Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dan Millman on Saving the Earth

On Dan Millman's blog there is a great post on his take for "saving the earth".

Wow! He put into words what I have been trying to say, but have been too angry at the environmentalist-tree-hugger types to express.

In a nutshell, the notion that we should all go back to living like cavemen or natives in teepees is bunk. That's not to say that we humans do not put strain on the environment, sometimes more than we have to, and sometimes we humans have little regard for the big picture. That's all true.

However, fixing that is not about going back to the "good old days." In the "good old days", no one seems to remember that the average life expectancy was 40-something.... even as little as a century ago. No one also seems to remember that people who were not related to each other that met randomly in the wilderness would try to kill each other, simply to control resources and take slaves or new breeding stock. Many environmentalists romanticize these eras, and forget the brutality that we have actually left behind in those years.

Things are better today than they were. People live longer, if nothing else, yet even if we humans never redeem ourselves and wind up destroying our own race, from the Earth's perspective.... Who cares?

The "Big Picture" is bigger than us. The Earth will go on whether we are here or not. Environmental damage can conceivably repair itself, certainly over millions after our extinction. From the Earth's perspective, it really does not matter what we do. Longer-lived species than us have died off before.

Nevertheless, there is still something to be learned from environmentalism.... if it can be done with awareness. The pollution and over zealous negativity that we humans put out into the world is a reflection of our mental disease. The more chatter we have in our brains.... the more we get sucked into our own emotional dramas.... the more we lose ourselves in the pursuit of excess.... the more the Earth becomes clouded with our garbage.

Environmentalism is not about cleaning up garbage. It is about curing our disease by becoming aware and learning to observe our mental chatter and emotional outbursts. You will never manually put a stop to the chatter or the emotions. You are not supposed to. However, you CAN learn to observe them without judgment and just allow them to be.

When that happens, the environment will improve on its own because human behavior will automatically change.