Man-Made IS Natural

It’s time we start seeing our interdependence with the natural world

Lola Medicine Keeper, Shamanic Medicine Woman

I recently came across an article in the Washington Post, the intro of which reads, “A jumping insect has gears, scientists discovered, a rare instance in which man and nature independently converged on the same idea…”

It seems like a strange thing to inspire a rant… but here goes:

WHEN will we accept that man and nature are not separate? In my opinion, the distinction between man-made and natural isn’t an important (or valid) differentiation. Man is part of nature. So how can anything we create not be “natural”?

To keep us separated from nature keeps us from taking responsibility for how our creations impact global systems.

Everything is made from the Earth

Photograph by Lola Medicine Keeper

Everything we make is comprised of material found on earth. So plastics, gasoline, and garbage are “natural” items because we make them and we are nature.

It’s more useful to consider how anything,”natural” or not, contributes to the whole system.

In eco/woo circles we tend to vilify man-made stuff and humans in general. We put animals on a pedestal, we put down men; we rage against governments and fight to save the rainforest. But humans ARE animals; men are just as important, valid, and worthy as women; and humankind has collectively created the systems that we despise. We are complicit.

WE are the system.

Fighting against or elevating certain components is ineffective. All beings are on a level playing field here. Our separation from the natural, and each other, is pure perception… pure deception.

When we hate others or say that humans are a blight on the world, we are hating ourselves by definition. And when we are toxic within, we perpetrate toxicity externally… whether or not that’s our intention.

Sometimes I feel panicky: My mind and heart scream that we’ve GOT to love ourselves. We’ve GOT to remember that we are integral and integrated into our little world; a speck in a seemingly infinite universe.

Can’t we find compassion and heal by loving, first ourselves, and then everything?

And yet, if there are no wrong answers, then might all of this somehow be part of the evolution of our planet? The ice age, the jurassic age, the human age. Permaculture says that “the problem is the solution.” So, maybe we (and our mistakes) are actually the right thing for this planet, an element that evolved this way as an indicator of systemic imbalance. Perhaps there is no impetus to try and stop war, greed, and pollution because those problems will eventually solve themselves… just perhaps not in a way that feels good to the rest of us.

Perhaps a grand design is at play, as perfect as the ratios on Agave leaves…

Photograph by Lola Medicine Keeper

Our garden will be free of pests someday:

  • Either we change our perspective and learn to see nothing as a pest.
  • Or, the “pests” consume everything available and disappear.
  • Or, thanks to awareness of their presence, conditions are adjusted and the “pests” are no longer required.

Time and awareness will eventually heal what we consider to be wounds.

But in the meantime, what do we do? Do we sit back and do nothing, waiting for compassion to miraculously reverse our trajectory of damage? Do we accept that war, greed, and pollution are simply part of our time here? Do we hope that one day, we’ll understand and live according to our integrity (BOTH definitions of the word)?

Can we do both? Accept our current state with compassion AND work toward true integrity?

That’s the only option for me… During my small and unpredictably-lengthed lifetime, I’ve got to stand up for our connectedness. For our worthiness. For our role as a part of the whole.

Sure, it’s true that as humans we’ve been lied to; we’ve misdirected and intentionally misled each other. We’ve been violent, inconsiderate, and fearful. Not a day goes by without something tragic unfolding.

We’ve been lost; perhaps ever since our conscious minds emerged and started to question our place and purpose.

But it’s also true that we are natural. We are ALL worthy; humans and non-humans alike. No one and no thing is wrong.

Our equality gives me peace… The fact that we are a speck (at least by our current understanding of the vastness) gives me peace.

She is not so different from me (or you)

Photograph by Lola Medicine Keeper

AND this is our communal speck. It’s the only one available to our unique combination of elements, water, trees, fish, humans, oil, money, oxygen, trash, gold, coffee, dirt, art, and music. Are any of these things different from each other? Aren’t we all truly of the same stuff, the same stars?

Somehow, I trust that one way or another, it is all actually working out just fine.

Acceptance doesn’t equal complacency.

That doesn’t remove my responsibility to do my part, to live in integrity. It’s all I can do, and it’s imperative to my family, my community, my world.

I know it starts and stops with me; I have no guarantees of legacy or impact – my mission might end the exact minute I stop breathing.

Still, I persevere. Still, I speak up. Still, I love.

Your perspective is your own and you may not agree with everything I’ve written. That’s okay… I won’t make you wrong for it. In fact, I love you and I thank you for being here, breathing. You’re part of this too – however you think, feel, and act.

But, perhaps it will help us all if more of us remembered:

We are humans.
We are animals.
We are the world.
We are the system.
We are the universe.
We are beautiful.
We are truth.
We are worthy.

Change is possible.

#blacklivesmatter #iloveyouall

xo, Lola

Lola - Creator of Wildly Amazing Things at WildPlayground.com

Lola Medicine Keeper is a full-time transformational coach, published poet, mama, holistic herbalist, and ceremonial healer. She loves nothing more than helping someone's "good on paper" life become great in reality.

She’s honored to guide her clients as they navigate the turbulent waters of identity crisis. When not leading ceremonies, retreats and classes or in a client session, you can find Lola soaking up the sun, drinking wildcrafted tea, or playing with her rambunctious family in the mountains North of San Diego, CA.

Social media: facebook.com/thelolapickett | instagram.com/thelolapickett

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