People of the Condor and Eagle
by Danfung Dennis, 2017 Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award finalist
In the Amazon rainforest an ancient Indian prophecy warns of humankind splitting into two people.
The people of the Condor would live in harmony with the earth. Their path would be guided by feeling and intuition. When the earth felt pain, they would feel it too. They would seek to live in peace with the planet.
The people of the Eagle would be conquerors. They would dominate the land and everything upon it. They would be strong, powerful, and intelligent. They would have great talent for destruction. They would use their power to kill, destroy, and enslave everything in their path. But they could not feel the pain of others.
The people of the Eagle would hurt Mother Earth. They could not feel her suffering. People and animals would be slaughtered. Rivers dammed. Forests felled. Huge trees brought down with the quick stroke of the Eagle’s metal blades. The trees are Mother Earth’s lungs, and the People of the Eagle would cut them down, choking her. They would fill the air with poisonous gas and blanket the earth in dust, dirt, and death.
The people of the Eagle would not possess the ability to feel – they could not feel the earth dying. They would not know they were killing her.
Then, after 500 years, humankind would face a crossroads. A time for transformation of the planet. If the people of the Eagle continued to dominate the earth, the transformation will be further suffering and pain.
Unless – in the dawn of this new era – the Eagle and Condor learned to fly together across the sky to create new level of consciousness for humankind. If humankind learned to tie the strength and power of the Eagle to the peace and compassion of the Condor, humankind could live with intention, intelligence, and wisdom – to contemplate their every action and the impacts on seven generations in the future.
Some believe that humankind has already reached this crossroad, that now is the time to fulfill the prophecy, to awaken our consciousness. The prophecy only speaks of the potential, so it’s up to us to activate this potential and ensure that a higher consciousness is allowed to arise.
Is it possible for humankind to transform our consciousness? Can we learn to cultivate empathy and widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.
The gravity and urgency of the environmental crisis has reach a critical point. While the problems are immense and complex, we have the opportunity to innovate, to reimagine our way of being and our relation to nature.
Perhaps this crisis will force us to look inward, to contemplate what we are and help us realize that we are not separate, that we are one with nature and we are all part of one interconnected ecosystem.
We can harness the intelligence of the Eagle to invent a new form of communication that connects humankind like the fungus mycelium that connects the different species in a forest, sending signals that distribute resources to the vulnerable and maintaining a healthy balance.
We can cultivate the compassion of the Condor to transform our hearts to be able to open to the suffering of Mother Earth, to hear her cries and to act with courage to relieve it.
We have the ability to come together to awaken our collective conscience. The choice is ours. The time is now.