From Ego to Eco: A New World View


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Our task is to shift the focus of our awareness from ego, “I” as the center of the world, to Gaia, Earth as a living planet.  With this shift, we begin to focus on harmonizing and balancing our own individuality with the requirements of Life.  The world’s spiritual traditions are filled with valuable insights into how to effect this transformation. 

·        Buddhists emphasize the importance of meditation and compassion. 

·        Christians concentrate on the power of love in our life. 

·        Islam prioritizes responsibility to community. 

·        The Iroquois council that we consider the impacts of our actions on the seventh generation. 

·        The deep relational quality of life is referred to by the Lakota ‘all my relations;” everything in the universe is a cherished relative.

 

The climate crisis requires many social responses.  One set of responses is to see this process as a path of spiritual and emotional development.  Be attuned to how your hope inspires others and how your love brings out the love in others.  Help them to inspire and love.  

 

  1. Education
    1. Earth Consciousness

                                                               i.      How do we shift our consciousness from personal adaptation to global adaptation? We can do this by turning to Earth herself. Earth, over its billions of years of existence, has developed her own ways of being and doing that can serve as learning experiences for those who are willing to listen. From Earth, our Mother, we can learn to: enhance the whole Earth community, remembering that humans are but one part of the whole; strengthen all forms of diversity as fundamental for the vitality of the Earth community and human society; respect each being for its intrinsic worth in order that each may fully express its role and mission in the Earth community; develop conscious awareness of the interdependence of all life as a central fact of survival.  We do not consider this list exhaustive but rather invite you to listen to Earth to learn what she has to teach you and share with others.

                                                             ii.      Thomas Berry – Either we progress together as species, or we will pray for our own extinction.  We will not want to live alone without the world’s biodiversity.  This is a deep and profound global spiritual and existential question.  Why do we even have to debate this?

                                                            iii.      Rediscover a new meaning into ‘Mother Earth,’ and ‘Mother world;’ Masculine energies will support and not exploit the feminine energies.  Awaken the balance of the feminine and allow the masculine to find its natural power.

    1. Shifting from I to We

                                                               i.      Personal Practices

1.      Meditation, prayer, and reflection – tapping into our hearts and souls; tapping into our collective mind and spirit

2.      Reduce Consumption – treading more softly on earth (e.g., Simple Living Movements.)

3.      Intuition:

a.       The possibility of guidance from within each of us (from intuition, Gaia, Spirit, Global Mind or whatever we choose to call it) is essential to our task.

b.      Spirit is oriented toward serving the common good; we need to learn to listen to the guidance of spirit.  "Intuition" can give us such guidance. 

c.       Intuition can, in fact, be misleading (e.g. ego-distortions, patterns learned in earlier life, social pressure from groups with which one identifies).  

4.      Compassion - The hardest and most important journey we must all make is the one from our minds, to our hearts. Compassion in action is a daily pathway. 

                                                             ii.      Institutional Practices

1.      "In every deliberation we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."  - Great Law of the Iroquois

2.      Corporate Responsibility Reporting

a.       Role of NGOs

3.      Practicing Earth Democracy

a.       We the world.org

b.      We can solve it.org  – Al Gore

c.       Wiser Earth.org  – 1700 organizations

4.      Fair trade culture. 

5.      See other “best practice” organizations below.

    1. Whole brain learning

                                                               i.      Education based on a human values system that includes critical thinking skills garnered from the authentic self, the innate multiple intelligences each child possesses can flourish through a revamping of our educational curriculum.   

                                                             ii.      When a child’s creativity and imagination is supported through innovative learning approaches, their genius flourishes.

                                                            iii.      The current "industrialized" education system is an insult to the integrity and sheer genius of our children.   

                                                           iv.      Alternative Education, eco-education and a transparent influence through mentoring and example can allow for inner growth and a culture of global citizens.

    1. New: Earth Democracy

                                                               i.      A recognition of spirituality’s potential power in our lives and a recognition that we collectively live as interdependent species raises many questions about our obligations to protect and respect each individual’s sense of freedom and individuality.  What constraints upon individual excess are appropriate?

    1. New world Hero/Heroine

                                                               i.      One who is here to heal and not to harm

                                                             ii.      The hero’s story

                                                            iii.      Mentoring Work

1.      Be the love you want to see

2.      Embrace spiritual approaches for climate change and integrate it into your life.

3.      Coach your family, neighbors and friends in this approach

4.      Be the guiding mentor and change agent

  1. Applications
    1. Technology

                                                               i.      Biomimicry – OceanArks.org technology transform sewage to clean water. Industry to develop that. Industry support nature.  Masculine energies – create wars; put energy into health. Shift from Pollute to clean the earth.

                                                             ii.      Diet and Food - The livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Eating meat is worse for the environment than driving.  Giving thanks to the earth’s abundance can bring about balance and a mutual eco spiritual exchange. We must feed the earth and the earth will return its grace filled abundance to us.

                                                            iii.      The Precautionary Principle  -- when in doubt about emerging reality, seek to...

1.      protect the well- being of every aspect of the Earth community.

2.      promote diversity (biological, ethnic, racial and cultural) as fundamental for the vitality of the Earth community and human society.

    1. Adapting to Disasters

                                                               i.      Counseling: Disasters require emotional as well as physical support services.  (Grief work - Denial, anger, acceptance, recovery).

                                                             ii.      The Climate Crisis will provoke spiritual crises in hard hit communities (disasters, food, disease).  How will the world respond?  What new spiritual lessons does climate change teach us?  We are one people, on one ecological and geophysical earth.

                                                            iii.      Victor Frankel – spiritual vacuum.

                                                           iv.      Groups will want to take advantage of this spiritual vacuum. Individual get lost to the group; they are exploited. 

                                                             v.      In addition to the psychical, psychological and emotional disturbances resulting from mass natural disasters - exacerbated by the climate change - there are also disturbances on the spiritual level.  According to Kalayjian (2002), one may suffer from the existential vacuum, and inner sense of emptiness or meaninglessness; one may question own faith, one may convert giving in to the religious groups' pressure, who usually are seen to exploit the traumatic situation and take advantage of traumatized populations. 

                                                           vi.      Solution:  To live life mindfully, lovingly, fully cognizant that our behaviors, decisions, and actions can impact the next seven generations (As depicted in a sculpture by a Native American).

    1. Best Practices Campaigns

                                                               i.      UNEP One Billion Tree Campaign, http://cdm.unfccc.int/index.html   

                                                             ii.      Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,  www.MAWEB.org

                                                            iii.      Fair Trade Campaigns and Fair Trade Cultures

                                                           iv.      David Korten – Earth Communities - http://www.thegreatturning.net/

                                                             v.      Global EcoVillage Network - http://gen.ecovillage.org/

                                                           vi.      Simple Living Network - http://www.simpleliving.net/main/

                                                          vii.      Bioneers – http://www.bioneers.org

                                                        viii.      Shift in Action - http://www.shiftinaction.com/

                                                           ix.      Wiser Earth - http://www.wiserearth.org/

Biomimicry Institute – http://www.biomimicry.net/designmethodologyA.htm