Video: ABC News
Can a garden create peace? Reverse climate change? Are botanists the answer to world peace? And is science the “objective language” of peace and harmony?“A weed is but an unloved flower.”
Genesis Eco Fund can’t help but question the validity of some of the opinions / conclusions expressed by Dr. Peter Raven in the above video. As a matter of fact, his oversimplification of matters is typical of the kind of “scientific thinking” which causes so many of the problems we live with today.
For starters, we must make the distinction between a garden and an ecosystem. Dr. Raven seems to completely overlook the fact that nature’s basis for collective harmony and symbiosis is the ecosystem.
“Well-kept gardens” are entirely manmade phenomenon which, for the most part, offer humanity “tidied-up versions of nature,” or expressions of nature free of our subjective aesthetics of “ugliness” and “wildness.”
We so-called human beings like to think of ourselves as above all that “wildness” so we craft gardens in the image we have of ourselves: clean, ordered, flawless, perfect…like the legendary Garden of Eden itself.
So right away we see a problem. Gardens are not real. They are a projection. Gardens immediately provide a stripped down, sanitized, façade of nature—and heaven forbid any unwanted “pests” (members of nature) decide to come take up residence in our garden. Woe is them.
The second aspect of gardens and gardening is this misplaced idea that we are here to “lord over nature.” That somehow, without our direct intervention, nature won’t be able to evolve. At best we see ourselves as custodians of the natural world, at worst nature’s lord and master.
But it’s really all the same thing: our collective unconscious avoidance of self-control. The nature we are meant to be lord and master over is our own wild nature—anger, lust, pride, greed, etc. By assigning ourselves the role of taming the nature around us, we happily avoid looking at ourselves.
Which brings us to this question of can a garden create world peace? Ridiculous! You cannot go anywhere in the world and not encounter beautiful gardens! The trouble is, they are aesthetic; and aesthetics are the best anesthetic.
Some of the most beautiful and opulent gardens in the world happen to be owned by the wealthiest, most heartless bankers and industrialists—if not despots and tyrants!
Image: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
At the end of the day, then, this notion of creating world peace (or solving global warming) via gardens is a naïve utopian concept: simultaneous ego-projection and avoidance of the true source of our problems and suffering: ourselves; our own psyche. The answers lie within.
So what about an ecosystem? How does an ecosystem differ from a garden? For starters, an ecosystem is not an esthetic exercise. It’s beauty is there, but its beauty is primal, elemental…objective. The ecosystem is whole and complete—and messy. It is not carefully groomed, sanitized, etc.
More importantly, an ecosystem is collective harmony and symbiosis. Its functioning and energetic field reflects the fact that it is in a constant state of balancing. Unlike a garden which can only fall into “chaos” and must be “kept,” an ecosystem can self-organize, evolve, adapt, and surprise.
When a “pest” enters a garden, it must be “eradicated.” When a new organism enters an ecosystem, it is accommodated. Sometimes, a foreign invader is introduced which the ecosystem cannot fully handle (English hares and cane toads in Australia), but still the self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-balancing activities of the ecosystem go on.
No garden can compete with nature’s level of determination and sophistication. A pest can wipe out a garden in no time at all. It takes decades for an ecosystem to collapse. Gardens have no resilience compared to ecosystems. They are too rigid in design and lack adaptability. Of course! Gardens are reflections of our minds…our so-called “objective science.”
Here we come to the real problem of this video: the erroneous belief that the scientific method is objective, and that somehow science holds the keys to solving our collective situation—which is, let’s face it, dire.
We hold in our minds “scientific concepts” about the nature of reality which are, like the gardens we create:
- projections of our own psyche
- sanitized, oversimplified, stripped down versions of reality
- rigidly designed, lacking in resilience and adaptability
- must be “kept” in order that they do not fall into “chaos”
- are aesthetic, and thus act as a powerful anesthetic to the consciousness.
Image: “Mind Projection”
Our attachment to materialist science and our wonder in our own scientific splendor (i.e. technology) is like any other drug. The fact that science is so wrapped up in personal, professional and economic gain simply adds fuel to the fire.
For anyone to believe that science is objective is just that: a belief; the new religion of our world. Strange, we see science advancing in leaps and bounds, and our societal and global problems lock-step with it, in much the same way that the ascension of organized religion created more problems than it solved.
That’s because both science and organized religion still only play with concepts. They are games in the mind. Science worships aesthetics and like any exercise of pure aesthetics, it is completely void of conscience. Aesthetics is the best anesthetic. Science as we know it puts the conscience to sleep.
So botanists, studying “the science of plants” fail to recognize that plants simply do not function in the way they think they do. A plant in nature behaves differently than a plant in the laboratory. Plants are not little “bio-chemical machines.” They are individual members on an ecosystem.
So there is a science of expanded conscience. The first step is to expand one’s awareness to ecosystems. To study and comprehend how nature achieves collective harmony and symbiosis in naturally self-organizing, self-sustaining, and self-balancing systems seems like the logical place to start looking for answers on matters of peace and harmony for humanity.
Likewise, in terms of sustainability, climate change reversal, etc., why not look to ecosystems which were around long before this humanity arrived and will be here long after we have gone?