Greetings and namaste.
How appropriate that this discussion is taking place at the opening of
winter, making us aware not only of our ancient struggle against "hostile"
nature but also our ambivalence towards the technology ("our extended
phenotype") which protects us. I write this from rural Oklahoma where my
heater is broken and I burn the gracious offerings of some beloved trees to
protect my family tonight.
Mr. McClellan's article gives voice to ideas I have nurtured for years-
at least since the first Earth Day celebration so long ago. His detractors
make interesting points, but almost always from the standpoint of
reinforcing duality rather than transcending it which is his whole point.
For an excellent example, Alan McGowen states,
>McClellan's "absolute perspective" appears to be the view that all states
>of energy are equally good --
...ignoring or possibly unknowing that nonduality is of course not
about good _or_ bad and that when a nondualist says "things are perfect as
they are" it has nothing to do with how "good" or "bad" they seem from a
Steve Kurtz asks:
>What do you think motivates
>atheists to work for a sustainable, healthier,(& less populous)
Why does anyone? As a Buddhist and an atheist, I believe that George
Carlin got it right: self-interest seems to be the ultimate motivation here.
The difference is how one views the self. Concern for the environment runs
the gamut from the very limited-- "Is there going to be a place for me (my
children, my favorite animal) to live?"-- to the most profound-- "my life
and health are not separate from that of all other creatures and the earth
itself"-- depending on how deeply one understands one's connection to
With this understanding, it only makes sense that the perspective of
nonduality is the "deepest" ecology, though it upsets people who are stuck
in a "good guy/ bad guy" ethics. What beavers create is natural/ good, what
people create is unnatural/ bad? Back to the same Old Testament idea that
humans are in some way themselves unnatural, bad, or worse- in charge of it
all. Not a bad paradigm, just not very profound and increasingly inadequate.
Typically, people react as though nondualism somehow equals a
nihilistic or fatalistic ethic which is simply not the case. The truth of
the saddharma which is nondual is played out in the phenomenal world (which
is, of course, perceived as dualistic) but the dharma we play out in the
world is informed, enriched, and made meaningful by our understanding of the
deeper (nondual) sense of things.
A better question to my mind is why would a theist, esp. of the
adventist variety, work for a sustainable, healthier future?
With my deep respect,
Turtle Grove, Oklahoma
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead