Millennia from now, will we be just another figure on the evolutionary chart? Looking back, will our future generations know that at this point in time humanity became aware of its integral relationship with nature and each other? Right now, it appears the answer is ‘no’. If we continue on our present trajectory, there will be a mushroom cloud marking our place in the biological process.
We have insulated ourselves from nature so well in this age; our predicament comes from a conviction that we are beyond the laws of nature and its rules do not apply to us. Patrick Henry, one of America’s founding fathers confirms, “It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts… For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it”. Apparently, mankind has been utilizing the ostrich approach for a very long time…
Instead of inventing our own rules as we go along, we should study the laws of nature and learn to work within them. Knowing the rules was essential when our ancestors shared living area and hunting grounds with saber-toothed tigers and mammoths. The difference between surviving and becoming a quick snack depended upon their knowledge of the system and the ability to work within it. Failure meant a swift and merciless end. Even up until the 20th century, our forefathers wouldn’t have imagined themselves living outside this system.
Presently the majority of people still don’t realize that we operate under nature’s laws and these laws, unlike man’s, don’t change and can’t be manipulated without consequences. To avoid the mushroom cloud on the horizon, we must pull our heads out of the sand and learn the ground rules.
The law of development has been in operation since the beginning of time and works to ensure that our evolution unfolds properly. Our progress wasn’t left to blind chance or coincidence. There is an over-arching plan in the natural world and humanity is an integral part of it, not separate from and independent of it. Little by little, we are beginning to understand that countless negative circumstances occur because we don’t realize our role in this system correctly. Therefore, it benefits us to study these learn how to advance within them.
It is nature’s law of development that defined us as social animals. Hence, nature compels us to interact with each other and our natural environment. We cannot live or grow in isolation; science and history both support this truth. Being the willful animals we are, we continue to ignore the obvious and try to insulate ourselves from the very environment that our existence depends upon. This obstinacy is why the steps on our evolutionary ladder are often experienced as suffering.
By Angela Moore Duck
Photography: Marc Hollembeak
Continue to part 2: Sustainability and Advancement