Monday, 13 September 2010

The Web of Life

We share the Earth with innumerable other forms of life. Only now are we beginning to understand how each species, each sub-species and indeed every individual creature, from the largest to the microscopic, plays it’s role in the ongoing evolution of this living planet we call home. Only now are we hearing, understanding and using words like ‘eco-system’, and ‘biosyncracy’.

The old ideas of anthropocentricity, from “dominion over the Earth” to “survival of the fittest”, are falling away now their error is revealed. In fact Charles Darwins final theory was ‘co-operation, not competition’. As single cell life forms became multi-cellular organisms, and multi cellular organisms became societal species, and mutually beneficial relationships between species and even between plants and animals, even between humans and bacteria, developed, so did this planet evolve, and every form of life with it.

The seperateness we humans have believed in, even celebrated, is an illusion. And it is a cruel, self inflicted and dangerous illusion. Just as we are learning from ancient scripture and cutting edge science that everything is interconnected, so we are beginning to see that the effects of this illusion of exclusion are not exclusive! It is our folly, but all creatures suffer because of it.

The only way forward for humankind now must acknowledge this fundamental truth, or there is no way forward. And this realisation is part of our evolution, that is why the greatness of a nation can be judged on it. From the Celtic web of life, through the Buddhas dependent arising, to Lovelocks Gaia hypothesis, it is now obvious that speciesism is just as ignorant as racism, sexism or any other prejudice.

It is now time to recognise all other creatures as our fellow Earthlings, on the journey through evolution with us, we are they and they are us.

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