Part Three-1: Western Thought and the Dynamics of a Train Wreck
(Addendum to the Honour Song Trilogy)
‘The invention of agriculture was the original hinge upon which
swings the entire train wreck we call western civilization’
Western civilization and western thinking were both predicated upon a mistake, a monumental error and an outright contravention of natural and universal laws. The original intent of the following essay was to try and make some sense of the world in which I live but in the process the investigation somehow managed to pin-point, with a high degree of accuracy, the precise moment in history in which the profound misstep occurred. That precise and seminal moment happened when early modern humans, due to the explosive growth of their brain size (post H. Habilis), came up with the idea that they could alter, manipulate, control and essentially ‘interfere’ with the natural order of biological life on planet Earth. Removing wild grain seeds and wild animals from their natural habitat then mass-breeding and mass-producing them (into voracious monocultures) on concentrated plots of land and in pens, corrals and enclosures upset the delicate balancing act that nature had established over three and a half billion years of biological evolution. The virulent poisons inherent within those two seemingly innocuous ideas (or seeds) went on to infect the DNA of each subsequent stage in the exponential development of western ideology (and western civilization) and have virtually guaranteed the collapse of the infected system.
There are two indisputable historical realities which act as bookends for the evolution of this collapse. The first reality is that we are currently in the midst of an unfolding social and environmental train wreck…this is indisputable. The other reality, which existed just prior to the agricultural revolution, can be identified simply by the fact that at that point in time there was no train wreck. Global forests were lush, wildlife flourished, the water and air were pristine and the human hunter-gatherer population was at a stable and sustainable five to six million. The Earth back then existed in a relative state of harmony with itself.
So, no train wreck…and then poof!… a train wreck. (In the span of a mere seven thousand years since agriculture became the dominant practice). The following essay endeavors to ‘connect the dots’ between those two historical markers by examining the extreme nature of the events that caused such an ominous and radical transformation to occur.
On the Need for Historical Context
There are two ways of approaching this third and final instalment of the Indian Residential School trilogy. One is from a wide-angle, ‘big-picture’ point of view which encompasses a layman’s grasp of human and natural history. The other is from a narrow and limited vantage point that has little concern or interest in the events that have shaped the world in which we live. I say ‘layman’s grasp’ because one does not have to hold a masters degree in any particular field of study to provide an adequate over-view of the historical rudiments of western civilization, modern humans (post agricultural revolution) or biological evolution leading up to the appearance of advanced modern humans. A layman’s grasp would entail reading a few National Geographic magazines from time to time, watching the occasional documentary or nature program on the ‘tube’ and retaining some of the stuff learned from history and geography courses in high school. It is this basic over-view that will help immeasurably by placing the statements made in the larger essay into their proper context… which is against the wide back-drop of human and natural history.
Some statements expressed in the ‘train-wreck’ document will be viewed as radical, controversial and perhaps even incendiary without the benefit of historical oversight. As a primer to the following treatise I would like to provide a few examples that further support this claim.
There are two powerful and unyielding forces at work on Planet Earth today and these forces have been engaged in an ever-deepening conflict for millennia, going back approximately seven thousand years to the early days of the Agricultural Revolution. One force is comprised of the laws, the ethics and the wisdom of nature and its three and a half billion years of biospheric and ecosystems management… the management of the Earth. The other force is made up of the laws, ethics and values of advanced modern humans and their relatively short turn at managing the planet. Nature’s laws, values and ethics are universal, infallible and time-honored. Modern man’s laws, values and ethics are synthetic, tenuous and arbitrary, and were originally fashioned by a self-serving and elitist-driven autocracy that evolved out of the first city-states some seven millennia ago.
The global conflict between the laws of nature and those of modern humans is an exponential phenomenon that has been gaining momentum since the genesis of western thinking. The confrontation manifests on a biospheric scale and at a glacial pace, and is therefore imperceptible to most humans at the ground level who are busily preoccupied with performing their little tasks and routines somewhere deep within the mechanisms of western civilization and the industrial age. It is this paper’s strongly held conviction that a basic awareness of the infrastructure and dynamics of the ‘human vs. nature’ conflict would be beneficial to the challenges we face and the attitudinal changes we must make as we navigate our way through the gathering storm. If serving no other purpose, this awareness will at least provide a barometric reading of just how far advanced modern humans (esp. those of the ‘western’ industrial persuasion) have drifted away from the natural world.
To that end I would like to cite two significant characteristics of the conflict (and there are many) that firstly, indicate the extent of the impasse that exists between the forces of nature and those of modern man, and secondly, provide the ever-essential element of context for the attached essay.
Characteristic #1 – Bio Diversity vs. Global Monoculture
When considering the sheer magnitude of the widening chasm that separates the position of hyper-humans from that of nature, two central and outstanding features – call them ‘hallmarks’ – act to define the core values and rationale embraced by each position. In the case of nature that defining hallmark is bio-diversity. Bio-diversity is systemic, universal and fundamental. Since Day-one it has been the modus operandi and underlying principle that has governed every aspect of biological evolution on planet Earth. That’s quite a track-record. Bio-diversity is essential to the survival and adaptability of all species-groups, allowing for necessary genetic modifications to suit ever-changing environmental conditions. Bio-diversity, wilderness and ‘wildness’ are integral parts of one whole… living organisms, both flora and fauna, were born to roam freely the boundless expanses of land, sea and sky.
Note: The purpose of this prologue is not to spend too much time defining any one aspect of the conflict (as they will be examined more closely in the attached essay) but instead establish the incontestable fact that bio-diversity is the way nature works… pure and simple. And when you combine the incomprehensible enormity of its forces, the universality of its laws and its inability to compromise its position, these factors certainly qualify nature as a formidable bastion against any interloper who unwittingly chooses to challenge it.
“A robin red-breast in a cage… puts all heaven in a rage”
The nature of domestication is the domestication of nature. Which brings us, quite appropriately, to the defining hallmark that distinguishes advanced modern humans. If hyper-man had sat down and planned it out, he could not have come up with a system that more contravenes the universal and time-tested laws of nature. I’m referring of course to the idea of a monoculture. In every way, shape and form a monoculture is the perfect antithesis of bio-diversity… it constitutes its exact opposite. The ancient laws of nature dictate that organisms remain wild, spontaneous and uncontrolled, motivated solely by their instinctual needs to reproduce, propagate and flourish in multi-colored profusion. Conversely, the synthetic laws of modern man prescribe the capturing, penning-up and mass-breeding of specific wild plants and animals solely as a means of control and convenience. Modern man’s audacious interference with the laws, balances, rhythms and biological order of nature (i.e., the inventions of agriculture and the domestication of wild animals) set in motion the monoculturalization of planet Earth. And though it started only ten thousand years ago with a few wild grains and some wild sheep, the poisons inherent within those two original ‘ideas’ spread like an infectious disease, contaminating just about everything hyper-man laid his hands on. Besides its most obvious by-product – being the lethal over-population of humans and their livestock – the infection produced some other ‘big-ticket’ items as well, including; the European colonization of the planet; the global spread of Roman Catholicism and its aggressive campaign to wipe out the Indigenous mosaic; the regimentation and compartmentalization of human societies; the German work ethic; the factory schools and the state-controlled mass-indoctrination of children and, last but not least, the Americanization and corporatization of the globe.
In fear of saying too much and stealing ‘thunder’ from the larger essay, nothing more needs to be said here regarding bio-diversity vs. monoculture. These topics are covered in Chapter One titled, ‘Agriculture and the Contravention of Natural Law’ as well as other chapters throughout the essay. I only touch on them lightly here to provide the reader with a sense of the breadth, scope and the gravity of the evolving conflict.
Characteristic #2 – Western Medicine vs. The Dynamics of the Cull
News Item: CBC Radio, Jan 16, 2015 – The BC government has
authorized the culling of 180 wolves in the Chilcotin
Plateau and Peace River districts due to the decimation
of caribou herds in those regions. A government spokesman
says the cull will take a year to complete and the wolves
will be shot from helicopters.
The second characteristic is the more controversial of the two and unless viewed with some degree of historical and scientific perspective, will be summarily written-off as outright blasphemy. This most contentious of subjects deals with the simple dynamics of a cull. As with the previous topic, nature has its way of managing things and modern man has his, and in this case again the two approaches are diametrically opposed to each other. For billions of years of biological evolution nature has employed certain techniques and tools in its efforts to maintain a sustainable balance amongst all organisms and species-groups… culling being just one of them. It’s not rocket science. If one species group upsets the natural balances established within any given ecosystem – by either over-hunting or becoming too numerous for that system to sustain – then natural law steps in and corrects the imbalance. That is how the cull is used most effectively, to thin-out or reduce the population of the species-group that is out of balance. The correction can be achieved through a variety of means including; starvation, attrition, disease, natural disasters, relocation, etc. Little more needs to be said about nature’s system of managing the planet, other than to acknowledge that the system works – evidenced by the pristine condition and the biospheric harmony that existed prior to the appearance of advanced modern hyper-ideological humans.
(Note: As per the CBC news item above, advanced modern humans do not seem to have a problem understanding the concept of ‘culling’ when it comes to wolves and other creatures…but appear to suffer from a perilously irrational blind-spot when it comes to their own species-group).
Modern man’s track-record in regards to ecosystems management over the past seven millennia has been dismal at best. Due to the invention of agriculture – which (1) triggered the exponential growth of human and livestock populations, (2) spawned a sedentary lifestyle, (3) the stratification of human societies and (4) the subsequent development of hyper-ideology – there was a discernible shift away from nature’s laws and in the vacuum hyper-man began establishing his own paradigm of laws, ethics and values. These issues are covered in the ‘train wreck’ doc but a thumbnail sketch is required here to form a back-drop for the claim that the development of western medicine – in tandem with science and technology – has inadvertently erected an impenetrable barrier between the laws of nature and the laws of man. And that is where we hyper-humans get into so much trouble. That impenetrable barrier became a ‘Berlin Wall’ that was built around western thinking, western ideology and its arbitrary code of values and ethics… and after centuries and millennia of insulation and navel-gazing modern humans have come to believe their synthetic ideological constructs to be ‘the word of God’ and therefore unquestionable.
“Like Plato’s allegorical cave-dwellers, advanced modern humans have become mesmerized by their own fleeting shadows cast upon an earthen wall”
When human organisms are born-into, live and die mired in a system of thinking that has been ‘lone-wolfing’ its way through seven thousand years of self-ordained supremacy and is generally accepted as the ‘law of the land’, they have a minimal frame of reference from which to question the validity of the ethics that up-hold that system. Nature knows how to manage the planet… just look at its three-and-a-half billion-year track-record. Hyper-humans may think they know how to manage the planet but their tenuous ideology was cobbled-together, over mere millennia, by an elite core of self-serving authoritarians (i.e., the wealthy, the royalty, the church and the intelligentsia) so the ideology itself is suspect.
Western medicine is the progeny of that ideology. Therefore would it not be wise to question its foundation, its methods and its motives – together with those of technology and science – when broaching the critical issue of biospheric management. Are these institutions working in accordance with the universal laws of nature… or against them? It is a simple question with profound implications and only plausible if viewed through the wide-angle lens of human and natural history. And that brings us back to the ‘cull’ and its ability to thin-out and reduce the populations of those species-groups that are out of balance. The human population today is frightfully, frightfully out of balance and has been heading in that direction since the invention of agriculture (see subsection on ‘the inversion of nature’s equation and the small/large differential’ in Chapter One which explains in one short paragraph how the train wreck occurred). Although agriculture was the original source that triggered the imbalance, the ever-evolving saga has been exacerbated by the skewed ethos of western medicine. Nature, in all its wisdom, would have surely employed the cull to correct the human population imbalance – if given the chance. But instead it has been thwarted at every turn and at every juncture by the medical, technological and scientific sectors, all of which are ideology-driven extensions of a synthetic and very tenuous framework of thinking.
