Wednesday, July 29, 2020

#211 / Rooted

What might we learn and how might our behaviour change if we discarded the model of agency founded on mobility, autonomy and sovereignty, and adopted the model that trees offer us: rootedness, relationality, dialogue and responsiveness?

The question posed above comes at the end of an article published in Aeon, an online magazine. The title of the article is "Rooted." The article is about trees. 

I have been thinking about trees quite a bit since I read The Overstory, a novel by Richard Powers. I recommend both the novel and the article. 

Our right relationship with trees means, automatically, a right relationship with Nature, upon which we ultimately depend. 

Do we want to survive?

Well, if we do, it's time to make some fundamental changes, and that means recognizing that trees are sacred, the Natural World is sacred, and that we should be worshipping the forest, not cutting it down, not setting it on fire, not acting like WE are the most important living things around. 

That is, more or less, what both the novel and the article say. 

They're right!

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, I’ve read Overstory and “Rooted,” and I don’t find that they call for the “worship” (devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose) of trees.

    Rather than a faith-based world view, we need a world view based on observation, acceptance and understanding of the entirety of the natural world and our place in it.

    It would be good if all humans would come to an understanding of the relationships among trees, other plants, animals, including humans, and the non-living processes of the natural world, and adjust our way of living to be in harmony with the larger realities of life. Especially humans in positions of power and influence in our various societies.

    It’s difficult to conceive of how we can grow from our culture’s anthropocentric world view to a world view that sees us as contributing parts of the web of life, not just dependent on the natural world for our own well being, but taking part in the well-being of all life.

    It has to start with the children, while they are still open to the wonder of life around them, before their daemons settle into unchanging forms and they become set in their ways (His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman).


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