Exceptionalism is not just an American sickness, it’s a collective madness rising as a world destroying tsunami. More and more groups vying with others to make their voices and concerns heard and the louder they get, the more chaos ensues. Hyperbole? Observation says no. It is a fact of “tidal waves” of people sensing the serious unease of the times and honestly having no idea on how to deal with it except by regurgitating old concepts, the favorite remaining war and it doesn’t matter much against whom, or what just as long as there is fighting going on.

Earth has a major problem and it’s called mankind, the pseudo-intellectual species that chose, as a collective, to re-make Earth and its environment into its own image. It’s that simple and that devastating because the only way it could have worked is in the exact opposite direction: man should have known, when a much younger species, to adapt itself to its world. Its intellectual hubris drove it to chose exploitation and oppression over cooperation. The big “Wrong Way: Do Not Enter” sign was torn down and used to make crosses and scaffolds for those who insisted on teaching a better way.

Man chose wrong. A long time ago. The choice, once made, could never be countered because the creature’s body over time kept adapting to non-natural ways of engaging nature, i.e., life. The choice was irrevocable and would begin a string of horrible consequences a few are just beginning to recognize and admit to. The final consequence: the destruction of the planet insofar as the life-sustaining aspects of it goes.

As an environmentalist, as an activist, as an elder, as an observer and as a self empowered individual without any agenda, not even of personal survival because I don’t need that kind of pretend comfort, I’m going to state this as clearly as I can.

I know there is no survival, that all are born to die and that the only thing that matters, if anything does, is what one does in between that beginning and that end. To that I can add with certainty that “man” will continue to run from the stick and after the carrot: there is no longer any choice; there never was any choice once the wrong turn was chosen. Those who thought they could return to nature and choose a different path have been all but eliminated as genocidal fuel for civilization.

As a species man is done for. There is no possibility of turning back the tide of exploitation and oppression because that is the very thing that fuels his civilization. That is what must be understood and admitted to: that oppression, in particular, is the fuel that feeds civilization. Therefore, as should have been obvious since inception, this civilization (as were all preceding civilizations) is an unsustainable concept.

Therefore it should be obvious that any proposed solution based on tried and failed concepts are the re-running of old black and white movies: when you walk out of the theater, nothing has changed: your world did not change into a black and white Pleasantville.

As an intelligent and quite able to reason species, man should have never gotten upon this road but the temptation was just too great to resist. Man adapted itself to pillaging, raping, destroying and killing, all the while thinking it was building ever-after empires.

Man built his cities, his monuments to pride, exploitation, control and the resultant smog (literally, morally and spiritually) spreads over the planet like the fumes that poured out of Mount Doom… but there are no mighty men, no dwarves, no elves, no Hobbits, no wizards and no Ents to extinguish this volcano.


(Vancouver, May 12, 2019 – from 2000 feet – photo by Sha’Tara)

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein

38 thoughts on “EXCEPTIONALISM

  1. jim-

    This is so quotable my friend. Well spoken. I’ve been having this discussion with the missus lately. What is it that matters to us after we’re dead is probably more important than what is important now. What is it we want? I know the answer because I see it going on all around me. Very few know there is a better way.
    “I know there is no survival, that all are born to die and that the only thing that matters, if anything does, is what one does in between that beginning and that end”. Love this!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Jeez, Jim, what took you so long to respond? 🙂 All kidding aside, yours is a great comment. You picked up on the one line that really matters. If only we got serious and honest about ourselves and spent time thinking this through. Our interim is what matters, and I don’t care how someone believes, whether that past lives are real (that would be me) or that one goes to heaven (or hell!) but what we do with this one life; what we allow it to teach us as intelligent, sentient, self aware beings. I was half way through my interim (give or take) before I clued in that I needed to define myself – to become “me” – and not just another joker clapping at another’s speech or song or laughing at someone else’s joke or going home to ponder another insipid, utterly uninspiring sermon. “Give me a purpose or give me death!” I could have cried out, and that is exactly what I did: I would become whatever purpose I gave myself and it would be mine. Whether it ends when I die, or somehow carries on, I don’t know, but I know it is leaving a trace, a mark, even if past of that is a lot of question marks. We can do more than merely exist: we can live!

      1. jim-

        Our interim is what matters, and I don’t care how someone believes”. To a point. Part of this puzzle is the flippancy allowed on the environmental issues because they “believe” god is returning to make everything right. The Mormons who have a horrible environmental record believe that Christ will return and the world will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. That is a cancer on everything living now.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Agree. Those religions destroy the will to be responsible and accountable. Why bother if one believes the tripe?

