A transcription of our recent short-film exploring the origins of environmentalism.
Did you know that environmentalism is less than 60 years old? In other words, people only started caring about something other than themselves in the last 60 years. This may sound like a mere fun fact, but considering how long humans have been around, it’s actually one of the deepest shifts in consciousness that western civilisation has ever undergone. Ultimately, it is the movement from individual to collective. From self to selfless. Instead of seeing nature as a fierce force to contend with, people in the 60’s started to see it as something to nurture and protect. But why did this happen?
There are two major events that took place just before the environmental awareness movement began. Apollo 8 goes to the moon and becomes the first crewed spacecraft to do so. As they orbit the moon, one of the astronauts holds a camera, broadcasting this ground-breaking event to millions back on Earth. He then turns the camera around and captures our planet from outer space for the very first time. This was the first time that people were seeing the Earth for what it is. A tiny, magnificent and singularly unified globe floating in black space.
“To have that experience of Awe is, at least for the moment, to let go of yourself, to transcend the sense of separation” Explains Philosopher David Loy. “So it’s not just that they were experiencing something other than them, but that they were at some very deep level integrating, realising, their interconnectedness with that beautiful blue-green ball.”
Back home, Swiss chemist, Dr Albert Hofmann, has just made the most profound error that any chemist has made to date. While attempting to create a new respiratory stimulant, Dr Hofmann accidentally synthesises, and ingests, the first ever dose of LSD through his fingertips. What ensues is, not only the most famous bicycle ride home in history, but also the most radical and far reaching countercultural movement the world has seen to date. Many years later, Hofmann writes about the collective transformation that was happening at the time:
“To shift from the materialistic, dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a new consciousness of an all-encompassing reality, which embraces the experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate nature and all of creation.”
And these guys weren’t the first to talk about this. Sages and mystics throughout the ages have spoken about this ultimate uncovering that they all seem to happen upon, by some means or another, that points towards the illusion of self. Albert Einstein drew the same conclusion from his own work in mathematics:
“A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of oneness.”
The fact that people are coming to the same conclusion over and over again, and from all of these radically different situations and perspectives, points towards this being a communal realisation, rather than some kind of mass hallucination. We are getting closer to reality. Our vision is getting clearer. The felt sense that we are in fact an insignificant part of one big cosmic blob, seems to be permeating wider and more deeply into our collective consciousness.
We believe in being an expression of this beautiful mass shift in consciousness. We know that you do too. We know that you feel the call. We also know that it’s hard. But the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can save the world, are the ones, who do.