As I prepare for my August Omega workshop Sacred Plants: Touching the Jaguar and trips that I guide where participants learn from indigenous shamans in Latin America, I think about the messages that nature and the immigrants attempting to enter the US and Europe offer.
Our first reaction to environmental problems and those associated with immigrants often is to cast blame:
Fossil fuels, mining, food production, etc. are destroying the environment;
Corruption and brutality in other countries, climate change, gangs, cartels, etc. trigger immigration.
We tend to avoid the tough questions:
Who uses fossil fuels, aluminum, plastics, sweat-shop made clothes, and food?
Who does the corrupting, supports brutality, causes climate change and drug use?
We look for band-aides to stop the bleeding; we turn a blind eye on the virus that opens the lesions.
The fact is that most environmental degradation is the result of predatory capitalism. Most immigrants are people who are miserable, desperate, and fearful for their lives.