Tuesday, July 01, 2014
As impressive as an iguana. Maybe not.
I find myself frequently searching for these quotations.
A Reading from The Food Revolution by John Robbins
Maybe we aren't on a one-way road to oblivion. Maybe we're standing at a crossroad, facing what may be the most important choice human beings have ever faced, a choice between two directions. In one direction is what we will have if we do nothing to alter our present course. By doing nothing, we are choosing a world of pollution and extinctions, of widening chasms and deepening despair, a world where humanity moves ever farther from achieving its highest aspirations and ever nearer to living its darkest fears.
Our other choice is to actively engage with the living world. On this path we work responsibly and joyfully to make our lives, and our societies, into expressions of our love for ourselves, for each other, and for the living Earth. In this direction we honor our longing to give our children, and all children, a world with clean air and water, with blue skies and abundant wildlife, with a stable climate and a healthy environment.
If you live with fear for our future, you are not alone.
If you live with dreams of a better world, you are not alone.
We all live, now, with both the pain and the possibility we carry in our hearts, both the despair and the hope that we may yet learn to live in harmony with our precious and endangered Earth. There is not a person alive today who does not, at some level, know we are facing these two directions, and understand how much is at stake.
I am aware how strong are the forces of ignorance, greed, and denial in our society. I know it is possible that we won't make it.
But I am also aware of how strong is the longing and the love of life in the human heart. And so I know it is possible that we will make it, that we will create a sustainable economy that protects the living systems of the Earth, that we will come to be part of the world's repair. The power of darkness in our world is great, but it is not as great as the power of the human spirit. We can learn to provide for our needs and limit our numbers while cherishing this beautiful planet and its creatures. It is in our nature to honor the sacredness of life.
What is at stake today is enormous; it is the destiny of life on Earth. At such a time, walking a path of honoring ourselves and the living planet is our responsibility as citizens of the planet, but it is something more, as well.
It is also a joy, and a privilege.
A Reading from Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan
It is an illuminating peculiarity of the microcosm that explosive geological events in the past have never led to the total destruction of the biosphere. Indeed, like an artist whose misery catalyzes beautiful works of art, extensive catastrophe seems to have immediately preceded major evolutionary innovations.
With each crisis the biosphere seems to take one step backwards and two steps forward - the two steps forward being an evolutionary solution that surmounts the boundaries of the original problem. Not only meeting but going beyond challenges confirms that the biosphere is extremely resilient, that it recovers from tremors with renewed vigor. Nuclear conflagration in the northern hemisphere would kill hundreds of millions of human beings. But it would not be the end of life on Earth, and, as heartless as it sounds, a human Armageddon might prepare the biosphere for less self-centered forms of life. As different from us as we are from dinosaurs, such future beings may have evolved through matter, life, and consciousness to a new superordinate stage of organization, and in doing so, consider human beings as impressive as we do iguanas.