      3. jim-

        I would love to have 5 minutes of the worlds attention one time. But alas..
        Even if there was a god it’s obvious he ain’t coming. Every generation thinks this is it. Ridiculous.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.” Notice the sarcasm, eh?

      5. jim-

        Right on. I am really happy I checked out your blog that one fine day. I really like having you here and there. It’s been wild at times but always something new. Thank you.

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        “Wild” is probably a very good way to put it. Some ideas are just that: wild! Untamed! Where the hell did that come from? … and so on. Although I play my own private mind game sometimes I like to share the results with others. How such are taken, well, that’s quite OK. I’m enjoying your own wanderings through various philosophical landscapes as well, and if some leave me going, ‘WTF???’ it’s always good rumination stuff. When I really don’t know what to say in response I just stay quiet and read others’ responses, much of it quite fascinating. Great blog you have there at https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/

      7. jim-

        Like wise. I’ve quoted just a few readers in 400 posts and you are one of them. I’ve explored some very new ground with you and it has been a real treat to get inside the barricades. Thank you.

  2. rawgod

    We are but voices in the wilderness, with no one around to hear our tears or see our love awasting. We believe we can carry others (He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother –Neil Diamond) but who is to carry us? Trapped, shoeless in the desert, the best we can do is put our voices on the wind and hope someone will hear them. But very few hear, and even fewer want to listen. We are but ghosts of ourselves.
    Yet we go on while we can. We thank each other for trying, as the wind blows our voices away…

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      You have a poem there, in that comment rawgod! How many would-be “change agents” have made the complaint that they are but voices in the wilderness. Thinking of it that way can lead to depression or even despair – I’ve been there long ago. Then I learned that what’s really important is not that others read, hear, listen or pay heed – that is not the messenger’s business, but that the message is spoken, or somehow made available should someone be looking for it. Once the message is ‘deposited’ then the messenger is free. Our tendency is to take it one step too far; to identify with the “success” of the message. I know now that is beyond my purview so I don’t stress about it. I do feel deeply for those who suffer, or will suffer and could be helped if they wanted such but if they choose otherwise, at least I don’t carry guilt about it since nothing can be done.

      1. rawgod

        That is why I do not court followers on my blog, or even make it easy to find. The message is there if someone looks to find it, but not many are going to look. That is how I designed it.

      1. rawgod

        To the best of my knowledge, Niel Young, who came of age in my hometown of Winnipeg, has never recorded this song, though he may have played it on stage. Neil Diamond did record it in 1970, released as a single and an album track. The Hoĺlies made it famous in 1969.
        But it was not written by any of the above, so thank you for opening my eyes to that. Bob Russell (lyricist) and Bobby Scott (composer) were the songwriters.

  3. sherazade

    Una civiltà che si è involuta e si guadagna spazio con le armi. un carpe diem egoistico.
    Umanità senza umanità non credo di avere letto analisi migliore della tua!


  4. George F.

    We are so doomed that we (as a civilization) don’t even seem to care about the mess we leave behind for our progeny. That’s for them to worry about, I’ll take what I can get my hands on now….seems to be the mindset…the greed is unsustainable and intolerable. (BTW, you’re message on my deleted blog page came through. Thanks! )

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks George – your comment is a very close “translation” of Shera’s Italian comment. Amazing how my comment to your blog got through as I sent it as an email reply!

      1. George F.

        But we live on this planet, and as witnesses to this tragedy, we still have to keep our spirits up. I find myself listening to a lot of music and turning off the news…

      2. George F.

        I’ll have a new post up this week and I want to be addressing these issues. This disaster unfolding before us is painful to witness.

