Today is one of those days where I’m a bit taken aback by the human race. When logging onto my e-mail account this morning, I saw a headline about an elk that was put down as a result of becoming too friendly with people. It is not as if I am just a “free love hippie” that doesn’t understand the risk of wildlife becoming too desensitized to people. I grew up with two wilderness rangers for parents. I’ve been around wildlife professionals all my life. And that is precisely what has given rise to my general disappointment in them. There are few loving conservationists in the wildlife profession. More often the profession is full of a great many men, who simply never wanted to work a desk job; men whom bring an archaic view of man against nature and man against the elements to the table in their professional lives.
A video went viral recently of a nature photographer being head butted in a playful manner by this elk that continued to show no fear of people and continued to instead initiate play with them. He was euthanized on account of “risk”. The park officials said they could not take the risk of him potentially attempting to become too familiar with someone too small, such as a child.
To me, this incident is evidence of our disconnection. It goes hand in hand with the news surfacing about the aftermath of Fukushima. As people, it seems we never quite grow tired of suffering in the aftermath of our ignorance again and again. We are a most confusing species. Ego is the strongest in our species, which makes us at once one of the most amazing and one of the most disgraceful species. Humans are known around the universe as the great creators. Our minds and our desires compel us towards expansion at a rate that has never before been seen. But he, who can create, can resist. Our state of resistance makes us both miserable and capable of atrocities that have never before been experienced in the universe. The ego in us has taken hold of us and whispered in our ear that we are the most important species. It tells us that God created us in its image. But all things are created in its image, because all things are an extension of what we call god. Our human society, like a mass scale sociopath behaves as if all other species are here to serve us. As if love is a sickly dance of submission and domination.
This earth does not belong to anyone. The idea of ownership is erroneous in its makeup, more evidence of our disconnection. You should have seen the reaction when the idea of owning parts of the earth or other animals was presented to the Native Americans. It sounded like a joke to them. For thousands of years, their survival had depended on the enmeshment between themselves and the earth they walked upon. It was a horizontal relationship of equality and harmony that they had with the earth as opposed to a vertical relationship, were their power made them somehow above it or their powerlessness made them somehow beneath it. We did not lose the truth of our interdependence, a truth that those early ancestors of ours knew subconsciously at the core of their being. We took that truth for granted. And so it can be said that we never really consciously knew it. But we are learning it on a conscious level now. As a result of the contrast we are creating here on earth. We are finding out the hard way just how dependent we are on the earth and on all species that call earth home. Soon, even the most ignorant on earth will consciously know and see the truth that we share this earth, which sustains us with every other species on this earth… with plant, with mineral, with animal etc. We cannot destroy any part of it, without destroying ourselves in the process. And we are doing it. Sometimes, in my moments of weakest vision, I fear that we are doing it at such a rate that we will not realize what we have done, until it is too late. If I truly believed that all was lost, I would not be doing the job I am doing. But it is difficult to not loose faith in people when I come across stories such as this. I have trouble with the fact that we do not understand that we do not get to set the rules for earth itself and for all the creatures in it.
It is my desire that all people come to know the experience of oneness in this life. If everyone knew it, the experience of separation would become intolerable. So intolerable in fact that our society would have to change to reflect that oneness. We could not hurt each other, because we would feel so deeply and immediately the effect of doing so. A world where the human, the great creator, creates harmony and compassion and love, would be an unparalleled world. Nothing to rival it in the universe perhaps. Nothing but the scars of the lessons we once learned etched upon the earth to remind us always of the unity we stand for. It is a beautiful dream. A reachable dream… Of course all dreams are inherently reachable, otherwise, you could not dream them in the first place.