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Skip's Corner: Human Species, Prognosis: Terminal   (Views: 15,549)
Contributed by skip on May 2nd, 2002

I hereby submit to you the idea, that the human race, as we know it, will soon be extinct.

To prove this theory, I will use concepts from human psychology to show how we are all facing the death of our species in the same way we would face our own deaths or those of a loved one. We each are going through the various stages of the grief process: denial, anger, guilt, depression, acceptance and resolution.

Most people, are rather apathetic when presented with incontrovertable evidence that humans are disrupting the planet's ecology, and precipitating a planet wide catastrophe, through pollution of the land, water and air. The fact that we're killing off other species at a rate almost 1,000 times faster than before, and that soon our own species will be threatened with extinction, is often met with skepticism if not complete denial.

That is, when people first learn these facts of life (and death), they refuse to believe they are true. They deny their validity, question the motives of the messengers, find some isolated scientific report to dispute the findings, and of course say that their government says otherwise, so it must not be true.

When you present more evidence which discredits the rogue scientist (who is usually being paid to make such statements) and shows how the government is covering up such information for political or economic reasons, you're often faced with the anger of those who accuse you of trying to undermine the government or capitalism itself (and which no doubt threatens their lifestyles and value systems).

This anger distracts from the message itself by turning the messenger into the issue. Yes, once upon a time they beheaded the person who brought bad tidings. Now they try to discredit him instead of dealing with the message. Like that would somehow make the truth disappear (from their conscience perhaps). But unfortunately that never works. And for some people that leads to the next stage in the process...

Once a person finally realizes the truth, that humans are fucking up big time, and may have now blown the future of their species' DNA, they then enter a new stage that brings about a 180 degree change of attitude. Many people never get to this point because it requires a bit of maturity and owning up to your own responsibility. This stage has profound effects on the individual.

I call it eco-guilt. And we all get to that stage when we understand that humanity is really damaging the planet by its activities and that it's not somebody else's problem, it's yours too. We feel guilty because now we know we have contributed to this in many ways. Much of our lifestyle, and wasteful attitudes are responsible, if only indirectly, for this situation.

It focuses our attention upon what we as invididuals and as part of the larger society do everyday, that makes the situation so dire. And we cannot help but be struck with guilt as we examine our behaviors and the assumptions we've always made that lie behind them. This is a learning process, and the facts when put together form a big picture of ecosystem abuse that has been allowed to spiral out of control.

Those suffering from eco-guilt often become radical in their thinking. Many decide to oppose those who are destroying the planet, and are willing to go to extremes in order to save one small part of it. Others will radically alter their lifestyles to conform to a vision of a less destructive life, one in balance. They become vegetarian, or join a commune or support organizations that are fighting to save this or that.

But many who have done this for many years or even decades, eventually become despondent at the lack of progress, the inability to achieve even modest goals in preserving or restoring the environment. Others feel that not enough people really care, or are willing to put any effort into changing their own lifestyle much less into changing the policies of corporations or governments. So the lack of reponse, and powerful opposition to their views by others wears away at their willingness to continue the fight for eco-causes. Eventually this leads to the next stage, depression.

Once you realize that fighting against the inevitable is pretty much a lost cause, you lose hope in mankind itself. You feel a universal sadness of for everyone, not just yourself. No longer is life a bowl of cherries waiting to be consumed. Now it's a bowl full of worms, that is all there is left to eat, and everyone is fighting over it!

The determination that the prognosis is terminal, is one with profound implications for those who finally realize it. I believe to reach this level you must already be a person of great compassion. You've not only seen through the maya of the masses, you've now been witness to the karma of a whole species, and much of the planet. And once you've taken it to that level, you accept the fact that it's just part of the wheel of life and that humans like so many other life-forms have had their day in the sun, and will soon be gone. This is when you accept the inevitable and that there is nothing to be done that can change it. You accept everything, your species' karma, your own role in it, and the fact that it can't be changed.

This acceptance relieves a psychic burden on your soul and frees you to once again get on with your life and face the day-to-day experiences and challenges with less anger and more compassion. You see life and death as part of the endless cycle of which you're a part. And now you can resolve to be a more conscious actor in the play and make the most of every moment on the planet's stage to help others achieve a greater consciousness. Because life and consciousness will continue whether or not the human race does....

Human Species, Prognosis: Terminal
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