But maybe the goal of “sustainability” is misleading — methadone for an oil-addicted world. “Sustainability” in the context of energy means we don’t eat ourselves out of existence, but as a vision for a future humanity it has the suggestion of a plateau, stability, leveling off, maintenance.
As essential as it is for our species to survive the end of oil, the human future — at least on this planet — is not a descent into well-mannered predictability. We are riding the lightning bolt of evolution, and we are neither its final culmination nor a done deal. We point the way, and as History accelerates, more and more of the creative energy of the universe is being focused on this planet. There will be no plateau, no Millennium of peace, as long as Humanity occupies this planet.
These musings (by no means new to me) force me to consider that this planet and even the human body are transitional artifacts. Like the placental sac discarded or consumed at birth, perhaps gross animal nature is the nutritive husk to be cast off by the children of Humanity as they expand into the cosmos.
Part of me rejects this vision. The earth is the Mother, the body the Temple, to be cherished and respected. Yes. And I don’t posit their obsolescence as a condemnation or dismissal. The question is, how much are we willing to give up? Not for economic or political gain, but to realize the full creative potential of the Cosmos?
- Your body is a boat to lay aside when you reach the far shore.
Or sell it if you can find a fool, it’s full of holes, it’s full of holes.
–William Burroughs, The Western Lands