Are We Insane Enough To Destroy Nature Along With Humanity Itself?

An unfortunate observation that we all should be aware of: not only do we wish to dominate and exploit other human beings, we also participate in the apparent madness of raping and pillaging the earth of its natural resources whilst, inexplicably, diminishing its life sustaining powers.

With Man’s celebrated Champion called “Technology”, as it continues its determined mission towards conquering “Nature”, I cannot help notice that despite the huge advances and worship of this ubiquitous creation, we are inadvertently disconnecting from each other and destroying the very source of our sustenance.

In fact, our progression in terms of technological and scientific advancements only serves to highlight the apparent but simultaneous regression of human consciousness, common sense and wisdom.

Surely something has gone wrong here?

We have seemingly created a terrifying monster that is suppose to aid us but instead hinders our mental and spiritual growth, as we become ever more dependant on its dangerously mesmerising charms.

Anyway, let me now turn your attention to the following relevant essay written by Eco-philosopher Paul Shepard, who shares his own observations on the human psyche in regards our past and present relationship with nature.

Shepard touches on the problem of the ignorance pervading human minds who are hell-bent on persisting with their destructive behavior towards the planet and wildlife – which prompts the question: can we find the necessary wisdom for us instead to embrace the need to conserve nature’s gifts, rather than commit an avoidable global suicide?

Below is an excerpt from Paul Shepard’s pertinant essay ‘Nature and Madness’:

In the midst of these new concerns and reaffirmations of the status quo, the distance between Earth and philosophy seems as great as ever. We know, for example, that the massive removal of the great Old World primeval forests from Spain and Italy to Scandinavia a thousand years ago was repeated in North America in the past century and proceeds today in the Amazon basin, Malaysia, and the Himalayan frontier. Much of the soil of interior China and the uplands of the Ganges, Euphrates, and Mississippi rivers has been swept into their deltas, while the world population of humankind and its energy demands have doubled several times over. The number of animal species we have exterminated is now in the hundreds. Something uncanny seems to block the corrective will, not simply private cupidity or political inertia. Could it be an inadequate philosophy or value system? The idea that the destruction of whales is the logical outcome of Francis Bacon’s dictum that nature should serve man,” or Rene’ Descartes’s insistence that animals feel no pain since they have no souls, seems too easy and too academic. The meticulous analysis of these philosophies and the discovery that they articulate an ethos beg the question. Similarly, technology does not simply act out scientific theory, or daily life flesh out ideas of progress, biblical dogma, or Renaissance humanism. A history of ideas is not enough to explain human behavior.

Once, our species did live in stable harmony with the natural environment (and in some small groups it still does). This was not because people were incapable of changing their environment or lacked acumen; it was not simply on account of a holistic or reverent attitude; rather, there was some more enveloping and deeper reason. The change to a more hostile stance toward nature began between five and ten thousand years ago and became more destructive and less accountable with the progress of civilization. The economic and material demands of growing villages and towns are, I believe, not causes but results of this change. In concert with advancing knowledge and human organization it wrenched the ancient social machinery that had limited human births. It fostered a new sense of human mastery and the extirpation of nonhuman life. In hindsight this change has been explained in terms of necessity or as the decline of ancient gods. But more likely it was irrational (though not unlogical) and unconscious, a kind of failure in some fundamental dimension of human existence, an irrationality beyond mistakenness, a kind of madness.

Please read the full essay ‘Nature and Madness’ here:

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