Lesson One

A while back I made a post about some recent changes in my “world view.” These statements were, by design, broad, and vague. They were meant to illicit interest and provoke thinking. Today I am going to delve a little deeper. I am going to tell you that we, as humans, are not fundamentally flawed as many believe. We simply have a flawed way of looking at the world and our place in it.

A while back, nobody knows for sure when, maybe around 8000 B.C. or the time of the beginning of the “agricultural revolution” people of our culture (see definition below) decided that it was better to take charge of their food supply by planting, harvesting, and storing their own food. By doing this they could more easily survive droughts and lean times because of their food reserves. The people of our culture soon began to have far more food than they needed to live and were able to settle down in one place and make a lot of babies as a result. Whenever the population started to get close to the food producing capacity of the farmed land, more land was put under cultivation. For thousands of years we went on like this, grow more food, increase in numbers, repeat. This sounds like a good way to live and we (all of us in our culture) know that it is. In fact, we know that it is not only a good way to live but indeed the right way to live. Whenever we encountered others living in a different way (i.e. herding, hunting/gathering, etc) we told them that they were living the wrong way and taught them how to cultivate the land so that they too can live the way humans are supposed to live and not like the animals live. Most saw that the agriculturalists were well fed and had large numbers so they willingly joined in this “revolution.” Those that chose not to were obviously fools or savages incapable of understanding “civilized” ways and so were overrun and destroyed. The thing is, however, that the “agricultural revolution” has not stopped. There are still remote regions with “backward” peoples who have yet to realize that they are living in an non-human, antiquated way. Our culture has strived to show them the right way or has pushed them into extinction in the trying. The result of our culture’s insistence that the way we are living is the one right way to live is an ever increasing global population with an ever decreasing level of bio-diversity. More and more of the world is being rendered nothing more than a human life-support system: lands under plow for our consumption, animal herds being raised for our foods and products, and the rest being polluted by our ever-increasing need to consume. As many as 200 species become extinct, every day to support our ways. As any ecologist will tell you, a diverse ecology is a strong ecology while an ecology that consists of only a few organisms (like say, humans, their crops, their herd animals, and the crops used to feed them) is a very fragile one. Diversity then, isn’t something that is nice, or something to be strived for because it is more interesting to have. No, diversity is essential to our survival as a species on this planet. The quicker we consume enough species on this planet, the sooner we will destroy ourselves. What is the name for our culture then? The Consumers, and it includes nearly every man, woman, and child on earth.

Much of these ideas came from my reading of Daniel Quinn’s books. For those interested in learning more of these types of ideas and views I encourage you to read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. After that, read other books, and keep reading and thinking, and gradually change your actions, and the way you live. Become happier and more content, show others how to live. If reading isn’t your bag or if you would simply like to discuss some of the things I have written please write to me. Also, I am by no means done with this rant.

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