“We are right smack-dab in the middle of ourselves and helplessly prone to ideological centrisms… why wouldn’t we think we’re the center of the universe and the best thing since sliced bread”
To many, the following line of questioning borders on the heretical no doubt, but could it be that the foundation under-pinning both western civilization and western thought embodies within it a mortally flawed gene that has been evolving and transmutating in all the wrong directions since early modern-humans first went berserk with their new-found (and aberrant) ability to hyper-think? Is it possible that the tenets supporting western ideology may actually be a direct contradiction to the laws of nature? These are tough questions that need to be asked if we humans ever hope to gain a workable and pro-active understanding of the global dilemma we created. Only by standing outside of ourselves for a few moments and viewing the world from nature’s perspective – which includes its primary function of regulating and balancing the populations of all species-groups – can we dare to ask ourselves a number of timely and crucial questions. First of all, are human beings a species-group? If so, are we not subject to the same rules and laws as the rest of creation? Secondly, was the decision to rid human societies of disease, viruses, germs, bugs and plagues the right and ethical thing to do, given nature’s need to use those tools in its efforts to manage human populations? The next question we must dare to ask ourselves is; in the midst of a dangerously over-populated world, is hyper-man’s obsession with extending human life well beyond its naturally allotted ‘shelf-life’ – by whatever synthetic, mechanical or chemical means available – the right and ethical thing to do? We are currently witnessing an aggressive campaign, spear-headed by advanced science and technology, which envisions modern-humans ‘conquering’ disease, aging and even death. (Western man’s psychotic fear of aging and death is partly religious-based but also stems from a deep and personal sense of emptiness and unfullfillment… the unfortunate spin-offs from an existence mired in superfluous materialism). And the final question we need to ask ourselves is this; is the hyper-human, hyper-intellectual propensity towards tampering, interfering, manipulating, altering and controlling the biological building-blocks of life, (i.e. the cellular and genetic infra-structure of all living organisms) the right and ethical thing to do? Just because hyper-humans have (due to their aberrantly over-sized brains) the intellectual and technological ability to meddle with such things, does that make it right and ethical… especially when taking nature’s greater interests into consideration?
A cross-comparison between nature’s laws and the laws of modern humans is the issue here. We are in the middle of a new kind of war-zone… perhaps the ‘war to end all wars’ that historians keep alluding to. The battle rages all around us, above us and below us… in our oceans, lakes and rivers… our forests, plains and wetlands. It rages underground in our aquifers, shale formations, tar-sands and carboniferous deposits… in our tainted skies and the polluted air that we breathe. The gravity of this global confrontation is often equaled only by its subtleties… unfolding apocalyptic events are measured in mere inches and centimeters, a degree or two Celsius, parts per million, parts per billion and the ‘glacial’ melting of polar ice caps, sea ice and permafrost. But make no mistake… regardless of the subtleties, advanced modern humans are at war with nature.
This is the ‘big picture’ viewpoint I wished to establish before anyone ventures forth into the following ‘train wreck’ essay. I hope you enjoy the ride and oh… don’t forget to fasten your seat-belts.
The Honour Song Trilogy
(Canada’s Indian Residential School Experience)
Part Three: Western Thought and the Dynamics of a Train-wreck
“To speak what we feel… not what we aught to say”
Author’s Note: This document was created through the filter of my Aboriginal sensibilities. The cellular memory of the ethics and principles practiced by one’s distant ancestors and thereby etched in human DNA greatly informs both my worldview and my writing. And considering the unique differences embodied within the Indigenous cultural paradigm – as compared to the European – it should be of little surprise to anyone that this essay will often appear to voice a distinctly Indigenous tenor in its approach, its observations and its conclusions. Being raised and identified as a ‘half-breed’ (especially during my youth), I consider myself well-positioned to weigh-in on sensitive and divisive issues concerning Canada’s treatment of its First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. The genetic grounding in both the Aboriginal culture (on my mother’s side) and the European (on my father’s) actually lends well to the perspective and authenticity required for the following analysis.
This final segment of the Indian Residential school trilogy is a departure from the historical and psychological effects of the schools themselves and journeys to far-off lands in search of an answer to the burning question… why?? Why did the schools happen in the first place? What were the mentality and attitudes that led-up to the creation of those cruel and heartless institutions? Where do the concepts of racism, cultural genocide and global domination come from? What would possess a group of human beings from one side of the globe to assume they had the right to sail around to the other side and simply take over. To steal the land and resources, set up permanent colonies, tear eapart the Aboriginal’s family, spiritual and community-based culture and infect their populations with foreign diseases (killing off what historians estimate to be in the range of tens of millions of indigenous human beings throughout the 500-year colonization of the Americas).
The Honour Song Trilogy is an attempt to somehow make sense of the schools and their devastating effects on an entire culture – as well it is an attempt to make sense of the world in which I live. Racism, Euro-centrism, cultural superiority, religio-centrism, world-domination, crown of creation, etc., are all concepts that have a lengthy lineage and my search took me half-way around the world for a broad analysis of western civilization, its infrastructure and history as well as its modern-day influence on global events. Along the way I discovered that the source of those destructive attitudes can be narrowed down to a series of radical shifts or quirks in the development of the advanced human’s thinking process, in particular, the explosive growth of the human brain (350cc to 1350cc) in an extremely short time frame and the subsequent developments of hyper-intellectualism, the dawn of the ideological age and advanced linear thought. A good part of this essay will focus on the evolution and linkages of these mental processes, which directly fuelled the invention of agriculture (circa 8th millennium BCE) and the abrupt transition from tens and hundreds of thousands of years of hunting and gathering to a sedentary agrarian lifestyle. The ideological age, hyper-intellectualism and advanced linear thinking caused the disintegration or separation of western man from nature, natural law and his spiritual base, and from the resulting void he manufactured a synthetic (man-made) paradigm of values, morals and ethics that have, over millennia, brought the Earth and its fragile biosphere ‘to their knees’. The other half of the essay examines the after-effects of this ‘conquistador’ mentality, coupled with the industrial revolution, and their social and environmental ramifications.
Agriculture and animal-husbandry are undisputedly the most destructive inventions ever created by mankind – combined, they marked the beginning of the end for not only our species, but quite possibly the rest of the biosphere as well. Chapter One focuses chiefly on a protracted and much over-due explanation of how western civilization got into so much trouble due to its blind interference with the natural order of plant and animal species. Nature’s management of species populations had been working perfectly for three and a half billion years prior to the appearance of modern-man. Removing specific grain seeds and animals from their natural habitat (the wilderness), then converting and mass-breeding them into monoculture crops and livestock were the two original blunders that set-off a violent and malignant chain-reaction causing the lethal population explosion of both humans and their livestock. This chain-reaction would infect the next ten thousand years of world history and eventually lead to the social and environmental ‘train wreck’ we are in today.
It may sound like a bit of a stretch to suggest that dehumanizing concepts like racism, genocide, colonialism and global conquest are somehow linked to the invention of agriculture, but this final installment of the Indian Residential School trilogy goes even further by first, identifying those human qualities that we find most detestable and harmful to our planet and its inhabitants and secondly, establishing a linkage of those qualities to agriculture and animal husbandry. Greed, hoarding, lust, war-mongering, the holocaust, the African slave trade and the industrial revolution are each the trickle-down effect of advanced modern-man’s ill-conceived experiments with hyper-thinking and his foolish meddling with nature’s delicate balancing act, and this essay boldly asserts that racism, cultural genocide and Canada’s Indian Residential schools were born out of the same womb.
Chapter Two dissects a diesel locomotive (hauling a long train of ‘over-populated’ passenger-cars) that is milliseconds away from careening off the tracks and into the ditch below. An obvious metaphor for the exponential growth of western civilization and the industrial revolution, this chapter scrutinizes the roles played by not only the engine’s major components and the unconscious engineer but the collective influence of seemingly insignificant ‘machine parts’ as well (the nuts and bolts) and their combined contribution to the calamitous outcome of the journey.
Chapter Three examines the ethics of the industrial state (many think it has none) and its manufacture and proliferation of chemical poisons, pesticides and other known carcinogens throughout western societies. The flood of industrial poisons onto the open market – regulated and sanctioned by corrupted governments – has created a systems-wide feeding-frenzy in which many industrial partners (including the medical, technological, scientific and the pharmaceutical sectors) realize obscene profits from the mass-poisoning of the general public who consume the industry’s tainted products. Chapter Four (an extension of Chapter Three) focuses on the after-effects of industrial poisoning and the creation of a world-wide epidemic of heart, stroke, neurological and cancer-related diseases and death caused by those toxins. This chapter touches on such subjects as death with dignity issues, Church interference and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
(Important Notice: This final essay endeavors to steer-clear of criticism of specific individuals or how they conduct their lives… the term ‘individual’ is used only in the collective, either as a force for change or a repository for stagnation. In trying to present the big-picture view of the evolution and current state of the industrial age this distinction is helpful to the document’s over-all conclusions. It is the system of western thinking itself and the values it promotes that is under investigation here. The patently hyper-human values of materialism, consumerism, profit-motive, elitism, exclusive land ownership, ‘taking more than you need’, etc. have gradually seeped into and contaminated most aspects of the modern state, its institutions and its industries. Because the problem is systemic and covers such a wide swath, few are immune to its influence. Whether one is a farmer, doctor, factory worker, professional athlete, teacher, lawyer, accountant, policeman, actor, logger, scientist, student, environmentalist, religious leader, artist, writer, working stiff or whatever… we have all been born-into and are to some extent conditioned by the machinery of western thought and its questionable values. To varying degrees we are all ‘machine-parts’, right across the board… it’s inescapable. So if anyone feels singled-out by the following critique my advice is; please do not take it personally… it’s not about you. It’s about the machinery to which you are attached).
The Indian Residential School system was a co-creation of both state and church so Chapter Five focuses exclusively on Roman Catholicism and its complicity in creating the disintegrated European world-view – the same world-view that condoned the establishment of Canada’s Indian schools. Being a by-product of Europe’s elitist-driven hyper-ideological age, the Catholic Church has marched in lockstep with the crown’s lust for world-domination and has much to answer for, especially in regards to its heavy-handed persecution of worldwide Indigenous cultures. Because of its significant influence on the evolution of western civilization and the genesis of the train wreck, the Catholic Church appears numerous times throughout the essay including a small subsection in Chapter One on the church and state’s attempts to create a global monoculture… a system that completely contravenes the central tenet of natural law which is diversity in all things. A clear distinction needs to be made concerning issues relating to the Church – I am not directing criticism towards individuals who are adherents of Jesus of Nazareth’s original vision or the ageless wisdom of his message. Instead, my critique is leveled at the interlopers and despots who have infiltrated the inner sanctum of the movement and turned it into a den of iniquity.
Chapters Six and Seven concentrate on ‘machine-parts and perspective’. By natural design human beings were never intended to be servile automatons or ‘machine-parts’ (any more than horses, cattle and other ruminants were designed to be beasts of burden). Buried within our genetic make-up is the cellular memory of our deep and familial integration with nature, our unfettered ‘wildness’ and our free and unrestricted movement throughout both the outer and ‘inner’ landscapes. These two chapters provide an indictment of the hyper-idioloical age and its bastard-child (the industrial state), and their combined efforts to create the Orwellian nightmare that is unfolding before us today. The much maligned feudal system that was devised by the power-brokers, the royalty and the church so many centuries ago is still very much the reality today as governments, corporations and the same church continue to coerce, intimidate and mold the masses into obedient, subservient and expendable ‘economic units’… mainly for their own profit and benefit.
This third and final essay includes a section on the environment and challenges western man to step outside of his narrow, centrism-based attitudes of self-importance and self-absorption and view the world from another perspective… nature’s perspective. Homo sapiens are only one of an estimated 20 million species of living organisms inhabiting (and sharing) the planet – we are not the ‘crown of creation’ and we’re certainly not the ‘best thing since sliced bread’. We may think we are and therein lies the whole drift of this investigation. Dispelling our notions of superiority does not necessarily mean we are automatically relegated to the level of ‘chopped liver’ as well. By returning to Earth from the lofty yet delusional clouds of separation, exclusivity and dominion we can once again re-integrate ourselves with the beauty, simplicity and wonder of creation and perhaps re-learn from the sparrow, the wolf, the river and the wind that the creator exists equitably within all living things. That in a direct sense, each living organism is a veritable ‘crown of creation’ in its own right, for no other reason than it exists at all.
