wisdom: the quality of being wise/ judgement/ right use of knowledge/ spiritual perception.
sustainable: the infinite number of diverse species along with their predetermined populations, plus the inert natural resources of our planet, which working together create and sustain conditions for all life.
This latest outpouring is a mixture of continuing the theme from my previous post, and an inspired thought prompted during breakfast in a bar with my good friend Jose Joaquin.
Starting with what I now consider to be the litmus test of wisdom, especially when it comes to understanding sustainability, and recognising that it is the primary duty of each of us to put back at least as much as we take out of the eco-system, which can be defined by how much you spend and where you live. For example, here are the two extremes. On one hand you have the Queen of England. And on the other, a tribal leader of an indigenous community in the remotest part of the world.
Both rule over their people, because they are considered to be the wisest for that role. The first lives in a place that has almost zero day-to-day exposure to the natural world and believes that all the necessities of life and its problems can be resolved by having enough money (she is after all the world expert on this subject, allegedly being the richest person on the planet). The other , living totally in the natural world has no understanding of the concept of money and believes all the necessities of life and its problems are to be found in the immediate living landscape around them.
These are the two extremes, the rest of us being somewhere in-between.
If you live in the third world for example, you will be very aware of protecting the immediate natural environment around you, as it provides shelter/ food/ water/ clothing/ heating etc. Whereas if you live in the UK for example (the majority) will do nothing to protect it, because all your needs are being met by someone else. In fact ecologically speaking the UK is probably one of the least sustainable places on the planet. It is grossly overpopulated by a single species (us) and what others used to exist there, both in type and populations, have now been reduced to a handful of zoo specimens. It is no better than a theme park, where the inhabitants, having wiped out everything else are now taking from the rest of planet without putting anything back.
This was brought home to me by a comment from the administrator of the TONBRIDGE AND MALLING GREEN PARTY Facebook Group, who said that technology and economic development (spending money in other words) are all that is needed us to save us from imminent extinction, there is no need to de-populate, and anyway the UK is not the problem, it is the third world countries we need to point the finger at. And all the while using the word “sustainable” yet not making a single mention of any of the other species in this plan. This I am afraid is the classic example of human-centric thinking/ craziness. It is not all about us, nor are we omnipotent. We only exist because of the sustainablity factor (see again at top). And if we want to set an example to the rest of the world then the UK (along with all the other wealthy countries) have to de-populate homo sapiens presence, while repopulating all the other species. For the UK I would take a wild guess at down to several thousand of us instead of the 60 odd million at the moment. It sounds totally crazy I know, but try and think about it from the perspective of the sustainable indigenous person living in a primordial rainforest. Our population density, our dependency for everything from others (taking out but not putting the same back), and money, is equally absurd. We are great at theorising but have zero practical experience at living sustainably. They are also the only example we have now of how things might have been before we started to ransack the planet for profit and power.
The other profound thought I had was about tv, the media in general. I haven’t had a set (what they used to be called) for 25 years, don’t read newspapers, don’t listen to the radio (since the PP took over here), consequently am particularly sensitive when I catch whatever is on in the bar or in homes of friends. Particularly the 24hr news format. Here we are, in a world with at least 7.4 billion news stories every day, and the only ones that get reported are those which are sad/ depressing and about people we can easily identify with. How and why is that news? What about the daily death toll from hunger/disease/ and genocide in third world countries? Because quite simply it serves to makes us feel better about our own (miserable) lives. We are addicted to hearing about other’s (like us)misfortune. Or on a more subliminal/ Max Headroom level, it also maintains the all-important state of collective fear, which our leaders/ vested business interests rely on to keep us on the path that maintains their power and wealth.
Finally, a postscript. Since I posted about the sale of El Pocito I’ve been getting messages most days from people who wish they could have this kind of life, but feel it is too late or impossible. This is so sad, because it is so not the case. There are ways anyone can reduce their dependency on money and be part of the species that puts back as much as it takes out of the eco-system. I had hoped Maureen’s (free download) book TREAD SOFTLY BECAUSE YOU TREAD ON MY DREAMS would be enough to dispel all those doubts, but the reality is people are becoming more fearful. They might consider themselves more adventurous/ dynamic/ individual/ and self-motivated than ever before, but when it comes to doing anything about changing their daily lives and expectations it is the total opposite.