After working an the environmental field for almost several decades, one thing I am certain of is that the environmental crisis is a crisis of human consciousness. Nothing I or my fellow environmental conservationists do externally can be sustained for the long-term future. The problem will continue because the root of what is unfolding before us is a reflection of the corruption within governance, corporations and economy and a denial of our ecological relationship with the Earth. The root cause therefore, must be addressed in order to see any external transformation.
Environmental exploitation, human exploitation or war and violence cannot be solved by anything we do externally; the results will not be sustained long-term unless we fully understand that these issues reflect our misunderstanding of the world and ourselves in relation to it. War is an internal process associated with fear in the ego-mind that fuels greed and power and exploitation is an internal process arisen from delusions of superiority, dissatisfaction, separation, humiliation, anger and pain. Our state of internal being is somewhat fragmented as a result of humanity believing that we are separate or superior to nature, this in itself is an idea that carries violence to ourselves, to the Earth and to our fellow species.
We are nature, our human bodies are comprised of communities of individual cells working in harmony to make possible our functioning organs and human body. We can only live if our individual cells work in harmony to function as a whole. That is why we are nature and in that respect, as Cell Biologist, Bruce Lipton, always highlights in his work, we have a lot to learn from studying cells and how they function. When a single cell starts dysfunctional behaviour, it is usually when it operates only for the good of itself, rather than the good of the community of cells it is part of, this is when malfunctioning cells can become cancerous or create health problems.
We as human beings have become a threat to ourselves, one another, fellow species and the Earth because many of us are operating on self-serving values rather than values for the good of our communities, our fellow species or for the good of the planet. We are wonderful when we can defend and nurture our individuality, though if we become selfish and greedy at the expense and suffering of other species, the environment, and other people, we can only do harm to ourselves and others. We are a part of the macro-ecology (natural ecosystems and the grander scale of nature), if we continue to be irresponsible, not re-prioritising our values and neglecting internal awareness, this undoubtedly reflects as a manifestation on our external environment.
We are unified with the ecology of nature, we are part of its ecology, and we are not separate from our external environment. We are deeply connected to the external world by our inner thought processes, perceptions and emotions and ultimately by our actions. Everything that goes on internally is manifested externally through our concept of ourselves in relation to our environment and others. This is what current research in quantum physics and new advanced fields in biology are discovering. When we have become more aligned with our hearts and souls internally and taken responsibility of all aspects of these internal processes, only then will we achieve outward peace and harmony for the Earth, environment and humanity.
“We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love” Stephen Jay Gould (1991).
A new sustainable Earth requires a reboot of human consciousness from a corrupt hierarchical pyramid structure driven by greed, to a multi-dimensional holographic transformation that embraces our union with all life on Earth and in the Cosmos. We cannot categorise the healing work that is required for either healing nature or healing the human, the two cannot be separated. We are one, therefore we need to treat ourselves as one, the outer world is only a reflection of inner consciousness, there is much we need to re-address of ourselves, and this is one aspect of the values in deep ecology.
There is one country in the world that understands this spiritually and practically, Bhutan is leading humanity as the world’s first completely 100 percent organic country with its agricultural practices and instead of measuring the country’s Gross National Product, (GNP), it puts emphasis and value on Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) of its society, culture and people, you can even visit the Center for GNH to learn how to do this both spiritually, practically and ecologically. Now here is a shining example of the route humanity needs to take in order to step out of its self-destructive cycle.
Sustainability empowers the planet and people. That is the only way for humanity to have a chance of survival. This change can happen, if communities take it into their own hands to build new sustainability blueprints. We cannot wait any longer to make the choice or wait for governments to choose for us. They will never serve for humankind’s best interests. The clock has stopped ticking and we need to choose which direction in the forked road to take, only one decision is going to help us survive and a sustainable economy that takes into account the Earth’s natural carrying capacity within the means of her natural resources is the only option from here on.
Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan.
About the Centre: The purpose of the Centre is to offer space from where individuals leave refreshed, invigorated, and empowered with inspiration and understanding of how to bring GNH principles, values, and practices fully and meaningfully into their daily lives and work. Going back to their own communities, they will be enthused and empowered to serve their families, neighbors, country and the world with genuine purpose, compassion and effectiveness.
Dedicated to Dr Saamdu Chetri and the people of Bhutan
by Carlita Shaw author of The Silent Ecocide-The Environmental Crisis is a Crisis of Human Consciousness
Carlita is an environmental scientist, teacher and writer, currently living in South America.