As one advances further into the document it may appear that I am singling-out human intellect as the main source of the problem… not so. An integrated existence, which incorporates intellect, inner spirit and respect for natural law into its purview forms the basis of a cultural and environmentally-friendly world-view. Conversely, a disintegrated hyper-ideological mind estranged from spirit, conscience and respect for nature is predestined to lead to a major crack-up… it’s inevitable.
Another conclusion that some readers may reach before finishing the essay is that I am suggesting we bring the machinery of western civilization and the industrial/technological revolution to a screeching halt and return to the simpler lifestyle of hunter-gatherer cultures. Again, this is not the case… although I’m sure the Earth and its myriad life forms would breathe a huge sigh of relief if it were possible. A non-integrated system of thought, whose ethics exclude natural law and inner consciousness from its world-view will likewise issue-forth a cold and heartless ‘machine’ as its progeny. The deeply entrenched institutions and industries that we take so much for granted, whether medical, educational, military, religious or economic have evolved as components within a much, much larger ideological mechanism and collectively they share equal responsibility for the sorry state of our planet. Although I draw these conclusions as to the cause of our current predicament, it is not the intent or the ‘place’ of this document to dictate that the whole system be shut-down forthwith. What I am suggesting is… any changes in our current trajectory or to the ethos of the greater machine must first come from individual machine-parts themselves. To some extent this can be achieved by first, becoming aware of the reality that we are machine-parts to begin with. Secondly, individuals need to question everything… the industrial state, its institutions, its governments and the values they uphold. And, last but not least, individual machine-parts (you and me) need to question our role in the existence and forward momentum of the imminent train wreck.
The Indian Residential School trilogy and especially this final installment are certainly not ‘pretty’ to look at… train wrecks never are. But the document is nevertheless infused with an undercurrent of hope – hope that sanity, natural ethics and a modicum of consciousness will eventually prevail over the madness and disrespect of the modern industrial age. The combined forces of western thinking, rampant and unfettered ideology, and linear fantasy have together caused modern man to wander aimlessly away from the center of things. From the center of nature and natural law, from the center of what is vital and profound and, most significantly, from the center of himself. Deep within the core of our genetic memory is written the precepts of ancient and infallible laws that have existed since the beginning of time. It is this memory that drives many to re-establish their connection with the beauty and simplicity of nature and the divinity within themselves.
Chapter One: Agriculture and the Contravention of Natural Law
“This great evil… where does it come from… how did it steal
into the world… what seed, what root did it grow from.”
One must travel back 10,000 years into western man’s history in order to understand how agriculture and animal husbandry launched their circuitous journey throughout ancient Mesopotamia, Asia and Europe and eventually evolved into the most destructive force the Earth has ever known. Agriculture was not a ‘one-off’ occurrence… it was invented in a number of regions, in relative isolation and at various times-frames on both the eastern and western hemispheres. In regards to Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, it is generally accepted that agriculture and animal husbandry were both conceived simultaneously around 8,000 years BCE due in part to the warm climate, year-round growing season and the bountiful fertility of the region. Fed by Turkey’s Eastern Taurus Mountains, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers yielded a year-round source of fresh water for irrigation and the whole valley south to the Persian Gulf became a center for agricultural activity.
It’s helpful to remember that all cultures of the world were hunter-gatherers prior to the invention of agriculture and that many regional cultures, including some North American Aboriginal tribes did not engage in the practice. The idea of agrarianism, together with capturing, domesticating and mass-breeding wild animals initiated the most revolutionary shift in mankind’s evolution, second only to bipedalism (walking on two feet). These revolutionary ideas enabled human beings in the northern regions of the eastern hemisphere to become more and more sedentary or settled. Having stored grains and penned-up sheep and goats meant they could spend more time in one place and less time hunting and gathering food.
The ideas of agriculture and animal husbandry took thousands of years to germinate and take root but the innovations eventually spread throughout the eastern hemisphere. The sedentary lifestyle, its by-product, opened the floodgates to hyper-intellectualism and the concentration of more and more human beings settling in larger and more permanent communities. These early sedentary pockets of humanity were precursors to the villages, city-states, nation-states, kingdoms and modern metropolises of the current era.
Up-setting the Apple-cart
The introduction above states that agriculture and animal husbandry marked the beginning of the end for mankind and quite possibly the entire biosphere. A statement that bold and audacious requires a thorough explanation and this first chapter will endeavor to do just that. The planting and storing of monoculture grain-crops together with domesticating and mass-breeding wild animals in captivity are the two most widely accepted practices of the modern era, so much so that these terms largely define who we are as an advanced species – why then would anyone even attempt to question the very foundation of our ‘western’ way of life?
We begin with a short story… back in the late 60’s there was a popular book making the rounds titled ‘The Aquarian Gospel’ by a writer named Levi. The book was a compendium of new-age spiritual ideas and concepts and didn’t resonate too deeply with me at the time, simply because today I can’t recall much of what it said… except for one small passage. This short passage spoke of an elderly sage walking through a valley in Persia and his encounter with a passer-by who asked the sage if he could answer his most perplexing question, which was; if God is all good, compassionate, just and all knowing, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? The sage sat down on a rock and took a moment to gather his thoughts and then spoke. He told his enquirer that God created the Earth, the stars and the whole cosmos with a framework of finely tuned balances, hues, textures and nuances, all deeply imbued with a system of natural laws that is as old as the universe itself. Anyone who attempts to tamper with or upset those fine balances and delicate systems is going to bring a tremendous amount of hardship upon themselves.
The story may seem over-simplistic and a bit archaic but hidden within its message is the key to the explanation of how things went so terribly wrong in regards to modern-man’s relationship to the natural world. For the past three and a half billion years, ever since prokaryotic unicellular micro-organisms first began showing up in our ancient oceans, there has been a system of universal principles and natural laws that have governed the evolution of all organic life on planet Earth… that’s three and a half billion years of natural order, balance, symmetry and biospheric harmony to which all living things have adhered. The system of laws that governed our world was not only infallible but also essential to the management of species diversification, dispersion and propagation… if any one aspect of the system became out-of-balance, natural law would affect that specific imbalance in such a way so as to re-establish order within the system. This natural affectation universally applied to the regulation and management of species populations. No single species group within a given ecosystem was permitted to upset nature’s delicate balancing act by becoming too over or too under-populated and if they did then natural law would step in and correct the situation by either culling, disease, starvation, attrition, wildfires, storms or prompting a particular species group to relocate.
The Equation and the Small-to-Large Differential
Take the wolf-pack for example. Written within the genetic code of the alpha-male’s DNA is the time-honored equation that dictates the amount of land required for a pack to survive… they needed nothing more and nothing less. Let’s assume, for simplicity’s sake, that a pack of fifteen wolves requires five thousand acres of territory to sustain itself. (This equation was arrived at with the aid of a preliminary assessment of the territory and the game available). The alpha-male then proceeded to ‘mark-off’ the five thousand acres as his pack’s designated hunting-ground which also became off-limits to neighboring wolf-packs. This was natural law and natural order at work and all living organisms were subject to those same basic rules. If the wolf-pack became over-populated or over-hunted their established territory – thereby exhausting the available game – then the pack was forced to relocate and re-establish a new hunting-ground or starve to death. Either way it would present an opportunity for the local game to replenish itself to the point where their stabilized numbers would attract another wolf-pack to the territory. The end-result of this system was the population management of the wolves, the game and all other organisms in the eco-chain.
So, the equation for this simplified scenario is 15 wolves to 5000 acres of land or, in other words, a small and controlled number of wolves capable of surviving on a relatively large tract of land. Please keep this equation and the small-to-large differential in mind as they are vital to the explanation and will re-surface a number of times throughout this subsection.
Pandora’s box (noun): A process that generates many complicated
problems as the result of unwise interference in something.
Approximately ten thousand years ago something happened on planet Earth that completely ‘upset the apple-cart’. A series of unnatural events occurred that so radically altered the ebb and flow of three and a half billion years of order and balance that in the brief time-span of only a few millennia, those events have brought the Earth’s entire biosystem to the verge of collapse. The first two of these ‘unnatural’ events were agriculture and animal-husbandry.
The gathering and replanting of wild grain-seeds on concentrated plots of land, combined with capturing wild animals, penning them up and mass-breeding them as a convenient source of food, clothing or as beasts of burden may have seemed like good ideas at the time. But in reality, and from a much wider perspective, those two man-made inventions directly contravened the universal laws and natural order underlying all of creation. That’s a mouth-full I’m sure but what it simply means is that for the first time in the history of the planet, one singular species-group began interfering and meddling with the fundamental laws that had governed the Earth since Day-one. The first and most far-reaching consequence of this interference and meddling had to do with population dynamics and the above equation.
This may be difficult for some present-day humans to accept but we too are essentially just one more species group amongst many and up until we became sedentary agrarians, we too had to abide by the same rules as the wolves and other mammals. All over the planet the simple and universal logic behind these rules ensured species populations were managed and kept in check and undoubtedly, the same logic applied to the population dynamics of our own species group, the homo sapiens. But with the radical ideas of re-planting, storing and domesticating wild grain-crops on small, concentrated tracts of land combined with capturing, mass-breeding and domesticating wild sheep, pigs, cattle and goats in small enclosures, mankind abruptly turned nature’s time-tested equation up-side down – literally. Simply put, the above equation became inverted… instead of a small number of humans surviving on a large tract of land as nature intended, a large number of humans were now able to exist on a small tract of land. (This may not seem like such a big deal until one begins to grasp the biological axiom that survival of any diverse ecosystem hinges upon a natural and very precise synchronicity between species populations and the carrying-capacity of the land-mass in question). This inversion was a ‘game changer’…in only a few thousand years the human population exploded from 5-6 million to 7.6 billion (and counting). The contravention of natural law and the subsequent inversion of the above equation are both key to understanding how modern-man foolishly up-ended nature’s ‘apple cart’ and in the process got himself into so much hot water vis-à-vis universal law and the natural order of things.
Homo sapiens, like all other mammals, were never intended to become more numerous than their regional ecosystems could manage – all species-groups in fact, were required to maintain their rightful place (and number) within the over-all balance, in order for the system to work. Imagine if wolves back then came up with the idea that they could round-up deer, antelope, rabbits and other rodents, and domesticate and mass-breed them in pens and corrals. It’s purely hypothetical and as preposterous as it may sound, it would eventually lead to the same disastrous scenario unfolding today for human agrarian societies. The wolves would have no need to hunt anymore and would begin settling, breeding and multiplying around their equally-multiplying food source and today the world would be completely over-run by billions upon billions of wolves, deer, antelope, rabbits and other rodents. Such a system would contravene natural law and biological order. Had mankind not tampered with nature’s finely-tuned balancing act, i.e., left the plants and animals alone to exist in the wild as nature intended, he would have surely continued to exist and propagate his species throughout the world as hunter-gatherers but his populations would have remained sustainable and manageable within the boundaries of the ecosystems he occupied.
(Note: I can already hear the screams of derision… ’but that would mean we’d all still be hunter-gatherers today!! Ah, yes… but it would also mean that the Earth today would be far, far less populated with human beings (and their livestock) and more than likely in absolute pristine condition, much as the North American continent was before the European colonists and their machines began arriving).
As agriculture and animal-husbandry caused hunter/gatherer tribes to become more and more sedentary, they also began cohabiting and multiplying in larger and larger numbers in the proximity of their food source. This in turn required larger grain-crop/livestock/irrigation ventures and the ratcheting effect inevitably led to more densely populated settlements and eventually to the creation of larger villages and city-states. (Check-out the statistics toward the end of this chapter re population of some of today’s ‘mega-cities’, e.g. Tokyo – 37,126,000, Jakarta – 26,062,000, etc.). In the ‘big picture’ view and from the perspective of nature, mankind’s sudden and violent departure away from natural law and order caused him to begin drifting precariously into a new and dangerous world of alienation and separation from the rest of creation… the same creation upon which he had always been dependent. To put this in the most succinct terms, mankind blindly turned away from natural law and began doing things his own way, according to his own laws. Ouch!!!
