The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word remember as “to bring to mind or think of again.” There’s a problem with this. The Dictionary’s first definition of the word member is “a body part or organ”. We understand this in our use of the word dismember, so why not in our use of the word remember?
If we think of the act of remembering as bringing back to us a piece of ourselves that we have lost, then we can easily move away from the notion that remembering happens only in our minds. We fully understand why certain memories can make us smile or cry. We understand that the mind brings to us something that our bodies have lost.
Why is this important? Because we have forgotten what we truly are. We have somehow divorced ourselves from the oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon and other elements that make us and every other living form. In short, we do not see ourselves as similar to the other parts of the whole of life — every living thing on earth.
I’m talking about Nature. That’s what we are.
Nature itself has not forgotten this. Look closely and you will see faces in clouds, in trees, in rocks. Nature is giving us a message that we are yet to fully comprehend — we are all one.
While we appreciate the joy we feel when surrounded by nature, we somehow seem to think that we are different — superior. Such human folly.
When we learn to absorb the energy we need directly from the sun and moon — like plants do — maybe then we could consider ourselves highly evolved.
Why is any of this important?
We have become so disconnected from ourselves that we are destroying…us.
We pillage the earth because we do not see ourselves reflected in her. As she bears witness to our folly, she looks on, waiting for the day that we awaken to our true selves. She marvels at those with the misguided idea that it is she who needs saving. Our earth knows that she will survive and flourish after we destroy ourselves.
She waits for us to learn that she can save us.
Let’s wrap our minds around the word anthropocene, used to describe our current geological age, when human behavior is altering nature — altering, not just impacting. The result is that we are unleashing a force that we have attempted to, but cannot control.
As we exploit nature for our own narrow minded and short term advancement, we exercise and empower the most base human instincts of selfishness, greed and the hunger for power. We are yet to understand that as we are nature, the nature we experience is a true reflection of ourselves.
Psychology acknowledges that our thoughts, our fears and desires create our personal situations, our lives. We attract what we put out. We need to extend that understanding to beyond our own individual worlds, to the whole of existence around us.
If we understand that cyclones, flooding, extreme snowstorms and wildfires — every destructive aspect of nature — is a reflection of us, then perhaps we will be inspired to change our behavior.
Some argue that climate change is a natural phenomenon — that the earth has been through countless cycles of climatic changes. This may be true, but must we contribute to it’s progression in ways that jeopardize our own existence?
We need a drastic about-turn, where we allow nature to be herself.
Trees absorb rainwater better than bare earth. Mangroves absorb greenhouse gases and protect against storm surges. Let nature be and she reduces and removes everything threatening our existence. She is waiting for us to learn that the sunlight she absorbs, the wind she generates and the water she holds can provide us with all we need. It is not necessary to drain her veins and strip her flesh for fossil fuels.
And how often do we think of nature every time we take a breath? If there is anything that should make us realize that we are nature, is the co-dependence of trees and humans, with that dependence heavily weighted against us…we need trees more than they need us.
Let’s re-member ourselves as part of nature, bringing back to ourselves the core truth that we have forgotten. Let’s remember that while we are made of the same elements as every other life form and therefore part of the greater whole, that greater whole will quickly adapt and flourish without us.
Let’s remember, because in so doing we may very well be saving ourselves.