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Archive for the ‘deep ecology’ Category

This article is another opportunity to understand that Nature is not just an industrial feed stock but intelligent sentient life just like us.

Internalizing this objective fact makes us develop an emotional connection with life no different than what we have for our fellow human beings and our pets. Empathy, affection and a sense of care are the emotions that build up such connection.

It is this emotional awakening that will eventually help us recover our lost link to the natural world. Until such emotional re-connection can take place we will not be able to achieve the shift in our perception of reality and our overall attitude toward ourselves and nature required to make our existence sustainable on Earth.

Art can greatly enhance and expedite this indispensable psychological and cultural process. That is the core objective of my current work in art, psychology and sustainability.

Amazon-Rainforest-Deforestation-1024x440

Amazon rainforest deforestation. Photo: worldwildlife.org

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“One goes to a work of art a little bit more opened and also the interaction is one of immersion. For a while there you are living other people’s lives and you are paying attention to it with an empathy. Especially with books you have to imagine it yourself and you imagine what was it like to be in the Napoleonic wars and what did it feel like? Not the facts but the feeling. So it’s a very emotional business and once you get to the emotional level, you begin to process in a different level than when you are reading the news in a more cognitive sense.” (Kim Stanley Robinson)
Devouring the planet

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This architectural concept is the kind of disruptive creativity that I believe we need to escape the limitations of current sustainable design.

Let folks get scandalized and outraged. It is a necessary evil in our urgent transition to permanent sustainability, resilience and the ultimate integration back in the natural ecosystem.

We need to ‘play and plug in’ our brains the unthinkable concept of Nature shaping our human environment. This is a fascinating way to give do her but if you can only appreciate the pragmatic side of ecology, such approach may become critical in the re-framing of nature and our place in it that we so urgently need.

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Why do we celebrate Earth just one out of 365 days of the year?

I may sound radical and against tradition but one day of Earth remembrance is just not enough. Our home planet is not just a celebrity whose birthday we remember or another mundane holiday or shopping day like Halloween or Valentine’s Day; not even the honorable causes that gave us Martin Luther King or Veteran’s Day. No, the Earth’s significance is far beyond any tribute we may pay to any past human hero or cause no matter how magnificent.

With all due respect the very organism that gave us life, everything we enjoy and keeps us living, our Earth, deserves our homage, care and devotion every single day in the calendar. I think we need more than an Earth Day.

Earth

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My latest reflection on sustainability came to me in the metaphor of a dysfunctional home where every member is stuck inside with every other. We no longer live in harmony with each other. There is nowhere for anyone to escape, insulate or be free from the others. We have become too many in this ever shrinking house. The personal space we once had is gone.

We can no longer trash the place without creating complaints and smelling the waste we leave behind. We can no longer say “this is my place and if you don’t like it get out of here”. It is no longer our own place but everyone’s, and as such we must learn to share it no matter our differences or dramas.

We are divided on Earth in the same way a family is divided. We wished but cannot afford to put order the way we would like; we bite our tongue and hit the table to channel the outrage of injustice and avoid fighting; we exert self-restraint because without it, we will have an all-out war we will all regret and will ultimately assure our collective destruction.

We must learn to live with all of our family members despite our countless irreconcilable differences. Nature gave us a single tiny oasis where we could safely inhabit in a vast but hostile universe. If we have overpopulated it and trashed it and we no longer can bear one another, it is solely our problem. We must step up to the plate and create harmony whatever it takes to ensure we will keep the most precious side of our existence, our HOME.

For those who may find not this post is not objective enough I should point out the etymology of the word ecology. Created by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, his original term was Ökologie which derived from the Greek oikos “house, dwelling place, habitation” and logia “study of”.  Ecology thus became the branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments.

Source: everydaylife.globalpost.com

Source: everydaylife.globalpost.com

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Dr. Fritjof Capra told us in his book The Web of Life our global crisis is a crisis of perception. I would like to build on that brilliant conclusion. Our consumption driven social and economic system dis-empower us by creating a warped perception of scarcity where we are led to believe we never have enough and we are never enough. We are not wealthy enough, not good looking enough (not enough boobs, butt or muscles), not successful enough, not courageous or free enough.

Global capitalism creates an illusion of inner vacuum which can never be filled. It was an amazing economic breakthrough, a Perpetual Motion Machine for the market moved by the ever thirsting egos of billions of consumers; an inexhaustible voltage of wants; an unbridgeable gap between we are and where must be. Most if not everyone who will read these lines can relate to the compulsive search to fill the vacuum we fill in our guts when we count the hours to complete our work day to the frantic weekend.

We try to fill this undeniable vacuum with that new car, next vacation, new extreme adventure, our dream home, possibly that new romantic partner or the marriage that will follow. Perhaps we will fill the vacuum when have our first born? Or will it be when we retire and we have more time to indulge in many more of these diversions.

Materialism and capitalism despite the progress and the quality of life that have brought to humankind, have also come at a very high toll: the disintegration of the world inside and outside of us from the processing and fragmentation of our food to the fragmentation of our psychology. All life on Earth including our very own species is was conceived and developed in a cradle of unlimited relationships, most of them synergistic. In fact if you want to look beyond the laws of biology and ecology, you can ask a physicist what is the essence of the universe. He or she will respond with more or less mathematical detail it is a dynamic flow of relationships.

Such notion of reality is in complete opposition to the ever fragmenting world the Cartesian-Newtonian materialism we are still abiding by. The compulsive categorization and break down of reality driven by such paradigm has divided the world into more and smaller compartments. Such event has literally fragmented the notion of our universe and our very selves. It is this culturally imposed sense of separation that has created countless disconnections between our believes, knowledge, emotions, our bodies, our fellow human beings, our sister life forms and the rest of the planet outside the lonesome voice of our ego, all of which used to be seamlessly connected sometime before we started looking at the world as a machine, and by default at ourselves.

Life is very complex and theories come and go but I am completely certain our prevalent profit and control driven notion of reality is fundamentally false. It is a psychological program designed to enslave us all. The future of humanity if it has one, is to overcome the current perception of ourselves and the world in which we have been imprisoned.

I highly recommend this article from Resurgence and Ecologist magazine. It offers a great insight on this topic.

The wolf of wall street

Image source: ‘Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?’

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I do not know how much I would pay or what I would do for an event of such transcendence. The fact is I would not be surprised if someone had already developed a technology not just to communicate with but to actually speak to our intelligent cousins. It is suspected these relatives are not necessarily less smart than we are. They just have not had the chance yet to exploit their intelligence as we humans have, but do not assume their moment will not come.

Despite our arrogant sense of human supremacy and progress we have become dumb enough to believe the future of human evolution is the so called Singularity, a separation from Nature and our very own humanity where we are destined to become immortal Techno Gods as we upload our mind and soul to a supercomputer.

I on the other hand envision a somewhat distant future where man will have evolved enough to finally address non-human intelligent earthlings as equal citizens of planet Earth. I imagine a world where ironically the non-humans will return to us the humanity we lost in our primitive pursuit of material progress; where enlightened wild life will teach us a new way to reconnect with Nature which will inevitably bring new way social order.

Maybe we will have to wait until such time before we can understand the TRUE MEANING of DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, GLOBAL SOCIAL JUSTICE and SUSTAINABILITY. Call me a dreamer. I love it when you do that.

Sperm-whale-pod-2

Source: Scitable by Nature Education

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