(Note: The monkey-wrench that modern-man threw into the delicate system that governed and controlled the population of his own species also affected the population of his domesticated animals. Their numbers grew exponentially in tandem with mankind’s and today the world’s ancient forests and precious wet-lands are being raped and plundered primarily to plant mono-crops to feed the global livestock industry. More on this later).
For They Know Not What They Do
News Item: Globe and Mail – July 30/15. The United Nations Committee for Human Population Projections estimates the total number of humans living on the planet will reach 11.2 billion towards the end of this century…an increase of 4 billion.
The combined population of China and India today is a little over 2 billion. So in an attempt to fathom what 11.2 billion human beings living on the planet might look like, consider this; it’s like taking two more Chinas and two more Indias and adding them to the current global population of 7.2 billion.
Fact: For tens of thousands of years prior to the invention of agriculture, the global human hunter-gatherer population remained stable at around 5-6 million… nature certainly knew what it was doing back then. It took the ideas of agriculture and animal husbandry a long time to take-root and spread so by the 4th millennium BCE the world-wide human population had only grown by one million or so. By that time the momentum of the these two inventions was beginning to pick up, fueling the growth of larger and larger agrarian settlements and the first appearance of city-states. By the 3rd millennium BCE the great empires of the western world began to flourish and mankind’s numbers increased to 8 million and doubled again to 16 million by the 2nd millennium BCE. 2000 years later, around the time of Christ, there was a nearly ten-fold explosion of humans to 140 million world-wide and a thousand years later (circa William the Conqueror) it doubled again to 290 million. Mankind’s population hit the 1 billion mark during the reign of Napoleon (1805). In the remaining 200 years the exponential curve went ballistic and today the human population sits at a little over 7 billion and expected to top-out at around 11 billion towards the latter part of the twenty-first century. (Source: Wikipedia)
If the ideas of agriculture and the domestication of wild animals had never been conceived the projected estimate of human hunter-gatherer populations world-wide for this current period (the 21st century) has been pegged at somewhere between 6-7 million tops. But, as everyone knows, due to agriculture our numbers for this century will actually be in the 7-11 billion range which means the population of our species will be roughly one thousand to fifteen hundred times what it would have been had mankind not interfered with the natural order of life on planet Earth.
Do the math. If one species-group causes themselves (plus all their domesticated livestock and poultry) to become grossly over-populated by a magnitude of one-thousand to fifteen hundred times the numbers as prescribed by natural law then these factors will surely exert immense stress upon the biosphere’s fragile infrastructure… how can they not. Under these conditions there’s bound to be an awful lot of ‘pushing and shoving’ going on and sadly, it’s been the rest of the Earth’s living organisms that have been ‘pushed and shoved’, many to the point of extinction. Human activity now accounts for an estimated loss of 30,000 plant and animal species every year and this is why the terms ‘poison’ and ‘demon-seeds’ are occasionally used to describe the inventions of agriculture and animal husbandry.
(Note: I recently read a book authored by Diamond Geness, a respected Canadian anthropologist, on the subject of the relationship between the early European colonists and Canada’s Indigenous peoples. In the introduction Mr. Geness stated that when the colonists first began arriving they discovered that the native populations here were relatively low and ‘thinned-out’ compared to the more-densely populated Europe and that this obvious fact gave the Europeans, in part, the moral authority and justification to move in and take over the vast untapped and unexploited territory. ‘It’s okay… there’s nobody here except a few savages’. A popular term back then was terra nullius or ‘empty land’. The old-world attitudes expressed by this author, which were no-doubt shared by wave after wave of early settlers, industrialists, the church and the crown, not only smacks of Euro-centrism but also indicates how ignorant Europeans generally were about natural history, natural law and the ancient system of order governing the evolution of organic life on the planet. Referring once again to the timeless logic of the above equation, the low and ‘thinned-out’ numbers of Aboriginal hunter-gatherers four-hundred years ago was actually the ‘ideal’ population as determined by natural law. It must also be remembered that Europe of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was a war-ravaged, disease-ridden cesspool of chaos caused by, you guessed it, rampant over-population of both humans and their livestock. (Isn’t it remarkable how one deeply embedded centrism can skew a person’s ability to think rationally). So, in the final analysis and in accordance with nature’s infallible wisdom, Canada’s Aboriginal cultures actually had it right while their European cousins had it wrong… terribly and disastrously wrong).
Back to the main theme. What accounted for the low numbers of hunter-gatherer populations (5-6 million world-wide) during that lengthy period leading up to the invention of agriculture? First of all, hunting wild game was extremely difficult and time-consuming… animals and birds could generally run and fly faster than humans and the weapons back then were rudimentary. Secondly, the scarcity of game in relation to land-mass, combined with the difficulties of the hunt, helped to limit the number of humans who could survive within a relatively large area of land. There were also problems associated with glaciation and the changing of the seasons (especially in the northern climes). The restricted ratio of hunter-gatherers to land-mass was generally in-sync with the natural order of all organic life within that territory. So in other words, 5-6 million human hunter-gatherers world-wide was the optimum or ‘right’ number that were able to sustain themselves within a well-designed system of ‘checks and balances’ established and managed by natural law.
In retrospect and in all fairness, it would be wrong to start blaming those first few hunter-gatherers for coming up with the ideas of agriculture and animal-husbandry. The human brain at that time in history had just undergone a ‘freakish’ and unprecedented explosion in growth (300%)… so these two ideas were probably next in a long series of innovations that began with bipedalism (which freed-up the hands and opposable thumbs), communal hunting, the accelerated consumption of flesh-foods and other high-protein animal by-products, making tools and the development of complex languages and social structures. It is doubtful that our ancient ancestors had even a clue as to the gravity of their meddling or the long-range consequences of their actions. That being said, it must be understood unequivocally, that the invention of agriculture and animal-husbandry were colossal mistakes in the grand scheme of things.
The Element of Interference and the Genesis of a Tragedy
The quicksand that western civilization manufactured and into which it is now sinking is a multi-layered phenomenon… much of the information presented in Chapter One deals with the historical and cultural dimensions of mankind’s evolving dilemma but in this subsection we will journey deep into the heart and core (the DNA) of the dilemma itself in order to locate its source. One could easily pick-apart the past seven thousand years of world history (since the idea of agriculture first began to take hold) and observe that major historical events appear to be linked together, via the laws of consequence and causality, and are therefore integral and affective to the evolution of western thought and western civilization… leading right up to the current era. This observation should be immediately followed by the stark realization that most of these historical events bear the distinctive hallmark of advanced modern hyper-ideological humans… that hallmark being a malignant, deep-seated poison located somewhere within the nucleus of our thinking process and our ability to arbitrarily manufacture ‘ideas’. We advanced humans are the only species group on the planet capable of manufacturing ideas… and, surprise, surprise, we are also the only species group on the planet that appears to be hell-bent on global destruction. Is there a linkage between the poison, the manufacturing of ideas and our penchant for destruction, and if so, what is the nature of the poison, how did it influence the other two factors and can its malignancy be traced back to an identifiable source?
“The nature of domestication is the domestication of nature.”
In fact, tracing the poison back to its original source answers all three questions simultaneously. There is a seminal moment in early modern man’s ideological development that can be identified, with certainty, as the spark that ignited a chain-reaction of poisonous events that have, over the past ten thousand years, culminated in hyper-man’s inevitable head-on collision with nature. That seminal moment is the hinge upon which an entire train wreck now swings… it is the mother-ship, the source and the common ancestor of all subsequent poisons that have infected the evolution of western thinking. That seminal moment occurred when we humans first introduced the element of interference into the grand scheme of biological evolution. Removing wild grains from their natural habitat and transforming them into controlled, structured monocultures was an outright interference of nature’s ancient system of order. Likewise, removing wild animals from their natural habitat and transforming them into mass-breeding, mass-producing sources of meat, clothing, cheap labor and other conveniences was interference of an equal magnitude. To grasp the gravity and true nature of the poisons inherent within these two simple inventions one must pose the question; what exactly was being interfered with? How does ‘the tenets underpinning all of biological life on planet Earth’ sound for starters. Or how about ‘three and a half billion years of biospheric management and order’. In accordance with nature’s ancient and time-honoured system of order, wild things were never, ever intended to be domesticated. Nature itself was never, ever intended to be domesticated… or controlled… or conquered. But, domesticate, control and conquer we did and today we are living with the consequences of our folly.
The Advanced Human Brain – A Biological Aberration
“From a purely clinical perspective, the hyper-explosive growth of the advanced human brain, over such an extremely brief time-frame, certainly qualifies our sub-species as a biological aberration… a veritable ‘freak’ of nature. Who else but a freak of nature would wreak this level of havoc and dis-respect upon its own fragile and irreplaceable bio-system… who else but a freak of nature would endeavor to destroy its own planet….who else but a freak of nature would rape its own mother.”
On a broader scale the modern human’s contravention of natural law was itself only a link in a much farther-reaching chain of events. They say all roads lead to Rome… for anyone who studies the history of bipedal hominids, it becomes obvious that the hyper-accelerated growth and development of the hominid brain (from 350cc to 1350cc) in such a brief time-span (5.5 million years with the bulk of that growth occurring since homo habilis 2.5 mya) is the original source back to which the problem-plagued human melodrama can be traced. It was this aberrant growth of genus homo’s brain that spawned the ‘idea’ of agriculture. The Earth is in trouble, big trouble. The boo-birds and the climate change deniers have been silenced by a mountain of scientific data gathered over the past 20 years that provides irrefutable proof that human beings, and human beings alone, are responsible for bringing this unique and beautiful planet to the brink of collapse. There’s no point going into any detail here because the details scream at us daily via the news and weather reports.
Instead, it would be more useful if we spend a few moments examining the lineage and roots of this horrendous insult that we humans (myself included) have inflicted upon the Earth. (And perhaps the ‘blunt object’ approach might be the most effective means of getting the point across). The act of destroying one’s own planet absolutely defies comprehension… it is humanly impossible to get your head around such a preposterous notion. In fact there are no words or terms in the western lexicon that can even come close to adequately describing the gravity and dire implications contained within the meaning of those few simple words… to destroy one’s own planet. Outrageous, arrogant, utter stupidity, barbaric, disgraceful, abominable, unspeakable. Sorry, not even in the ballpark. Suffice it to say that, as unfathomable as it may be, this is precisely what we advanced modern humans are doing… destroying our own planet. An event as mind-boggling and extreme as this does not manifest out of thin air… Newton would concur. It has to be the consequence of something else and likewise that something else must also be of a mind-boggling and extreme nature as well. In the three and a half billion-year history of organic life on planet Earth – which includes the evolution of mammals, birds, reptiles, dinosaurs, insects, and all forms of aquatic life – there has never been an instance in which brain capacity (in ratio to body-mass) has increased by more than 10-15% over a period of two to three million years. But within that same time-frame the brain capacity of our species, genus homo, has undergone an inconceivable 300% explosion in growth.
(Note: The meteorological and geographical conditions that led to this unprecedented ‘quirk’ in natural history is covered in another document titled ‘Racism – A Scientific Perspective’ which was written specifically for Canadian high schools. Essentially, it identifies an extended period of drought on the African continent during the Late-Miocene period (5-10 million years ago) that caused much of Africa to lose its forest canopy. This in turn caused a group of tree-dwelling primates to shift and adapt to life on the open savannah thereby triggering the off-shoot of a new strain of primate subspecies… the bipedal hominids).
Due to the phenomenal explosion of genus homo’s brain, especially during that period associated with tool making, the consumption of meat and other animal proteins and the development of more complex languages, the advanced human subspecies has, in many respects, gone quite ‘berserk’ with its new-found ability to hyper-think. The term ‘berserk’ is used without malice and should be viewed against the wide backdrop of natural history. The bizarre sequence of events, starting with the African drought and bipedalism, right through to advanced modern humans destroying their own planet establishes a clear and undeniable linkage… both opposite ends of this historical chain-link were, and are, equally mind-boggling and equally extreme.
