The Emergence of Homo Ecos
by Kenneth Fields, MA, LMHC
The Tree of Humanity has deep roots in the soil of this our world, our planet, our solar system; this tree has been around a long, long time; many limbs have burst forth and limbs from them, flowering branches and twigs of humanity’s many manifestations through eons of eras, periods, epochs and stages. Our personal life is but a leaf, so very far away from the trunk, not to mention the roots. And yet, the entire tree from budding leaf to tap root is permeated by the same essential sap, uprising through the tree to the extremities, from the planetary and solar elements that make us all who inhabit this world what we are.
Nature is not human-hearted. As any gardener knows, pruning and culling is an integral process in a healthy garden. Chopping off a tree limb is conducive to the tree’s long term well-being. It happens naturally over time, because Nature is inherently ecological. The tree of humanity has had many such prunings and cullings over the eons of planetary revolutions and evolutions. The modern crisis of human starvation, disease, war and natural disasters have many saying modern humanity is at a pivotal point. It would not be the first time….
Who is modern humanity? Who is you? You are a human being. What is that? What is a human? Homo Sapiens. What is that? Homo is a Greek word that translates as ‘one and the same.’ Homo is also the root of the word ‘homogeneous’ which means the same. The word ‘sapiens’ though often referred to as a Latin word for ‘wise’ was meant more in the sense of ‘likewise’ which is similar to homogeneous. As a species, we are homogeneous, we are all alike, we are all one and the same. We are Homo (Latin). We are One (English).
Homo Sapiens, the technical, scientific word-label that categorizes us, as a species, is predated by other technical names, such as Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis, Homonids in general, and others. The tree of humanity has many branches, flowering cultures some so long ago withered away they are lost to history. What is the difference between, say, Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens? Some distinction appears as brain size, jaw size, height, or tools made, to name a few. What is next? Consider that perhaps we are already there. We are no longer Homo Sapiens. We are Homo Faber. Faber is a Latin word for ‘fabrication.’ We are the fabricating human. You are a fabricating being. You fabricate all kinds of things, externally, if not by yourself, then in conjunction with others. You fabricate all kinds of internal experiences as well; a lot that goes on in the mind is conjecture, fantasy, guessing, thinking; in a word, fabrications, including any sense of individual self-hood.
Fabrication. Look around; what is not fabricated by human hands? We are defined by our fabrications. Who is not who they are because of psychological fabrications? Go get out into the natural world. What now is not fabricated by human hands? The pros of fabrication are many, including technologies and conveniences, precision planning and problem solving; and the cons are significant risks of starvation; a deprivation of the natural world, which is the soil in which grows the tree of humanity, without which, you, as a human being, don’t exist.
Who comes after Homo Faber? Who comes after us? What do we become? Where do we go? Perhaps we’ll get lucky and emerge as Homo Ecos. Ecos has Latin, Greek and French roots which, in English, translates as ‘house’ and ‘household’; the word is generally represented into English as ‘environment, surroundings, habitat.’ The word ‘environment’ has its roots in Middle English and Old French and translates as ‘a circle or ring around, surround, envelop.’ Ecos surrounds us, encircles us, envelops us.
Ecos views ‘household’ quite a bit differently than would a modern Homo Faber. Homo Ecos understands everything that surrounds us, encircles us, envelopes us, is the household. Ecos is, of course, the root of the word ecology, and economics. Ecos sounds like, and is very similar to Echo. In Greek mythology, Echo is a character unable to initiate speech, but can repeat back what is said. The implication is that echo is feedback. If the environment is in trouble, that is just an echo. It is feedback. Homo Ecos utilizes feedback to help ensure a wholesome household, a wholesome environment, because, ultimately, the environment, the household, everything that surrounds us, encircles us, envelops us, is us, Homo Ecos. The Ecological Being.
Home Ecos is not a far fetched fantasy. We see ever increasing awareness of the importance of our environment. We see individuals and communities adopting a more ecological perspective. Countries are responding to the feedback from the environment, listening to the echos, and introducing ecological policies and goals. The emergence of Homo Ecos, The Ecological Being, is on the horizon.
What can you do? As Mahatma Gandhi is noted to have said, ‘be the change in the world you want to see.’ Be ecological. Think ecological. Act ecological. Know Ecos.
“We have decommissioned natural selection and must now look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.” – E. O. Wilson
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