Reader’s Prologue: Everything is connected
It was mid-nineteenth century (most probably the year 1852 or 1854), Chief Seattle of native Indians wrote down a letter by addressing the president in Washington about land settlement issues. The letter was a humble request of considering the fact that, —a piece of land could buy or sale easily but the elements made this land valuable for life, —how could you purchase or sale these?
The letter associated the lucid coherence that everything keeps the inter-chained relation to reflect the true beauty of life. Land is not the piece of soil, it has its own harmonious accord with the gray-bluish sky, flapping birds, rocks and rivers, the vivid fountain, skittish calf and the people, who are also been the part of these mesmeric jingle of life. The bliss of life moves toward by the alliance of all these stuffs.
Our existence and necessity does contextual to the other and we have to care about this before use the landscape for our interest.
Yeah it’s true, life does never stringent on its coherent pattern, it could be changes over time, but the substance is always being the same here. It howls for the same old coherence, association and amalgamation to attain and enjoy the beauties of everything. We’re cultivate this land under living the surveillance of rainy-and-starry sky, sonorous fountains-and-rivers, heavy-looking tall branches of pine trees and winsome cheers of crickets, butterflies or the honeybees in evergreen brushwood.
Life is truly evergreen when we feel that we’re not separate and be one of the fragments of this unified landscape. Who’s the master artisan of this unification? Yes, it is vital to seek the true answer, but the realization rather more vital that perhaps we’ve no right to breakage the harmony just to serve the “self-interest”. Our “own self-interest” does have relation and matter to the “other’s self-interest”. Our existence and necessity does contextual to the other and we have to care about this before use the landscape for our interest.
The Chief Seattle just echoed the feeling of harmony in his speech. I remind his words again to consider the very recent development-phase and the contradiction of developed and less developed nations of the world. The developed countries are now booming over the technological benefits, where the consumption and demand-supply chain exceedingly growing bigger day-by-day. An enlightened citizen of United State consumes five-to-six times greater than the consumption of a less developed citizen of the world elsewhere.
Does it mean something? Yes, it means the massive use of all natural resource by any cost to meet the progressive-hunger of the developed citizen. He needs more electricity, more machine-produced goods to satisfy his artificial hunger and to increase the capacities of diversion more. Does this hunger and diversion mean something? Yes, it means the mass exploitation (damage also) of natural life and mineral resources, just to elevate the status that development of knowledge depends on the destruction of harmony, the more you can destroy even more you achieved the height of new consumption to avoid the risk that you’re in monotony.
The less developed countries not different in the milieu. They’re obliged to follow the developed to proving the ability of suck the artificial hunger and diversion more. Does it mean something? Yes, the less developed in progress means the same of more electricity, more factory, more machinery and more the mimicked junk food shop in the street by cut down the woods, bulldozed the mountain, dynamited the earth-ground for minerals and kills the sonorous rivers to the end. Does it mean something? Yes, it means pollution, global warming and lot of undesired artificial corruption of this body-machine.
Does the extreme development of knowledge is bad? Does this increased capacity of diversify the life is bad at all? I’m not mad to think like that. Knowledge is necessary to cut the root of all ignorance for moving forward. We need to dig everything and have tried to use it in new way for the sake of adaptation, but on the contrary, it’s our duty to consider the harmonious relation and coherence of everything in this earth and the surface. The consideration is maybe the word, which could help us to think about the accorded rhythm of life and to achieve the real wisdom of selfness.
I memorized the Chief Seattle to see that state-head and policy-makers of my country now going to install a coal based power plant beside the nearest land of this country’s life-saving swamp forest. They try to publicize the fact that this power plant is technically soundproof here. The coal barge will scientifically carry the coals through the river and the giant funnel safely discharge the smoke, without hammering anything in the mangrove forest.
… the more you can destroy even more you achieved the height of new consumption to avoid the risk that you’re in monotony.
The sweet watery-trees, stripped-color tigers, barking deer, skittish monkeys, terribly beautiful crocodiles, mesmeric fishes, lovely flapping birds, luscious or dreadful insects, beehives… even the fishers, woodcutters and honey-collectors… all have no risk of extinction due to the scientifically bullet-proofed power plant. It will help the less developed be enlightened by the light of civilization and techno-based wisdom. The people will able to seek more knowledge by reading the newspaper, watching television and even at future they will see them googling on the net to know the last advancement of Mars and artificial sex.
The state superiors ensured the opponents of the project that they know very little (and in a sense ignorant) about the whole plan. Risk of pollution and extinction of the forest is minimal here, because they have scientific survey data and going to use the high technology to secure everything in the forest.