‘And like the precision of a Swiss-made micrometer, the laws of consequence and causality set the pace and calibrated each ensuing stage of the train wreck’s evolution’
Although no blame or fault is attached to the inventions of agriculture and the domestication of wild animals, this by no means exonerates advanced modern humans from the greater burden of conscience and ethical behavior. Notwithstanding the natural ‘quirk’ that occurred back in the Late-Miocene and regardless of hyper-man’s subsequent and unconscious shift away from nature and natural law he still carried within him a gene-based understanding of the difference between right and wrong (see ‘A Brief History of Ethics’). And with the phenomenal development of ideology over the past seven millennia this understanding has been proportionally magnified. The elitists, the royalty, the religious and the masses who existed at the time of the first city-states and during the early empires of western civilization had a fairly healthy grasp of morality, ethics and knowing right from wrong. Today, at this end of the exponential curve, we, more than anyone else throughout mankind’s turbulent history, are very, very aware of those differences.
Modern humans exist in a quantum and interconnected reality. Within a few feet of the poison ivy plant grows another plant known as the ‘common jewel weed’ whose stalk contains a chemical substance which acts as a natural antidote to the histamines released by the poison ivy. The scientific term for this underlying, associative dynamic is ‘entanglement’. The darkness and insanity of the elitist and church-driven hyper-ideological age have created their own natural ‘antidote’ in the form of an illustrious lineage of visionaries, philosophers, poets and teachers (both Eastern and Western) who have given a ‘voice’ to those universal principles and ethics that exist at the deepest core of cellular memory. The good counsel of these visionaries combined with the human’s in-born/genetic sense of conscience makes it doubly difficult to hide behind a defense of ignorance. Whether two-hundred years ago, two-thousand years ago or here today in the twenty-first century, individuals need to hold themselves (or be held) accountable for their actions.
A Brief History of Ethics
The ideas of ‘ethical’ as opposed to ‘unethical’ and ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ are fairly recent developments in the evolution of natural history. The differentiation between right and wrong is peculiar to hyper-ideological man and could have only been constructed within an advanced ‘thinking’ process that was capable of arbitrarily creating its own code of morals, values and ethics outside the boundaries of natural law. (By creating an artificial paradigm of values hyper-man inadvertently manufactured – for the first time in the history of the planet – the antithesis of natural law which gradually came to be understood as ‘unethical’ or ‘wrong’). Nature abhors a vacuum. Advanced modern humans did remove themselves from nature via the agricultural revolution and the development of hyper-thinking, and in the ensuing void they did synthesize a new set of elitist-driven and self-serving values that did contravene those universal principles that have governed all life on planet Earth since the dawn of creation. And the differentiation between right and wrong, ethical and unethical occurred courtesy of our cellular/genetic memory which is deeply rooted in the ancient purity of natural ethics and natural rights. Another term for this cellular memory is conscience. When humans do something wrong, unethical or that is contrary to nature’s laws we ‘feel’ it, undeniably, in our guts. (Anyone who is incapable of, or in denial of this ‘feeling’ is termed unconscionable). Conscience was an early by-product of our split from nature and ever since it has been the standard by which we gauge unethical (or unnatural) behavior. In the natural world ideas like ‘unconscionable’ and ‘unethical’ have no meaning… organisms function according to the dictates of their genetic instincts, their immediate needs and in response to the natural stimuli coming in from the world around them. Having neither the time nor wherewithal to sit around and ‘think’ about alternatives eliminated any possibility of deviation from nature’s path. When a wolf takes down a deer or a robin yanks a worm out of the ground and devours it there is no question of ethics, morality or right and wrong… there is only adherence to natural law.
The three accepted axioms that underpin our (quantum) understanding of the universe are; 1) that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, 2) that reality only exists in the present moment – it has no future or past and 3) that just beyond the wafer-thin limitations of human sensory perception exists a universal and Omnipresent field of pure energy that permeates all of creation and unifies its seemingly separate and independent parts. Just how far hyper-humans strayed from the ‘real’ world can be measured by simply applying those three axioms to the rest of the biosphere and then doing a quick cross-comparison with hyper-ideological man. Modern humans, due to their capacity to hyper-think and linear-think, spend way, way too much of their time wandering around the capricious fantasy-land of past and future and precious little time in sync with the reality existing in the present moment. Conversely, animals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc. exist entirely synched-up with the present moment and have no cognition of the past or future. (One may assert that this is not true because what would account for squirrels gathering nuts and geese flying south in preparation for the coming winter… doesn’t that prove that these creatures think in linear terms. No, not really. The squirrel and geese are simply responding – in the present moment – to instructions indelibly imprinted within their genetic coding). Anyway, what this ultimately means is that, with the exception of hyper-linear man, all other creatures on Earth are naturally anchored within the exact same time-frame as the universal life-force existing within their temporal forms… the same life-force which is, according to the axioms above, indestructible, has no future or past and permeates/interconnects all of creation. The Earth’s myriad organisms; the snakes, the eagles, the bears, the bees, the whales and all the plants actually exist in synchronicity with this universal consciousness… they bathe in this universal consciousness and breathe this universal consciousness… all their lives. There is a tendency for some hyper-ideologues and religious-types to write the animals, birds and insects off as insignificant, stupid and even God-less but it now appears these simple creatures are closer to their Creator, their divinity and their Great Spirit than the unconscious and fog-bound human hyper-mind will ever be.
I’ve heard it said that life is not fair, but it is just. We humans were dealt a most unusual set of cards… through no fault of our own we became unwitting participants in a major evolutionary quirk that caused our brains to explode which then led to us making an awful mess of things. This certainly qualifies our circumstances to be unfair but what makes this unique adventure ‘just’ is that we’ve also been given the power and the tools to change the complexion of the cards we hold… by making informed choices and conscious decisions about the direction we would like to take in our lives. We humans could learn so much from nature if we only took the time and had the humility to observe. The common sparrow, for example, has mastered the fine art of living in the moment… it has no bills to pay, no RRSPs, life insurance, mortgage or stock portfolios to worry about. Everything it needs is provided by nature on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis. It has no regrets about the past because being fully engaged in the present moment nullifies even the option of retrospection. More importantly, having not the brain capacity to think linearly, the common sparrow has no understanding of its own death or an after-life or the prospect of ‘burning forever in the deepest pit of everlasting hell-fire’. The simple creature lives free from these narrow religious-based fears and anxieties that plague hyper-humans throughout most of their lives. These attributes certainly qualify the sparrow as a beacon of wisdom that could help illuminate – if we humans so choose – a pathway back to the simplicity within nature and the truth within ourselves.
More on the ‘Biological Aberration’ Thing
(Note: The following subsection provides a few final facts to support the contentious claim that the hyper-development of the advanced human brain is a biological abnormality. Touching on such subjects as human birthing, gestation and c-sections may rub some readers the wrong way but these procedures are not being vilified, judged or trivialized… instead they are being used simply as a means to an end… to help bolster the above claim. If the objective of this exercise is to provide an ‘air-tight’ case to support a most controversial position then it is necessary to approach the issue from as many different angles as possible).
News Item: World Health Organization estimates 287,000 women die annually world-wide during or following pregnancy or childbirth. WHO also estimates 3 million newborns die annually and 2.6 million are still-born. (The above figures are for 2010)
If anyone requires further proof that the hyper-human brain is a biological aberration, they need look no further than the gestation and birthing processes of modern humans vs. all other mammals. Essentially, the brain and skull size of the modern human has grown so rapidly over such a brief time-frame (by evolutionary standards) that the adult female anatomy, particularly that region known as the birth canal, has not had nearly the time required to ‘catch-up’ or adapt genetically to the modern prenatal skull’s disproportionate dimensions. The result of this biological discord is that the advanced human’s birthing process is anything, I repeat, anything but ‘natural’. Mammals generally require little or no assistance when birthing their off-spring. The size of a full-term brain and skull of a non-humanoid mammal fetus has naturally evolved so as to allow for a normal and uncomplicated passage through the mother’s birth canal. (Any slight evolutionary change in the fetus’ brain size would occur over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years and the female’s anatomy would naturally adjust to those minor changes over the same time period).
By contrast, the modern human’s birthing process is fraught with complications, long and laborious, excruciatingly painful, drug and machine-dependent, and ever-potentially a dangerous ordeal verifiable by the above WHO statistics. A majority of the suffering and death (to both mother and newborn) bears a direct linkage to complications resulting from the unnatural over-enlargement of the infant’s skull vs. the restricted size of the mother’s birth canal.
In modern western societies the human birthing process has been well-portrayed in literature, movies, television and theater. You know the scene… there’s usually three, four or perhaps five doctors, nurses, anesthetists and technicians crammed into the delivery-room… all sorts of machines and other sophisticated electronic gadgetry whirring, buzzing, beeping, pinging and oscillating screens… a dangling jungle of hoses, tubes, electrical cords, bags and I.V. paraphernalia plugged into the patient’s body… and lots and lots of ‘drugs’ (pain-killers, tranquilizers, epidurals, narcotics, Demerol, diamorphine, opioids, Nubain, etc.) The patient is oftentimes screaming or moaning in agony, egged-on by the helpless and hapless husband to ‘keep pushing’, ‘breathe deep’ and ‘you can do it Honey’. And at the center, framed by a pair of silver stirrups is the obstetrician, forceps in hand and attempting ever so gingerly to twist and turn the baby’s over-sized head to the left or the right so that the elongation of the infant’s massive skull can somehow squeeze through the tight constriction of the mother’s birth canal. Juxtaposing the chaos of an average modern-day delivery-room melodrama with the simple, unassisted, machine and medication-free birthing process of any other mammal on the planet certainly supports the position that the human birthing process is anything but natural.
Note: A small percentage of live-births in western societies are performed in more natural settings (i.e., home-births and water-births, etc.) but these methods still require professional assistance and some form of pain-medication.
News Item, Globe & Mail: The World Health Organization has cautioned developed nations re their over-dependency on caesarian sections (c-sections) as an alternative to conventional birthing methods. The US rate for c-sections is 313 per 1000 live births (1 out of 3)… in Canada it is 263 per 1000 births. Brazil has the highest rate at 459 per 1000 live births… almost 1 out of every 2 children born in that region is by c-section. The organization’s figures for c-sections world-wide is 18.5 million annually… that’s approximately 270 million newborns delivered by c-section for the first 14 years of the new millennium.
We’re not going to get into medical details and procedures regarding c-section births (there are plenty of videos and photos available on the net) or debate about whether c-sections are right or wrong, good or bad. Instead the focus will concentrate on the ‘natural vs. unnatural’ aspect of caesarian sections as an alternative to vaginal births. Placental mammalians started showing up around the Late Cretaceous period, an evolutionary off-shoot of our reptilian ancestors and obviously the product of natural selection and the need to better-protect the incubating fetus from predators. A pregnant female could transport her developing embryo around inside her instead of leaving it (in the form of an egg) exposed and vulnerable in the nest. From that time on, right up until 1881 when the first caesarian section was performed by German gynecologist Ferdinand Adolf Kehrer, vaginal birthing was the only method available to mammals.
Given the long history of vaginal birthing amongst placental mammalians, the ‘idea’ of a caesarian section can best be viewed as a radical and unorthodox method of delivering offspring. Were women’s bodies created to be cut open with a knife in order to extricate a newborn? No doubt the original intention of a c-section was to save the life of the mother and/or the child – which in some cases may have been warranted given a variety of complications stemming from the newborn’s aberrantly over-sized skull. But when one is confronted with the World Health Organization’s statistics of ‘one out of every two’ or ‘one out of every three’ births via c-section, alarm bells should be going off. Do these statistics not suggest that there is something highly irregular, highly unusual and highly unnatural about the human brain that we should be forced to revert to such extreme measures when it comes to the simple act of birthing an offspring.
There is an additional aspect of c-section birthing which needs to be taken into consideration and that is the emotional and psychological well-being of the new-born itself. Back in the late 20th century it was believed that the human fetus experience little or nothing during the birthing process. But with advancements in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology we now know this is not true. Newborns do experience emotional pain, anxiety, rage, loneliness and sadness both during and after birth. Specialists in this field have also determined that a c-section birth is a traumatic experience for the newborn because it violates the biological ‘birth program’ that is stored in the baby’s genetic wiring. Newborns are genetically programmed for a vaginal birth and a c-section abruptly interrupts that programming and is known to cause immediate and long-term psychological damage to some infants. (The above information courtesy of The Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine – 2009).
