I very much share the same fascination of wolves that has infatuated mankind for centuries, and always felt a greater emotional connection with dogs than other pets. So you’ll understand why I continually make references to canines in the scope of this piece.
The wolf has long been demarcated as the definitive primeval killer, the cerebral assassin of nature, buttressed by a rich history of indigenous American folklore and various mythological underpinnings.
Even to this day such deep rooted cultural superstition has traces left in the collective human psyche, despite the presence of documented research and expert opinion on their solidarity and lack of threat.
Moreover, has this larger irrational fear we garner to creatures such as wolves over shadowed the clear fact that homo-sapiens have long been the most dangerous killer of the food chain? Whether it is shear ignorance, a self-assuring defence from accepting what we may find a scarier truth, or an inability to reframe ones perspective. A perspective which positions our species amid the totality of the earth and all its species.
Gunpowder, mechanized weapons and other man made machinery long made the wolf redundant, and miniaturized it as a threat significantly in the larger scheme of things. (Gunpowder and the like was only one small step for us as well, mind you. Look at where we are now in terms of modern warfare).
Excuse the side track – this isn’t meant to be a political post.
Contemplating just the advancements of the military industrial complex over time alone, it’s strange that we don’t marvel the human psyche for the grand potential it exhibits.
It requires a sense of detachment and repositioning to be awestruck of the fruits of its inception – you’d have to take yourself out of your own little world, and observe nonchalantly the timeline of human history on a continuum almost like you’re watching some grandiose TV series…….. from fire to Ariel flight, to space voyage, and it’s all because of the gooey chunk of flesh we call our brains.
That thing between your ears can contrive and deduce seemingly infinite possibilities, postulate grand schemes and give birth to marvellous ideas.
It is the spark of the flame of creativity, to every engineer, inventor, artist, musician and intellect of our time.
A gift to the universe and a reflection of it at the same time.
In a cruel paradox, the mind can even imprison and destroy itself through its own devices (I’ve been alluding to this theme throughout both articles – dare I say, could this be some sort of catch 22 of the mind, an in built mechanism programmed by nature into our genetic code, to equalize the infiniteness and complexity of the human psyche capable of such unparalleled creation and destruction? Through evolution modern man has conquered the dangers of the savannah, but in the process created more elaborate threats. Thoughts to ponder..)
Just thinking of the possibilities to what diabolical idea could be conceived next should strike more fear into us than any indigenous myth or urban legend. From the atomic bomb, to missile coordination instruments and modern day killer drones, and even such disingenuous concoctions such as the ‘bolito’ entertained in Michael Fassbenders The Counsellor , there is no shortage to the destruction capable of mankind.
Not to mention the destruction on the earth, on its fellow species, and on each other.
………..and might I add in summation, no other force in equal to this man made destruction, save for the beautifully orchestrated chaos of the intangible matriarch mother nature herself.
Although, that final assumption is worthy of further philosophizing, considering the ramifications of nuclear war, and the magnitude of developments such as the hadron collider.
Have we exceeded the natural order of nature? I’m reminded of an episode of True Detective where Matthew McCoughnany’s character Rust Cohle adamantly touches on the topic:“I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”
Being from a developed western nation and witnessing the ruthless neglect and lack of responsibility the greater public has to themselves, their land and fellow people is despicable. The incidence of one punch deaths, rape, individual pollution and alcohol induced violence speak for themselves, and should beg inquisition from all of us for what is truly an issue that deserves attention.
We should be examining the root causes of such behavior from a psychological and sociological lens to identify how in a developed nations these things happen – when you assume peoples live relatively easy and trouble free lives in juxtaposition to war torn nations such as Iraq for example.
Secondly, having been to a fair share of music festivals and nightlife spots in my town I’ve been disgusted by the careless abandon people display when littering. I’m no saint and I’m not ether to any of this, but seeing this waste on a mass scale and the obliviousness of people solidifies my agreement with the ‘toxic society/crisis in consciousness/culture in decline’ paradigm. Even more so based on the fact that being from Australia, a country where there is so much government opportunity, support, free education ect how individuals take it all for granted.
Large chunks of this article and its predecessor have gone off on a tangent about our species and human consciousness* in and of itself. Rest assured this isn’t a repugnant critique of mankind, and to save this piece from being cast aside as just that, or another existentialist rant, I’d like to return to the wolf to cast a light of optimism:
“As this drama plays out, wolves – curious, caring, and intelligent – return to the land they once roamed. Sharing strong social bonds, wolves watch over each other, nurture their injured, and raise their pups among their family groups. By hunting together to feed the pack, wolves redistribute elk and deer and allow overgrazed trees and shrubs to rebound. As wolves restore natural order to ecosystems, they undo damage done long ago.” From National Geographics The Hidden Life Of Wolves.
What I’d like to emphasize is the highlighted from the quote above, and the final point to make. The human race is continuing to cause a disbalance on the functioning of the earth.
Earth is one organism, and I truly believe we should be living symbiotically with the earth and all its inhabitants, as earthlings.
Moreover, I believe that having the great intelligence and technology at our disposal, we have a greater responsibility to ensure the flourishing of the earth, and given our advanced cognition, better judged to do so, but not in the way we are now through exploit and corporate selfishness.
*Consciousness, for the sake if this article, as it is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself”, not in the way it is used so vaguely in new age and spiritual contexts.