Domestic Eco-Abuse

At the tender age of four or five, a boy stood crying as his mother received violence against a bed by her husband with a fist fueled by alcohol and a corrupt sense of masculinity. That helpless boy who witnessed was me, and though I admit this was traumatic, it also contributed to my present character who feels in harmony with his past. So though I have long come to terms with this experience, I feel it is still quite worth returning to for reasons far surpassing myself. In alchemical terms, though I have already turned this lead (of my past) into gold, I have recently found how to refine this gold further.

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I am not that little boy anymore, but in many ways I still am. I am often standing and witnessing this sort of violence. The only difference is that the characters have changed. Now the mother is the environment and the husband is the corrupt ideal of industrial progress and greed that deliver blow after intoxicating blow. Residing in India, this environmental violence is not easy to overlook. For every dog or cow eating from a heap of garbage, it is a blow. For every polluted body of water that is killing life within it, it is a blow. For every bit of polluted air that birds also have to breathe, it is a blow.

Domination has run rampant. This ideal is not mature masculinity, but a corruption of one. There is no surprise that India in general is sexist towards women, and the behavior is even reinforced by women. There is also no surprise at the serious case of human trafficking in India of which most of the victims are women and children (for the weak are much easier to traffic). As above, so below. Exploitation is not an indication of strength, but of illness. Fragility is not a justification for domination.

Like the past actions of my mom’s ex-husband, industrial progress, too, has been destructive, but continues to be. Lead, though, can always be transmuted into gold. Though I am still that boy standing and watching, I am not necessarily helpless. At the very least, I can do my bit and not commit any environmentally contradictory behavior. (Of course, I have much bigger plans as well). This way, I may serve as a good example for a picture of humanity that I like to see–a world where the human is in harmony with the environment instead of a tyrant against it.

Mankind As Eco-Cancer

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I have worked in the health field off and on since 2005 and never found it appropriate to hold any type of anger towards any of my patients no matter the difficulty. Patients have a problem by the very nature of being a patient, so acting rashly would only indicate a lack of understanding on my part. Many of these patients were battling cancer or other forms of terminal illnesses. Like these patients, I have begun to view mankind itself as cancerous, due to its current position in earth’s ecological environment. Since the greed-ridden industrial revolution, man has transformed into a tyrant to the surrounding ecosystem. The divide between human and all else in nature has appeared to grow exponentially not unlike cancer. What stage of cancer are we in now?

Living in India and experiencing a weaker environmental awareness than what I’m used to, I am inclined towards anger, but then my patients (and patience) enter back into the picture. Mankind is ill. Our behavior is contradictory to our very own sustainability of the species. We act as if we are not part of the environment but the exploiters alone. We act as if we are of more value than our surrounding (anthropocentric), but really, we have seemed to have grown corrupt. Though I have much temptation, I stop myself at the materialization of anger and misanthropy. Anger would only express my immaturity. The anger may even be a reflection of myself and my very own past or even present state of environmental ignorance. As Liber Librae in the A ∴ A ∴’s publication of the Equinox nicely states, “Be not hasty to condemn others; how knowest thou that in their place, thou couldest have resisted the temptation? And even were it so, why shouldst thou despise one who is weaker than thyself?”

Who am I to propose what we ought or ought not to do with our environment though? After all, is not cancer also a part of nature? If the objective of our species as a whole is to end it, then my argument stops here. But to me, a life form seems to possess an innate desire to continue its existence. If the only constant, though, is change, then no rules may be solid anywhere. Earth is not only composed of humans, but also all other animals, plants, and minerals. The annihilation of all humans and animals from the planet will still leave the plant and mineral kingdom. Sometimes volcanoes erupt and annihilate many animals and plants. Are we walking volcanoes?

Human volcanoes or not, if our objective is to stay alive, we have surely grossly underestimated our ecological environment. We have let our possession of a more seemingly complex brain become as a golden crown that corrupts the king. If much or all of the species goes extinct, we simply were not prepared to bare the crown within this current game of evolution. For now, I will view mankind as haven fallen quite ill, and I will strive not to succumb to the illness myself.