Published in  
August 15, 2014

We were never lords

We must relinquish our convenient narratives of human exceptionalism and triumphalism, those stories that centralize human agency and enthrone human interests as supremely paramount in the multiverse.

We must do this not simply because we are now regaining some awareness about the nobility of other species and life forms – and not entirely because we are ourselves now humbled by our less than spectacular origins, but mainly because these times of upheaval call on us to revisit what is implied in being human.

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Do we continue to insist that we are lords over all, masters of the universe – uniquely distanced from the fleshy, dirty discourses of ‘nature’ – ravaging plagues burning soil and earth into asphalted forms of our own making? Or do we recognize our relatedness to all things, our real dependence on the land we supposedly transcend, and that to be human is not a magisterial decree of isolation, but a chorus…a syncretic process of shared ecological participation?