The Great Lie of Living on a Dead Planet
The modern era is built on a theory of the Universe as a giant mechanical clock — dead matter with gears and springs.
The Great Lie of Living on a Dead Planet
By Joe Brewer / medium.com
Jun 3, 2016

The biggest lies hide right out in the open. They are so pervasive that we simply do not have eyes to see them. Our brains are hardwired for novelty and difference — so we filter out common things like the nose that is always in our line of sight. No one has to conceal these things because our minds do the work for us.

Look around with fresh eyes and you will see a world teeming with life. Your skin is covered with microscopic organisms alive in the endless drama of birth, death, and renewal. Every cell in your body is a participant in the grand orchestra that is you. The air is filled with pollen and spores floating in a ballet-like menagerie of asexual reproduction. And those are just the things you can’t see.

Step outside and you’ll note grasses and shrubs, trees and birds, a veritable Noah’s Ark of living beings all shuttling through time and space on this latest journey around the Sun. This world of ours is ALIVE and we are a part of it.

And yet, the great lie lurks in every corner. Hides in every shadow. Lays in waiting to guide every action. We have been told by modern science that the Universe started as a big-bang-explosion of dead matter. That this dense burst of light came forth into being as pure energy, then particles, then atoms… and eventually the clockworks of our mechanical universe giving rise to tiny robots — machines that churn chemical soups into animate objects with theappearance of being alive.

Crazy as this may sound, this is the hidden assumption that tells us we are separate from nature. That economies work apart from (and are superior to) environments. That the Earth is our God-given territory to be exploited and consumed as we see fit.

We are told this in the political rhetoric of “life at conception” presuming there was nothing sacred in the chemical flows of egg and sperm before a spirit “entered” the body. It is what guides our corporate CEO’s as they lay waste to the planet in search of new investment opportunities to turn a quick profit, to hell with the consequences. It is what makes us feel alienated and alone in the tiny cubicles and private residences that separate us from our fellow humans and the extended family of living things that evolved together with us (and long before us) on Earth for a continuous stretch of 3,800,000,000 years.

This is why we created industrial machines that consume decayed bodies of flesh (carbon fuel) to feed our factories.

This is what compelled us to spew industrial pollutants into the air that has destabilized the Earth’s climate.

This is why we turn the other way when children “over there” work slave labor in sweat shops.

This is why we rape the land with the same voracity that we consume pornography and use sex to sell the products fabricated in these factories.

It is all connected. There is a tapestry of relationships underlying our denial of the fundamental truth that the Earth is alive and we are merely a part of it.

The great conceit of the Modern Era (and its antecedents that go all the way back to the birth of agriculture some 10,000 years ago) is that the world is made up of dead things and we — the blessed living souls — can do with it as we please.

I find solace in naming this lie.

It reminds me of something I’ve always felt in my bones, as the blood courses through my veins, and when my heart quickens at the loving touch of a friend. I know in the deepest reservoirs of my soul that I am a part of this incredible Cosmic Dance. Realizing that an unbroken chain of mothers and daughters stretches back deep into antiquity is a profound healing elixir for all the traumas great and small that I have experienced in my life or that I have unwittingly caused in others during my days of sleepwalking.

Now I am awake.

Fully awake and aware that my body is an orchestra of cooperation among billions of tiny living creatures — the cells of my body. That I am like the wave forming on the surface of a great ocean that seems solid enough as it smacks the shore. Yet closer inspection shows that this solidity of form is an illusion. In truth, the wave is a rise-and-fall motion for millions of tiny water molecules dancing together for a precious moment.

Thus is my life a cosmic dance of illusory solidness. I am a living being. I sense and feel. I know my place is among the living. The older scientific metaphor of a clockwork universe has been replaced by the systemic point-of-view that now tells us everything is a network. It is all connected. The Earth is alive!

Now is the time to update our mental frames, see the world with new eyes.

Lift the veil of the Great Lie of a Dead Planet before it’s too late. Our species has exploded onto the world stage in the last hundred years — our population crescendoing into the billions for the first and perhaps only time — a veritable wave of humanity crashing on a planetary shore. We are in the most violent moment of felt solidity. Planetary boundaries are quickly passed and the journey becomes precarious.

It is now that we must all realize we are part of this world. That it is an unbroken chain of life that can easily continue without us. And yet, we are the unique species capable of understanding and yes — of loving — the world that is our birthplace. Imagine all the awe, all the beauty, expressed in our great works of human art throughout history. Each inspired in some fashion by nature itself because we are nature itself.

Now imagine all that awe, all that beauty, going away because we were asleep at the wheel of a great soulless machine. That we realized too late that this metaphor got it all wrong. The Universe is alive. The Earth is alive. And we too, in this very moment, are alive. There is no soulless machine. there is only us and our dreams that we fabricate in the cultural mythologies of our lives.

Herein the dead planet can be magically transformed by a simple shift in perspective. And all the possibilities of creativity guided in love for a future yet-to-be-explored become viable once more.

Yes, humanity is in a precarious place right now.

When we realize that the task before us is to re-orient how we relate to the world and, more importantly, how we relate to ourselves. That is when we begin the spiritual healing that will make us worthy of being stewards on a Spaceship Earth filled with trillions of living beings whose existence has already been touched by our reckless disconnection from ourselves.

We can re-make this connection instantaneously by simply realizing that we were never separated in the first place. This is a task for each moment of the rest of our lives. It is the healing elixir for our wounded souls. And the time is now for all of us to drink from it and find the fountain of youth was hidden in plain sight all along.

Onward, fellow humans.


Joe Brewer -- I am a change strategist working on behalf of humanity, and also a complexity researcher, cognitive scientist, and evangelist for the field of culture design.

3.8 ·
1
Trending Today
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 20,256 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 2,990 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,008 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,124 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 532 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 495 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 451 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 382 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 368 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 315 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 272 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 247 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 228 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 226 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 224 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 215 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
Here's How We're Going to End Factory Farming
2 min · 198 views today · Factory farming is a huge problem. But the solution is simple, if you'll join us. Watch this short 2 minute video to see how... Help make a kinder world possible...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 197 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 174 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 169 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The Great Lie of Living on a Dead Planet