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The Return Through the Forest

Written in World Issues: 08/12/07, 17:57:24 by admin  | Print article  | View all categories.
The Return Through the Forest |admin|1186966644|
[u][b]The Return Through the Forest.[/b][/u]

In Today’s world many people have a good understanding of the essential role, which trees play in their lives. Trees help to alleviate the serious effects of global warming and pollution control. They provide us with oxygen, help to prevent flooding and landslides.

Trees have many and varied uses, providing food, building materials and utensils. They soften the effects of the built environment. They are aesthetically pleasing, marking the passing of the seasons in dramatic fashion. They have symbolic and mythological meanings. For example, the olive tree is a universal symbol of peace.

Trees help to illustrate the connectedness of man and his natural environment, joining heaven and earth. Yet despite the growing understanding of the importance of 5trees and of environmental awareness in general, mankind tends to view himself as somewhat removed and detached from the natural environment and the effects of his actions on the destruction of forests, trees and the environment.

Man, or Homo sapiens evolved firstly out of the oceans and subsequently out of the forests. To day we are creatures of new fangled technologies, of the motorcar, the traffic jams, the lap top computer, the DVD and the ipod. In the process the whole communications process has evolved into the hands and control of a small number of ‘media kings’, who in effect control thought process and mind sets. The presentation is markedly commercial, materialistic in values portrayed and market driven.

The mantras of the day include terms like ‘civilization’, the ‘national interest’, ‘development’, ‘progress’, ‘the economy’, ‘and competitiveness’. People are encouraged to live in the ‘real world’ of superficial, materialistic and secular value systems. The sound bite is presented ad infinitum, so that in a sense ‘the medium becomes the message’.

The profit motive is now widely accepted as a primary motivator. Even the term ‘greed is good’ has been added to the mantras, a product largely of the Thatcher era.
Given this emphasis of technology and consequent materialistic value system, it is not surprising that trees do not rate very highly on the totem pole.

The ‘sacred tree’ of the primitives and ‘the spirit of the forest’ are now the domain of the tree-hugger, the eco-warriors and the greens, all of whom do not enjoy high status in our society. Yet they are the keepers of the earth, and protest in tree houses, reclaim the streets from the absolute dominance of the motorcar, and protest vehemently at the ill effects of globalization, while the politicos conspire with big business to turn the earth and the forests into pocket change. These keepers of the earth do not get the best of press because the press and the entire communications systems are in the control of the high priests of progress.

In spite of the control of the communications systems by a few vested interests, there is in mankind a deep-seated longing for the value systems, which underpinned his existence in the forest, when his lifestyle was not governed by the profit motive but the sustainable needs of the tribe. We can look back with some nostalgia to the time when the tree was sacred, when the oak was king, when the roots held the earth together.

Yet now more than ever we need the forests to give oxygen to a choking world. But the destruction of forests proceeds at a faster rate than ever. Though commercial interests and political expediency control our thought processes mind set and attitudes, we revisit the primal forests in dreamtime and in childhood where the earth is the mother provider and the animals are fellow travelers, little brothers and sisters, while in reality the corporate caterpillars are coming into our backyards.

So are we as enlightened individuals take effective action in the face of the unrelenting global onslaught on forests and environment? Can we re-create and re-inhabit the primordial forest of the dreamtime?

Of course we can. After all man have done amazing things. He has split the atom, learned to move faster than sound, and sent men to the moon. Technologically we have made incredible progress. But in terms of effective two-way communication and environmental conservation we are very backward indeed.

Homo sapiens is, as it were, sawing off the branch we are sitting on and are fast becoming yet another endangered species. Truly we need to stop the clock, re-trace our steps, re-discover the wisdom of the primitives, learn again to walk beautifully on the earth, where the tree and all life is sacred.

Yes we must re-create and re-enter the primordial forest. The secret way is not to be found in the daytime of technology and science but in the dreamtime of the night in the forest. Indeed the greatest journey is the return through the forest to mother earth.

It can be a journey undertaken in the company of oak, ash, aspen, alder, cherry, willow, elder, rowan, pine, gingko, holly, maple and sequoia. It is a journey to be made with the animals as little brothers and sisters, with the trees joining heaven and earth, where we walk to the deafening sounds of the dawn chorus. Indeed it is a whole symphony, enjoyed in the company of brother sun, sister moon and brother wolf.

Once we understand the forces that govern the world we know that it can be changed. Once we are informed and enlightened we can stand aside, inform others and together in our collective wisdom plant trees, prevent further environmental destruction and degradation. It is a daunting task, which can only be led by Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOS), who must act collectively to be effective.

So think [b]globally![/b] Act [b]Locally![/b]
Plant, preserve, [b]conserve[/b]
Harvest [b]prudently[/b]
The Forests of the world
[b]Trees[/b] for people
[b]People[/b] for trees
Man and trees
Part of [b]life’s web[/b]
Sharing [b]species-rich[/b]
Habitats of [b]Mother Earth[/b]
In [b]diversity.[/b]