“Winter Is Here
An Essay by Alex Lipton
In Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming” implies that doom, destruction and death will blow into the lives of its characters. The same “winter” symbolism was also expressed in the opening line of Shakespeare’s Richard III, wherein Richard, Duke of York, forewarns, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” This is the same ominous warning provided in the Game of Thrones: “Winter” is a metaphor to emphasize a dark and cold season wherein danger and even death may await. “Winter” also implies that one should always be prepared for inevitable dark periods that occur in life.
Humanity is already experiencing that metaphoric “winter.” Consider the devastating effects of climate change, ranging from melting ice caps and glaciers to extreme crop destroying drought and polar vortex events that have dropped temperatures in the U.S. Midwest to lows seen on the planet Mars. Make no mistake, climate change is the defining crisis of our age.
The war of words between corporate interests and the findings of scientists has confused the public about the true nature of climate change. Geological assessments unquestionably reveal that climate change is a natural phenomenon that occurs in cyclic patterns over thousands of years. Whether through the leaking oil wells in the sea, polluting the land with toxic “Roundup” or cutting down the rainforest to make more hamburgers, human civilization is profoundly exacerbating the overall effects of climate change.
Is it possible to change our ways and restore the climate back to “normal”?
Some sources would have us believe that if we just simply recycle, buy electric cars, and reduce our carbon emissions the climate will be restored to what we have perceived as “normal.” Unfortunately, in the future when the climate will inevitably stabilize again, it will create “new” and different weather patterns than we have experienced in the past. This point is not meant to minimize the actions of those who make personal choices to help the environment, for this is highly encouraged and absolutely important as an effort to help slow down the rate of change.
In order to effectively make the changes we wish to see, the global human population will first need to coordinate their efforts and begin to work together. The point here is that survival is predicated on humans reprogramming behaviors and cultural norms that have, to date, undermined the web of life.
To fundamentally change our ways, we must first change our beliefs about life and learn to live in harmony with Nature. As emphasized in The Biology of Belief, our developmental experiences shape our thoughts and consciousness, which in turn, guides our actions. The destruction of our environment can be attributed to a “dysfunctional” cultural program that may be best defined as “The Delusion of Separation Disorder.”
Throughout human history we have been suffering from the delusion that we are separate from Nature and have dominion over her. This is the belief that suggests we can control and dominate Nature. And how is that working out? Well, we have subverted the web of life to the extent that human behavior has precipitated the 6thMass Extinction event. The last Mass Extinction, over 60 million years ago, led to the extinction of dinosaurs … the current extinction will likely see the loss of human civilization before the end of this century.
With that being said, it’s not too late to make positive changes in the world and create a more sustainable way of life. Yes, we can and should invest in renewable energy and other forms of technology which can help mend the environment rather than destroy it. But there is much more we can do. Honestly, I believe the big question is not solely about what we should or should not “do”, but rather the questions we must first resolve are “Who are we?” and “Why are we here?”
Throughout history, countless indigenous cultures from around the world have embodied and shared a vision of reality that human beings are here to serve a strong and positive role in maintaining the environment. Accordingly, we are the gardeners and caretakers of Nature, with the responsibility (if we choose to accept it) to co-create with Nature. Separation is the misperception that leads to destruction, while wholeness is the path that can lead us to harmony and creation. Humanity must awaken and remember that we are all one super-organism sharing this world, and more importantly, that we are all part of Nature and not separate from her.
Planetary evolution is limited when we perceive ourselves as merely individuals. However, when humans come together in a coherent community, that is when the real evolution will manifest. When humans function in harmony with the principles of Nature, entire new levels of thinking will collectively emerge. Now is the time for humanity to remember our innate superpowers that include self-awareness,
Let us not forget that crisis ignites evolution. With the dire circumstances we find ourselves in today, in regard to climate change and mass extinction, humanity is given an opportunity to arise and express its fullest potential as a species. We can rise to the challenge, work together, and restore balance to Mother Nature … it is our moral duty and profound personal responsibility.”