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“And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew near to him and said, "We do not like to see you so sad. Ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it." The Man said, "I want to have good sight." The vulture replied, "You shall have mine." The Man said, "I want to be strong." The jaguar said, "You shall be strong like me." Then the Man said, "I long to know the secrets of the earth." The serpent replied, "I will show them to you." And so it went with all the animals. And when the Man had all the gifts that they could give, he left. Then the owl said to the other animals, "Now the Man knows much, he'll be able to do many things. Suddenly I am afraid." The deer said, "The Man has all that he needs. Now his sadness will stop." But the owl replied, "No. I saw a hole in the Man, deep like a hunger he will never fill. It is what makes him sad and what makes him want. He will go on taking and taking, until one day the World will say, 'I am no more and I have nothing left to give.'"

Reel Life Wisdom - “And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew
I posted this about five years ago after seeing the movie "Apocalypto" of which these were the opening lines.  Is this really a Mayan legend or a clever screenwriter's attempt to create one?  Well, it ought to be authentic because it does demonstrate a first peoples' appreciation for human nature and its discontents.  And as the evidence for the human caused destruction of the natural and human environment becomes almost daily more apparent,  The story has more and more meaning for me.

Now jusummerhayes is posting a series of meditations bearing on human relationship to and responsibility for the environment and quoting an aboriginal proverb about "civilized" people's disrespect for nature.  This story seems a great addition to such meditations.
near to him and said, "We do not like to see you s | Reel Life Wisdom


Jul. 21st, 2015 08:15 pm (UTC)
I must admit that i have gone from supportive, to indifferent, to hostile toward the idea of technology for technology's sake over the past 70 years. The indifference began at about the time of the first moon landing, and the hostility began when i read Ellul's Technological society about a decade later. So at this point in my life i can take careful note of your comment without really appreciating it. Yes, of course, it could turn all right. And it probably will turn out all right, but, as you suggest (who could have suspected...?) for reasons neither of us can comprehend. My bet is that it will not be us or our creativity that set things right. I might change my mind if tomorrow someone invents an efficient way to divert flood waters to drought stricken areas. Because, unlike the Anasazi and the Okies, we don't seem to have the good sense to move from where nature seems not to want us to be.



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