Men think they own the earth, but in reality it is the earth that owns them.
This thought occurred to me when I was watching the Werner Herzog film Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Basically, the story is about a group of Spanish Conquistadors who journey into the Amazon jungle seeking treasure and gold.
There is one particular scene in the film (I don’t remember it word for word, so I will summarize) but basically the Conquistadors ‘claim’ the land of the Amazon and name a King, and the King says something along the lines of ‘All this land is ours now.’
And when he said that ‘All this land is ours now,’ the next scene showed the group of Conquistadors on a small raft surrounded by the vast Amazonian jungle. It was somewhat humorous, because here were these tiny little humans who thought that this vast, menacing, destructive jungle was somehow ‘theirs’ – as if they actually had control over nature.
Indeed, we seem to forget that we belong to nature – nature does not belong to us.