Survival of the Future

December 5, 2008 Link Amma's Grace

Dear Friends and Family:

Long time since any posts.  We’ve been holed up in our room, weathering.  I finished one more semester of college (just 3 more – one year – to go) and with God’s Grace passed all the papers.

The following article is one that I wrote for my Mechanical Department’s quarterly, Sanketika.  It did get printed (I guess there weren’t many submissions!).  We thought that everyone might like to read it.

So without further ado…

Darwin’s theory, “Survival of the Fittest” rocked modern science. Evolution, according to Darwin, was governed by competition, and the victors were the ones with the most favorable traits. His theory is truly versatile, and it’s tenets extend beyond the boundaries of species. But human consciousness as a whole has never had competition. It has so far evolved sans the conditioning of failure. That evolution has brought us to a point where we must now ask, “Will our future survive?”

Not if mankind continues “evolving” as we have been. Why is it so?

Life has a history of optimism. No matter what the setback, living beings (including humans) continue to see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. Food, comfort, leisure, security have been the guiding goals of development. But now we must examine that light: “Is it really there at all?”

Not unless we change our track. How can we steer a different course?

Darwin’s theory, along with many other basic discoveries in his era, paved the way for the advent of Science. This Science has held as its sole aim, the Triumph over Nature, thereby establishing the supremacy of Man. But this is a false aim, with disastrous side-effects. The call of the hour is a Science that works with nature, instead of on nature. Man must secede supremacy to symbiosis.

Only three generations ago, in the time of our grandfathers, “organic” food was unknown. It’s not because of a lack of awareness… It’s because there were No pesticides! All food was organic, and people were healthier as a result.

Then Science brought us the “Green Revolution”, promising to produce more food on less land, raise revenue, and abolish hunger in the world. And the preliminary results were promising: food production was more, and pests were “easily” controlled. Then the unforeseen happened: Pests became immune to the chemicals; Soil became depleted and unable to grow crops; Prices of fertilizers and pesticides went up; Pesticide and fertilizer runoff made water supplies poisonous… We now see the long term effects of artificial food production: species extinction, environmental degradation, widespread inequity, debt, and farmer’s suicides. From the temporary excess of agriculture came the development of processed foods with long shelf lives. The media assisted by creating appetites for such foods. Chemicals present in these foods have poisoned humans, and lead to a worldwide increase in cancers, asthmas, etc, harming our very bodies, harming our viability as a species.

The former most admired country in the world, the USA, is mired in the most disreputable economic system – one driven by greed. Capitalism was commenced with grandiose ideas that every one should have a chance to get ahead. Now it is culminating in worldwide monopolies, exploiting markets of supply and demand, enslaving the poor, and destroying natural resources all over the planet to further line a few pockets. The capitalist model is being extended and applied where it should not be: hospitals are run for-profit (no money? no treatment); students are “raw material” (on entrance) and “products” (on graduation) rather than the clients that they should be; food is distributed, not to where there is hunger, but to where there are hoardings waiting to be spent. All this spreads unrest, destabilizing our systems of governance and order.

Farms are now businesses, with no relation to the earth other than it being the only way to turn chemicals and seeds into salable produce. Nations calculate the wealth of their forests not in terms of flora and fauna, but the tonnage of paper “available” for manufacture. Now with genetic engineering, we are again foolishly trying to assert our supremacy; unknown as yet are the consequences. The role of Nature in planetary health is ignored…

When Henry Ford drove his experiment out of his workshop many years ago, it had to be towed back by a “polluting” horse. But people still thought it would be great: it would clean up the city roads, filled with horse manure which produced a stench that was considered “unbearable”.

Nowadays, we drive “clean” cars, and there is no more manure on the roads. The cities are filled with car exhaust, producing a fine soot and gas that is medically unBREATHable. Not only that: with the worldwide demand for oil-powered personal transportation, the scramble for crude oil puts prices on the environment – there are “economic benefits to be gained” in destroying unique wildlife habitats! Additionally, there is a heighten risk of oil spills, which completely KILL all life wherever they happen. CO2 emissions have changed the chemical balance of our planet, endangering planetary systems that are vital for our civilizations’ survival. Attempts to mass-produce “cleaner” energy have resulted in vast tracts of land rendered uninhabitable, toxic, and dangerous due to nuclear activities.

All over the world, there are cries for MORE. More chemicals, more oil, more money, more labor, more speed, more development, more

What is needed is to moderate: to slow our break-neck race for riches to a snail’s crawl of sanity. Real quality of life will come when everyone can eat, sleep and perform their daily duties without fear or want. Then will true peace prevail.

Amma, the Dalai Lama, Satya Sai Baba, Mother Teresa, Al Gore, the Pope, all the world’s great leaders have been for long advising us to care for the earth and each other, not just ourselves. And atheists take note! Today’s scientists have started echoing these sentiments. We need to look at the collective state of the world, and take steps to fix the crumbling foundations of our future. The solution to the mess that greed has created lies in developing our higher noble selves; in rising above our crude wants and desires to enter a true global brother- (and sister-) hood.

History has seen geniuses ridiculed in their time for their “un-orthodox” theories and propositions. Time has watched and waited; eventually those same “fools” were looked upon as prophets, heroes, and saviors. They saw the direction, and were ridiculed, disbelieved, and slandered. Only too late, did the rest of the world catch up, and realize how right they were. But in those days, “too late” did not have many consequences. In our present situation, “too late” spells “disaster”. Let us not be too late! For it is the survival of our future that is at stake.

I hope nobody is using their cell phone…

With Love,


One Response to “Survival of the Future”

  • gabrielle says:

    your expression and articulation are as smooth as your mothers ,link and
    impressing your knowledgeable and discriminating attitude on this most important subject. good on you!

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