Ancient Wisdom & the Future of the Planet

Are we willing to learn from those who speak for the Earth?

Houston is drowning. Freetown is buried. Somalia is bone dry. And, once again, humanity’s persistent attempt to conquer nature is exposed for what it truly is — an arrogant and futile pretense.

In the past week, our news headlines have again been dominated by natural disasters; events that are ever more frequently worthy of adjectives such “record-breaking”, “historic” and “unprecedented”.

Even allowing for the sensationalist tendencies of modern media and the natural cycles of climate and geology, it is increasingly obvious that natural disasters are becoming more frequent, more intense and more deadly.

Whether it be earthquake, hurricane, flood or fire, the clean-up is inevitably accompanied by one simple question, “Why?”, and the rhetoric begins:

Humanists turn their attention to the crusade of man vs nature — the levee was too low/fire breaks too narrow/government regulations too lenient. Evangelists pray to their vengeful and almighty God and cry “Repent, for the end is nigh!” Eco Warriors quote Al Gore and remind us of green-house gases, carbon emissions and melting polar ice.

Meanwhile, those that truly know “why” watch quietly and shake their heads in silent dismay. I speak of the indigenous populations of this Earth; the natives of America, Africa, Asia and Australia that have felt and protected the Earth’s heartbeat for eons.

Since the 17th Century, Western science has focused on and encouraged the premise that everything can be broken down into singular, isolated units — elements, molecules, atoms, nuclei. In recent decades, however, quantum physics has begun to reveal that everything exists as an energetic vibration, everything is interconnected and that everything is in constant relation to everything else.

In other words, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

So said Native American leader, Chief Seattle. In 1854.

The question begs to be asked — why is “modern science” just now beginning to understand what many indigenous peoples have known for millennia? And why on Earth are we not turning to these ancient wisdoms to better understand the current environmental issues we face?

It is obvious that we have outgrown many primitive belief systems — it is unlikely that we will see governments sacrificing sheep to appease the gods — but it is becoming equally apparent that our propensity to regard ourselves as separate from, and superior to, our environment is not working in our best interests.

Without doubt, we have much to learn from populations including Indigenous Australians and Native Americans, (such as working with the Earth’s rhythmic cycles and maintaining natural balance), and it is exciting to imagine how advanced our scientific knowledge could become if we took time to research and understand these ancient wisdoms.

After all, these indigenous peoples have thrived in and alongside their environments for tens of thousands of years.

Without their wisdom, I simply cannot imagine our modern world lasting even a tenth of that.

“I feel there’s beginning to be a genuine recognition that people who’ve lived in a place for many generations, and people who view their lines as connected to homelands that their grandparents, great-grandparents, children, and children’s children have and will depend upon, possess this longitudinal empirical database. This is something that scientists are beginning to recognize as very important in understanding climate change and adaptation strategies.”
Dan Wildcat, Yuchi member of Muscogee Nation, Oklahama; Professor at Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas; climate researcher

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Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.

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