When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see you’re related to everything else alive on this finite planet? Do you see that you are essentially solar powered? Do you see how you exist because of the waste product of plants? Do you see the chimera, the multi-animal that makes you up, for each of our cells has in it mitochondria, which 3 billion or so years ago were separate life forms that teamed up with nucleated cells to make life more complicated, cooperative, and no doubt better able to survive down the generations? Do you see how you are a host, for yeasts, viruses, bacteria, fungi, even mites? Do you see how the bacteria in your gut, another life form entirely, works with us so that we can live?
And do see the end, wherein the elements you’re composed of join the flow of energy and life, breaking down, spreading out, being reincorporated again?
I know. It’s hard to see these things. We know better, but we still live life under the primitive fantasies of the past. We think nature is red in tooth and claw, that we are separate from and superior to it; that only the fittest survive, that capitalism is what God intended, competition the only game in town. This is so much 19th century bullshit invented by elites to explain their brutality, combined with medieval idiocy, a soupcon of that sun-baked egocentrism called monotheism, and plenty of ancient fear.
Paradise: from the ancient Persian for a walled place. The wall, we now know, is the thin envelope of life on earth. How some — too many! — throw themselves suicidally against this barrier! Don’t you be so damned full of folly.