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Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Aquaduct Between Past and Future: Thom Hartmann

Hmmm... An ancient aquaduct reminds me of the cinema, like the sprocket holes in the side of a piece of celluloid which tells the tale of some misty greatness.

If you have ever read Thom Hartmann, you will have noticed that he is an interesting entity. If you read about him in Wikipedia, you will get sort of a version of his life story that is certainly toned down from what I have read, but there is a time and place for everything, and Thom Hartmann of the present speaks of different things in Wiki than he does in other places and at other times.
Mr. Hartmann has a belief of Old Culture versus New Culture, and to simplify it, the Old is a way that sees the Earth as a living being which one must understand and live with as one does with all living beings: in harmony, whereas the New is a way of exploiting the Earth and polluting it and burdening it with overpopulation.
Mr. Hartmann tends to connect hunter-gatherer societies with the Old Culture, and the agricultural societies which succeeded the hunter-gatherers with the New Culture.

There seems to be a connection between the Native inhabitants of the Americas with the Old Culture, and the European discoveres and settlers and military with the New Culture.

The only problem I have with this is that present day studies show little evidence of Native American Indians or any other First Nations being such paradigms of love and respect for the Earth: the Indians used to regularly burn large tracts to extend the plains and thus their hunting grounds, and the one of the reasons the Mayans met their demise was their over-exploitation of their natural homelands and resources.

If the picture of the Noble Native American, profoundly spiritual and wise in the ways of the Earth and Ecology and Sustainable Living, is a mirage, then to does Mr. Hartmann's story of the Old Culture refer?

To me, it is not a memory of the past; it is not recall of a golden age. Rather, the pull and attraction of peoples living in harmony on the Earth is an icon of the Future.

The age when mankind will construct their Peaceable Kingdom is not in our histories: it is most definitely in our futures - if we choose it to be!
And it is this particular "time-line" describing the possibility of such harmony that pulls us by its symbolic gravity into the future. There is no limit to what we can do: good or ill; but we must choose the correct path.
We stand on a chaotic edge between two attractive futures: good or evil... and believe it or not, the good pulls us and tempts us and haunts us with just as much determination as does sin.

Our problem resides in the fact that, arrogant as we are, we believe ourselves already to be Good...
Therefore, we ignore the siren calls of the Future Good and fall into the embrace of the Scylla and Charybdis of Future Evil.

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