20 February 2018

The Sixth Mass Extinction

“The one that I will say impacts me most directly is the fact that we’re in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, that we are losing species at a rate that’s unprecedented since the dinosaurs disappeared.
It means we’re losing all of the intelligences they have and their power to inform us about the truth of reality.
And, of course, it also means we’re losing biodiversity. The biologist E. O. Wilson says that this is the most damaging thing that’s occurring, the loss of biodiversity, because the loss of any particular species in any particular ecosphere sends ripples across the entire ecosphere and shrinks the way that the entire ecosphere works. So for me there is a constant awareness of the death of long-term life-forms on this planet that is devastating to me.
There’s a kind of constant funeral – I don’t mean to say that I’m depressed and demoralized all the time – but I do tune into this on a regular basis, and the parade of death that’s going on in the natural world is very sad to me.
I think people don’t realize that they’re experiencing the same thing that I am.
They don’t understand that the sadness in their life has to do with these extinctions.
They think it’s something more personal.
It helps to know that there’s this collective grief that we’re not fully tuned into that’s interfering with our ability to enjoy life.
To return to the issue of mass extinction: I’m interested in a hypothesis articulated Jonathan Zap and Daniel Pinchbeck.
They propose that being on the verge of an ecocidal catastrophe may be a disguised opportunity for the human race to expedite the evolution of consciousness in ways that would not otherwise happen. With the possibility of doom hanging over us, we must get smarter faster in order to ensure our collective survival.
Zap and Pinchbeck invoke the ancient Roman legend of the Sword of Damocles, which they interpret to mean that when we are in great danger, and therefore our motivation to solve our predicament is heightened, as is our power to outgrow the habits that got us into this pickle.”
Rob Brezsny ❤️

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