I despair at the actions of some human animals, humans that are filled with hatred of Nature. As we are part of nature then I can only see that hatred as a form of self loathing.
There is a complete loss of connection with the world around us in the broken minds of some. Nasty comments about children, who have realised the trajectory that we have put Nature on, exemplify a fundamental problem in our culture. And it is not really a cultural problem either, it is just one symptom of a wider spiritual crisis.
This spiritual crisis is the loss of understanding that we are part of Nature and Nature is part of us. It pervades much religious, philosophical, economic, and political thinking. Our society moves further each day from the world around us. We bury our minds in smartphones as we walk, surfing Facebook, catching Pokemon or just walking with earphones listening to our favourite music rather that the bird song in the tree next to us or even the sound of the car engine stuck in traffic.
We separate ourselves at our peril. As that car engine, belching NOx into our lungs, fails to register in our consciousness so we fail to recognise the harm that it does to us and to other animals and the atmosphere. When we begin to connect with the engine and fumes, and yes they are a part of Nature and a part of us, we begin to see that we shouldn’t have that engine doing what it does best.
This week the BBC headlined a story which vox popped people expressing surprise that there was plastic in snow, quite a lot of plastic. There was a wake up call that had stirred them just a little.
But then we see photographs of people on the beach seemingly ignoring the mountains of litter that surround them. The beach is one of my favourite liminal spaces, a great interface between earth, sea and sky, a place where magic happens. The beach is a place that opens my eyes, ears and mind, it is a place of fun and danger. It is life and Nature and joy. So how can people be so blind as the coffee cups get trodden into the sand by their feet and the waves carry plastic towards the shore? How can people not know the consequences of their action and inaction?
It is surely a huge human frailty, and possibly a non-human frailty too, that we fail to understand the consequences of our collective actions. We hang on to what we know, and think we want, at the expense of what we should have and do.
Like most animals we are hooked on a fight for survival and that takes different forms but like most animals we only seem to recognise the short term, visible dangers. But the fight for survival is ultimately futile – we will all die and like all cultures, civilisations and indeed species our culture civilisation and indeed species will die too.
We have two spiritual jobs to do. We need to get to grips with our mortality and we need to get to grips with living now, living and dying in a right relationship with Nature.