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Transparent Eye Moment
29 January, 2003 :: 2:04 p.m.

Yesterday in my Emerson/Fuller class we were asked to discuss a "Transparent Eye" moment--a moment where we had real clarity and understood our place in the world, etc. So the prof gave us time to write about it and then asked for us to share our thoughts.

Now first off, let me say I guess I'm a bit of a simpleton. What we were really talking about is how Emerson and his group of transcendentalists believed (as did Coleridge and a bunch of British romantics years ealier--so I find it funny that Emerson writes about it being the proper time for America to establish its own identity in literature and stop relying on European writers...which isn't to say I don't love Thoreau and think that Emerson and the rest had some good stuff too, just don't pretend to be original when your influences are still European at heart) that each individual is an individual but that we are all linked as well. Did anyone follow that with the huge parenthetical insert in the middle?

Okay, so anyway, everyone who shared their moment was talking of feeling a oneness with the world and finding their place in it. And back to my being a simpleton, I feel this everytime I have a good night with friends. That feeling of belonging, of being where I am supposed to be at that moment...but maybe that's just me. I also feel it sometimes by myself when I'm on a long drive and just thinking about all sorts of dumb shit that runs through my mind.

But in class, what popped into my head was 7th grade life science class. Mr. Pier talking of parasites and how their only functions are to consume nutrients from their hosts and to reproduce and how pathetic a life that was...and the thought popped into my head, "Yeah, that's what humans are here for too." We take from the planet and we reproduce and continue to spread to all corners of her, and never giving back...just taking. But I decided later that we weren't parasites, that we are a virus, then later I decided maybe cancer was a better fit. The earth, Gaea, is one giant living organism and just as our cells are to us, so to her are all things. We are cells, trees are cells, insects are get the idea.

And I think that at one time we were in harmony with all other living things. All things work together, take what they need from one another--but then we started mutating like cancer cells. We started producing all manner of things that are harmful overall to Gaea. We've thrown everything out of whack and she is dying as a result of our actions. I thought this all very profound and was proud of myself for coming up with the theory--even if it is a bit depressing. Then later I learned that some scientists in the late 50's or early 60's had proposed the Gaea Hypothesis already...and basically it was the same deal. (I borrowed Gaea from them just as they borrowed it from mythology)

We set ourselves apart from the rest of the world as though it is here for nothing other than to serve us (indeed Emerson wrote about this in "Nature")...when in reality we are just supposed to be part of the greater whole...and since we have this intelligence that we think makes us better than everything else, we should be using it to safeguard Gaea instead of harming her. See, with all of our knowledge, there is a simple fact that we cannot survive long without water and air--so what do we do? Pollute the fuck out of them. If we're so smart, why do we do this?

Emerson wrote about how man doesn't have the power to alter nature, but that is no longer true. But we alter her for the worse, not the better...and even though we know we do it, we continue to do it. And sure, there are good people who are trying to do their part to save Gaea, but those few non-cancerous cells are fighting a losing battle against all those mutated, cancerous cells. I personally believe that human extinction is the only way to save the, I don't really want to die, but you can't pick and choose because if any humans are left alive, eventually they will spread again to all corners of the earth and work to destroy her. Maybe that's too pessimistic, maybe I'm wrong...hell, I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think I am.

I believe that AIDS, ebola, all things that attack and kill us are working as Gaea's immune system trying to rid her of us. But like cancer, we adapt and we find ways to stay alive and spread. So it's a race...and maybe we'll help her out by wiping out ourselves with our so-called knowledge that has taught us to create nuclear waste, genetically engineer viruses, and make areas of land unusable to us. The question is, will we wipe ourselves out but leave enough of Gaea intact to let her heal herself and continue?

So yeah, that was the moment of clarity that popped into my head in class...I decided to keep it to myself based on what everyone else was saying.

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