“It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.”
The other day I was at a coffee shop in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado browsing through their plethora of book shelves when one of Derrick Jensen’s novels caught my eye. I sat down with my coffee and after the first page, no first paragraph I was hooked. I was reading his book, A Language Older Than Worlds.
If it wasn’t for finals week, I would be consuming that book like the philosophical, controversial and thought-provoking book it is. It begins with this:
THERE IS A LANGUAGE older by far and deeper than words. It is the language of bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream, gesture, symbol, memory. We have forgotten this language. We do not even remember that it exists.
Jensen makes the argument that if we are to make any changes to our current destructive system of exploiting the planet for economic development then we must realize that it’s not all humans that are destructive- it’s simply the dominant culture.
He argues for indigenous rights and asks his readers to ponder: If we want to stop this culture from killing the planet, we might instead try asking how so many indigenous cultures lived in place for so long without destroying their landbases.
Derrick Jensen is an american author and environmental activist who has published several acclaimed books that question and critique everything we have learned in school up to this point.
For anyone who wants to expand their usual thoughts on our civilization and have their preconceived ideas of our lives challenged, then this book is a must- if this doesn’t appeal to you then it’s that much more important for you to read.