A few years ago, there was a provocative interview with Thich Nhat Hanh in the environmentalist magazine The Ecologist. He raised a lot of issues related to the state of the planet, from the importance of intentional communities to the potential value of having a vegetarian diet.
Today, though, I would like to consider the following:
According to the Buddhist tradition there is no birth and no death. After extinction things will appear in other forms, so you have to breathe very deeply in order to acknowledge the fact that we humans may disappear in just 100 years on earth. You have to learn how to accept that hard fact. You should not be overwhelmed by despair. The solution is to learn how to touch eternity in the present moment. We have been talking about the environment as if it is something different from us, but we are the environment. The non-human elements are our environment, but we are the environment of non-human elements, so we are one with the environment. We are the environment. We are the earth and the earth has the capacity to restore balance and sometimes many species have to disappear for the balance restored.
When I consider the state of things these days, I watch my mind swing back and forth between optimism and pessimism. That's what human minds tend to do, so it's no surprise.
I have dedicated myself to doing what I can to serve the planet. To be part of the life giving, life supporting, life defending element here. Not just human life, but all of it. The whole works. Sometimes, there is direct activism, sometimes I live in contemplation and meditation.
The weaving together of all this in a body/mind. That's what's going on.
At the same time, maybe we as a species won't make it. Maybe we aren't meant to make it. Species have come and gone on this rock for millions of years, so really, we aren't that special.
This little, blue rock is one of millions and millions of rocks, stars, specks of dust.
We haven't a bloody clue how big it all is, nor how tiny we really are.
A major evolution in collective consciousness is needed for survival. That's about all I know these days. Some predict it's on the way or already happening, while others think we're stuck, doomed creatures.
I don't know. I try to love and breathe it all in and let it all flow out as best as I can.
Our little, human battles sometimes need caring for, but in 100 years, how many of them will matter at all? How much of any of it will be remembered? Or remembered in an even remotely accurate way?
What seems to last are currents of energy in certain directions. Some contracting and destructive. Some life building and expansive.
I think our job is to care for each other, and not get stuck.
More of that, whether we make it as a species or not.
Bows to you all.