I read somewhere that we are now living in sensate civilisation. What man has done for man! Man has invented everything for food, comfort, fear and creation (Aahar, Nidra, bhaya and maithun). As a result we have destroyed the earth we live in. Glaciers are melting, raising water in oceans, killing ourselves for sports ect. We should now realise the consequences of this so called civilisation and start returning to nature.
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I would agree with # 3: returning to some earlier "state of nature" seems impossible, although we can try to undo some of the damage we have done (and prevent further damage) by inventing new technologies, such as nuclear fusion, better use of the sun, wind, and tides for energy, and by using resources more responsibly than we have done.
We can't go back no matter what we want. If we were even to try to go back to a "natural" society, we would end up killing most of the billions of people on the planet. Imagine how little food we would produce without chemicals and without electric power. Imagine how much less we would have in the way of medical care. Going back to nature sounds good, but it's completely impractical.
I think this is a little more complicated than we realize for several reasons. First, while we have invented what we need (and desire), there are huge parts of the world that do not have to grapple with this issue because their basic needs are not being met. Second, while in some ways we could be said to be living in a sensate civilization, in other ways, technology has actually gotten in the way of true sensation. We seem to enjoy cyber-sensations far more than we do actual ones.
Certainly, we need to get back to nature to some degree. And if we are able to do so, perhaps that will foster the appreciation and respect for nature that we need in order to see to it that we continue to have nature to enjoy. We are using our resources recklessly, motivated always by profit and what appears to be mindless growth.
Are we at another point in time in which the forces of the Romantic are battling with the forces of science and technology? Is today reminiscent of the era that produced Frankenstein? Is our civilization another monster we cannot control? I'm not sure, but I would like to think that there are some self-correcting mechanisms that occur in these eras, so that we can achieve some balance between these forces. And having said that, I will be sure to go for a walk in the park this afternoon.
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