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"WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT, IN THIS BATTLE, LIFE IS NOT OUR ALLY, BUT OUR ENEMY."
What does ancient Egyptian wisdom teach us on the causes of global warming?
What crucial message goes hidden in the magnificent harmony of pharao Hatshepsut's mortuary temple?
The answer begins by acknowledging that climate change is not merely an ecological problem. It is above all the visible symptom of a philosophical disease rampant deep in the heart of our culture.
This disease amounts to just three words: too much life! We are all propelled by an inner fire of life burning dangerously out of control. The flames of life are fanned by our culture's deeply flawed philosophy on the relation between life and death.
We erroneously believe that we are beating death by seeking ever more life (or "progress" as we call it). Reality is different, paradoxical and dangerous. As the ancient Egyptians knew very well, the scales of the balance of life and death are always in perfect equilibrium. Life always exacts a proportional price in death.
We live in a culture that has chosen to dissociate life from death. We ceaselessly strive for ever more life, while acting as if death does not exist. In a timeframe of less than a few crazy decades, we will have managed to consume almost the entire accumulated life force of all creatures that ever lived on the face of this earth. It will have been a hubristic achievement of truly cosmic proportions, with possibly terrible consequences. For a culture that abundantly sows life, is doomed to reap excessive death. It is super death that waits as the price for our thoughtless indulgence in the pleasures of super life.
Our only escape route can be summarized in just two words: less life! Fighting global warming does not impose a battle for life against death. It demands us to consider something far different and much more unsettling and discomforting. It requires us to abandon life in order to steer away from death. It urges us to understand that, in this battle, life is not our ally, but our enemy. We are required to befriend the idea of decline in order not to perish in the hands of progress.
This, admittedly, creates a very fuzzy, grey and confusing situation for a culture used to thinking in terms of black and white. It explains why the human herd is so conspicuously slow in fleeing faced with the teeth and claws of the incoming climate monster. Fighting global warming requires us to accept the bad if we wish to preserve the good. It urges us to accept loss and decline in order to thrive and survive.
The necessary sacrifices obviously go far beyond any proposed green solutions, which are no more than "methadone remedies". In an extreme irony, green might even become lethal by further fanning the fire of life and prove to be our worst enemy.
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