The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.



I sometimes think I’d be very content living in a teepee, mountains and wild life surrounding me. Or – a small cabin on the edge of a lake filled with fish for my dinner, weeping willow  trees lining its banks and an herb garden at my front door.  For the most part we don’t live like that.  There was a time in our history when nature was primary in everyday lives but that is no longer the case.   Today it plays a secondary, walk-on role in our lives.

The question is: how did that happen? What is the driving force behind the subjugation of nature brought about by politics, religion, education and business? Assuming such a power exists, one might at first say GREED.  But how does greed play into education? Is it conspiracy?  Again, when it comes to education, that’s not the answer.  Does education even belong in that list? I think it does.

Poor student performance – kids who can’t read – is indicative of the fact that education is not doing its job. And the inability to provide what people need also applies to religion, politics and business.  None of our formal institutions provide us with the proper tools to do justice to maintaining our natural world.  We simply don’t know how to do it.

If  it’s not greed, not conspiracy, what is it?  Could it be egotism?  Is egotism – the desire to be recognized to the exclusion of all else – the desire to be ‘top gun’ – the force that underlies the subjugation of nature.  Egotism, I think, does apply to all four categories though you have to look beyond the classroom to find it in education. There it can be found among the publishers of text books who resist change with a vengeance and refuse to admit to the extraordinary capacity of very young children to learn.

I’d also have to say that organized religion bears some responsibility for the subjugation of nature.  Invented deities replaced Mother Earth and, for the most part, those invented deities offered mankind no guidelines for living in tune with nature.  I don’t dispute their guidelines for living in tune with others but their emphasis was certainly not on nature. Those of a religious persuasion would reject egotism as an explanation but isn’t “my God’s better than your god” egotistical? Doesn’t egotism, to a large extent, drive General Motors and Boeing and Sara Lee?  I don’t think you can question it in relation to politics

What does subjugation of nature really mean? It means a failure to appreciate the wonders of nature: it’s never sitting quietly in a forest and watching the birds overhead and the critters at your feet; it’s not experiencing  a sense of awe at the sight of a snow-covered mountain or a leaping dolphin.

It’s not understanding what these people said:

          “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” – Rachel Carson

          “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with  your hair. – Kahlil Gibran

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it . . . People think pleasing God is all God cares bout. But any fool living in the world can see it is always trying to please us back.” – Alice Walker, The Color Purple

          “In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. – Charles A. Lindbergh.

          Just think how different our world would be if the powers that be in the four components of that insidious fork subscribed to those statements.

Post a comment. What do think it is?

Julie Rose


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