It’s crazy when you think about it, but not in the way we’ve been told to think.
We’ve been told, with statistical “proof” that human beings are becoming too populous for the planet. And while people of various political, religious, educational and cultural backgrounds have debated over the issue for many years, they have reached no resolution. Dan Brown’s bestselling book The Inferno posits a “mad scientist’s” scheme to reduce and limit our growth, adding more fuel to the debate. But the debate is bogus.
I will get to the flaw in this debate right after this note: one of the main arguments against improving human longevity is the impact humans living longer would have on an already overburdened planet. I have stated on this blog (several posts including A Conspiracy Against Wisdom?) that human longevity will bring us much needed wisdom, and likely, the wisdom to solve knotty problems like the myth of overpopulation.
The overpopulation debate is bogus because it is like the medieval jailer blaming the prisoner for the prison conditions. Human beings, the prisoner living on earth (the prison) in this analogy, is not to blame for the prison conditions. The prisoner does not have the means to populate, clean, or depopulate the whole prison, only his/her own cell.
Who is the jailer? The overly self-important ego. It’s the exalted ego that finds everyone else to blame for the current situation, never taking into account the part it has played in the creation of the problem.
Yes, I agree, there is no other species on the planet that creates as much garbage as human beings do, or allow their dwellings to get so uninhabitable, moving on to the next environment, only to leave that one uninhabitable. There is no other organism that grows so far beyond its sustainability. But the reason humans are like that isn’t due to our sheer numbers, our lack of intelligence or concern for our environment. It’s not even our ego. It’s the over-inflated ego that puts us in this position- that preference for and idolization of the big-egoed leader, conqueror, multi-millionaire performer and/or business. The exalted ego jailed us and then told us that the prison crowding is our problem.
When the imprisoned finds the jailer’s weakness, or discovers that the jailer is really in the prisoner’s own mind, finding freedom becomes a matter of choosing it. If we are to survive and live long, fruitful lives that our bodies can sustain, we only have to identify and get rid of the over-extended ego, wherever it exists- including within our selves and our beliefs.
For many of us, that wisdom comes later than sooner. Years of frustration with ego-based problems forces us to realize the flaws and the ridiculousness of repeating the behavior. But anyone at any age who frees him or herself is freed from exalted ego for as long as he or she chooses it. Come “overpopulation” or under. Come dictator or democracy. Come corporate egotism or cooperative exchange. It’s up to each of us.
There is no overpopulation that will kill us. Only ego-preoccupation.
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