematically destroying the very peoples who can help us!
James Lovelock explains a sense of linked awareness in his Gaia Hypothesis:
“The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.”
The Gaia Hypothesis is at least an entry level into eco-theology in the First World. It attributes complexity and interactiveness to our planet – with the people who inhabit it as part of that system.
The present mass extinction event, named ‘The Holocene Extinction’, is also mainly due to activity from earth’s inhabitants – in this case, humans and their industrial excrements. A great cycle of life described by David Attenborough as ‘abundance, destruction, rebirth’ is reaching the end of its second phase for humans, often titled the Sixth Mass Extinction. It appears that the occasional desolation of the planet by its occupants may be part of an ongoing evolutionary process.
At a personal level, in order to transcend my sadness about what people are doing to my planet, one of the things I have recently taken to telling myself that ‘Everything is as it should be’. Perhaps this too is a form of denial? As long as I make my own personal choices to ‘do no harm’, to live on this planet lightly, without unnecessarily destroying life or damaging eco-systems, I cannot accept responsibility for all the dumbed-down idiots out there who choose not to look at the consequences of their actions.
But what if all of the species of this earth, including ‘Industrial Age Humans’, are unknowingly part of a mass, ‘Gaian’ consciousness. Then perhaps our fatal human flaw – denial – is an important element in the overall evolution of life? Perhaps the fatal flaw at the heart of Holocene people, human nature itself, is there for a reason. Maybe humans are somehow programmed to alter the environment of their own planet in the service of the evolution of life? Perhaps we need this pressure on to make the changes?
One role as an activist is to try and bring a sense of the spiritual to mundane everday existence and I feel very lucky in being able to do so – to experience the moments of peak connection with life around me.
I believe one of the problems with the ‘wetiko’ materialists is that they lack any sense of connection because they have never had an authentic spiritual experience that connects them with the ‘whole’. As a result their drive is to accumulate far more than they need is to fill up the empty space of disconnection. To ameliorate their insecurity through possession. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, a prominent Islamic philosopher, identifies:
“The ecological crisis is only an externalization of an inner malaise and it cannot be solved without a spiritual rebirth…” I’m with him on that one.
The undervaluing of creativity in our culture, along with independence of thought and imagination is preventing our species from evolving its narrative and myth making faculties enough to realise the changes we need. ‘Wetiko thinking’ tells us that we can’t affect reality with our thoughts, imagination or visionary capacities. It’s dependent on keeping the lie going stops us from creating the new stories about ourselves that we so desperately need.
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