For every act of evil, there is an act of beauty. You Can't Change the World, Only Your Attitude Towards It.

It's free, but I'll give it to you for your soul.

Why is it when you walk down a road in Laos (pronounced Lao) that you are constantly dodging potholes that drop down to open sewers, and when you walk down the road in Australia the road is smooth and well made?

Laos is the most bombed country in the world, bordering Vietnam it is 85% uncharted thick jungle and was bombed to hell during the war. The remaining 15% is mainly also jungle and the capital city Vientiane, bar the mopeds, is like a quiet village.

Australia is 82% desert/arid land and many towns are quite backward. The major cites though have incredible infrastructure, trams, trains, monorails, cycleways and are well signposted.

OK Australia is a near continent and Laos a tiny landlocked country but I just happen to have statistics handy and first hand travel experience of both places. The reason why one place has poverty and the other has affluence is all down to nature. We take what nature has as if it were free and infinite, we put a price on it and we get industrious in using these natural resources.

Where the best Taoist would be drawn to nature, to her upkeep and beauty, the typical 'developed' person lives off nature as if they were fire and she were coal. We draw and draw from her, and sit on top of this concrete jungle. Nature is a commodity, treated as free and sold for trillions. Pure profit.

Your country has rocks and bombs buried under the soil - you have potholed roads.
Your country has oil, uranium, metal, and carrots under the soil - you have a monorail.

No person is different but for the way their ancestors raped nature.

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao


Tom said...

Wow. A bold statement, and I think a rather harsh oversimplification of a series of infinitely complex events strung together over hundreds of years.

I enjoy what you write most of the time, but methinks this one is a little beyond the pale. Nature has plenty of bounty to give without it being classified as "rape". We surely need to become better stewards. Bear in mind Alan Watts' description of the way an apple tree "apples". In this same way, the universe "peoples".

Stating the ecological point as you did there is very "man against nature". Surely you must realize that man himself is ALSO nature in just the same way that a lotus is. Or...well...maybe a predator like a wolf ;-)

Ta Wan said...

Alan Watts also put forward the idea that a planets destiny is to become a sun and that humans were here to set the fire.

I'm not against the architecture and development in Sydney Australia where I live, it is impressive. But I don't want people to forget, to walk blindly, iPhone in hand, slave made shoe on foot, without remembering nature.

They build casinos on sacred Aboriginal burial grounds here. We killed millions to open the doors for the white man.

Alternatively we could have invaded some other way. The infinite interactions happen to say that we came, killed and developed a very nice few cities. Very nice indeed, nice to live in, very providing to their inhabitants - but lets not forget, built on the back of nature, some ingenuity, and a lot of underpaid Irish workers.

I like Sydney, it came out very nicely. Vientiane by comparison could do with a lick of paint - but let's think first where the resources come from and do we want to lay scars into the jungle to make for a pretty city?

Yes, the post here is not a spiritual perspective as such but maybe a cry from Gaia.

Tom said...

Fair enough, Ta Wan. I'll accept the "cry from Gaia" explanation as much better than one I could have given. I am as guilty as anyone else for writing boldly. In my ignorance, maybe blindly as well :-)

No disrespect intended, you understand. I enjoy the discussion, and have always been a firm believer in debate-not-hate (for lack of a better descriptive phrase).

Your description of that balance between loving / using / enjoying whats been made but not wanting people to forget what it took reminds me of the mindfulness trainings by Thich Nhat Hanh.