Ecosophy: Deep Ecology

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“Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness.”

-Fritjov Capra

Deep ecology is a branch of “ecosophy” coined by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in 1973  that sees all of nature, including humans, as an interconnected web. This system of environmental ethics differentiates itself from traditional environmentalism, which it sees as too anthropomorphic. The deep ecology movement philosophy parallels the shifts in scientific thinking from Newtonian, in which the human observer is removed from the object of observation, to quantum in which the observer cannot be separated from the experiment.

Deep ecologists assert that if humans expand the self to include all living things, our relationship to the environment becomes psychological: “If we have deep ecological awareness of being part of the web of life, then we will, as opposed to should, be inclined to care for all living nature.” Fritjov Capra, a systems theorist and physicist, is a proponent of deep ecology and authored the 1975 book The Tao of Physics that discusses the connection between modern physics and eastern mysticism. The ecological dilemmas we face, looking from a deep ecological perspective, can be solved only with a shift in human consciousness in which our relationship to nature becomes one of unity rather than of separateness. The fight against global warming is not only a political battle, it is a spiritual one.

Resources:

-For links to articles on deep ecology and interviews with the Arne Naess, click here.

Journal of Ecosophy

Overview of Deep Ecology

-Fritjov Capra Video: “The Systems View of Life.”

-Link to article: “The World Affirming Vision of Non-Duality: Vedanta Contribution to Deep Ecology.”

Video: “Stephen Harding: Gaia Theory and Deep Ecology”

Arne Naess Obituary, NYTimes 2009

-Quotes about deep ecology


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The Wisdom of Nature Part One-Biomimicry

According to the Biomimicry Institute,

“Biomimicry is the science and art of emulating Nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems. Non-toxic adhesives inspired by geckos, energy efficient buildings inspired by termite mounds, and resistance-free antibiotics inspired by red seaweed are examples.”

This TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk is fascinating. The presenter, Janine Benyus, provides insight into how nature’s incredible mechanisms can help solve design problems. Benyus is passionate about how humans can learn from organisms that preserve the environment that sustains them-one of the necessary ingredients for bringing balance to our relationship to the planet.

Biomimicry is related to the views of the environmental movement called technogaianism. Unlike traditional environmentalists that may argue that technology has ruined the environment, technogaianists believe that alternative technology can help propel the sustainability movement forward.

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