by J. Jakari Rush
Confessions of the Earth, is a musical narrative of what the Earth stands witness to as events unfold upon its very surface. These events have negatively impacted the health of the Earth in such a way that there are numerous signs in Mother nature such as changing weather patterns, oceanic temperature deviations, rising temperatures and other natural occurrences. These events have also impacted the health of living creatures of the land, the waters, and the air; which in turn affects the mental health, quality of life, and the general well-being of humanity. In Confessions of the Earth, the Earth itself “speaks” to its wisest creatures concerning their activities. Some movements serve as a plea and as a warning of worse things to come if there is no action taken toward the restoration and rejuvenation of the planet and human relationships. Confessions of the Earth can be stretched to include many more confessions but due to other factors and the sheer amount of issues alone, this would be a herculean task. Confessions of the Earth was started in 2019 and finished in 2020 and was inspired by civil unrest, political upheaval, and shifting paradigms all amid a changing natural environment.
This confession starts with Earth asking a question that only humanity as a collective can answer. In modern times, natural events and scientists have warned humanity of the coming “apocalypse” if humans do not take a stand on environmental issues. In recent years, violent hurricanes, tornadoes, rising oceans, and species extinctions have become normal occurrences in nature. Yet the audacity of some to not recognize natural signs, whether willfully or un-willfully, is not only threatening but a real existential danger to every creature inhabiting the planet. Earth warns humanity and pleads for the love of humanity and restoration; but, ultimately, restorative actions lie with humans and the final and fateful judgment with Mother Nature.
Earth confesses its’ disdain for the folly and divisive nature of religions. Throughout time religions has been a source of comfort for many people, but all too often it has been (and still is) one of the biggest reasons for separation, divisiveness, wars, and other casualties among humanity. Faith require unverified thought, or belief, in lieu of scientific, biological, and even genetic fact and law. Many religions emphasize the importance of love, community, and piety, yet at the same time condemns those that are outside of its teachings or non-believers altogether. Many who claim to be followers of said religions are intolerant and even hostile to those who do not follow their “truth.” This results in hypocrisy, a heightened sense of self and an intolerance of differences.
Earth is the world for the flourishing existence of human life, but does Earth mean the world to humanity? From the beginning of time, earth has always given humanity everything it needs to not only survive but to truly flourish. With each earthly resource that has been invested in mankind for their enjoyment, Earth has not always received fair returns. Humanity has hunted wildlife for sport and food to the point of extinction without allotting proper time for repopulation, decimated forests without replanting, created environmentally hazardous wastes, and even allowed the accumulation of “space junk”. As the wisest creatures of this world, it would stand to reason that the responsibility of this world does not lie with “supernatural beings” or “gods”, but with mankind. The true guardianship of the Earth belongs to the human race.
This confession deals directly with Earth’s response to the careless actions of humanity. Like the creatures that inhabit its surface, Earth is a living thing. Likewise, just as living things are susceptible to various diseases, the Earth is no exception. Consider this: are the disastrous events, that humanity regards as tragedies, a form of “natural antibodies” in the will of Mother Nature to rid herself of a sickness?… From the minds and pens of many scientists have come predictions and scientific prophecies of the tragedies that will befall humanity if we should ultimately fail to become responsible tenants of our world.
Earth has consistently “watched” its inhabitants from the beginning; it “knows” and “sees” the events that unfold under its atmosphere. This confession switches gears to emphasize human relationships. Humanity does not only have a responsibility to Earth, but to itself. Fictional social constructs, ideals, paradigms, and other knowledge not grounded in the Truth of humanity as a species will ultimately lead to vanity. With so many ideas, “truths” and “knowledges” that pull at the attention of humanity, it is extremely easy to get lost in divisive policies, agendas, beliefs, etc.… for the sake of fitting in or finding the truth. Instead of a collective species striving for unity (not utopianism), compassion, balanced individualism-collectivism, and restoration, the dangerous “us-and-them” or selfish “me, myself and I” prevails.
In this confession, terrestrial abuse takes center stage. Very much like confession IV, Earth warns of the destructive force Mother Nature will, and has already, unleashed on humanity due to planetary abuse. With the melting of permafrost that has kept various diseases at bay for centuries, to the floods that continue to ravage coastal countries from powerful hurricanes/storms, these unfortunate chain of events in recent times can be scientifically contributed to global climate change which can be traced to human activity.
“Machinae” is a confession dealing with the dangerous side of the machine, more specifically the cell phone and social media. In a documentary featuring VRL creator Jaron Lanier, and other tech experts such as Tristan Harris, Justin Rosenstein, and Tim Kendall, they discuss how the INDUSTRY is actually the user making humanity the “used.” Humanity has become more socially inept in recent years with the advent of social media and the smart cell phone. It is no secret that the modern smart phone has the ability to know the whereabouts of its owners at all times and acts for some as a personal safe that stores banking/sensitive information, passwords, family/personal pictures, personal profiles, conversations, and other information. In public spaces, humans can be observed consistently with their attention in their cell phones creating a disconnect from the surrounding world- forsaking the naturality of human acknowledgement and human interaction. In social media, the self-esteem and mental health of many hinges on inconsequentialities such as the numbers of followers (or lack thereof) one can attain or the approval of others (known as “likes”). Consequentially, not only does humanity as a collective deprive itself of rich social skills, deeper connections and meaningful relationships, it deprives individuals of who they are. “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behavior and perception that is the product… That’s the only thing there is for them to make money from. Changing what you do, how you think, who you are,” Jaron Lanier on social media from The Social Dilemma.
Earth, in its final confession, makes its final plea for restoration and love with the warning that time is not on the side of humanity. The future of humanity depends on the Earths’ future, but the Earths’ future does not depend on humanity’s future… it was here before their arrival. That is sobering! What route will humanity travel at this fork in their existential road? As stated in Confession I, the choice is ours, but the final judgement of fate will rest with Mother Nature.