Nature as the Kingdom of Heaven.
My first mescaline trip was spent outdoors walking in a park, and it was magnificent. It taught me a lot, like how the trees, vines, and the canopy forms a building. Nature is an architect and engineer and builds buildings as humans do. They are literal buildings, not a literary metaphor — that’s their function. Throughout this trip, it was impressed on me how intelligent nature was, that the trees were guardians, protectors of an ancient age. Man’s buildings are nothing compared to the ones nature creates. They house the animals, birds, plants, and ourselves if we decided to live among them. If there ever was an alien invasion then we could hide in the forests and be protected.
Nature wasn’t angry at us for what we do to it, but it does need to self-correct — sometimes humans, and other animals get hurt in that process. The terms animal kingdom, and the kingdom of God, have real meaning when you’re there on an ounce of dried cactus powder. We aren’t separate from nature but rather a part of it, this need to build and run over the natural world means we still don’t understand. The natural world is a self-sustaining kingdom, city, we don’t need to build buildings, we can if we want to, preferably without causing too much harm. But we could just as easily live in the forests like the Elves of the forests of Valenwood in Elder Scrolls, the Ewoks of Endor in Star Wars, or the hobbits living in forested cottages in LOTR.
It recalls a simpler time of living, it wouldn’t have to be a hunter-gather style of living, agriculture could flourish. The children could gather berries and small animals, while the men and women planted maize, yams, and an assortment of plants, meat if it was desired could be raised or hunted. There would be no need to get rid of some modern amenities like lighting, and water pumps. Electric power could be generated from solar panels installed at the tops of some parts of tree canopies while leaving room for most of the canopy to capture sunlight. Wind power would much the same, installed at the top of the canopy. If the government has secretly stashed portable cold fusion devices somewhere then we wouldn’t ever even need to worry about that.
Sap could be used as a sweetener and calorie source. Leaves like those of hemp could be used to make threads, for fabric. It could also be used to make paper instead of using tree pulp, which requires cutting down a thousand-year-old creature.
Unfortunately, many of the old forests have been cut down, most of the ancient forests of Britain, and Europe, as well as parts of Asia, are gone. There are large forested regions in the Americas and Siberia, but many of those are too cold for consistent habitation. Fires across the western part of North America are leading to a hellscape straight from the Book of Revelation. The Amazon one of the great natural forests of our age that could still be used is currently being burned to the ground to make way for cattle pasture. Often the cutting down of the forests is placed in the context of climate change, but what we forget is that these forests are for housing animals and potentially us. In the event of a major disaster, one that could render modern society unusable, the forests may prove to be our last refuge. What kind of refuge is one that doesn’t exist anymore?
One wonders whether we’ve been warned about this all, and maybe we have although they didn’t seem to care about us enough to offer assistance. The anarcho-primitivists, eco-socialists, and those of an ecologically sustainable persuasion have told of the catastrophic results of industrialization, from Murray Bookchin and Fredy Perlman, to violent activists like Ted Kaczynski all railed against the encroaching industrial world. But most had no real power or took no real action — sitting in their academic offices, or union halls lamenting. So we must face our real condition, the state of the world, and face up to what we have made.