'Humans have hypnotised themselves with their own wizardry'

Normally, I do not talk about the responses I get to my writings. But this one certainly coaxed me to put it up for a wider view. Responding to my article “G-20 Summit: Learning From a Frog in A Pond” published on Countercurrent (link below), David Kennedy penned an enlightening commentary. I am sure you too will be drawn by the honesty and the heartfelt angst that the letter reflects.

But before that a small note of appreciation from An Indian in the comment section:

This is one of the best article I have read on CounterCurrents about global economic meltdown. Qudos to you Dr. Devinder Sharma, I thought you are an agri/vet-guru. But from your writing it appears you write about global economics pretty well.

Here is what David Kennedy wrote:

Humans have hypnotised themselves with their own wizardry.

Ever since the Industrial Revolution that ushered in the Machine Age, human imagination has gone from strength to strength, inventing more and more ways of utilising fossil fuels for things we don’t need and an economic system that keeps people locked into the system of infinite waste.

The human brain is worshipped. People believe in intelligence and creative imagination. It separates us from other animals. Just look at the wonderful achievements: electronic gadgetry, radiation wizardry, chemical wonderment, medical miracles and, most of all, the magnificence of money. How clear that the human brain is made in the image of God! There is nothing quite like it on earth or anywhere else in the universe as far as we know.

It is stupendous! The human brain is SO clever – yet it cannot perceive the obvious truth of existence. The planet does NOT belong to us! We are here under sufferance.

The condition of our tenure is that we treat natural creation with respect, that is, we take what we NEED and try not to destroy life for others, be they of our species or not.

If we abuse our presence by destroying the conditions for life to continue then our tenancy will cease. It is as simple as that.We can destroy conditions for life in lots of ways. We can simply devise means of exterminating those forms of life we don’t happen to like, wilfully ignoring the ‘web’ of life and its inter-dependence. For example, if we destroy the habitat required by bees there will be no pollination and all the gold in the world won’t save us. We can select those forms of life that are useful to us and make sure they increase.

One way of doing this is by monoculture. This results in a lopsided, man-made creation, inimical to the natural balance. We can destroy those that are useful to us that in our greed we blindly exterminate.

This is happening to the EARTH’S forests – not OUR forests. Once again, we get lopsided, man-made creation, with atmospheric oxygen going down and carbon dioxide going up.It has happened and continues to happen to a variety of forms of terrestrial and marine life. The largest mammals ever have been hunted almost to extinction because of their oil. Ironically, whale oil – which COULD have been sustainable – has been replaced by rock oil (petroleum), which is finite and highly destructive to life on earth because of what it does to our atmosphere.

We can destroy the conditions for life by polluting water supplies on which ALL life depends. The seas are becoming increasingly acid, thus becoming less congenial for marine life. Ultimately, this will lead to mass extinction. We can pollute the air that most living things require as an essential part of their energy metabolism. This too will lead to mass extinction.

We do this by burning fossil fuels, returning hundreds of millions of years’ worth of sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere within a couple of hundred years.We can poison the land, rendering it infertile. We are well on the way to completing this task, thanks to the mass use of chemical fertilisers and over-cultivation. This will result in the earth being able to sustain less and less life until eventually life will cease.

We can amuse and delude ourselves by playing with the structure of matter, releasing various kinds of radiation and leaving radioactive material that makes an uncongenial companion for life (as we know it). Life will cease long before the radioactivity decays to levels compatible with life. Yes, we like to think how clever we are, all of the wonderful things we can do, all of the wonderful things WE have created. In our conceit we fail to realise that, like Pandora, we have opened a box that contains the means – not of life lived to the full for all eternity – but of death and destruction within our own lifetimes that we are unable to control: just as we cannot control radioactive waste from our ‘playing’ with natural matter.

We are here because matter WAS sufficiently inoffensive until WE began to play with it. We have turned it into something that is offensive and incompatible with life. That is how clever we are! ‘Evil’ is a human construct, just as ‘wisdom’ is a human construct. They each describe a form of human behaviour. They are part of human self-recognition. We have spent so much time trying to understand ourselves that we have lost sight of the importance of our relationship with the rest of creation. We imagine ourselves to be above nature rather than part of it. This arrogance is our downfall.

Whether we can change our behaviour in time to save us from self-destruction remains to be seen. There are few signs that humans are aware of the evil they do to themselves and to the rest of life, and non-life, on earth. We are violating the terms of our tenancy with ever-increasing contempt. There will surely be a day of reckoning and all the brainpower in the world won’t save us…

David Kennedy 03.30.09 – 2:16 pm #

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