Amazon-Rainforest

If a tree falls in a forest

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a question that I have been asked more then a few times during my school years as an essay.

I always thought it was a stupid question: off course it does! How selfish of humans to think that human perception is the center of the world (the argument of George Berkley, the original inquisitor of such a question, whom philosophized about reality being only human perception). I got straight A’s arguing that the forest is “some ONE”, the animals, even the other trees “hearing”. I even argued the physics of sound, and that the sound waves existed regardless of a receiving agent…

And for some reason every now and then, when I see a forest, that question keeps coming to my mind, and I keep dismissing it, as I already had “the answer” for it.

This morning going through the forest, the same question popped again and I was just about to dismiss it that it dawned on me: I could not be so wrong!

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Sustainable Life

Meet your savior :

Sustainable: a method of harvesting or utilizing a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged

This is what nature and its circle of life teaches us. This is the only way that life was always supposed to be. This is how we should create, this is how we should consume.

It is a pity that the human intellect, so amazingly bright and resourceful is so easily blinded or better numbed by abundance and is inclined to see the truth only when faced with an imminent danger or even worse, after the complete loss of what was once abundant.

This behavior is so common among humans that I am starting to think that this has to be a genetic trait. The common sense points more to a global brain washing conspiracy plotted by the ones in power several centuries ago but it is more painful to accept that we all could be unconsciously controlled so easily. Apparently we tend to prefer to believe a lie if told masterfully then face the cold truth.

It is the blue pill, red pill paradox depicted in Matrix. Cipher misses the taste of a juicy steak that he eats in the Matrix even if he knows it is not real. So if given the choice, knowing what the truth is, how many really would have taken the red pill? My guess is not many…

The truth is that it is a simple mathematical fact that resources are finite. In a friendship, if you continue to be the one taking from it, the friend will eventually have nothing to give anymore. In business if you are the employer and continue to be demanding of your employees without giving them equal value in experience or compensation, they will eventually quit, steal or not perform anymore. If you are the employee and you continue to slack and not perform what is expected of you in exchange for a fair compensation, eventually you will be fired and hardly find a better job. If you spend more then you have, you will have eventually people at your door taking all that you have, including your liberties…
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Buying off our way to Heaven (!)

It keeps surprising me how certain patterns never change throughout history when it comes to human nature.

It all started when the first ape understood how to use a club to hunt more effectively and the ape next to him used the same club to hunt the hunter and keep the prey. We tend to be very clever in finding the easy way out. Countless acts of redemption were always made in the name of a Higher Self, the man we “couldn’t” be.

You sin, you pay the priest. You commit adultery you pay the jewelery store. You are never there for your children, you pay the toy store. You eat to much, you pay the gym (and never go). You smoke, you pay insurance (and keep smoking). You don’t have time to care, you pay charity (and keep not caring)… You destroy the earth, you buy carbon offset!! (and keep DESTROYING).

You can actually calculate the value of the portion of the world you just destroyed and buy it back.

Not that I am against carbon offsetting as an end result. I am against the way carbon offsetting (like charity and several other examples) has become a currency were it should have become a place for people to go and reflect and mend the wounds inflicted, therefore taking responsibility for their actions and understanding where the problem really was. By doing this taking a step further to enlightenment and to become part of the “real” solution.

A very simple way to understand how our psychology works is to look at a little experiment they have done in a kindergarten. Parents were always late to pick up their children so the teachers decided to put a per hour fine on parents who were late. Guess what, the rate of being late drastically increased! Once “being late” had a price, parents decided they could afford it!

Can we really put a price on a disappointed child, or on health, or on nature ? Evidently the message out there is that we can. This is why the word sorry became so cheap that everybody could easily afford to say it, under ANY circumstances or even worse, they hire others to say it for them.

The solution, as always, lies inside us. The day we are not afraid to look, we’ll understand that Heaven’s not for sale…

Sadok Kohen