A Contemplation on Our Civilization: The Environment

A Practitioner of Falun Dafa

PureInsight | May 14, 2001

An environmental protection expert once commented that China’s history boasts of a 5,000-year-long civilization that has left us only with antiques, no garbage. Modern civilization has only come into being in the last couple of hundred years, yet garbage has become a big headache for many governments.

Ancient Chinese culture was undoubtedly magnificent. What was even more commendable was its use of sustainable development methods. Being in an amicable relationship with nature, humans lived in harmony with their environment. Modern civilization seems great, but the problems it creates are also enormous. For one thing, microbial decomposition of the various kinds of synthetic materials that are now used is difficult. Artificial decomposition methods cause toxic pollution. Garbage is piling up everywhere in the world and even in outer space. If we live like this for 5000 years, how will the world look?

We always hope that new development will bring us a way out. But, each time, after the old problem is solved we find ourselves hit with new complexity as a consequence of the new development. Since this happens again and again over time, how much of our efforts have been spent in futility? It seems that new technology boasts some break-through every day, but has the overall living environment of humans improved or worsened? Has the quality of life increased or decreased?

Today, fresh water and air have become precious commodities. People spend the money from their hard work on “all-natural” “pollution free” products. They spend their vacations looking for unspoiled lands in places like Tibet. Well, one had better be able to afford these attempts to get “back to nature”; poor people can only live in garbage bins and concrete jungles. Sometime, I do miss the old good days, when people could travel anywhere riding a horse, drink from the river when thirsty and rest under an old tree when tired. How about now? It seems that we have our choice of many means of transportation, but none is more convenient than riding a horse. What is more, those means consume great amounts of energy and pollute the environment. Can we drink the water from a river now? It tastes dirty just from the look of it. How about the trees beside the road? There is dust on the leaves and trash under them.

Actually, what the ancient people did to protect the environment was very simple. All things were taken from nature and returned to nature. Bricks were made from earth and used to build one’s house. Furniture, windows and doors were made of wood. Containers were made of bamboo; clothes were woven from cotton, and so on. After their usefulness as manmade items was over, all of these raw materials could go back into the cycle of nature without any side effects.

Maybe you would say that these raw materials were used because technology was not yet advanced enough to synthesize new materials. The question is, though: if the natural materials can do, why do we have to go out of our way to create new materials? Plus, if the synthetic materials tend to cause troublesome side effects, is it really worth our effort to create them?

Actually, mankind does not seem to understand that humans were created by God, as was the environment in which humanity resides. When God created humans, all the factors necessary for humans’ living were taken into account. Therefore, whatever mankind might need can be found in the environment. Is there anything more suitable for making furniture than wood? Wood can be found everywhere. How convenient. Is there anything more heat-resistant than china, which is made from earth? Is there anything more comfortable to wear than silk or cotton? We have tried all sorts of things; have we gone beyond God’s arrangement? The herbal formulas that have been passed down among people are really effective, even more effective than the synthesized drugs of western medicine. This is based on my own experience. When I was in the elementary school, I contracted mumps. My symptoms lingered a long time, unaffected by any kind of medicine, until one day I was given an herbal formula made from a folk recipe. When I was in middle school, I got a nettle rash that also lasted for more half a year without being cured by any medicine. Eventually, an old doctor who practiced Chinese medicine cured me with buffalo’s horn. It seems to me that we can find a use for anything in nature since God must have created it for a purpose.

From legends passed down through the generations, we realized at the very beginning that we did not know how to take advantage of the wonderful natural environment that had been bestowed on us. Later, someone came to show us how to use fire. Then, another came to teach us farming, and yet another to teach us weaving. There came yet another who tried various kinds of herbs and told us the effect of each of them, and so forth and so on. Are these just fairy tales? No. These were Gods teaching us how to live within the environment God had created for us. These were stories about how God structured the way of living for humans. These were the “true sciences” granted by God! We have forgotten, however, about God and the ways left by God.

(Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/sci/sci/home/newscontent.asp?ID=9495)

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