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Nature_and_Environment.28

Human Ecology

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{Nature_and_Environment.28.13}: James River Martin {rivertree} Sat, 23 Oct 2004 16:37:34 CDT (59 lines)

{12}: Richard Witty:

"The one thing that confuses me about the adoption of ecological
inter-being, is that it is not consistent with identifying "thems",
as in us/them. In an ecological view, as you describe, there are
none."

Ultimately, this is so. I see those who wish to live harmoniously
with other species, 'the environment', the biosphere..., as like
those who desire peace rather than war. You cannot violently force
the warlike to be peaceful. What is the equivalent in the peaceful
effort to create peace with natural systems and the biosphere? Well,
in both cases, you can try to raise consciousness-awareness,
including lovingkindness (metta). But we must, if we are to be
honest with ourselves and true to what is going on, a war continues
to rage against non-human species and their habitats,
the 'environment', and so on. The fact that this warlike activity
rages on does not contradict interbeing, but it all happens within
interbeing! Even individuals and their grief and sorrow and personal
responsibility is held within interbeing. So what's to be confused
about? We must act with as much wisdom and lovingkindness as we can
bring to bear upon our situation. Us/them is an illusion, yes. What
is more real is interbeing. But my or your awakening to reality does
not immediatly awaken the corporate CEO, etc.

"And yet, especially in this current political season, and in much
ecologically rooted politics in general (green party and green
movement politics), there is often much "them" orientation."

Yes. There is a bit of an enigma here. Reality is that there are no
ultimate others, that such otherness is illusory. Nevertheless,
there are people striving to live in harmony and with gentleness and
kindness toward all beings, and there are those who are not -- who
are working against the same. I don't have the wisdom to presume
to "have an answer" to the enigma. We must have compassion and
lovingkindness and welcoming for all beings. But we cannot stand by
and passively watch as our neighbor victimizes our neighbor. How do
we intervene with lovingkindness toward all?

"One great inspiration of people like Thich Nhat Hanh, and Dalai
Lama, and many many others, is that it is possible to act, retain
an "inter-being" ecological perspective, and not demonize."

Yes. True.

"I appreciate your comment on reengaging economics with ecology. I
think clearly that economics is a subset of ecology, an aspect of
the whole, a descriptive window of the whole (as fluid dynamics or
thermodynamics, or poetics, or politics are descriptive windows of
reality)."

Yeah! We agree!

"I hope that you would then regard values like "efficiency" as
ecological values, not the sole or even primary ones, but valid and
natural ones; not demonized, not conflicting with engaged community."

"Efficiency" is insufficient information to approve of or disapprove
of. It is a generalization looking for a specificity.

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