Roughly 4.5 billion years ago an accretion of matter in the Milky Way formed what we know today as our home planet, its age may be inconceivable yet its importance is clearly evident. The earth has been the facilitator of life not only for our species but countless others, each individually utilizing their space on the planet to survive and spread their DNA. For organisms to exist they must adhere to the life cycle they have been prescribed, each culminating in the inevitable corporal demise.
Although the accumulation of unintelligent matter formed our planet, it’s coalescing and position in the universe serendipitously spawned the living ecosystem we walk upon; but, if the earth is living, should it not also follow a life cycle like every other living thing? And if not, how has a living life facilitator escaped the omnipresent ending? Civilization is on an enormous incline steeped towards catastrophe, after the fact will humanity return to a more native way of life or will we double down on our mechanical rape of the earth?
Time, Humans and Nature
In western society the concept of time follows a linear progression, each moment succeeding the next pushes us farther away from history and deeper into novelty, however, this isn’t a ubiquitous understanding of the dimension. Traditions of the East such as Hinduism and Budhism, and ancient societies like the Mayans believed time to function in a cyclical motion trailing a course of death and rebirth.
Eastern religion looks at the world from the aspect of eternity with a core concept being the continuation of time, reincarnation highlighting how individuals are tied into a perennial cosmic cycle. To the West this notion is not conducive to the salient religious narratives; instead of believing the universe to be vast and enigmatic, devout Christians believe us to be the center of a 6000-year-old cosmos.
Since Constantine changed the spiritual trajectory of the West these stories have installed a mentality lasting thousands of years, and today, even if some don’t believe the literal interpretation, the ideology still loiters in the bloodline. If one understands the universe to work in cycles intention is drawn to make the cyclical flow fluid, when linear time is the favorable theory advancement becomes essential and progress is pedestaled.
If an intelligent designer assembled earth specifically for humans, is it ironic or apt that we be the one’s catalyzing it’s termination? Our technological breakthroughs have consistently updated civilization to its residing epoch, yet, with the birth of industry and rise of capitalism our priorities have shifted from the community to the self. With self-interest and instantaneous rewards coercing community thought, vital aspects of our planet are being milked to exhaustion by corporate entities, delving deeper into the piggy banks of future societies.
The further we stray from our humble origins the material world reasserts its precedence over the human mind, we are more technologically connected than ever but have isolated ourselves in a world of personalization.
Implosion or Restoration?
With the Doomsday Clock still sitting at 2 minutes to midnight, the effects of global warming and the threat of nuclear implosion appear to be the front-runners in our earthly collapse, but what does this mean for the planet and our race?
To grasp the potential cataclysm, history provides us with surfacing themes in the decline of previous civilizations. Easter Island and the Sumer have many similarities to our current predicament; both found a location auspicious to support small communities, after a while the region become known for it’s bounties and more people arrived, as more came the areas resources were drained, and instead of restraint they increased their uptake eventually leaving the once generous region dry, destroying their society.
Even with vivid examples of the ultimate collapse of previous civilizations we too are extending our mechanical roots into the ground and poisoning our atmosphere; this time, however, it is not just provincial but a global degeneration. With both depending threats weighing burdensomely (for those attentive) over our conscious, issues resulting from mass migration will continuously rear their heads as the bare necessities of life (running water, food, shelter) become commodities for selected distribution.
The pain and suffering of millions is unavoidable as we are ushered along the human chronicle, but through this discomfort we may be realigned with our natural state. For many species of Flora their death isn’t permanent but a temporary sedation, dormancy revoked as the spring sun kisses their form. Perhaps the ground that provides nutrients will undergo a similar occurrence, and as the man-made world dwindles nature can command its overwhelming saliency.
A great proponent of this comes from an unlikely but very applicable source, Chernobyl. The radioactivity in the area has made it baron of humans, however, over the past 30 years the zone has been inhabited by an abundance of animals including brown bears, wolves, lynx, bison, and over 200 bird species. Animals are active agents in developing thriving ecosystems and their ability to regenerate lushness is integral to a healthy planet.
Maybe the earth’s death is a winter in which a diminutive percentage of our race endures, and as the spring sun rises the survivors learn once again how to live with, not exploit our benevolent planet.
To exist a living organism must ultimately be sacrificed in death, so if the earth is alive why wouldn’t it face the same fate? Death is not uniformly perceived and time alters the concept, when life is said to follow cycles we become aware of an infinite sequence syncing us with the cosmos. In the West we have become accustomed to a linear relationship with time leading many to focus on merely themselves, whether it be here or in their imagined afterlife.
Thousands of years of momentum has lead civilization to its current point on the fringe of failure. As the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stays lingering near midnight, people are encouraged to learn to live more harmoniously with the planet; and whilst the rubble comes tumbling, it’s best to cultivate the part of the garden you can reach.
Image source: Holes to Heaven