They were here before us.
They pump liters of water to heights of hundreds of meters, standing columns of water. They convert solar energy for sustenance, while producing oxygen. They’ve devised such an amazing variety of mechanisms to communicate with other forms life, to strike bargains to survive, grow and maximize their offspring. Model beings.
Being surrounded by ancient kauri or New Zealand redwood in Rotorua drives home a powerful point – they are sentient beings. They display the same universal principles, defined incidentally by us, an intelligent being has. If they routinely communicate with other plants, animals and birds and adapt amazing feats of engineering without having to resort to our way of survival, which is inherently disruptive, exploitative and ultimately unsustainable.
Terence McKenna often speaks of a “Gaian intelligence” that tries to communicate to us and draw us back to how things perhaps once was. Once upon a time, before the advent of civilization, or as Terence says, ‘the fall in to history’. At some point in history, some 10,000 years ago, we had a change of hearts and began to view nature as insentient, brutal and as an enemy to be beaten in to submission. Our angry, male egoistic, jealous gods seemed to have turned us away from our idyllic coexistence with Eden into the plains where we began to build cities which needed resources form outside.
We have severed our connection with Nature. We have developed a historic neurosis of viewing ourselves as separate from the rest of the biosphere – the ancient fabric of sentient beings on this planet. This neurosis drives us to the extremes of irrational, virus-like behavior such as exploitative consumption, male-chauvinism, religious and political fundamentalism.
They were here before us. We left them. Now we are about to bring both of us down together in a technologically spectacular planetary armageddon. We need to return to Gaia.