Too much knowledge, too little wisdom

Photo by Alexander Targov on Unsplash

I’ve been told, more than once, that we’ve elders in our midst.

I don’t doubt it but they’re either very busy attending to the unfolding grief or there’s so few of them that the dominant narrative has drowned out their voice to the point of extinction.

Where does that leave us?

In a parlous state.

And yet, we’re awash with information and exhortation how we’re going to undo the damage of (say) the last 200 years, allowing all 10 billion people, or whatever the true number might be by 2100, to carry on living their comfort-seeking, be all you can be lives.

Dream on my fellow humans.

Perhaps then you can see why I’ve been gripped by the idea that the only way to ‘save’ (how outrageous I’d say) the earth is for less of us or all of humanity to go extinct. Only then, will the earth and all other sentient life stand a chance of survival until the next meteor hits the earth or a non-anthropocentric plague wipes them off the face of the earth.

“No,” I hear you cry. “That can’t happen.”


Because we’re so important?

Who said so?

Oh, I forgot, we did.

That’s anthropocentric exceptionalism or a bloated ego or, well, you’re off your head, if you think we can carry on as we are and not suffer the consequences.

The thing is though, as one short exchange on Twitter has shown me (it was kicked off by a thread by George Monbiot), we’re ill-prepared to even have the conversation about population ethics, let alone enact a policy that might bear on an anti-natalist message. If anything, and here I’m thinking of Japan and China, the message is pro-natalism++ because, I’m guessing, of societal pressure, the tax burden and having enough productive people to keep the good ship capitalism afloat so that a very few can continue to look down on the rest of us as mere slaves.

You might, and that’s fine, disagree fundamentally that we should even talk about the issue, let alone advocate for the extinction of humanity, but I’m not convinced that with the increasing demands on the planet and the climate catastrophe that’s starting to gather earth-devouring, people-affecting pace, there’s any other way to get us out the mess we’ve created for ourselves. There might be one and that’s to leave the planet when things get really bad, but that’s delusional given we’ve no means of supporting a few thousand people aboard a spaceship and certainly we don’t have the technology to find a new, habitable planet. Mars? Nah. That’s more a fairy tale and in any event, from the little I know, I’d still wager that a degraded earth will be a much better bet for the Billionaire class than trying to erect some uber-complex biodome or whatever else they’ve in mind to keep them and their family alive.

Anyhow, back to my heading.

If you know where the wisdom is to be found that might provide a lighting rod around which a bit of common, earth-bound sense might gather, I’m all ears. A word of warning: the moment I detect the faintest whiff of human exceptionalism, even of the metaphysical type, I’ll be on my way.

Have a good Sunday.

— Julian



“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen

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Julian Summerhayes

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen