02/19/2014 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

See the Forest and the Trees


A hideous event surfaced in the international news last week. It touched millions of people around the world and their anger, hurt and outrage flared and resonated throughout the global media sphere. Danish zookeepers killed a healthy baby giraffe with a bolt gun because "he was surplus to requirement"... then fed him to the lions... with full media coverage.

This was the horrific, unthinkable, nightmare moment schoolchildren crowded around to watch, as the body of a perfectly healthy, baby giraffe was chopped up before being fed to lions. Despite more than 20,000 people signing an online petition to save two-year-old giraffe, staff at Copenhagen Zoo went ahead and shot the animal with a bolt pistol. Young children stood at arm's length as his carcass was skinned and dissected before the meat was thrown to the lions. "Mommy, let's go to the zoo"... well... maybe, not. The impact of this cruel, senseless act cannot be minimized.

The degree of irony inherent in the human perspective is staggering and difficult to fathom. Juxtaposed to news items like the killing of the baby giraffe in Copenhagen, other news items can be found calmly announcing and explaining the casual annihilation of entire species rendered extinct by human activity -- vast ecosystems and natural habitats, hundreds of millions of years in the making, being swept away with rapid efficiency, as human, profit driven industry moves forward. There is neither outcry, tears, nor evidence of searing outrage surfacing anywhere. Just another day.

This discussion is, in no way, concerned with moral or ethical considerations. There are no positions of right or wrong, good or bad, taken. What is attempted is an unbiased, detached observation of the facts surrounding our history and the consequences of our behavior. An organism, that through its conscious, deliberate efforts, creates conditions that will inevitably bring about its own extinction can be described as confused or, at the very least, unhealthy, without danger of having applied moral sentiment. As a developing species we have failed to recognize the equality and unity of life. Consequently, we find ourselves unbalanced, confused, frightened and at the threshold of extinction. There is no attempt to moralize what is clear, obvious, non-negotiable fact. There is only the possibility that an unfiltered view of the realities may provide a framework for clarity.

Even today, literally, on the eve of extinction, warring and slaughtering, hacking up what little is left of the natural environment, for control and profit is business, as usual. By opting for separation, rather than connection to the whole of nature and life, we created a fictional sense of reality that has no chance of success in an evolutionary sense, where success simply means survival.

Where does this leave us? This is not a matter of soon or maybe. An extinction event, that has no parallel in known history is unfolding at a rapidly accelerating pace now.

We can avoid taking responsibility, maintain the socially engineered fictions of separateness, specialness, superiority and continue navigating aimlessly, without connection, in darkness. The journey will be short and one way. Alternatively, we can begin to strip away the socially installed, egoic mental installation, allowing one's essential self to awaken, engage, prevail and navigate. If you are reading this blog and see the point, you are awakening.

Awakening does not happen as an instant burst of awareness. The process cannot be forced nor can the impulse and intent to awaken be set in action by coercion. It is a natural process of struggle and unfolding, much like the moth entering its cocoon as a caterpillar, then awakening from its dormant slumber and forcing its way out into the light through the tiny pinhole it left behind. Once the process begins, the impulse that drives it is too powerful and dedicated to the end goal of emergence to stop.

At the onset of awakening, the true self whose connection to the whole of nature is intact, begins to decompress, uncoil and flex out like a spring loaded jack-in- the-box whose lid has just been pried off. Once enabled, the impulse of the essential self to transform and reunite with the source cannot be reversed.

There is nothing, nobody, to follow, other than our own inner voice. The answers we seek are within us. We are the primary instrument that set this chain of events in motion. The possibility of awakening is real. How the new dynamics of global environmental change will play out is unknowable.

A more complete development of the themes of awakening and emergence can be found in Joseph Carlisi’s book: “Playing God on the Eve of Extinction,” available from Amazon. Carlisi’s paintings may be viewed at: