Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Live in a Brain World

Above are three photos - two are computer circuit boards and one is an arial map of Vatican City.  If you squint, you won't know which is which.  They look strangely similar to one another.  Which leads me to my main point: we humans have ceased to understand the degree to which we manifest our inner world of thoughts and ideas on our environment.  We no longer see how much we impose our brain concepts on our world.  The circuit boards look like arial views of our cities because our cities reflect how we build our environment:  we operate on a human system of connections, energy transfer and storage.  We move information.  The earth is beginning to look like a strangely human fantasy.

I recently flew from Florida to New Jersey.  As usual, I sat by the window, utterly fascinated by the shapes and forms of our cities, towns, and rural areas as seen from the air.  I have watched these areas transform over my lifetime.  Today I see that we are running out of space and we live our American Dream on little postage-sized square plots of land with a house on top.  Millions of little stamp-like properties side by side attached like soldered connections on a circuit board.  It is clear, from the air, that trees are disappearing. There is not enough room on each little property to permit a few trees, let alone woodlands, to flourish.  We think it is not important.  We prefer a big, flat, green lawn in front of our home.  It makes our house look big and requires little maintenance other than lots of precious watering.

Which brings me to my next point.  Since we live in our brains, we no longer understand that we actually share this planet with animals, insects, dirt, germs, and plants.  We think we have the right to permanently exterminate them from our tidy little lives.  After all, in our minds, the environment belongs to us!  We seem to think that plants, like domesticated cattle, should be controlled, groomed and used exclusively for our seasonal pleasure.  The average suburban yard is actually rather like a modest version of the gardens at the Versailles Palace.  Our trees and plants are manicured so that they no longer resemble nature.

We need to step back a moment.  Look at this world we have "created" from our brains.  Ask ourselves if we can surrender control to the natural forms of Nature and permit the plants, animals, and insects to create their own habitats to coincide with and inside ours.  Give up the suburban fantasy dream of a clipped, manicured yard with fences to keep those pesky birds and animals out.  Share the dream with non-humans.