Creaturely vulnerability and brotherhood in the Anthropocene. About letting go and listening

One main question comes to mind when I am thinking of the Anthropocene and our impact on the planet: How did we get this far removed from understanding the balance of the earth and our ecosystem?

What connection was forgotten, broken or lost that made us move so far away from a balanced co-existence? How did we come to see ourselves as so superior to other beings (sentient or not), that we execute unrestricted exploitation of the earth transforming nature without concern for depleting resources, global consequences and the wellbeing of the future (generations)?

It seems we have forgotten where we came from and that we are animals too. That we share a “bodily vulnerability” as the French writer and philosopher George Bataille so beautifully describes it. The fact that our actions have consequences, and that the consequences can be far-reaching and irreversible, got lost in translation along the way.

 According to Bataille pre-historic humans had an affective entanglement with animals and a wish to negate human life - even a wish to move backwards to recover further creaturely intimacy. Perhaps if we were to move backwards too, if we were to access our genetic memories, our actions would be different. We might be able (and willing) to negate some of the consequences of the anthropogenic impact on our earth and ecosystem. At the very least we would be capable of making conscientious choices based on life-based ethics and an understanding of “creaturely brotherhood” (Bataille).