Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Earth As "The Open Boat"

Like Steven Crane's classic "The Open Boat" the crew of 3 lost at sea in their little open boat realize they are at the mercy of a cruel and indifferent Mother Ocean w/ all her forces that would vanquish them.

This case now however, in a bitter irony, is that we are the cruel and indifferent and ignorant supposed "paragon of animals" slowly, insidiously, indifferently and ironically raping and pillaging and exploiting this earth beyond its capacity not only to sustain us but to sustain itself....

Let us only hope that if this "in house mass consumption Armageddon" finaly vanquishes the species one day- and if we never learn to "see ourselves," that there will be some primeval forest somewhere hence in 10,000 years who will whisper in glad graces and babbling brooks that the paragon of animlas is gone but the earth, still wounded in recovery, survives....

....... follow up from a fbook dialogue....

... I think we are at a crucial turning point. I think that the initial promise of the internal combustion engine and the exponential leap it propelled in the last 125 years of the Industrial Revolution, has run its course and now the returns more threaten precipitous catastrophe than promote progress.
This, along w/ the splitting of the atom, for all its good, are the 2 most looming technological specters that threaten us.

The problem is one of ratio as I see it. The means of production and the weapons we have to protect these means, are many, many magnitudes larger than the rate of our intellectual, and more importantly,spiritual development. The species, especially the developed superpowers, by and large, are still informed and still designed along the templates of earliest city states.

Until we molt to a new global model, a new definition of planetary citizenship, a new spiritual identity that recognizes the family of man precariously balanced in the web of the earth rather than all these artificial divisions of religion, language, political boundaries, race, cultural and technological advance, etc., we will continue to live by the ancestral ethics of Troy, Greece, Rome, The Christian , and Islamic Empires;and if we continue to operate under these ethics, we will devolve our way collectively "back to the stone age" and more likely a self immolated extinction.

I'm giving us about a century and a half, though. I think we have a little more time to "see" and to prepare. I think it will take a monumental catastrophe, either a nuclear weapon used again, and /or both a biblical climate event that will spawn new viral pandemics killing billions of people. After this, sheer survival modes will force the severely impacted developed world to work together for comprehensive renewable and clean, green means of production.The internal combustion engine will not use fossil fuels any more. This new form of renewable and clean power may in turn seed a new global "consciousness" that will finally dismantle the ethics, morality and religions of the original city states once and for all. We then will truly be on the road to "Modernity."

If we do not begin soon to "see" ourselves from some transcendent vantage point ( like the original astronauts may have seen our fragile blue dot from the surface of the moon) then our relatively recent emergence as homo sapiens- paragon of animals- will have ended all too soon along the arc of our becoming....

contd... The people of Easter Island did not know, could not transcend, could not "see" from above, that they were destroying their entire way of life, and eventually their very existence, by consuming, generation after generation, all the rich forests they had on the island when their ancestors first came.

They did not realize, until the end was upon them, what they had done. This microcosm has played out many times in small niche web economies throughout history. Now, the entire ecosphere, THE ENTIRE EARTH Is the MICRO-COSMIC analogy to Easter Island.

We, on the other hand, as the ancients we still are in so many ways, have the "rune of knowledge" and thus the terrible burden of responsibility. Having this knowledge, we are just now beginning to "see." our task.

Question remains: Will we turn our heads away from this terrible burden of knowledge(the horror) , or, instead, make for the road of real modernity? Will we swear oaths and actions to ourselves and our continuing enlightenment, or continue to make ourselves supplicants and invoke the abrahamic divinities for deliverance once again as we have practiced since the advent of Agriculture and the first City States.

I trust there is a prodigal notion sprung now however; a notion forced by the survival imperative and moving in the global zeitgeist that will impel a move towards true modernity.
This is my prayer anyway....


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