Another obvious indicator that the human brain is a biological anomaly is the gestation process itself. In all other placental mammalian pregnancies the gestation period is designed to allow the fetus to mature to a point where its brain, motor-skills, muscles, vital organs, bones and joints are developed enough so that the off-spring can be birthed and be “up and running” within a relatively short period of time. Having a normal-sized brain (relative to body-mass) provided a typical mammalian fetus with the maximum time necessary to prepare itself for the world existing just outside the womb. But in the case of advanced modern humans, the whole system has been thrown out of whack by our species’ aberrant brain-size. Because the skull-size of a third-trimester human fetus is so ‘unnaturally’ enlarged, the mother’s brain has been forced to adapt to the crisis by sending-out command signals to the body’s birthing mechanisms to prematurely eject the off-spring at around 9 months in order to avoid having the skull grow any larger and not fit through the birth canal at all. Because the modern human newborn is therefore birthed prematurely (the ideal gestation period is around fourteen months) it is totally incapacitated and will remain that way for many months. This certainly does not preclude parents from providing the time and care needed to raise their newborns, which is hardly the issue here anyway. The core issue is that the phenomenal growth of the human brain was the first and most significant link in a long chain of events that eventually led to the invention of agriculture, the genesis of the hyper-ideological age and the evolution of a global train wreck.
The Church and Natural Law
(Note: Of the seven years that I have lived out-side of Canada, much of that time was spent in Ireland… mostly in the rural areas away from the big cities. For centuries the Catholic Church has maintained an iron-grip on the Emerald Isle, especially on issues surrounding moral teachings, sexuality, birth control and contraception, etc. Needless to say, the country appears to exist (most notably at the lower end of the social spectrum) in the throes of a perpetual ‘baby-boom’. It’s not uncommon to see young mothers pushing prams carrying two or three infants as well as two or three more toddlers in tow. With the ominous threat of ‘eternal damnation’ hanging over their heads these poor folks had little choice in the matter. I spoke to one such ‘mom’ out-side the small town of Newbridge, County Kildare, wanting to know her take on Catholics having so many children and she said it was because God needed as many soldiers as possible in his ‘army’).
Having a keen interest in the history of Roman Catholicism for a good part of my life, what has become clear is the dismal track-record the Church has when it comes to the ‘big ticket items’ of social, ethical, spiritual and scientific understandings of what life is all about and the way universal and natural laws work. With much of the basis of its myths, concepts and belief-systems still grounded in the dark-ages, it’s easy to see why the Catholic Church has been so far off the mark with regards to the conclusions drawn by such luminaries as Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, Darwin, Kant, Malthus and anyone else who based their convictions upon scientific observation and dialectic reasoning. The necessary changes required are glacial but the Catholic Church is slowly being dragged ‘kicking and screaming’ into the seventeenth century. The subject of the Church appears a number of times in this document but why I bring it up now has to do with another ‘big ticket item’ and that is the reckless disregard the Catholic Church has for natural law and order, especially with respect to human population management.
If one subscribes to the universal and profound logic that nature employs in the management of species populations all over the planet and juxtaposes that logic with the Catholic Church’s back-ward and irresponsible position on population issues, then that position appears to be consistent with the ‘dismal track record’ mentioned earlier.
And, if one is open to the general drift of this essay then two distinct historical realities come to light. The first being that, via agriculture and animal-husbandry, early modern man unwittingly contravened natural law by manipulating, interfering and meddling with a system of ancient and infallible rules that governed the population dynamics of all plant and animal species, including humans. Secondly, that these two original missteps were so fundamentally audacious and poisonous in character that they violently triggered mankind’s departure away from nature and natural law, thereby setting him on an irreversible course towards systemic collapse.
The introduction to this essay includes the phrase ‘machine-parts within a much larger machine’… western religion was an important and integral ‘machine-part’ spawned within a complex ideological and elitist-driven mechanism and therefore the Church has been essential to the evolution of modern-man’s hyper-intellectual movement, a movement whose central credo included such precepts as; ‘crown of creation’ and ‘dominion over the Earth’. Roman Catholicism was a more recent by-product of a centrism-based ideology created out of the vacuum caused by modern-man’s departure from natural law and being thus, the Catholic Church has been – and continues to be – a major force steering western civilization away from nature and natural law.
Note: Jesus of Nazareth was, in the purest sense, a ‘dyed-in-the-wool’ naturalist. He knew the true nature of his own being… he knew who he was. Like other visionaries throughout the ages, Jesus knew ‘first-hand’ and experientially what modern-day intellectuals, quantum physicists and religious scholars can only theorize about and postulate upon… that beneath the wafer-thin surfaces of temporal form, there exists a universal and infinite presence of energy (what the Aboriginals referred to as ‘the Great Spirit’ and what Einstein identified as the ‘Unified Field’). This quantum field of energy pervades all of creation (including the space between objects) and manifests itself as a true and permanent ‘life-force’ within all organisms, including human beings. The substance and wisdom of Jesus’ instruction for the people of his time and his region revolved around the direct knowledge of this life-force or ‘inner-self’. Jesus of Nazareth knew that the real values of mankind’s existence dwelt within the human form and not without. His understanding of man’s intrinsic values greatly conflicted with the system of materialistic values embraced by the establishment of his time… that’s why they killed him.
The Church and the Creation of a Global Monoculture
For those few dyslexics like myself who may begin with Part Three and not find time to check-out Parts One and Two of the Residential School trilogy, I’d like to regurgitate a snippet of information mentioned in Part Two concerning the idea of a monoculture. (This information is complementary to the general drift of this sub-section). In a broad over-view of natural history, pre-dating agriculture by three and a half billion years, there appears to exists one absolute, one tenet upon which evolution is based and that is the principle of diversity. The laws that support diversity in the natural world are as true and as ‘bankable’ as those of gravity or motion… it is the single most constant and essential factor governing the on-going survival of living organisms. People who visit zoos are given a glimpse into this biological principle at work… not only is there an amazing variety of species-groups spread throughout the planet but each species-group itself contains myriad variations. We may view these variations as interesting or even beautiful but species diversity had little to do with aesthetics… its primary purpose was to ensure survival. Due to continental-drift, the world-wide migration of species and their adaptation to unique environments (i.e., weather, terrain, foods, sunlight, disease, predation, etc.) a multi-colored rainbow of species variation now exists planet-wide… thanks to the laws governing diversity.
Over the past five-hundred years, European imperialism and the Catholic Church have been ‘jack-booting’ their way through the Americas, Africa, India, southern Asia and the south Pacific in pursuit of gold, land, natural resources and power to lay the foundation-blocks for a burgeoning industrial revolution and the spread of Christianity. A tragic consequence of the Crown and the Church’s global machinations has been the marginalization, persecution and oftentimes, the out-right genocide of world-wide Indigenous Peoples. The gradual disappearance of unique and diverse cultures, whether through assimilation, displacement, cross-breeding, Residential schools or other forms of cultural genocide is the result of a mean-spirited campaign to ‘Europeanize’ and ‘Christianize’ indigenous cultures out of existence. (To the European way of thinking, cultural genocide was the quickest and most effective way to gain control of the land and resources). The ‘Europeanization’ and ‘Christianization’ of planet Earth are tantamount to creating a global monoculture which is the most ‘unnatural’ and most destructive idea to ever evolve out of Europe’s hyper-intellectual age – it absolutely flies in the face of universal ethics and natural law which both prescribe diversity in all things.
For an organization that purports itself to be the ‘intermediaries’ and/or ‘representatives’ of God on Earth, the Catholic Church’s overt campaign to ‘cleanse’ the world of its diverse indigenous cultures, which includes their languages, music, spirituality, customs, art, rituals, dress, etc. is undoubtedly the most dastardly and ungodly act ever committed in the four and a half billion-year history of planet Earth. Strong words but irrefutable. For most of the second millennium, the Catholic Church had been marauding its way throughout continental Europe, the British Isles and the Middle East brutally stamping-out all opposition to its doctrine. Once the Spanish ships began their infamous ‘conquest’ of the New World, the Church immediately sensed a ‘God-given’ opportunity to extend its tyranny to include the whole world… the end result of these endeavors being the creation a global monoculture.
The Catholic Church is a walking contradiction. On the one hand it claims to be all about God and goodness and yet on the other hand it has participated in one of the great crimes against humanity, against nature and against the Earth by attempting to rid the world of its distinctive cultural mosaic… a mosaic foreordained by universal law. The idea of a global monoculture was referred to earlier as having evolved out of Europe’s hyper-intellectual age… embedded within the term ‘hyper-intellectual age’ is the source of the contradiction. Essentially, Roman Catholicism was the off-shoot of a system of thought that placed itself apart from – and above – the rest of creation and the laws that governed it. The Euro-centric attitudes of arrogance, elitism, exclusivity and superiority that have come to define hyper-intellectual man perfectly mirror the attitudes held by the Catholic Church as well. Why? Because both entities were ‘cut from the same cloth’. Both embraced the identical and dubious values of control, domination, greed, hoarding and worldly power. And both were originally issued from the ‘void’ created by mankind’s foolish departure from nature and natural law via the invention of agricultural.
Man-made laws (including those of the Catholic Church) have been around for only a few micro-seconds in universal terms and hyper-man’s short but brutish tenure already appears to be flirting with its ‘due-date’. Nature’s laws on the other hand have been around since the dawn of creation and will prevail long, long after the human experiment is relegated to the ‘dustbin’ of posterity. One could be forgiven for being somewhat cynical at this juncture in history. The hyper-intellectual age spawned a whole culture of ‘blind people’ leading a whole bunch of other blind people in the wrong direction and the cumulative effects of their misadventures have now saddled the planet (and its current occupants) with a litany of seemingly insurmountable challenges – challenges which will surely require a major shift in human consciousness.
If the combined effects of agriculture and the domestication of wild animals were the trigger that touched-off the explosive chain-reaction that led to environmental and social collapse, then the creation of the city-state was the explosion’s first discernible shock-wave. The city-state was the earliest embodiment of the disrespectful and reckless ethos that would eventually lead to the ‘progress at any price’ mentality that fuels the modern techno-industrial state. The inner-workings of this progressive (and thereby regressive) mentality will be dissected over the next few chapters but it would be worthwhile to say a few words about the city-states themselves because most of those characteristics we find objectionable and destructive about western industrial societies were birthed, nurtured and ‘given legs’ during that period between the invention of agriculture and the genesis of the city-state.
The sedentary era and the subsequent stratification of human societies were both initiated by the invention of agriculture and both were key component in the evolution of western thought and hyper-intellectualism. Not having to hunt and gather anymore, early modern-humans found themselves with a lot more time to sit around and think. And think they did. In only six thousand years, that brief period of time between the first experiments in agronomy to the creation of the first city-state (in Eridu, southern Sumer) hunter-gatherer cultures underwent a radical transformation resulting in an Orwellian-like sub-species, a unique and untested life-form the likes of which had never before existed on planet Earth. The historical significance and the global implications of this strange breed of primate cannot be over-stated. The biospheric paradigm, so painstakingly crafted and maintained throughout three and a half billion years of organic evolution was violently and unceremoniously shifted off its axis and in the process our beautiful planet was irrevocably set upon a new and dangerous trajectory towards systemic collapse.
Let’s cut to the chase… and this is where one has to really, really look at things from nature’s point of view. The poisons inherent within those two original mistakes were so vile and malignant that they immediately set about infecting the DNA of each and every future generation of that system we refer to today as ‘western thought’ or ‘hyper-intellectualism’. And although it took thousands of years for those two original ‘demon seeds’ to incubate and take root, most of the characteristics and values that identify us today as advanced, modern humans were already alive and flourishing within the evolving infrastructures of the first city-states in ancient Sumeria, Assyria and Palestine (circa: fourth to fifth millennium BCE).
Poison begets Poison. As the city-states flourished and stratified, human and livestock populations also soared and combined with the spread of the agricultural revolution throughout most of the eastern hemisphere, the virulent man-made poisons also began spreading like wild-fire. The patently modern-human characteristics of greed, hoarding, corruption, elitism, religious and political tyranny, profit-motive, genocide, class structures, racism, war-mongering, nepotism, materialism, global conquest and the disrespect and exploitation of the natural world can all trace their roots back to the first city-states. The only significant difference between the early city-states and today’s modern industrial societies is the magnitude by which the original poisons have grown.
