Monday, October 13, 2008

Do You Think This Culture Will Undergo A Voluntary Transformation To A Sustainable Way Of Living?

There is only one community, and it lives and dies as a unit. Any harm done to the natural world diminishes the human world, because the human world depends on the natural world not only for its physical supplies but for its psychic development and fulfillment. This is most important, because people talk about the need to destroy the natural world in order to advance the human world. Well, anything that diminishes the wonder and fulfillment we receive from the natural world spoils the human enterprise. We may get a pile of possessions, but it won't mean much if we can't go to the mountains or the seacoast, or enjoy the songs of birds or the sights and scents of flowers. What does it do to our children when they cannot enjoy such things?

The other dimension to this is that we have to somehow get beyond Western Civilization, which must be profoundly altered because it is so destructive in its present state. This alteration is so absolute and so deep in its implications that a person has to wonder about the continuity. In other words, Western Civilization itself is causing our difficulties, which makes this type of change hard to really comprehend. Transformations of this magnitude are generally associated with some type of religious change.

Thomas Berry, interviewed by Derrick Jensen in How Shall I Live My Life?

1 comment:

Moose Goose said...

Voluntary? Societies always need coercion to move from where they are. To change the illusion that things have always been "this way" and will always be so. We have always adopted an oppositional point of view, with a zero sum assumed. Someone must have loss for us to have gain. The characteristics that served us so well in our tribal phase now get in the way of our global phase. The zero sum approach can't keep working. I'm no expert - this is just incomplete thoughhts out of my head.