The Sustainability of the Ouroboros

We affect everything we interact with. It is a law of nature. It is a matter of respecting inertia and imposing friction. We seldom prioritize harmony over opportunity in our interactions. In pursuit of capitalism, we cause chaos and havoc to the natural inertia of our universe. We force much friction onto the grand order of 14 billion years of inertia.

The universe is on an intentional track. We oppose this path of Nature, God’s Will in the religious sense, by our opposition to the path of liberty, which simply means equality. We experience infinite liberty only if we allow absolute equality. The most equal of forces hold the highest liberty in that they only impose equal amounts of counterforce to balance each other’s power.

Inequality requires for one force to exceed or overcome another. In such cases, counterbalance trends to overbalance, eventually disrupting the equality that ensures our liberty. One part greed and excess, the other tolerance and slavery, we segregate into hierarchical versions of ourselves. Other species do not have this disguised deprivation. It may seem like we are privileged to choose our destiny and even act as the logical decider to advance all life on the planet. However, when our social evolution remains strictly equipped to prioritize capitalist objectives, we cannot choose the harmonious path in perfect correlation to Nature’s Will. Instead, we continuously act by the influence of greed and the desire of excess.

In an ever-developing universe, greed and security played a crucial role in our reproduction. It was necessary to be greedy during times of scarcity. We are a species ungifted with physical power or prowess. In the past, when we found food, we had to gather as much as possible to maximize survival. That world no longer exists. Today, we are the dominant species. There are no natural predators or existential dangers to the human population beyond humans themselves.

The idea of the ouroboros, often depicted as a serpent eating its own tail, reflects the continuous and connected cycle of destruction and re-creation. In a world where we can see re-creation in process at a rate equal to destruction, we should not fear the rate of destruction because it is just as equally replenished. This is what sustainability refers to. The serpent eating its tail is only able to do so eternally if the rate at which it eats its tail is equal to the rate of growth of its body. If the serpent eats its own tail too quickly, it will reach its own head one day, leaving no room for re-creation and eventually devouring itself entirely. The delicate balance of sustainability seen in the ouroboros means the snake can self-consume eternally.

Humans have not been able to achieve sustainable living. We have gradually accelerated the rate of deterioration and destruction while failing to match the rate of re-creation and regeneration. Due to the seemingly endless providence of our planet, we never felt insecure in our pillaging and plundering of resources. Soon we were exploiting and wasting for a chance at excess; a life of luxury. In times of abundance, gluttony caused the rapid collapse in the very ecosystems necessary for regeneration and rebirth. The fragile balance of the harmonious ouroboros was in peril. Those at the head swallowed more of the body than was permitted in a balanced cycle. The faster the head devoured the body, the weaker the body became, and slower its subsequent regeneration.

The industrial revolution was the straw that broke the sustainability camel’s back. The ensuing social disharmony encouraged exploitation, deterioration, and greed. Humans rationalized indifference and prejudice, and carried discriminatory biases of older eras to an extreme revival. In pursuit of the American Dream, through its false promise in ravenous debauchery, unmatched greed, debased ethics, and delusional liberties to superhuman eternity, we evolved to pure evil. We gave birth to the concept of evil early on in human civilization when we introduced religion, claiming it God’s (a higher authority’s) way of addressing exclusivity. The last couple of centuries have swelled our -isms to fundamental extremes. Science took over the dogma that organized religion modeled its power on. The older empires and monarchies changed names to democracies and corporations. Elitist philosophies ballooned; after consecutive world wars in a span of less than half a century we managed to reach the pinnacle of evil, through the heresy of the world’s richest two thousand people and their faithful servants.

The world we inhabit emerged over billions of years from violent yet purposeful transitions of colliding forces to create an intentionally harmonious universe from what seemed to be absolute mayhem. Gases spewed inexplicably. Bodies slammed into each other. Boiling and freezing eras interchanged until climate rose from the chaos. Life, the greatest anomaly and paradox to our current value system, sprouted from nothingness. From an explosive moment, from the will of a designer, from seemingly simultaneous disorder and order, manifested breath — some in carbon, others in oxygen, yet always in balanced trade. Our purpose in all this awesome, artistic, and amazing expression of creation could not have been to establish evil. There must be more to the value of the existent human than a narrative of the war of good and bad, of opposition in an eternally dynamic dance. We may have journeyed too far from the artist’s canvas to recognize or indeed notice expression; the canvas may only show us the green scenery from afar. All the guiding colors and hues were once faintly highlighted for us to grasp up close in a personal testament. Now we only see the green of money.

We have gradually destroyed the harmonious inertia that maintained through its symphony of friction and force perfect Platonic form. The Devil knew not to bow to human evolution; it was the Devil who raised complaint to God, finding flaws in our manifestation as the leading role in the theater of life. The Devil was perhaps infuriated by the presence of such evil residing among innocence and love. There is simply nothing as decisively and maximally evil as a human. Our fabric is a weave of hypocrisy, opportunism, and violence to the function of a destructively aimed social evolution fueling annihilation.

Overall, human evolution has not implied any advantage to the momentum of love. Unfortunately for the critics of an evil humanity, the rare and exceptional examples we cling to and applaud historically are simply just that: exceptions and nostalgic narratives in pointless romanticism. Any observer would be hard-pressed to find Jesus in human momentum. Yet we find ourselves pledging and performing ritually and ceremoniously in religious fervor. Something deep inside the human, maybe in the abyss of the human psyche, spirit, morality, soul, or whatever we care to call the activator or driver of our momentum, is still begging to be heard, to be ignited and lifted. The element of good, the God factor, the Jesus or whatever role model of the exceptions who ignited still wants a chance at reaching pure love.

To return to love, to return to a sustainable ouroboros, to experience absolute harmony, to live in liberty, is to love equality. This is the golden rule of sustainability, exclusive from adhering to ESGs and other metrics of the capitalist sustainability industry. To live sustainably is to love all equally.