The T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome
To break-down and analyze all the destructive characteristics listed above would require months of work and reams of paper so instead this essay will focus on two characteristics in particular that have come to best represent the destructive ethos that nurtured the development of western thinking and western civilization. The first deals with the idea of ‘taking more than you need’ or the T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome. (The idea of ‘taking more than you need’ is a biological and historical anomaly, a pathological condition unique to the hyper-advanced human brain and the most ‘unnatural’ phenomenon to ever exist on planet Earth). For ancient hunter-gatherer societies, morality, ethics and human values revolved mainly around survival, community and family, arts, spirituality and their kinship to the Earth. Greed, hoarding and stock-piling of material wealth was very much an alien concept to them. But when agriculture happened, giving birth to an anthropocentric intellectual age, hunter-gatherers-turned-agrarians began slowly veering-away from natural law/order and into the ‘brave new world’ of their own intellects (to the exclusion of all else). This act of veering-away from nature’s path also meant a veering-away from the Earth-friendly code of ethics and values that hunter-gatherers had lived by for tens of thousands of years. The shift created a vacuum… and the vacuum was incrementally stocked with a new credo of man-made ethics and values, ‘taking more than you need’ being only one of them. The three-thousand-year time span between the invention of agriculture and the genesis of the city-state provided an ideal incubation period for T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome and every other poisonous idea that came out of hyper-man’s unilateral ‘divorce’ from nature.
The agricultural revolution generated a litany of destructive ‘self-centric’ values. When humans lost touch with nature-centric values like respect for the Earth, its flora and fauna, respect for elemental life, respect for natural law, spirituality and inner-consciousness, family, community, etc. they had no other choice than to look for those values somewhere else… in other forms of superfluous and materialistic ‘stuff’. There is no other modern-human value that has done more damage to this world than the T.M.T.Y.N Syndrome.
We have seen the enemy – and the enemy is us. The world-wide present-day crime-rate is through the roof – in N. America alone there are approximately 4 million human beings languishing in federal and state prisons… most for offenses having to do with money or material wealth (i.e., property crimes, theft, homicide, armed robbery, break and enter, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, etc.). One doesn’t have to be a rocket-scientist to connect the dots… there is a continuous and unbroken linkage between the values and ethics that fuel the modern industrial state and those ill-conceived values established thousands of years ago when hunter-gatherers turned away from nature/natural law and began blindly heading-off in their own direction. Today politicians, power-brokers, the Church and those in control of a thoroughly dysfunctional system are loathe to acknowledge the obvious solution to the patently-human phenomenon of crime… which is to question the ethics and values to which they themselves adhere. A popular solution rubber-stamped by visionless and reactionary governments, including the current Conservative regime here in Canada, is to build more prisons. Building more prisons doesn’t address the underlying causes of the problem – it only sweeps the symptoms under the carpet while systemic corruption continues unabated out-side the prison walls. (Canadian tax-payers may also be interested in knowing that it costs them approximately $100,000 a year to feed, house and guard one inmate in a federal or provincial correctional facility). The most viable solution doesn’t cost anything initially and simply involves a long-overdue reality-check whereby the whole ‘western’ system of thinking takes a good look at itself in the mirror… that includes governments, banks and financial institutions, business and corporations, industry, education, health-care, policing and criminal justice, organized religion, etc. A long, hard look in the mirror would undoubtedly reveal that it is our ‘western’ system of values that has lost its moral compass and is drifting further and further away from what is real, what is right and what is natural.
In short, if a synthetic, man-made code of laws, values and ethics is arbitrarily cobbled-together within the vacuum created by modern-man’s dis-association from nature, then the code itself is suspect. The western system of thought that was hatched back in the era of the first city-states was founded upon such a code… a code that placed an unnatural and inordinate value on all the wrong things. The acquisition and hoarding of wealth, property, land, gold, power, etc. became the new standard, the ‘holy grail’ of the new age of hyper-intellectualism and provided the necessary rudiments for the crime-wave now plaguing the Earth seven thousand years later. Western civilization has created the perfect storm… firstly, by concocting an ethos that assigns an erroneous importance to material wealth, ownership and the value of money, secondly, by causing itself to become disastrously over-populated and thirdly, by creating and maintaining a feudal/Dickensian class structure where the ‘have-nots’ spend much of their time lusting after those worldly trappings hoarded by the ‘haves’. Over millennia and by its own hand, western civilization has manufactured the ‘criminal mind’ and according to the Laws of Consequence and Causality, is now reaping a poisonous harvest from the seeds it so unconsciously sowed.
“You don’t own the land… the land owns you”
(Note: Some people eat to live… others live to eat. The wisdom behind this simple observation equally applies to the issue of land and property ownership. The procurement of an adequate dwelling to live and/or raise a family, together with enough land to grow a garden and a few veggies is hardly the subject of the following critique (hunter-gatherer cultures required the same basic amenities to survive). It is everything that happens beyond those basic necessities that is at issue here – the realm of human insanity ruled by greed, profit motive, investments, speculation, usury, exploitation, the hoarding of material wealth, real estate/property values, deeds, titles and the ubiquitous T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome. Ultimately, the problem can be traced to a psychosis that exists at the core of the hyper-ideological mind… a condition that originates within the very notion of ‘ownership’ itself. The following subsection examines the ethical questions surrounding this idea).
The second ‘synthetic’ human value that epitomizes the darkness of the hyper-intellectual age is the idea of exclusive land-ownership. This is a touchy subject and bound to rankle many but for those few who can truly remove themselves from the Euro-centric ‘crown of creation’, ‘dominion over the Earth’ world-view and see the big picture from nature’s perspective, the ramifications of this human concept are tragically obvious. Here we have a living organism, a member of a singular (and very over-populated) species-group amongst 20 million other species-groups all trying to co-exist on a very finite and very fragile planet, who, due to his abnormally over-sized brain, gets it in his head one day that he, being more advanced, intelligent, Godly and superior to all other creatures, now has the self-ordained right to ‘own the land’, to ‘own the Earth’. Yes, you heard correctly… to ‘own the Earth’… imagine that.
Hunter-gatherer societies were temporary custodians of the land, often nomadic and, as in the case of my ancestors the Blackfoot and the Plains Cree, were de facto stewards of the territories they occupied. They used only what they needed, honored and respected the Earth, its elements and all its creatures, didn’t try to change or control nature and left little evidence of their foot-prints when they moved on… rather laudable, from an environmental point of view. For hunter-gatherer cultures land (and dwellings) were synonymous with basic survival, just as they were for all other living organisms. But along with the paradigmatic shift in human values triggered by the agricultural revolution and the hyper-intellectual age came a dangerously skewed perspective of the Earth and its resources in which land and property suddenly became synonymous with power, control, wealth, commerce and profit motive. Hyper-man’s skewed perspective of land, resources and property quickly took root and spread like the plague… today the Earth is pretty-much all bought-up and controlled by governments, multi-national corporations, the ranching, livestock, agriculture, forestry, petroleum and mining industries, wealthy land-barons/real estate developers and the Catholic Church… most of whom view land, property and resources as nothing more than ‘inventory’, units of wealth and numbers on a balance-sheet. The poisonous idea of absolute entitlement and ownership of land, resources and property is so ingrained in western industrial societies that few, if any, question the ethical basis supporting the ‘take-over’ of the planet by one singular species-group for its exclusive usage and benefit.
The exclusive ownership and possession of land, whether by the state, the church, by wealthy families or individuals is just one more example of a fabricated value-system devised within the confused mind of an organism that alienates itself from the rest of creation. In a mind that truant and rudderless, any self-serving ethic or value can be conjured up and etched into the soft clay of expedience and today’s global feeding-frenzy surrounding the profiteering from buying and selling of land, property and natural resources is proof-positive of hyper-man’s ethically-challenged world-view Having lost its moral bearings due to its split with natural law, the deranged western mind commenced to ‘steam-rolling’ its way through the natural landscape, grabbing on to and commandeering anything it deemed as having value and leaving environmental degradation and human suffering in its wake. The ‘perfect storm’ mentioned earlier would have fallen far-short of perfection without the genocidal blood-bath that evolved in tandem with Europe’s rise to power and its ravenous appetite for global domination, i.e., the plundering and theft of sovereign and occupied lands along with their natural resources.
(Note: It cannot be stressed enough that the intent of this essay is not to single-out individuals or advise specific changes in their day-to-day interactions with the world around them… what individuals do with their personal lives should be left up to their own conscience. Instead, the intent is to view the modern industrial state and western civilization through the ‘wide-angle lens’ of natural history in order to high-light the extent to which hyper-humans, as a collective sub-species, have drifted away from an ancient system of universal and natural ethics. Machine-parts who are born-into, live and die within the machinery of the industrial state have a fairly limited reference point from which to make informed decisions and thereby tend to ‘sleep-walk’ through the ethical mine-field created and maintained by western man’s synthetic code of values. In a world over-run with one-thousand to fifteen hundred times the number of humans the Earth was originally set-up to accommodate, providing 7-10 billion human beings with roofs over their heads and land upon which to build them presents monumental challenges. But how individuals interpret their responses to those challenges (i.e., provide themselves with some form of dwelling or a land-base) is not the issue here. The broader issue is the ethical foundation upon which the ideas of ‘taking more than you need’ and the exclusive ownership of planet Earth by one species-group were originally created).
The Natural Law/Human Law Dichotomy
Another gauge for measuring just how far modern-man strayed from the natural world would be to draw a simple comparison between the bases of natural law versus man-made law. The laws, values and ethics of nature deal exclusively with biospheric management and maintaining harmony and balance amongst all organic life-forms. The laws, values and ethics of hyper-man deal primarily with the acquisition, ownership, stock-piling, sale and protection of material wealth, land, property, money, slaves, power, influence, etc. The natural world has no use for lawyers, judges or ‘bean-counters’ (accountants) because it does not acquire, hoard nor hold on to anything. It is only the advanced, hyper-intellectual humans who suffer from such a disease and that’s why modern industrial societies are infested with lawyers, judges and accountants. True, a small segment of the western legal system focuses on civil liberties, human rights, environmental rights, Aboriginal rights, etc. but even these efforts are viewed as little more than ‘damage control’ within a corrupt system that champions the ethics of greed, hoarding, elitism, class, control and domination.
A Reality Check
What would a reality check look like considering hyper-man’s precipitous descent into his own, self-authored ‘heart of darkness’. Well, for starters, consider this… all human beings, including those living today, are essentially and fundamentally good. This is purely from a genetics and quantum law point of view. The intricacies uncovered via the mapping of the human genome reveal that the evolution of culture is, at its base, a very long-term and gene-driven process (which is why Canada’s Indian Residential school tragedy turned out to be such a horrendous and unnecessary waste of human life). World-wide studies of hunter-gatherer cultures have concluded that their survival was very much dependent upon a healthy grasp of environmental and social ethics, i.e., cooperation, egalitarianism, consensus/democracy, respect for nature, compassion, caring for the elderly and the sick, and of course the sharing of whatever goods procured by the collective. The mere passing of a few millennia cannot possibly erase the social and Earth-friendly ethos practiced over tens of thousands of years and thereby encoded at the deepest levels of human DNA. This is what is meant by the term ‘fundamentally good’… that the genetic make-up of all humans today includes, at its core, an atavistic memory of the humane and eco-friendly ethics practiced by our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors.
And that’s only the half of it… we humans have another aspect of ‘goodness’ whose profundity eclipses even the wonders of genetic atavism. I’m referring of course to the universal phenomenon known as ‘life-force’. This Omni-present field of energy is the basis of all creation, generates and sustains all temporary form (whether animate or inanimate) and binds all elements of a diverse and complex cosmos into one quantum entity… one indivisible thing. Our quantum ‘life-force’ is indestructible, has no beginning and no end, no future and no past and therefore exists exclusively in a state of eternal is-ness. Together, these attributes certainly qualify our inner ‘life’ as the only reality and truth we mortals will ever have the good fortune of knowing. Human beings, like all other organisms, are ‘up-to-their-eyeballs’ in this exquisite beauty and yet many will live and die without so much as an inkling of its presence within them or the understanding that their life-force – although the deepest, quietest and least tangible of human qualities – does in fact constitute the true substance of ‘who we are’. In essence, our cellular memory (atavism), combined with our quantum life-force greatly attest to the intrinsic goodness within all human beings.
