I went out just before twilight, and turned to see two hawks circling above the hill behind my house. I thought of what my friend Palo said, watching an ‘io circling above the ‘ohia forest on the slopes of Mauna Kea: “And we think we are the most advanced species…”
It's true that we can hardly fathom that there might be intelligence anywhere outside of ourselves. We still look down on people who see intelligence in nature: the animist, the shaman, the primitives. Our culture - the Christian and scientific rational culture - says that we are the only ones that matter. The world is for us. It is a powerful idea. Also, it becomes clear, a dangerous idea.
Because we are the only ones that matter we isolate ourselves from life in concrete apartment blocks and office buildings where we go spiritually insane and that is somehow normal and desirable. Our intellectual concepts, our concept of intellegience, have become our straitjackets, instead of our tools. We have developed our capability to lay asphalt and to process information but forgotten how to be a part of a living world.
We are advanced alright, but it seems that there is a point where advanced turns into its opposite.