It has been taught since the beginning of time: we do not inherit the Earth. It is not ours for taking; it serves no source to our inflated entitlement. So why do we struggle to live in unity with the power that provides? Have we learned nothing from those that came before us? Nature is not merely a means of plentiful resource in which we can self-righteously steal. She is rough, she is rugged, she is wild. The poison that she holds comes only from human hands. In this century it has become enormously apparent that what we take is later taken from us. The current planetary crisis in which we face may not be the fault of ours individually but is surely the fault of ours collectively. And therefore the responsibility of ours collectively.
However, the American embodiment of individualism as a philosophical concept contradicts any consideration for the whole. Such a mindset supports competition and capitalism rather than coexistence or conservation. This is painfully evident in the toxic culture we are consumed by. Fixation on domination, triumph, and an overemphasis on the individual courses through Western blood.
A society that fails to see the interconnectedness of humans with flora and fauna surely will only torture and maim us slowly. As animism, Baruch Spinoza’s vitalism, and Eastern deism have previously declared: there is clearly a strong pulsing force that exists in all of us in which we are all connected to. A high frequency vibration of energy perhaps, or a connection of the soul as humans, animals, vegetation, and soil, binds us together in an intangible, magical sort of way. Those that feel this connection, those that live to respect it, must be honored more.
The Native Americans were, and are, arguably the most admirable in living by similar ideology revolving around human relationship with the Earth. Every tribe varied in its worldly outlook and traditions but held universal belief in an ultimate Creator Spirit pervading over all. The idea of this spirit existed in all forms of Nature, making every creature equally as important as the other. This was not taken lightly, relating even to hunting, as it was not uncommon for a hunter to ask permission of the animal’s spirit before seizing it as a form of food. Animal rituals expressed a specific desire to exist among species in a state of equality opposed to egocentrism.
It is interesting to me that we still, to this day, have failed to adopt the indigenous understanding that animals are thriving beings with distinct personalities and characteristics that contribute to this Earth in the same way humans can. It is interesting to me that hunting for sport and trophy rather than genuine necessity is considered a normalized behavior. As if the death of an earthy spirit makes you a champion. As if a gunshot wound to a mammal makes you more of a man.
But that’s just a side thought…
The interconnectedness of humans and Nature, represented strongly by tribal spirituality, is a compassionate approach that should be sought after and installed in modern society. What we can learn from those that came before us, and those amongst us, will expand our minds to wondrous conceptions and ease the exigent planetary crisis we have come face to face with. These are variations of thought we, as American individualists, must be considering in reference to our view of the environment. Tapping into our innate soul connection with Mother Earth is arguably the only foolproof method of terminating the previously stated war with the human ego and the life-giver.
The more we feel the pulsing force of the Earth, the more aware we become.