Find out more about the U.S. election results here.

Ecosystems And Ego Systems

Finding your place in the creation of life

Image for post
Image for post
Turtles emerged more than 200 million years ago. They deserve their space, and we should be proud to protect them. Photo by Christyl Rivers

Historically, a lot of world leaders have sought to make our habitats and our lives, places where their ego is nourished, even over-fed, to the point where the remaining eco-systems suffer.

Whether a man seeks to be Emperor Julius Caesar, or Emperor Orange Julius, history has witnessed too many times when oppression and domination pushed us into peril.

We, human beings, are at a point in history where nature, as demonstrated by all our senses as well as our sciences, is buckling under the weight of ourselves and our appetites.

Each person who feels insecure — a wholly human condition — seeks to amass more wealth, security, self-confidence, and resources, often to the great detriment of abundance itself.

What do you see within a meter of your personal space right now? Do you see paper? A wooden desk? Are there plastics which were once organic plant and other carbon materials? Is there food, or food utensils, often single use plastic, or mined metals? Do you feel, and acknowledge, every day, the natural world that brought these gifts to you for your use, or do you take them for granted? What about the networks within nature that created rain, sun, trees, farms, forests and food? And, what about the many millions of people cooperating to make your buttons and laces, weave the fabric, poison the pests, mine the minerals, distribute the goods, pour the ink, grow and harvest the forests and foods? And, finally, what about you, yourself? Do you see your consciousness as something created from all the cosmic and earthly elements that nature recreates every single day that results in your own ego, as well your internal and external ecosystems?

All of these elements are of the real world.

There is also an abstract world, one in which you are cognizant of your personal standing. You see yourself as an individual, possibly a marginalized and disrespected person, because very few of us are in the one percent, or even upper ten percent, who own, and control, most everything, and everybody, else. Even if that is not the case, if we are fairly well off, there is a very good chance we do not feel ourselves to be the privileged gender, or color, or faith, or other, qualifier. In fact, we may feel that we are “the bad guys” and we are being vilified.

Yet, we humans are the only animals that are so self-conscious in this way. We are the only ones, by way of adopting these abstractions, that have invented waste, trash and pollution. This is led to vulnerability and insecurity as to our worthiness. We need to feel worthy of a magnificent world, if we are to clean up some of the messes we have made.

We live abstractly with something we invented called a salary, which supports something else we invented called a mortgage, or rent. We unify into nation states, and describe in myriad ways, who belongs and who is foreign. We are all fully immersed in our own necessary investments in these devices: currency, borders, national identity, values, property ownership.

Other than overly pampered house cats, are there any other species that maintain such a sense of ownership and entitlement?

We cannot eliminate the abstract worlds we participate in. However, we can, and should touch reality to our Earth and our sustenance every single day. While there is yet elegance in living systems, and beauty beyond our measure, we can rejoin. Without reconnecting to our evolutionary past, and kinship to all living organisms, we get top heavy with ego.

We see ourselves as more important than, or superior to, either one another, or to the living eco-systems that make life possible. But belonging is basic. We must reclaim our belonging to the Earth, and not ownership of one another, or ownership of the living planet.

All this hullabaloo from a species that has appeared in Cosmic-creation/Eco-system time about ten-and-one half seconds ago.

Know your own ego, and examine your own values. Any emperor whose self-importance is dependent upon conquest or constant praise, is delusional, but also dangerous.

Nobody is more invested than those politicians and pundits who tell you what to value and how to prosper, according to what their political ambitions are. What they need is adulation. But unlike most of us, they rely upon our public support as our “employees.” False prophets and profiteers overtake politics, and see themselves as boss. They spread political toxicity, division and dissatisfaction far and wide. Fear-mongering does the rest.

It is also important for your ego to identify with others, some who may be exploited, or oppressed, but all of whom struggle to get through another day. Fortunately, diversity is being revealed not as a threat, but as our best hope.

We need to remind ourselves, periodically, that all of it, everything we eat, or have, or want, is of the natural world. The natural world that has always been there for us, is unraveling. In the places where climate change, habitat destruction and sixth extinction events are affecting living people and places all over the planet, we have to join forces. That is, we have to rejoin the living life force that is nature. We are re-creating public policy from the ground up. This is the way that natural ecosystems form. Top down is so last millenium.

To protect, defend and provide for one another means an ambitious effort by all people to overthrow injustice, inequality, gender-wars, and ego-centered structures. It requires nothing less than seeing nature as our ally and our healing guide. Domination and conquest, is being realized as celebrity worship of ego-centered emperors who have no clues.

We will not always agree. We will experience much squabbling, especially when we allow our delicate egos to go unchecked.

Even as the world gets hotter, the good news is we have a choice. We can continue with tribalism and “othering” of those with whom we disagree. Or, we can align as nature displays, with interwoven, and interdependent systems: Ecosystems, that appear to have more than thirteen billion years of creation wisdom from which to draw.

More than living. Thriving.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store