Ok, if so, then why the train-wreck??
Here’s one approach to answering that question. Let’s assume for a moment that we advanced modern humans are organisms with an abundance of natural goodness and beauty happening ‘on the inside’. The problem is that we exist within a system of thought that constantly bombards us with a synthetic set of values that places far too much importance on what’s happening ‘on the outside’ – money, wealth, property, status, sex, image, power, land, natural resources, etc. This system of mass-indoctrination (down-loaded through our factory-schools, the media, the entertainment industry, the internet, etc.) is so pervasive and incessant that it acts to hypnotize its subjects into believing that ‘western’ values are the right way and the only way to do business. So like obedient automatons the subjects continue shopping, spending, borrowing, hoarding, rat-racing, gouging, dog-eat-dogging, gas-guzzling, packaging, trashing, sprawling, spewing, jetting, manufacturing, trucking, shipping, clear-cutting, fracking, drilling, depleting, strip-mining, fouling… and combined with a population one-thousand to fifteen hundred times what it should be, these conditioned behaviors lead to only one out-come… a major environmental and social train-wreck.
PS. The wall-to-wall brain-washing of western values by no means diminishes the modern-human’s inherent goodness or beauty… it only smothers it.
Note: A final word re the evolution of the city-state. The figures mentioned earlier, 5-6 million hunter-gatherers (pre-agriculture) and 6-7 million (projected for 21st century) were arrived-at by the anthropology departments of a global network of universities… a rather credible source of information, one would think. Readers are free to reject these figures but just for the moment let’s assume they are somewhere ‘in the ball-park’. The 6-7 million estimate of world-wide hunter-gatherers for this current period should certainly ignite some serious contemplation. Just what would the Earth look like today with only 6-7 million simple hunter-gatherers living on it… compared to the actual numbers of 7-10 billion ravenous hyper-humans? (This comparison would apply to the global livestock industry as well). When early modern-man created the first city-state he had no idea that in doing so he would unleash upon the Earth a contagion that would one day mutate into the social and environmental abominations we now identify as ‘mega-cities’. The following is a list of the world’s top ten most populated ‘mega-cities’ (including suburbs) according to their size (as of 2012).
|Tokyo, Japan . . . . . . . . . . . . .||37,126,000|
|Jakarta, Indonesia . . . . . . . . . . . . .||26,062,000|
|Seoul, S. Korea . . . . . . . . . . . . .||22,547,000|
|Delhi, India . . . . . . . . . . . . .||22,242,000|
|Shanghai, China . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,860,000|
|Manila, Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,767,000|
|Karachi, Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,711,000|
|New York City, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,464,000|
|Mexico City, Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,463,000|
|Sao Paulo, Brazil . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20,186,000|
Toronto, Canada’s largest city is No. 60 on the list with 6,465,000. It’s worth noting that the projected world-wide estimate of 6-7 million hunter-gatherers for this current period would fit comfortably within the city boundaries of Greater Metropolitan Toronto. Or, to look at it another way, the estimated 6-7 million hunter-gatherers would also fit in the bottom left-hand corner of most of the above ten megalopolises.
The Modern-day Consequences of the Agricultural Revolution
Skid Marks in the Dust
‘Crown of creation’ or blight upon the Earth. Hmmm… an interesting juxtaposition of extremes. With each passing day we advanced modern, industrialized humans are more resembling a rapacious contagion than we are the paragon of responsibility and stewardship.
And if we hyper-humans, due to a unique strain of pathological somnambulism, should somehow manage to ‘sink the ship’ – and in the process trigger the Sixth Great Extinction – we will no doubt take most of the planet’s remaining bio-organisms with us. But know this….the Earth will survive. Over the past 350 million years our planet has endured the Ordovician, the Devonian, the Permian, the Triassic and the Cretaceous events, and will surely survive the current human onslaught as well. And should a sixth cataclysm come to pass, what will be our lasting legacy… what will remain to testify that we super-humans ever existed?
Skid marks. Yes, how embarrassing. That the entire human experiment, so advanced, so superior and so self-deified, should be reduced to little more than a few insolent ‘skid marks’ scorched into a desolate and dusty plain.
Unfortunately, the long-range effects of mankind’s interference with nature’s ability to manage its own affairs are only being fully understood at this end of the ten-thousand year-old exponential curve (where it’s almost too late to do anything about it). Western Europe’s ecological foot-print continued to compound itself over the past millennia but the hyper-progressive culture remained distracted and oblivious to the slow but gradual disappearance of old-growth forests and wetlands to accommodate farms, mono-crops and grazing pastures (western Europe once resembled the lush forestation of 19th century British Columbia). By the mid 1700’s (the start of the industrial revolution) things really began to get out of hand – machines took over and accelerated the clearing of land for larger and larger agricultural ventures and the age of industrial farming was born.
Today, massive factory farms, batteries and slaughterhouses, processing billions upon billions of cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry daily, along with mountains of untreated manure, have been identified as the source of sixty percent of the pollution in our lands, rivers and oceans. The other forty percent probably comes from human waste and the petrochemical industry. (Combined, these forces have caused the disappearance of 43% of the Earth’s forests over the past 5 millennia). Deregulation, big money and powerful industry lobbyists have allowed the poultry and livestock industries to pollute the Earth’s waterways with virtual impunity. Besides being excessively over-fished, our oceans are slowly being transformed into cesspools from the run-off of poisons and chemicals produced by these mostly unregulated and unchecked industries (thank you Mr. Reagan). The already unsustainable situation and levels of deforestation will only get worse as human population continues to grow and the demand for beef, pork, mutton, poultry, dairy and farmed fish keeps up its lethal pace.
Note: A study from a few years back estimated that two hundred square miles of the Amazon rain forest are cleared every year just to plant grain crops to feed cattle that will eventually wind up in America’s burger joints. Tragically, the Amazon rainforest is only one isolated region amongst many where extensive clear-cutting is practiced… it’s happening all over the world. This is just a small sampling of the global madness that agriculture and animal husbandry unleashed.
Another impending disaster is the world-wide shortage of fresh, potable water caused mainly by the agriculture and livestock industries. A couple of years back National Geographic Society completed an extensive study on the Earth’s dwindling fresh water supplies and one of its findings determined that the average four year old steer (livestock raised for meat) consumes roughly 850,000 gallons of fresh, potable water in its life-time. This figure is based primarily upon the amount of water the animal drinks per day plus the fresh water required to produce the feed (grain and hay). The study also concluded that the average steer produces 450 pounds of meat when slaughtered. If you divide that figure into the amount of fresh water consumed by the animal in its life-time (850,000 gallons) it works out to 1,850 gallons of clean potable water for each pound of meat that winds up on the dinner table. The damage doesn’t stop there – the bulk of that water ends up back in the land and eventually in our water-ways and oceans as waste and sewage, high in phosphates, nitrogen, chemical hormones, antibiotics, arsenic and other organic pathogens.
One of the major contributing factors to global warming and GHGs is methane. Studies have concluded that methane is roughly 23 times a more powerful and damaging green-house-gas than CO2. Cattle, raised both for meat and dairy, release (via belching and flatulence) mega-tons of methane into the atmosphere annually which is a by-product of fermentation of plant and grain matter inside the bovine digestive tract.
Note: The introduction to this essay alludes to a system of thought devoid of spirit and natural ethics and that the likely outcome of such a system is a heartless worldview lacking in consciousness, compassion and respect for creation. The industrial revolution is living proof of this general disconnect with regards to ethics and morality and one of the more glaring indictments of such a disconnect is the inhumane and unethical treatment of sentient animals (livestock and poultry) processed in industrial feedlots, batteries and abattoirs world-wide. When human beings lose touch with nature-based ethics and the natural values existing within themselves, their sense of self-respect evaporates as well and it only follows that, having no respect for themselves, they will in turn have no respect for the world in which they live. The abusive treatment and torture of animals and birds by the global livestock and poultry industries is a crime against nature. The abuse is widespread and well documented and this includes the unconscionable practice of pumping these helpless creatures full of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics so they will produce more ‘product’. It is incumbent upon the consumers of beef, pork, dairy and poultry products to investigate and become knowledgeable about where ‘flesh-foods’ come from, how they are produced and how animals are treated by the industry. Children especially need to be educated about the source of the meat on their plate because most of them actually think it originates at their local Safeway store.
Hyper-humans generally suffer from an acute form of ‘tunnel-vision’ (what else can be expected from living inside a machine) where it is difficult, or perhaps inconvenient to see the ‘big picture’ view of western civilization and its far-reaching effects on the planet. With a wider, all-encompassing view of the past three and a half billion years of natural history, it becomes crystal clear why cutting down the world’s ancient forests to make room for monoculture grain crops to feed the global livestock industry is a bad, bad idea. The Earth is a living bio-system and the forests are its lungs. Since time immemorial, the planet has been pumping CO2 into the atmosphere from naturally occurring events like forest fires, volcanic activity and the gradual release of methane-hydrates from the arctic permafrost and sea-ice. The great forests of the Earth are designed to ‘breathe in’ much of that carbon dioxide and, through the process of photosynthesis, convert carbon and water into plant energy (carbohydrates). The by-product of this molecular process is the release of un-used oxygen atoms back into the atmosphere. This reciprocal relationship helps stabilize CO2 emissions and regulate oxygen levels in the atmosphere, thus maintaining a balance and making the planet habitable.
Enter hyper-man, an aggressive, testosterone-driven egomaniac with a dangerously over-sized brain who also ‘thinks’ he’s the center of the universe. He immediately throws a spanner in the works by screwing with nature’s fragile balancing act and then follows that up with an equally arrogant display of insanity by clear-cutting the world’s forests and destroying its wetlands in order to plant grain crops to feed his monumental blunder. So, today we have a planet that is suffering from terminal lung cancer and is on critical life-support… its lung capacity (trees) having been eaten away by western man’s voracious appetite for timber, croplands and grazing pastures. And, as if his full-frontal assault on global forests wasn’t enough, hyper-man has further compounded the problem by burning-up the Earth’s reserves of fossil fuels, thus adding untold gigatons of deadly greenhouse gases to an already exhausted biosphere.
The Collapse of the Mayan and Anasazi/Chako Civilizations
The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas remained, more or less, hunter-gatherers ever since their arrival in the western hemisphere. Two particular exceptions to this rule were the Mayan culture of Central America and, to a lesser extent, the Anasazi/Chako culture of what is now the Mesa Verde region of the US southwest. They were two of the earlier civilizations in the New World to invent agriculture and they both really got into it. Due to the sedentary lifestyle, their population grew exponentially and eventually began concentrating in larger and larger metropolises. Some, as in the case of the Mayan civilization, were known to have accommodated in excess of one million citizens. It is mind-boggling to modern-day anthropologists and historians how rapidly the Mayans advanced in the areas of science, mathematics, linguistics, architecture, masonry, metallurgy, astronomy, art, religion, calendar making, etc. What is as equally mind-boggling is just how rapidly this powerful empire crumbled into dust. Why would such advanced and powerful culture just disappear so quickly… was it war, pestilence, disease, the plague??? No, their demise was caused by agriculture…the ancient Mayans and the Anasazi simply allowed themselves to become too over-populated and over-reliant on agriculture, thereby exhausting the fresh water and the natural resources of the region and their empires quickly collapsed. Sound familiar??
Author’s Note: For a unique and refreshing perspective on the above issues please check out A.U.M. Film and Media out of the San Fransisco Bay area and their brilliant documentary titled ‘Cowspiracy’.
The doc provides a blistering and long overdue indictment of the animal agriculture industry’s destructive impact on the planet.
The first time I watched the DVD I had to run it back to the beginning and watch it all over again…that’s how powerful it was. Incidentally, A.U.M. Film and Media is one of the five organizations featured in the ‘Advocacy’ section of my website.
Updated Oct 2016