Research study: recommendations and suggestions – on the paradoxical need to discriminate

The Orphic arena is inherently one in which tolerance for difference, and tolerance for heterogeneity, are key ingredients. However, I have argued in this study that the Promethean characteristics of dominion, competition, growth at the expense of an environment, etc. are the very qualities that have resulted in the Promethean project that is historically dominant. Accordingly, Orphic manifestations of being have been persecuted and marginalised by the broad Promethean agenda. Nature does not ‘do homogeneity’, so it is unsurprising that an anthropogenic ecological crisis has developed under the reign of exclusive and homogenising Prometheanism.

It therefore is the case that, if a turn away from problematic Promethean attitudes and actions is to be taken, exclusive Promethean endeavours and attitudes need to be discriminated against. Note that I do not use the word ‘discrimination’ in the sense implied when one speaks about racial discrimination, where one is entirely denied access to, for example, a job, based on one’s race. I use the word instead to denote a more nuanced process of evaluation, where the Orphic/Prometheus spectrum is used as a tool to identify the attitudes and assumptions at play, as well as the ecological impact of those attitudes and assumptions. Where a viable and workable Orphic alternative is available, then the proposed Promethean idea might need to be ‘put on the shelf’, so to speak, in order to give the Orphic a chance to recoup after centuries of ‘side-lining’ by the Promethean. At very least, what initially was a decision made from a purely Promethean perspective can be ‘toned down’ by the inclusion of some aspects of an Orphic perspective.

A very quick example will illustrate my point. I have successfully used a ‘humanure’ compost toilet system for almost five years at the time of writing this sub-section. I have taken the necessary steps to process the human manure appropriately, and the final product – compost – ends up in the garden beds, in which my partner and I grow food and trees. I consider the system to be rather Orphic in character: the hardware of the system is constituted by recycled materials; there is no cement sewer or drainage system; no water is used to flush the toilet; no artificial chemicals ever enter the system, so accordingly such chemicals do not need to be produced. However, when I first proposed implementing this system, I was literally laughed at by more orthodox members of ACID; I was told explicitly that the method would make me sick; I was told that there are good, logical ‘hygiene reasons’ why conventional toilet systems must be part of one’s lifestyle. The Business-as-usual response was to discourage and to prevent my ‘divergent’ activity, to the point that I was told I would never get planning permission for such a toilet system – not that it ever was my intention to ask for ‘planning permission’. Despite ridicule, I implemented the system, and (to repeat) I have been using it for five years – not only have I experienced none of the problems ‘predicted’ by orthodox members of ACID, the system has also been a resounding success.

This is the kind of discrimination against the Orphic inherent in the Promethean arena, and is completely divorced from the need to do things like make soils from human waste in an urgent attempt to reclaim some of the top-soils destroyed or lost during the reign of the Promethean. So even though it seems contradictory to call for the Orphic to discriminate, it does at least seem necessary for discrimination (in the manner I have described here) to occur in favour of the Orphic, and for Promethean agendas to be ‘shelved’ or ‘filtered down’ to allow for the nurturing of a different, literally non-toxic dispensation. This is of course a matter for further consideration, discussion and debate.