Anthropogenic Forest Communities | Peruvian Amazon, 2023
"Trees are sanctuaries,…, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the Truth." Herman Hesse
At the dawn of the Earth, a barren and lifeless planetary embryo emerged from the cosmic dust and gases of an expanding solar system. Over more than 4 billions years, the inexorable and mystic force of evolution moulded the first Archaeopteris tree, around 385 million years ago.
Ever since, these verdant souls have morphed the Earth, from barrenness into pulsating, thriving realms of biodiversities. Their silent, timeless growth resonates with eternity, dissolving rocks into fertility and terraforming new cycles of life, death, and renewal. They nourish ecosystemic communities for myriad creatures, from the minuscule insects to the majestic mammals. Their mystical canopies exhale life into the breath of the skies, while their symbiotic resilience embodies Earth’s narrative beyond Cretaceous dinosaurs extinctions.
Aboriginal ancestral forest communities have developed cosmovisions centred around their mystical powers: from the Andean Pachamama to the Norse Yggdrasil, from the Mayan Ceiba to the Māori Papatūānuku. Only recently has modern sciences drawn nigh. Plant neurobiologist Mancuso unravels the extraordinary sophistication of the silence of trees’ rooted lives: from problem-solving and symbiotic wood-wide web communication to ecological resilience, memory, and extreme adaptability. Mancuso even suggests that root-brain apices process information in ways analogous to neural networks.
Since the 16th century’s imperialist commodification of timber, forestal communities have been traded through newly enslaved expanses. Monarchist and ecclesiastical reverence for mahogany, supremacist zeal for cedar, colonial thirst for quinine, extractivist quest for rubber, expansionist plantation agriculture, and more recently, ruralistas boundless cattle ranching: a new anthropogenic forest arises, while nearly a quarter of the Amazon’s verdant kingdom dissolves into humans’ ambitions.
What truly prevents humankind from globally and soulfully valuing the tree essence of the divine?