The Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge on the Spanish island of La Palma, part of the Canary Islands, located some 70 miles off the coast of Morocco, in northwest Africa, has been spewing lava since the 19th of September. The eruption has now continued for more than 50 days with no signs of abating. Already, it has destroyed more than 2,600 buildings, cut the coastal highway, and formed a new peninsula. The lava has also destroyed the town of Todoque, and the fuming flow has reached the town of La Laguna. This eruption has already caused more damage than any eruption on La Palma since records began, and it shows no sign of fading. There is a way to stop eruptions, or at least mitigate them significantly, and it has nothing to do with how we treat the earth, and everything to do with how we treat each other.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, and gigantic fires have all been growing more frequent and intense over the past several decades. But the forces that set them off are not related to the phenomena themselves, but to the human species, which intensifies them and causes them to erupt more frequently and fervently.
Earth’s ecosystem is built like a pyramid. Its base is the inanimate level, the land masses and oceans that cover the planet. The next level is the flora, the plants that cover the earth, followed by the fauna, the animal kingdom, and at the top of the pyramid is humankind.
The forces that govern the planet stretch from the top down. Like a hurricane, the eye of the storm is the least turbulent, but generates the mighty winds and torrents that surround it and destroy everything they touch. We are the eye of the storm. Our subtle but sinister intentions toward each other create the mayhem unfolding around us. It is therefore we, and only we who can calm the storm, for its engine is within us. Until we switch it off, the planet will keep burning.
Nature is not only trees, animals, clouds, the earth, and the universe. Nature is first and foremost a force that fills all of reality. We exist within it and influence it through our conduct. When we, the top of the pyramid, conduct ourselves positively, we have a positive influence on all of nature. When we conduct ourselves negatively, this is the influence we have on everything.
The pyramid-like structure of nature permeates all levels, including our thoughts and intentions. Therefore, when we spoil our intentions toward each other, the blight spreads downward like a cancer sending out its malignant metastases. If we want a calmer Earth and a kinder climate, we needn’t focus on carbon emissions or plastic waste. These will be fixed when we fix the top of the pyramid, the eye of the storm, namely our negative relation toward each other.
Lava flows as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, November 9, 2021