Have you ever wondered what the story is that our Western culture is built upon? It is the story of separation:
- Humanity is separate from nature.
- Humanity is the only one with intelligence.
- Humans are separate from each other.
- What affects one does not affect another.
- What affects animals, f.i. an extinction of a species, has no affect on people.
- What affects plants has no affect on people.
- Because we are separate, we need to control things.
Now my question is: Is this true? What do you know?
Some people will answer yes, some will answer no.
For me it is absolutely not true. Let me tell why. In the late 80"s, I heard for the first time that it is a lie that we are separate from nature and I started to pay attention. I began to notice that I had experiences that showed me that I am not separate from nature. Actually, I feel so connected to nature, the earth that I am facilitating a workshop called Earth as Teacher. In the last 10 years, I had experiences that cognitively showed me that I am not separate from other people. And I know that I am not the only one with experiences like that.
If the story of separation is the underpinning of our culture, where and how does that show up?
Humanity is separate from nature. We need to control nature and we can do what we do because it has no impact on nature. Remember the disastrous effects of straightening rivers? The Ozone Holes which could have alerted us to the effects of greenhouse gases? Or look at SciFi movies with all the climate controls.
What affects animals and plants has no affect on humans. We are behaving as if there is a limitless supply. Overfishing makes it harder and harder to catch fish. Spraying pesticides made 'weeds' resistant, destroys the health of people or kills them, kills the soil and makes it almost impossible for it to absorb water.
Talking about the 'Circle of Life' is the realm of Disney movies, nice, feel good phantasies but not real.
It does not end there. The idea of scarcity is born as a result of the story of separation. If you have more than I have less. This leads to competition and control. It plays out in finances and government. Corporations become people and people loose their humanity by being identified with ideologies. By dehumanizing 'the other', making them the enemy, it becomes possible to have all kinds of wars. People don't talk with each other. How often do I see them in a restaurant all being busy with their smartphones?
How much are people stressed, dissatisfied, worried, or unhappy? How much are we seeking to escape these emotions by checking out? The attempts to control things are working less and less. In a way it is becoming a negative spiral which to me says that the story of separation is no longer working, even with all the attempts to prop it up.
We need to find a new story. But how? Fighting against the current story, choosing something that is opposite to the current story is still coming from the current one. Exploring a way or ways out of the dilemma is subject for another blog.