By David Burman, PhD
Actually, as you will see shortly that we are actually closely related, let me call you Stephen. You see we both have the same Mother. It’s not that our human mothers aren’t different, but when you think about it, how did we get to be fully grown adult humans from that tiny fertilized ovum we started out as? It’s only by absorbing the plants, and the animals that eat them, as well as the water, sunlight and air, that we were able to grow. Which means that every atom of our bodies comes from the Earth. So the Earth is literally our Mother. Which makes us brothers.
Not only that but it makes us related to everything on Earth, including all those things that make life possible, like the water, air, soil, bacteria, insects, fish, birds, trees, mushrooms, rocks … all of which we egotistically call Nature. And since I’m quite a bit older than you, it is my prerogative as older brother to help guide you through the complicated process we call Life.
Now, Stephen, the relatives and I are quite concerned that you have joined a dangerous cult: the Cult of Perpetual Growth, the one that worships Mammon. I know it’s a very prominent cult these days; and back in the day when some rich men decided to leverage their money to make themselves richer it wasn’t such a terrible idea. With the relatives being generous and all there seemed like there was a lot to go around. So nobody complained too much.
But lately this Cult has been getting completely out of hand. Did you know that we humans use up 150% of what the other relatives can regenerate? And the relatives are not feeling so generous these days; in fact they are starting to complain loudly. Like the trees, as 75% of the Earth’s (that’s our Mother, Stephen) forests have been cut down in the past century. Or the water being polluted, the soil desiccated and devoid of life, and the fish – half of all ocean fish are gone, Stephen. The list goes on and on.
You know how it is when some cells of your body join the Cult of Perpetual Growth, don’t you? Say some of your liver cells devised a plan to grow indefinitely, exploiting a disproportionate amount of resources from the other organs, and getting the rest of your body to work for them. You know what happens don’t you? Unless there’s some radical intervention, you die, don’t you.
So you put yourself through extreme inconvenience and considerable expense for the radical intervention that you need to (maybe) save your life. And those cancer cells (that’s what we’re talking about, aren’t we?) end up dying along with the rest of you, so they don’t win either.
It’s not just growth, you know. That would just be a lump. It’s when your liver cells travel and colonize other parts of you and take over their resources so that they can’t function properly that eventually the whole system stops working. It just stops.
Well as it turns out, you and I and all the other relatives don’t actually live on the Earth, we’re part of the Earth, just like those liver cells are part of you. And the same thing is happening to our Mother as happens to you when your liver (or any other part of you) gets involved with this Cult. So you can see why the family and I are so concerned.
Now, Stephen, I see that you have become quite influential in this Cult of Perpetual Growth, even blocking some international agreements that might slow down the rate that we humans are using up so much of what the rest of the family need. Many species can’t even survive, and more of them are going extinct every day.
That’s cancer, Stephen, and you can use your influence to get our Mother (and you and me and all the relatives, since we’re part of Her) the radical help She needs to reverse the damage that’s been done by the Cult.
There are other ways of growing without the Cult of Perpetual Growth. Like planting trees everywhere (the most advanced carbon sequestration technology in existence) – nut trees, fruit trees, shade trees, soil regenerating trees.
And we can grow in our capacity to listen with our hearts to the whole family. And food - the plants are eager to participate, along with the organisms of the soil. Every flat roof, every wasted lawn, could be food, Stephen. Our human communities too can grow in their resilience and self-reliance with help from you and the rest of the family.
The relatives are behind you all the way in your new life-saving venture. We know you can do it, Stephen. But first you have to leave the Cult.
We love you, Stephen, and wish you all the best in your deprogramming.
All my relations
Your brother, David
David Burman, DDS PhD
University of Toronto
Unify Toronto Core Group member