The picture is hopeful and I salute our masters (includes the minister, consultants, bureaucrats and the companies) to ensure us that “everything is safe here” due to implement the safeguard technologies of modern time. I wanted to believe that it’s safe, but my mind restlessly reminds me that a natural woodland (with naturally evolved plants and animals) and the power plant never be coherent for one another, where development begins nature will omit by the accordance, and where the civilized wisdom getting it entrances the natural wisdom is quickly wiped out to the surface. We try to recover this by planting the artificial. Is it enough to bear the loss? The answer is yet hazy to me.
The Chief Seattle’s letter confronts me again the landslide that perhaps human race stands on the edge of a new biological transformation.
Anyway, last night I awake from the nightmare to see the dreadful striped colored beauty is no more existed over the giant mangrove, and the looker tree plants, colorful antelopes, prankish monkeys, venomous king cobras and even the beehives… all of them slowly vanish to the opaque surface of this universe. I was seeing the woodcutters and fishers working on the factories by wearing uniform and the honey-collectors appointed them in the artificial beekeeping farmhouse.
My dream was horrible, because I saw a barren land there. The Slightest memory of the mangrove was not exists there, which was once the strong safeguard to protect us from the turbulent cyclone. It seemed to me that our honorable state-head purchase the development by sacrifice the irreplaceable that we called once “The Mother”. Does mother can be sold or purchase? I don’t know the answer yet.
Perhaps the state-head (and be the consultants, bureaucrats, techno-logicians and the company bosses) know the correct answer of it, even though they informed better than me that the total percentage of woodland lessening day-by-day. The target margin of keeps at least 25% reserve forest in the country now reduce 15% than the target. Our development is happy with the 10% and tries to recover the loss by taking long-term-loan of 2 billion dollars from the World Bank.
The knowledge and techno development in less developed is now depends on the climate-change seminar and the advice of the economist and techno-consultants. The WB, ADB, IMF and lot are busy to find the shortcut that how could we increase the fund to save the reduction by investing more long-term interest-based project in less developed countries. Does it prevent the reduction? Do we protect the natural mother by increasing the GDP and Per-capita? Does a mother be purchasable by long-term loan and investment? I don’t know the correct answer except the landslide feeling that “things fall apart”.
The Chief Seattle’s letter confronts me again the landslide that perhaps human race stands on the edge of a new biological transformation. The million year’s relation with these “everything” will confront very soon a new wave of fusion, separation, and breakage to the familiar past of previous million years. It’s inevitable and nobody will prevent it. The natural evolution and adaptation will perhaps ruled by the artificial evolution-and-adaptation at near future.
I think I’m totally misfit for the future landscape of human race, because my heart yet remind to me the yonder Chief Seattle and his question that:
“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holly in the memory and experience of my people… How can you buy them?”
The Chief Seattle’s surprising tone still haunt me to remind that I’m misfit for the upcoming future, because I yet not able to kick-out the nostalgia that everything in this earth was in unification at past to breed everything. Today’s post perhaps my homage to the consideration that knowledge (and wisdom) is fruitful to me when it considers the inter-chain-relation (which Charles Darwin called the “Economy of Nature”) of these “everything” for future progress.
Life is truly evergreen when we feel that we’re not separate and be one of the fragments of this unified landscape.
Am I ignorant? Conservative? Regressive? Hopefully, but I don’t bother it. I wish to live with these “everything”, which was evolves and relate me to the struggling and uncertain reality for survive. I like this uncertainty to think that it’s not my final destiny; I will have to achieve lot of unknown fate after the emission of the body-machine. Anyway, the Chief Seattle is yet even my inspiration to think and find about the mysterious relation (includes the clashes) and reunification of “everything”.
I know there have remained lot historical contradiction about the letter and the Chief Seattle. The letter has diverse version in fact. The readers can easily find the controversy on net by google it. Perhaps the yonder letter is a complete myth but I don’t care. Life is truly mythical and be born here to produce the myth in lot extent. The mythologist Joseph Campbell not very said wrong that myth as “a lie that tells the truth”.
Who can define exactly which is truth, and what be the lie? I wanted to take the chance of this confusion to protect the fragility that yet perhaps we not lost the chance to reconsider the fact that “everything is connected.”
Chief Seattle’s Letter to the President of the United States
Ted Perry’s version from the movie “Home”
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man —all belong to the same family.
So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children.
So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you the land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children, and he does not care. His father’s grave, and his children’s birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.
I do not know. Our ways are different than your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of the insect’s wings. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinon pine.
The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.
So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition – the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one day discover; our God is the same God.
You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.
That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival.
Chief Seattle’s Letter to the President of the United States
Joseph Campbell‘s shortened version from the book “The Power of Myth”
“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you sell them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.
We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of a pony, and man, all belong to the same family.
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The waters murmur in the voice of my father’s father. The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the river the kindness you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow Flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our Mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
This we know: The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: Our God is your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.
When the last red man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?
We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.
As we are a part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know: There is only one God. No man, be the Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are all brothers.”
“Does mother can be sold or purchase?”