Gordon Kubanek, CACOR Board of Directors, writes:
By word or by sword;
By faith or by treachery;
By love or by hate;
By wisdom or ignorance;
By truth or by lies;
By strength or by weakness;
There are so many ways to fight a war.
Always, to win the war is to live, and to lose is to die.
The most certain way to lose, and thus to die, is to not be ready for war. For, like it or not, we always live in the age of war: it either just ended, or we are in the midst of it, or, if we are wise, we are preparing for the next one.
Violence, is however, only one way to fight a war and is a weapon to be used with caution, for it is a double-edged sword that destroys the soul of those who worship and use it, killing he who wields it as much as it kills those who die in losing the war. It is best held in check until, if needed, it is used with such cunning and ferocity that your enemy of over-whelmed so quickly and so completely that there are, almost, no dead. For, to kill another is to kill a part of yourself.
Today, as always, we are at war.
WW III is Man vs. Nature – and I have a fair idea who is going to win.
Today, in 2018, the world, as always, is at war, but it is a new kind of war so most people cannot see it.
We are at war with those species that have gone extinct because of us.
At war with the oceans, the soils, the air that we pollute so badly we can no longer grow food safely in it.
At war with those who are so alone and so full despair that they turn to drugs and gangs to seek consolation, but in so doing, die.
At war over ideologies that cause famine in Yemen and the flight of millions in Venezuela.
At war with the Earth itself as we destroy the very foundations upon which all life depends, turning seas, like the Aral Sea, into deserts or creating wastelands by strip mining for coal or minerals or tar sands.
At war with the truth in our ‘post-truth’ age, claiming that there is no such thing as truth, claiming that everybody is only motivated by the need for personal power and fame and greed.
At war with any version of a loving God, any God who seeks not aggrandizement of self, but rather greater consciousness of the unity of all life, a God other than the self, for to have no God outside of self is to succumb to narcissism, self-loathing and the hatred of all that you cannot control.
At war with all the connections that bind family, community, nation and yes, mankind itself, by severing all those connections that make us one humanity, one part of a greater story, the story all life.
But worst of all, we are at war with ourselves; as we kill, cheat, maim, starve, impoverish, humiliate each other to seek personal gain at another’s expense.
We are at war with the greatest miracle of all – life. We not only just killing, we are murdering all life on Earth; and when our forests and rivers die, just like anyone who inflicts pain and suffering on another, we to, eventually, suffer pain and die.
We are at war.
With American capitalism.
With Chinese communism.
With all those isms that pillage and destroy in the name of some abstract higher good.
With the ultra-rich who think they deserve their wealth earned on the backs of those barely earning enough to pay for a crust of bread or a bowl or rice.
With the corporations who only see $ when they look at the untouched Tundra or silent Boreal forest, rather than the life nurturing web of life they are.
With ignorance and stupidity and greed and self-centeredness and thinking that fosters the “all that matters is what makes my life, today, better – tomorrow and others be damned”. Of course, they only damn themselves this way.
With complacency and despair and depression and loneliness and cynicism and lust.
With the return of slavery and the destruction of habitats that are making species extinct.
With our almost complete ignorance of humanity’s history, which from the very onset, has been one of death – death for the Wooly Mammoth, death from drought of the very first city state Akkad, death by disease from Europe of over 95% of the natives of the Americas, deaths of untold slaves by societies that considered slavery a moral good, unnecessary deaths of women in childbirth and children by disease because they were not considered important enough to save.
With our inability to face the harsh truth of our own part of the destruction of all that we hold dear, frozen like a deer in the headlights of ‘progress’ and ‘the free market’ and ‘liberalism’ and other such fairy tales.
Today most people are blind to this battle.
But soon, as the oceans rise, as State after State collapses into anarchy, as dictators proclaim that only they know the truth, as fires and droughts and floods sweep entire landscapes away, as once conquered diseases return with a vengeance, as the Arctic Ocean ice melts for the last time, as refugees in their millions come streaming to the lands where there is still food and the remnants of law and order [but over-whelming those societies by requiring resources those ‘rich’ societies no longer have and so destroy the very places they seek refuge],perhaps then their eyes shall be opened. When famines strike and there is no food, when migrants try to enter a land but a fence and sub-machine guns drive them away, when cities are swept away by hurricane, storm surge and ocean tides, when there is no safe place to go, then, and only then, will the people cry out to their leaders: “Why did we not prepare for this? Why did you, our leaders, stop our insane march to self-destruction?”
But you already know the answer. People demanded, as their right, weekend flights to Las Vegas, people wanted their huge trucks to drive alone down the freeway, people demanded factory farmed steak or pork or chicken at every meal, people made more and more garbage and were happy as long it was gone somewhere far away from them, people worked harder and harder to acquire more and more material possessions and didn’t notice that their level of joy in living was crashing downward as their time and bonds with friends and family they could trust unconditionally evaporated into thin air.
As it said in the comic strip Pogo: “We have found the enemy and he is us.”
But there a brave few who are fighting the right war, the right way. There are some preparing for this coming war that most are unaware of. They are preparing not only by changing how they live, in how they consume energy and resources, but in how they think and feel and in the values they hold dear. They know that the true war is within, within our minds, our hearts and our souls. They have stopped flying. They have stopped eating meat. They have sold their gasoline powered cars and are walking, biking and using electric buses or cars to get around. They are sharing spaces in multi-generational households or living in housing cooperatives and co-housing projects. They recognize that ignorance is not strength and so are learning, learning and ever learning all their lives long. They use their extra resources not to go out to fancier restaurants or indulge in the latest electronic gadget but rather to help those in need or those organizations trying to help those who need it most. They are just like you, they are not really special, it’s just that they see the war, they feel the pain, the suffering from around the world makes them suffer, they know that if they don’t do their very, very best their own children and grandchildren will suffer and perhaps die. They know, just like we all know the sun will rise tomorrow morning, they know with a certainty that is obvious and logical as 1 + 1 = 2 that the future will curse us those who did nothing. And that is a curse I have no wish to have inflicted upon me.
So, will you join those of us who are preparing for war?
And by this I mean a war to stop our war on Nature and instead fight the real war, the war with the best within ourselves.
Will you open your eyes to the pain and despair the poor are living every day?
Will you stop making purchases of items, like Palm oil, you know are destroying landscapes such as the rainforests?
Will you start to make fundamental changes in how you live and think and feel and act?
Will you start acting like your life really matters by making your life, that precious, precious gift, a whirlwind of hope and joy and love and compassion that can win the war, not with violence, but with all the intelligence and wisdom that our species, homo sapiens, claims, so far undeservedly, as our birthright.
Like any war we don’t know the outcome ahead of time.
However, I do know, that those who give up ahead of time are bound to lose.
I do know that those who do not prepare will lose any war and then die.
I do know that for every person every day, every moment, there is a choice to be made: to see and start fighting the war and thus to live, or succumb to ignorance or despair or self-indulgence or lies and die.
The choice is yours.