A New Understanding of Nature is Long Overdue

Panther Creek Falls. Photo: Jeffrey St, Clair.

Multiple use without “sustained yield” is a trap. Multiple use, with awareness and dedication to sustained yield, is also a trap. Both versions fail to acknowledge what is. What we call wilderness, or Wilderness, is untrammeled. Human use is regulated to protect and maintain that untrammeled condition. Wilderness is not protected for human use, it simply is.

Life is not a competition, however many times we are told that it is. That notion is an agreement that needs to be reexamined and discarded. Use defines value in a way that does a disservice to the reality that nature in all its manifestations exists for its own purposes, regardless of the infinite number and/or intensity of human desires.

“The more successful we become in science and technology, the more diabolical are the uses to which we put our inventions and discoveries.” C.J. Jung, Letters Vol. II, p. 81 (1975)

Nature does not need to be managed. When we destroy nature with monstrous industrial machinery, we destroy ourselves. Man does not see how cruelty leads to self-ruin. As it is with all evil, cruelty is done in a hypnotic state of unawareness.

A new understanding is long overdue.

Steve Kelly is a an artist and environmental activist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.