The exact definition of symbiosis is “interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.” The first part of this definition seems like a fairly familiar and easy concept to connect with, we live our daily lives interacting with millions of organisms both consciously and unconsciously, we are all part of a living organism and each play a role in its existence. It seems fitting that the second part of this definition is just six words passively laid down in ink suggesting that it is optional, the truth is it is absolutely not optional and it is of the utmost importance that we pay close attention to the “advantage” so as not to tip the balance.
Our current state of existence is hanging in balance, we have changed “advantage of both” to “advantage of me”. We have built a social mentality that we can take what we want, use what we want, and destroy what we want so long as it makes our lives better, easier, or more successful. We have bred a generation of human beings who have no connection to their surroundings, uninformed they navigate the world not knowing the damage they create with inherited traits. Humans happen to be the least symbiotic organism on the face of the earth, by our own making.
When evolution began the balance was shifted, we were so reliant on our surroundings that we had no choice but to pay them our respects. Our ancestors carefully navigated the earth, conscious of their environment, understanding that if they failed to move with care they could offset the equilibrium and cause a chain reaction that would decimate their community. This careful attention to detail tied with a lack of true understanding, or fear if you wish to use that word, of the intricate operations of the organism they lived on created a harmonious balance between the rock and the human race.
As time passed and humans evolved they realized that there was a way to “suffer” less for what they wanted. Religions were formed and the leaders of these movements spoke of a light at the end of the tunnel, if we just worked hard enough and followed the guidelines the gods had bestowed upon them, and only them as they were conduits, we would one day be paid for this work by being granted access to the golden club in the sky. If we chose to not follow we would be punished for eternity.
A system was set in place to provide for a class of humans who wished not to dirty their hands with the work they believed was below them. Those at the bottom provided for those at the top with new fears; social rejection, exile, and the inability to provide for their family. This system laid the framework for our modern government, the state provides as long as you punch the clock.
This catastrophic paradigm shift set in motion centuries of devolving from our rock, believing we could build it better. The gods of wind, water, fire, earth all discredited for their power was created by the almighty, an example of what we could achieve if we rolled up our sleeves and dug in. Society pushed to create, “evolve”, and grow working tirelessly to achieve the perfected machine regardless of its impact on nature or the human race.
Sects remained in harmony with reality, tucked away, hidden from the impending growth of the envisaged belief that the masses were not in control of their destiny but there was a commander in chief who would liberate humanity when the day of reckoning came. These cultures were built on the ideal that homage was to be paid to the provider and the provider was planet earth, the stars, the moon, the sun, and we were all free to communicate with them and share in the commune of their fruits so long as we tend to their needs.
The slow seep of this ferried belief that we must follow the guidelines of anything other than the earth’s message would inevitably reach all corners of the globe. There would be no stopping the poison of capitalistic idealism, searching ever farther for resources to feed its noisy engine, decimating all connection to symbiosis in favor of fast and efficient reproduction, new shiny objects, and a life without the stress of labor. Here we stand.
How do we regress? How do we reconnect? The answer is simple, action. As we sit around waiting for leaders who have not historically paid heed to the signs that the downward spiral is out of control, we allow more time for the claws of this destructive machine to rip and tear their way through what’s left of truly virgin ground. We wait for them to signal “we found the answer” when we know it will never come, writing off our actions as their responsibility because they were the chosen ones.
It is time to stand up and face reality, humanity created this disconnection not a select few. Humanity chose to sit back and disengage allowing others to dictate what our future and the future of our descendants would look like. WE must make the change, WE must dig our hands into the dirt and reconnect with the ground we walk on, WE must start the revolution pushing for equality both human and eco-systemic.
Our journey through time as a species has impacted the inherent symbiosis this floating rock of organisms must maintain in order to thrive. It is not an impossible dream or whimsical fairy tail that we may return to homeostasis, the first step is action not speculation. We have assessed, identified, and lamented the problems that face us excessively, there is no one to blame but ourselves for not taking the first step towards a solution.