Now that we’ve completed the mind-boggling task of trying to Condense earth’s ecology and its millions of interrelated life processes into two lessons, we can breathe a sigh of relief. In these three “survival” lessons, I found myself in a predicament: I wanted to be comprehensive enough to cover a wide range of environmental (and other) issues related to survival, but because of the overwhelming abundance of related subject matter and limited space. I was forced to “dilute” a lot of material in order to keep things from getting out of hand! I also realized that many of us are already familiar with many of our earth’s problems, and didn’t want to overburden everyone with a deluge of “the same old” negative facts—but by summarizing them and viewing them as a whole (the only real way to look at them) we see them in a new and different way.
The more we perceive the broad spectrum of reality, the more enlightened we become, and the more we can share knowledge with others. Heroes, like the person who happens along at just the right moment to pull a drowning child from water, are everywhere—just waiting to be asked to lend a hand. There are few human instincts more beautiful than true heroism—without compassion, this would be a cold, hard world indeed.
Because potential heroes are everywhere, just waiting to help, our task is to start asking and to know what to ask for, to spread the word among the people. We must be sensitive enough to paint the picture truthfully, and strong enough to do so without such fear and gloom that peoples’ psychic numbing mechanisms pop up to block everything out. Despite our aversion to bad news, most of us would appreciate being told we were standing in the path of an oncoming bus, and once people know they ‘re needed and what they must do, heroes will come forth one-by-one.
As destructive effects of our industrial age become more apparent, and as we see our once-pristine environment deteriorate and more deadly weapons accumulate among our green hills and valleys, places we dreamed of calling home are threatened, damaged or destroyed. We feel betrayed, and we’re grouping together more and more to protect our lives and those of our children—our very survival now depends on this cooperative endeavor.
This lesson wraps up our discussion on survival and taking charge of our destiny, but of course by no means ends it—rather, it leaves us all with the ultimate challenge: the actual taking charge, the doing, the harmonizing of all our knowledge, faith, hope and love into a force strong enough to save our planet.
By survivalism, we mean the positive spirit of cooperation of all beings toward preservation of life. Let’s make it clear from the start that our concept of survival in no way includes those of any so-called “survivalists” who advocate stocking up on guns and/or “survival” food. Nothing could be farther from our image of survival. A self-serving approach not only does nothing to help life on the planet or to clean up the environment so all life thrives; it is also based on the absurd delusion that one can “protect” oneself in the first place in a world where life itself cannot survive. We are the earth—it is our larger form, our larger body. If we are to survive, our earth must also survive. Our goal is total well-being, for only with total wellness can the parts themselves be well and flourish.
Those who plan on guns to “fight over what’s left” would be sadly disappointed at the reality of such a world anyway, and would be like rats fighting over the last morsel of food in a cage: trapped together. Their fear and terror in the world they would create would far exceed any fear of hunger, or even death, that we could ever know. Even death in our world of life would be preferable to so-called “life” in their world of death. But let’s reserve such thoughts for last-minute realities and resorts, because we must concentrate on survival of life instead!
If we were in a darkened room and the door were opened just a crack, the light would stream in, and even if the door were closed again, we’d never forget that light. So it is with truth. If we want to know what’s on the other side of the mountain, we can wonder and speculate, or we can climb to the top and see for ourselves. It’s more work, but well worth the effort. We don’t even have to be “experts” to see truth for ourselves, nor to appreciate life and contemplate its wonder, even when our “knowledge” is limited. All of us have this special gift: wisdom, instinct and intuition don’t depend on book learning!
It is not, therefore, “who” we are or how much we “know” that determine our ability to contribute—it’s what we do with our thoughts, intuition and energy that matters as far as evolution and change are concerned. If you doubt this for a moment, take a look at what some so-called people of “wealth, influence, power or brains” do with their lives and for others—and at what they do not do. Some of them merely perpetuate the problems in our world.
Imagine being near a large fire and surrounded by people of knowledge, wealth, influence and power. The fact remains that the only things you really need to put out the fire are water and action.
1.1 Age-Old Excuses for Inertia
We’ve heard them all by now. These are but a few of our favorites:
- I overslept.
- I’m too busy.
- It’s too late.
- I don’t have time.
- I’ll do it later (tomorrow, and so on).
- Someone else will do it.
- It’s Monday (Tuesday, etc.).
- It’s not my fault.
- It’s not my problem.
- Call me when it gets really urgent.
- Don’t call me, I’ll call you.
- I need time to think it over and ask the “experts” more questions.
- I don’t care.
- I don’t know how to help.
- I can’t …