Today there seems to be a great deal of controversy in relationship to human supremacy. It also seems that most people, if not all, exist in a state of denial.
I have read many holy books and ancient scrolls. Every religion that exists on this planet, in one way or another, expresses the belief that mankind has been granted domain over the earth. Every temple also expresses that we are blind, and in prophecies it is articulated that there will come a time when the truth can be seen by all – and yet few will open their eyes.
As a small boy, I was deeply confused. I say that I was raised at crossroads. I lived in a high-rise housing project on South State Street in Chicago – the poorest and the least educated of Chicago lived there. Poverty and ignorance were the most common detriments. Residents were mostly black sharecroppers from the Louisiana bayous and the cotton fields of Mississippi. There were a few scattered white people from the Appalachians.
I went to Catholic school in a middle-class white neighborhood. My brothers, sisters and I would walk a mile or more to get to parks, which were usually patronized by upper-middle class white people. One park was adjacent to Chinatown, and in between that park and Chinatown, there resided a large population of European immigrants. Of course, Chinatown was a port of immigration for Asians. This was my playground.
I call it the crossroads because I was exposed to many cultures and many caste systems. I recognized supremacy at a very early age.
As I've said, we were extremely poor. I hardly had a piece of clothing that did not have patches to cover up the holes. We inserted cardboard into our shoes because the soles were often covered in holes.
Yet, I went to a school where it seemed to be that everyone had plenty, and the priests and nuns would always speak of God’s love. It seemed to me back then that every child who attended that school was always excitedly bragging about their vacations to DisneyLand and other great destinations. My brothers, sisters and I would be picked on a great deal, as if though we were less than them because we couldn’t afford such trips. It gave us great pain.
Almost daily, my mother would pound into us that our rewards would be in Heaven, and that those of us who suffered the most would be granted the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. She would consistently tell us that those who suffered the most were anointed by God and were greater in God’s eyes than those who had more in life.
I remember that sometimes when she would speak of these things, for a moment I would be comforted, knowing that I was anointed above another – even though I wore rags.
Over time, it became quite evident to me that most people perceive themselves to be superior to another. If it wasn't about tribalism (one race better than the other), then it dealt with your economic status or what part of the city you lived. This would determine how you would be perceived by others.
I left home at age 15 to find my own way. I still lived amongst the poor and found it no different than from where I grew up. In each sub-group there were sub-caste systems that emerged. No matter where I went, there was always those (if not all) who endeavored to be superior to their neighbor.
How did this come about?
I believe it is because of one of the base foundations of how we use our consciousness. We see ourselves as being separate, or somehow above nature. Most humans perceive animals to be stupid or less than a human. In general, we don’t look at the overall architecture of the planet we call Earth and its inhabitants.
Most people would say that they are superior to an insect – I say we are not. A grasshopper is a grasshopper; it was designed to be a grasshopper, and its design is perfection. A grasshopper does what a grasshopper does, and I could only be superior to it if I could be better at being a grasshopper than a grasshopper. The grasshopper is perfection. I myself would not make a very good grasshopper; therefore, in its eyes, I am the inferior.
I often hear people calling their dogs “stupid”. Like the grasshopper, a dog is a dog. Most would call a dog stupid, or certainly not as intelligent as a human being. A dog has a very small brain in comparison to the human being; and yet, in our perceived brilliance, we attempt to force the creature with the smaller brain to understand our complex language and behavior.
If we were really using our intelligence, we would use our vast brains to understand the dog. We are not superior to the dog. We would not make very good dogs, but the dog makes an excellent dog, and carries out its functions.
And, so it is with all creatures in this world.
Yet, we perceive ourselves to be superior to all creatures on this planet. We somehow refuse to accept them as fellow Earthlings. We also perceive ourselves to have greater intelligence than nature itself, and this is wherein the problem lies.
We have misinterpreted what it is to have domain over Earth. It does not give us the authority to poison all life forms on this planet. Earth is an ecosystem, and that ecosystem is no different than the human body’s ecosystem. There are no less than 14 trillion microbes within our body that maintain every aspect of our physical existence. Some bacteria eat the toxins which we are constantly exposed to, and new bacteria are constantly forming for the never-ending task of maintaining the fluids in our cellular structure. We could not exist without them.
Yet, when it comes to our planet, we use defoliants that not only kill what we call weeds and undesirable plants, but they also kill the bacteria and fungi in the soil. The bacteria and fungi are perfection, and we are not superior to them. In fact, rich soil is 70% bacteria and fungi, breathing and carrying out their functions. Without the bacteria and fungi, soil could not retain moisture. They are the immune system of the planet. Same as within our bodies, they consume the toxins released from the earth and from the creatures that live on the earth. In our state of supremacy, we have also disregarded them.
When we look at creatures simply because they are microscopic, and we perceive ourselves to be superior, we exercise our ignorance and our supremacy.
When I look at how we have interpreted the perception that having domain over Earth means we can do whatever we wish, it shows me how blind we are. The fungi are perfect, the dog is perfect, the grasshopper is perfect. They express themselves to the fullest of their design and do their work with exquisite perfection. We are not superior.
When we open our eyes, we may choose to follow their example: to use our design to its fullest.
You could say that insects are superior to humans, as they express their designs to the fullest; for we as human beings seem to use 99% of our intelligence to remain ignorant of our environment and our infinite intelligence.
As I have said, we would not make a good grasshopper, but if we dedicated ourselves to fulfilling the full potential of the human design, we would no longer perceive ourselves as superior to the fungi and the bacteria. Rather, we would stand in awe with the work of the fungi and bacteria, and thereby begin the practice of eliminating supremacy over our domain.
In the process, we would stand in awe with ourselves and our brothers and our sisters, thereby accepting the perfection of all Earth’s creatures.
Having domain over Earth does not mean we must conquer it and attempt to force it to be a giant economic machine; it does not mean we should eradicate countless species for our temporary comfort. It does not mean we are superior to anything. What it does mean is that we have been handed the responsibility of protecting and nurturing it, as you would your own child.
As the grasshopper carries out its function to the fullest of its design, so too, someday, will mankind express the fullness of their design. And only then will we become fully human, and like the grasshopper, reach our full potential: a humane being.
Be at Peace.