Machinery is inorganic; it is analytic, not synthetic. What we want in ecological longing is the synthesis of ourselves into organic nature, organic culture, and organic selfhood.
We want harmony to oppose the fragmented and competing machines in us and around us.
We want, in other words, to make sense of our landscapes; to have them bound up (religio); to have a sense of understanding (some solid ground on which we feel safe and in control).
But here’s the thing. By focusing on becoming one with this or that thing; that is, in working to line up “what is and what is desired,” we engage in sublimation.
What do we sublimate? We sublimate the war against the latest alienation (from labor, politics, a consumer product, the way we want our bodies, scenic nature) for the larger war against four much bigger and intractable problems; the four great problems:
- the experience of our lives in a limited body;
- the silence/hiddenness/absence of God; and
- the unconscious machine cosmos, which functions without apparent purpose as contingency, chance, violence, competition, and change.
These four things do not answer to us or render an account of themselves to us. They are the wholly Other, the Lacanian Real. All other battles (politics, consumerism, etc.) are skirmishes sublimating these four problems.
And that’s why people are drawn to the organic.