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Painting by Harold H. Piffard

But the Earth is not a problem to be solved, but a living being in distress, needing the help of both our hands and hearts.

Although it is almost too late, many of us are awakening to this accelerating catastrophe — the greatest challenge of the present time, affecting both future generations and the Earth herself. Species depletion, toxic air, oceans filling with plastic, rising temperature, storms and floods — the Earth is crying out for help. I have been deeply moved by the voices of young people, especially the sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who speaks truth to power, telling world leaders,

You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet…. — Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee


Our minds create everything. The majestic mountaintop, brilliant with snow, is you yourself when you contemplate it. Its existence depends on your awareness. When you close your eyes, as long as your mind is present, the mountain is there. If your eyes are closed, it’s so that your mind can see better. Sitting in meditation, with several sense-windows closed, you feel the presence of the whole universe because the mind is there.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

We constantly are co-creating the world whether we’re aware of it or not. How we think is a crucial factor in the happiness or misery of the world and everything in it. Humans and how they imagine reality manifests cultures and how they function. Every culture is temporary because there’s always something the humans don’t know and don’t plan for. Religions arise and then over time become empty forms nobody believes in any longer. Human kind believes all kinds of fanciful poppycock for a time. We are still trying to understand who we are and what kind of world we live in. I think that people who live in a state of doubt are more to be trusted than those benighted souls who are dead certain of what’s what.

Our present situation is dire precisely because of the way we think, or rather don’t think. If the world is going to survive with humans in it, humans are going to have to become more intelligent. They’re going to have to give up pacifying themselves with childish fantasies about the world they live in. Wanton destructiveness is a luxury we can no longer afford. Killing for fun will kill the world eventually. We have to wake up to our responsibility to the life force we share with everything in existence.

Every day we meet a world that is thoroughly colonized by our own thoughts and emotions, as fanciful and immature as they are. Nature suffers more and more severely under our indifference and ignorance. Time is running out on how much more punishment Planet Earth can endure.

The issue is one of consciousness. We are only half conscious. We don’t see the consequences of our actions or how our actions come out of our thinking. We don’t ask ourselves if there’s a connection between the travail we can’t help but notice around us and our small hearted ways. Could we ourselves be upholding and preserving the common cruelties of daily life?

I think our duty to both the world and ourselves is to be true, kind and deep. That’s not what we’re taught. We’re taught to get ahead, as if it’s a race. We’re taught to look good, look successful, compete. This is how you get lost, in my opinion, by listening to the standard advice.

Putting beauty into the world will grow the world as well as your own personal life. Humans are capable of seeing and fostering beauty. We are capable of incarnating at a higher level so that we’re not a danger to the web of life on the planet. I think we have reached the point where we have to evolve or die out altogether.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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