Ethics for a Participatory Ecology
Participation in the biosphere isn’t always “fun and games.” It’s not easy to get along with other organisms and species that have different ideas about how to use the resources we all need. Still, a referendum has been held, and the decision is clear. Most humans have voted to abandon the Environment. It's like BREXIT, but with much higher stakes.
The Political Machine opposes Nature.
This goes beyond the obvious crimes the corporate-enabled and fossil-fuel dependent United States government regularly commits against the environment, the climate, sustainable energy, etc. It's a deeper, more insidious problem based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of Nature itself.
Nature isn’t just a collection of biosystems outside of your house; it’s a process in which entities participate. Nature is an “exchange of goods and services” via a network of nodes and connections. We—humanity and everything we do, constructive or destructive— are part of it and dependent upon it. The Political Machine is trying to get you to forget that.
A Crowd of Unspeakable Adversaries don’t think they have to participate in this process. They believe that they get to dictate how this process works.
But I have even more bad news, friends. The fact of the matter is, regardless of how you voted, you can’t Leave. We’re all ultimately stuck here. We can close our eyes, put our heads in the tar sands and pretend that we don’t see, know or care what’s happening. Act like it’s somebody else’s problem to solve, fix, cleanup, and that we can simply ‘vote’ to exit, to walk away from the millions of years of Life Force that has moved inexorably towards the present moment, filling the environment with consciousness and the means to survive.
Those of us who see the value of recognizing the community, of participating in the intricate system of economies and networks that make up our biosphere, face a disturbing defeat. We understand that, for the majority, “going it alone” seems like the easy way. But there are more than a few of us who understand this differently….
So, we have to #Resist.
This doesn’t just mean that we have to go to protests, call our Congresspeople, organize meetings with like-minded resistors. It means we have to #Resist every single second of every single day. This sounds hard and overwhelming, but a lot of you are already doing it.
But we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. We’re between a rock and another rock, and in between is a bunch of other rocks. And some are on fire….
The thing is though, it could have been a garden, a paradise. Some say it started out that way, and that it was our error, our failure, our pride, our sin that separated us from it. I cant’ speak to what happened long ago — and whatever happened, the end result is the same. So, we have to make the most of it.
I hesitate to give anyone advice after everything that’s happened. After all the defeats and let-downs we’ve known — those of us who have kept watch, those conscientious objectors who weary of the war against participation in something larger, who see that no matter what, we will Remain.
But there are truths I’ve found which can only be seen close to the ground. The dog’s eye view. The worm’s eye view. The dandelion’s view. The truths of the weak, the small, the seemingly powerless. The truths of the soil and streams, the treetops and the layer of needles covering the forest floor. The truths of those who spend their lives getting eaten….
Those truths? Our Birthrights: the right to eat wild food, the right to sit in the sun, the right to not be harassed by poison, or by factory-made mosquitoes, the right to grow plants and collect clean water, the right to walk in the woods.
Our only way forward, and the only way to Make the Ecosphere Great Again, is to Take Back the Planet. And the only way to Take Back the Planet is to recognize that we are all Participants in our Ecology. We have to start small; the “big guys” and “fat cats” have the cash, and the votes, and the personalities. But, we have something they don’t. We have secret weapons passed down to us through the generations by invisible gray-robed elders who fought the same fight, who have always fought the same fight. We have ethics. And our ethics are our arsenal.
Our ethics are key ideals, basic patterns of interaction with the continuum upon which ‘wild’ and ‘urban’ fluctuate. These are our guides as we take our stand, and move within the community of Life:
PARTICIPATION. We are all participants in our biosphere, and should participate as fully as possible. For some people, this might be running for office. For some people it might be attending every march. For others, it might be sharing an insightful message on Social Media. For still others, it might simply be the act of not falling apart in the face of despair. What counts is the worldview of participation.
One bee with one grain of pollen can become an entire field of dandelions.
KINDNESS. Acting on one part of the biosphere impacts all other parts. Therefore, do as little harm as possible when interacting with fellow organisms. One of the hallmarks of the current Regime is base and wanton cruelty. By acting kindly, we #resist that cruelty, even if our act is as simple as a smile to a kid, or a little extra tip for our server, or a boop on a doggo’s snoot.
EDUCATION. Learn and observe prior to action, think and consider prior to activity. Education isn’t a TED talk; education means awareness. Use your ears, your eyes, your nose to ensure you’re acting deliberately. Learn from other people who have experience. LISTEN**, but also teach when asked.
RESPECT. Every species in a biosphere has the right of self-determination and our actions should impinge upon that right as little as possible. Question your assumptions; check your privilege. Ask yourself, no matter your landscape, what the value is in the terms “invasive species,” “immigrants,” “refugees.”
SUFFICIENCY. Take and leave only what is absolutely needed. Allow the possibility for new growth in the places you walk. Buy organic if you can afford it. Determine what is sufficient for you. If you have too much, give it to others. Share the surplus. Remember, in a Valuable System — think the forest — nothing is wasted.
CARE. Act as stewards of all of the places in the biosphere, be they urban or “wild” or in between. Remove the unhealthy and encourage the healthy. Care for others, but also for yourself. Care for strangers who don’t have the same privileges you do. Block trolls. Call out the haters, and if you see something, say something.
COMMUNITY. Share these ethics with other organisms. None of us are alone, regardless of the odious walls between us. Do magic together, even — especially — if they try to tell you that magic isn’t real.
Let the malevolent Adversaries stew within the bowels of their Cold Lodges. No matter the chains, no matter the prisons, no matter the decimation, you are one of the Good People, and wield the True Power.
We can do it. We don’t have a choice. In this, we will vote Remain, regardless of what the Powers believe they have decided for us, and will walk in the sun, and through the forest, for generations.