  5. Hyperion

    What they said. A hard hitting and concise message Sha’Tara. I do agree. It is as you see it although many may choose a different view for different reasons. It’s all okay because in the end nothing in this world is man’s final decision. Nature and the universe has a vote. We can work for or against the world. It doesn’t matter. The monkey stomp will come sooner or later. It will come as war, pandemic, starvation. It will come as a cataclysmic natural event. In all of it there is the odd chance a handful will survive not because of their planning but by a fluke, a chance, a natural phenomenon of favorable conditions. It has always been that way and nothing in the physical universe has changed to dictate a new end or beginning. What little of our lives are truly in our hands to control, we can become good or bad actors until the tsunami washes us away. What does it matter if it is Ragnarak, or Armegeddon? As you said, what matters is what we do in the interim and perhaps we can individually seek a satisfying life but there can never be 4 billion happy people acting as good stewards of our natural world and of each other. We can be examples and we can care about the consequence of our actions but we are few and they are many and the end of it all is a destiny we do not choose but live or die with. Now that seems a lovely fatalistic point of view I just bloviated. But heck, the improvement of mankind spiritually, physically, and mentally takes total destruction of the old model so a new model can be built without all that pesky protest. Maybe next go round, we’ll choose better. I’ll never bug out. I plan to bug in.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      This is an acknowledgment of your comment, Hype, what else could I say to that? I do think, however, that yes, next go round we will choose better because we are about (OK, give or take a few hundred years) to re-invent ourselves into a new species. We are going to mutate and the new will remember none of the old and give it no heed except perhaps using our history as a curse. I don’t know about a new “heaven” but there will definitely be a “new Earth” according to our mutated descendants. Anyone from this day finding herself in the world I’ve seen some 1 thousand years in the future would be certain that she was on a totally different and utterly alien world… but she would never want to go back. There is a future but it will not be for “mankind” and his pseudo humanity, but it will be for a real humanitarian, humane, humanity.

      1. Hyperion

        Whoops, hit the send button by accident. What I was trying to say is I share your vision and it gives me comfort. I had felt this same scenario and wrote several ‘books’ about the new world and its future people. It was the origin of The Return of Dragons. I have removed it from the blog but it also talk about the same thing. The new people would not need gods or religion nor have any use for the old characteristics that doomed us. It would be a more perfect path to divinity and it would be these people who would repopulate the universe. Jus a story, but it came from deep within my psyche, perhaps leftover from the visions of our creators. No matter, I accept my fate and move toward it. So indeed, we share a like vision and I draw comfort in that.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        You never know where those stories come from and you never know when they are going to need telling but when that happens, you know!

      3. Hyperion

        Yes it is like that for me. It wells up from a deeper place instead of a neatly planned idea, it simply appears and compels me to write.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you Regis. The picture was taken from a Piper Warrior II four-seater flying low (around 2000 feet at the time due to low cloud cover) We were flying back from Cowichan (Vancouver Island) after taking two ferries across from Hornby Island where I spent most of last week cleaning up and prepping a beach front property in preparation for a client’s Summer vacations. Oh the things us landscape artists have to do to make a living, huh? 🙂 Life has always chosen to give me amazing contrasts of seeking after personal “poverty” yet somehow always buoying up on top. I’ve credited it to a natural tendency to give away without unduly looking over my shoulder to see how the water level was holding up and I’ve never gone without water. I find it interesting how so many pray to their gods or the universe or whatever to bless them with stuff and they always want more while I walk by looking for creative ways to get rid of mine! There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

  6. selizabryangmailcom

    Religion definitely hasn’t helped, as has been stated above. I blame the bible specifically in three areas:
    “Be fruitful and multiply.” (well, we did that and THEN some)
    “The curse of Ham” (rationalization for the abhorrent treatment of ethnic, and more specifically, black people)
    And finally: I blame the bible for NOT having the concept of karma. So convenient and brainlessly easy to let “everything be in God’s hands”.
    If everyone believed that what you put out is what you get back, the world would be a vastly different place. And I think it probably was before the appearance of the three major monotheistic religions.

  7. Sha'Tara Post author

    Indeed! The bible has had a huge impact upon the world due to European imperialism egged on by Christianism with its gross misinterpretations of much of the book itself. When I was in the last days of my Christian times I would tell people that they should gut the entire bible, keeping only Genesis chapter 1 to Genesis chapter 2, verse 3, and the three synoptic gospels, that’s it, that’s all any believer ever needed to get the bit of (questionable) guidance needed to just get going. I considered the bible to be equivalent to a grade one education, with grade 12 and beyond the goal of a true believer. Not that anyone who wants to live compassionately (and why be religious if that is not the ultimate goal?) needs a book to get going – it should be an obvious choice of lifestyle for anyone – but the passages I mentioned here make a good primer, just as long as the reader doesn’t fall into the trap of going to a religious priest, preacher or teacher for any interpretation. That’s where true faith, if such a thing exists, definitely comes to a crashing end! Fully agree about the monotheistic religions: a blight upon Earth in every way.

  8. George F.

    In fact, the more I withdraw from the reality presented by the media, and cocoon myself with music, books, my own blogging, hiking and doing things that make me feel good, the more I approach this classic definition of mental illness: “psychosis: a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.” However, I believe the problem is with them….not me! LOL!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.