By Kris Littlesun, 2008
The Earth as we inhabit it today is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old. The first sparks of life appeared in the form of very simple single celled organisms around 3 billion years ago. Since life first got a hold of our planet there has been no stopping it, there have been at least 5 periods of mass extinction in the Earth’s history caused by changes in climate and environment, and every time eco systems are destabilised and habitats destroyed, balance has managed to reestablish itself and life has flourished once again.
We have the idea that nature is fragile and delicate, and that it needs to be saved and protected, when this is not true. It has been around much longer than humans have, and will eventually recover from all the damage we have done. It is civilisation which is delicate, from the physical structures we build to the power structures such as capitalism and commercialism. Our existence and our culture is but a blink of an eyelid in geographical time. One day all these will be gone, but the Wild will still exist.
Civilisation as we experience it today is based on taming, of exerting control and power over the Wildness of the Earth. This a pointless battle, as if we put ourselves in opposition to the power of the Wild we can only lose. This is what is happening on our planet at the moment, we have thought we can tame the Wildness and now it’s coming to bite us on the arse.
Contrary to how many people think of it, it is not the Earth we need to save, our planet can look after itself and has done so for billions of years. It is ourselves we need to save. Floods, droughts, infestations, disease, these are all the effects of civilisation thinking it can tame Wildness and placing itself in conflict with it. However what many people don’t realise is that we are actually engaging in a battle with ourselves, for we are not separate from the Wild even though we try to separate ourselves from it with civilisation and society.
We have been cut off from the power of the Wild that is our birthright and been told that it is “evil”. In a society that views the world in binary terms Wild energies are viewed as evil, but they are only destructive when we try and stand in their way instead of understanding and working with them.
The power of the Wild is the same power that pushes a crocus through tarmac, that uproots houses with tree roots, that turns metal into dust, and also the power that keeps life going through the most challenging of circumstances, and this is the power that we all have within us.
Animals, plants, rocks, fire; none of these need to learn about the Wild, it is just what they are. Instinct and natural response governs their behavior and allows them to find their place within the web of existence. Being socialised into contemporary society, we have lost these instincts and so need to relearn them. I’m not saying we should dissolve all society, nor am I trying to glamorise “primitive” culture, but we need to connect with what we’ve lost, both for our personal growth and our survival as a species.
Sickness, both in society, the self and the environment, is caused by disharmony and healing is a regaining of balance. If we can become aware of this power and be able to access it we can begin to use it to heal the many injustices of the world, and move towards creating a healthy, balanced, sustainable society.