Peace is not only the absence of violence nor is it only stability in one’s life or society. The absence of war does not preclude self-destruction nor does the absence of violence at home blossom only from healthy relationships. The absence of violence in domestic relationships does not preclude an unhealthy relationship. Our world is far from being free of conflict but some research suggests that the global economy has created a largely unrivaled time of peace in terms of total death rates in conflicts in the last fifty years. This superficial peace has blossomed from an unhealthy relationship, from the theft of the structure of Earth herself. This time of peace is more accurately temporary stability which has been fueled by war with Earth. By structures, I mean the body of Earth, her trees, her waters, her oils, her rocks and minerals, her gases. Herein lies the definition of unsustainable, just as a relationship void of violence yet void of communication, reciprocity and equity is doomed to self-destruct, we are experiencing a temporary global stability by nations which have run their economies taking from Earth’s body. Current global capitalism is not peaceful, as Earth does not benefit from human feasting on her body, and as such we are now experiencing her responses. Global warming, climate change, desertification, rising waters, diseases, food insecurities are all her responses to our actions. Peace is not only achieved by each individual partner in a relationship independently, peace must be the relationship itself. So how does one explain the reasons humans have created a global economy from theft of Earth? The causes for the destruction of Earth through global capitalism are explained as arising from addiction, greed, materialism. “Realists” ironically who may point to the necessities of human survival, may try to justify this form of global capitalism, yet they fail to see the destruction unleashed on a life support system which we all depend on. As all actions have an equal and opposite reactions, for all of the numbers of humans who have been fed, housed and clothed and driven in gas cars through our feasting on Earth, this many may in the near future suffer or die of hunger, poverty, exposure and disease. The long standing spiritual disciplines found in traditional original (indigenous) societies as the Lenape are clear in their intention to maintain reciprocity with Earth. We are not divorced of natural laws, how could we be?
We are entirely made from Earth’s body at all times, yet the world has tried to sustain humanity in great numbers as if we are not bound to this reality. The inability to respect natural laws is due to the fact that people have attempted to create a human world by stealing from Earth, thereby denying that we are a part of Earth herself. In order to create peace, it will require stopping war with Earth to survive the next decades to come.
Lenape, meaning “the people,” are the original peoples of Lenapehoking: New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and western Connecticut. www.thelenapecenter.com