Romantic writers and thinkers valued the imagination. They questioned authority and especially looked to nature and children for models reflecting the inner person. In philosophy and expression, the Romantics and Transcendentalists had some overlap, the most significant commonalities being focus on the inner person, the significance of nature, and the disenchantment with the status quo of a society steeped in a growing, greedy, grasping materialism.
Isn’t that interesting? Not the way I presented it, but I have a point, really, I do! Society in the early to mid 19th century operated much the way it does now. The masses desired wealth, power, comfort. The technology and circumstances were quite different; however, the energy of Ego-powered humanity was not. And one major issue prevalent then and now is the disregard of children, our youth.
I know what many people so glibly spout about how spoiled kids are now. All of those sorts of generalized conclusions don’t mean a lot when the situation today is examined closely, but I’m not doing a sociological study here tonight. I want to refer to a video I saw — have seen it before — over the weekend and shared.
It’s of a 12 year old girl, Severn Suzuki, who in 1992 spoke to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. She pleads with the representatives there that they had the power to make a difference in our world of nature, which we are vitally connected to, without which we cannot live.
If enough ecosystems are destroyed and enough species are annihilated, Nature will shut down, at least as we know it and require it. (Rachel Carson didn’t write Silent Spring for nothing.) Young Severn understood what was at stake. In fact, she understood it enough to call the bullshit of the excuses of the sort of greedy society I referred to. Severn is known as “The Girl Who Silenced the World for Five Minutes” for that 1992 speech. She is one who from a young age heard her Heart, followed it, and created her purpose. She has degrees from Yale in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is now an accomplished woman with too many projects and credits to list here. In 1992, she pled with adults of influence who could make a difference; today, she is an adult making a difference.
The difference is in recognizing Ego-drive destroys if left unchecked by Heart. Heart-energy must be recognized, acknowledged, sought, and lived, like those Romantics of the 19th century. Wm. Wordsworth and other British Romantics reacted to the rationalizations of greed produced by the Enlightenment that led to the abuse of children in horrific ways.
That was associated with and spilled over into the destruction of Nature, which Wordsworth writes of in his sonnet “The World Is Too Much with Us”: “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers; — / Little we see in Nature that is ours;…” What is this forsaking of Nature associated with? “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” Yielding to greedy Ego, which has been rationalized as being “good” for the masses — jobs, ease, a healthy economy, alleviation of suffering — only destroys because the inner person is ignored, Heart pleadings falling on souls and minds deafened by Ego. And twelve year old Severn Cullis-Suzuki knew it; she responded to her Heart, a child calling to task Ego-soaked adults who for their Ego agendas ignore Heart.
The disgraceful, despicable policies of the current administration in American government need to be made to listen to this five-minute video for maybe a month continuously, but you know what, it wouldn’t do a damn bit of good. When people turn from Heart with Ego-rationalizations, they believe their own lies, and to me, that makes them dangerous to the nth degree, dangerous because they are stupid people with power.
And I was attracted to this video because of all that is going on now in America and because of the truths I believe about Ego and Heart. When Heart-light shines and levels itself at Ego, it cuts right through all that dark, ranting bullshit about jobs and the economy to illuminate the shallowness of perpetrators who destroy Nature and consequently us.
More tomorrow, but for tonight, I need to take a breath, look at some stars, feel the wind, hear some birds, and give thanks — while I can. By the way, Severn is a hopeful environmental activist today, and really, I am hopeful, too, or I wouldn’t be writing to expose this. I believe many people are on the fence, at a tipping point in terms of these issues. The environment needs to be preserved for future generations, for all of us.
One of the great Transcendentalists, Henry David Thoreau, said, “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” He wrote in the early to mid 19th century. He saw with his Heart. His wisdom along with Severn’s presents clarity: Nature must be preserved first. The rest of the bullshit can be figured out second.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!