Nature Has Acquired Consciousness

Below is Whisper #37 from my latest book, 48 WHISPERS, which is a collection of photographs and personal meditations created across a decade of travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the surrounding northern plains. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic I once heard someone rhetorically ask, What if we are the virus?

It was a hypothetical question. The speaker did not mean to suggest that it was literally true, but rather to offer a fresh perspective from which to view humanity’s capabilities. 

For a moment I could picture all the other creatures of Earth living in a time without humans. Then humans are introduced and everything changes. Humans are the alpha organism capable of dominating all of the other life forms. Like a virus, we spread and we spread. We cannot be contained. All that lives is dependent upon our restraint.

How we view ourselves has a lot to do with the choices we make. If nature exists to serve and supply mankind alone, that manifests into a certain set of outcomes.

But here’s an alternative view: Humans are part of nature, not above it. Additionally, humans have acquired consciousness. Therefore, nature has acquired consciousness. Humans are nature’s consciousness. If we are nature’s consciousness, what responsibilities accompany that omnipotent role?

Not only do we have consciousness, we have also acquired one of the most sobering capabilities—the power to create and destroy.

What if we are nature, looking at itself? What if we collectively are the hand of God? What if, after billions of years of development, nature finally birthed an iteration of itself that could consciously act on its own behalf? And what if this was the only thing we weren’t conscious of?