Indigenous Intelligence

Awakin Feature

My mother used to tell me a Jain story when I was a child:

Adam was lost in the jungle, and there he encountered two wild elephants. They began to chase him. In order to escape from these frightening beasts Adam climbed a tall tree nearby, but the elephants were not going to let him go so easily: they curled their trunks around the tree and began to shake it furiously. It so happened that above the branch Adam was holding was a beehive. As the tree shook, honey began to drip down, straight into Adam’s mouth.

At that very moment some angels in their chariot were flying past and upon seeing Adam’s desperate plight they slowed down and said, “Come, we will rescue you. Come into our chariot.”

“Oh, how kind of you,” replied Adam. “But please, let me have this sweet drop of honey, and then I will come.”

The angels were kind and patient, and so they waited. “All right,” they said. “You got your honey drop! Come now – be quick.”

“Please, let me have just one more drop,” pleaded Adam.

The angels were astonished. They said, “You are being stung by bees and any time now the elephants will pull the tree down. You greedy fool, you cannot let go of the desire for that drop of honey! Come, this is your last chance. Come now, or we will go.”

“Please, please, let me have one more drop of honey,” said Adam. “It is so delicious.”

The angels waited for a little while longer but in the end they could not draw Adam away from his imminent death, and they left.

The indigenous people are the angels of our time. They are calling on us to refrain from the momentary gratification of economic growth, which is like the drop of honey. The planet is threatened by global warming, rivers are polluted, rainforests are disappearing, the human population is exploding, biodiversity is diminishing, and traditional cultures are declining -- all this in the pursuit of economic growth, so that we can have the sweet drop of consumption.

--Satish Kumar, in Dance of Diversity

Add Your Reflection:

14 Previous Reflections:

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    On Feb 26, 2009 clement wrote:
    inspiring,touching calls for self audit and new behavior

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    On Feb 25, 2009 shweta wrote:
    Excellent story... our elders are true source of such intelligence

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    On Nov 15, 2008 Ezra sam wrote:
    the fact that man is 59% the cause of his problem is been clear stated to the very understanding of all, stuk in betwen hell, heaven and pleasures.

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    On Nov 6, 2008 stephan wrote:
    Nature friend -- you are naive.

    Why do we have to pursue economic growth? How about an economy that respects the earth and does the greatest good for the greatest number of people -- that would be a balanced economy. Why does there need to be growth in the sense of accumulating more?

    Population growth is not the cause of poverty... Wealthier countries have lower birth rates, so perhaps population growth comes from poverty, and helping to increase everyone's standard of living will decrease population accordingly.

    Poverty is not evil -- quit blaming the poor for their circumstances.

    It is the mainstream free enterprise economy, under the guise of globalization, that makes and keeps so many people around the world poor. Wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few at the expense of the earth and the many.

    The winds of change are blowing... YES WE CAN!

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    On Nov 6, 2008 Dinesh Jambe wrote:
    yes indeed ...satish ur view towards life and the grace to accept reality is's are always we know that not all fingers are the same...there are differences to various obvious similarities...which might seem to be very astonishing to the more smart generation....may GOD bless us all and give us the grace and confidence to accept reality and be the chosen one alwys..this is my part...thank u guys...have a nice day ahead....

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    On Nov 5, 2008 susan beryl andreassend wrote:
    Satish Kumar..The wisdom of your mother's is timeless..and the jain story she told you,,is how I see the world today for us,,unless all humanity with hugh wealth in their hands,,"Wake UP" to who we really are one being/in many forms.!!! Thank you very,very much your story,,,I have save it maybe for later use,,with your permission first of course...sincerely susan The Secret dvd.....awakening...seshat/emerald tablets/

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    On Nov 5, 2008 D N Sharma wrote:
    It is motivating, specially for the people who are involved in the Stock Market and Short selling for temporary gain! Regards!

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    On Nov 5, 2008 aditya wrote:
    the words 'growth' and 'development' are misnomers. what growth, merely by being able to consume more we feel we have grown! remember the movie matrix, remember that comment addressed to neo, human beings 'development' , behavhiour of humanity has been like that of a virus.

    Hope and pray that people start going back to 'what they need' rather that what they greed for.


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    On Nov 4, 2008 nagaraj.b wrote:
    as we are lucky that someone made us to understand ,realise do some constructive helpful work to any one.

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    On Nov 4, 2008 seema wrote:
    Every aspect of life has its plus and minus points.All we have to do is to be realistic and strike a balance.Too much of everything is bad(even if it is honey)

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    On Nov 4, 2008 Handan wrote:
    I read between the lines & got it! The spin on what we chose to see, where we're at & what is..oh the sweet sound of truth! when it comes through & we hear it- it IS the honey..

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    On Nov 4, 2008 Patricko wrote:
    This surely sounds wonderful and educative. In life there many things we may enjoy but as we enjoy we need to bear it in minds that pleasures will hardly be exhausted, only it is our task to limit ourselves. And we should know there is need to change with conditions, because if we don't mind changing change will have to change us and the result w'not be on our favour. This also sounds a lesson to politician who have made it a slogan that they have to rule for life regardless of age and term limits this is mainly in African countries. Please dear brotheren this is time to adour and learn a lesson from this charity focus. This is all that i can say about this topic and it is amusing that it has come in the very time of need. Go a head.

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    On Nov 4, 2008 Nature friend wrote:
    Satish, my friend - it's not that grim.

    Balanced economic growth (for sustenance - health, shelter, food, etc.) is necessary to life. Yes, the planet is affected by population growth but man's intelligence will find solutions. The pursuit of economic growth with a balanced life is possible.

    It's poverty (lack of growth) and its spiral of misery that is the worse evil.

    Peace ...

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    On Nov 4, 2008 eugene wrote:
    Hello, Expressions of God,

    How is God involved in this picture, from your viewpoint of reality?
    Is He resident in the life of that little one up that tree?
    I your picture of "God" like an absent landlord or and loving, empowering, everpresent, embracing presence?

    That comment ["you greedy fool..."]from the "angel" sounds to me like the "spirit of the accuser" of Humanity and not a spirit that would eminate from the Most High God of "Agapay" Love that some people know about.

    See you there - the latter landscape..........


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