Once the Universe becomes a machine, no longer alive, once human beings are defined as the only intelligent life-form, a unique
kind of isolation enters human lives, a kind of loneliness that
is unprecedented in the history of human habitation of Earth.
It is a source of many of the emotional pathologies people struggle with. In addition, people begin to judge themselves internally, to identify their level of value according to how much or how well they think.
Any internal expressions, perceptions, or thoughts that come from older epistemologiesthat are based primarily on feeling or intuition or aliveness in the Universethey label unscientific, irrational, unreasoning, or illogical. Such thoughts and perceptions, it is assured, have less value, are based on improper assumptions about the nature of reality, and are therefore something to be discounted, dismissed, degraded.
This dynamic has become so ingrained that people routinely monitor and censor perceptions that are contrary to universe-as-machine. And so people cut themselves off from the Universe in which they live; they become passengers on a ball of semimolten rock hurtling through the Universe.
They internally denigrate and deny their most basic experiences of the livingness of the world in which they live, their connection to it, and the importance of that connection. The interior wound.
Adapted from The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological
Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth, by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Copyright (c) 2002 by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing Co.
Adapted from The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth, by Stephen Harrod Buhner.