Tag Archives: deep ecology

Neighbours?

via Daily Prompt: Neighbors

I’m tempted to say Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, for those of you who have encountered that TV show that began in 1985 and hasn’t stopped since.

I’m more interested in the ethics of who is my neighbour? In the gospel of Luke, there is a wonderful story of when a teacher of the law tries to test Jesus on his knowledge of the law. Jesus quotes to him the first two commands, love God and love your neighbour. The teacher of the law tries Jesus again and asks “And who is my neighbour?” And Jesus tells that famous story of the ‘Good Samaritan’ to illustrate loving your neighbour. The story focussed on the rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans and the vast cultural gulf that alientated them, but on this occasion a Samaritan is the only one to stop and help a victim of robbery, a Jew,  who is wounded and laying in the road. The story ties with another ethical dilemma from Matthew 5, where Jesus asks his followers to love their enemies. In essence, the ethical principle here is love everyone, even your enemies (which raises a question as to the nature and perception of who or what an enemy is, so a dig back at reframing is the way here). The outcome would be that love goes around, and thus we too will be loved, even by our enemies, or, what goes around comes around.

For me there is a further connect with the Buddhist principle of non-harming.

And in Deep Ecology – my neighbour is my neighbour, my sisters and brothers across the world, but my neighbours are also my lemon tree, the red gum out front, the silver beet out back, the family cat, the parrots eating off my fruit tree, the rats in the ceiling, the ducks in the diversion drain, the river nearby, the moon, the planets ….

If we loved our neighbours as ourselves, imagine the difference it would bring to the whole of life.

S4300084 2.jpg

G’day neighbours.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under life, nature, Philosophy/Theology, Spirituality

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Every now and then I encounter a writer who is completely refreshing, challenging, authentic and mindful.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is one such writer. Fellow blogger Carol A. Hand (https://carolahand.wordpress.com) recommended Kimmerer’s 2013 work “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.”

It is a wonderful journey into a cultural and ecological life. Kimmerer speaks passionately about returning to the culture of her ancestors, being born a plant biologist, yet finding a way to her people’s language – Potawatomi and Anishinaabe – which are a reflection of the land and the people, and how that knowing was a way to wholeness and understanding which science alone could not provide.

Kimmerer advocates for the land, in particular, for plants, their relational and physical presence, and their place in the ecosystems we too inhabit and benefit from. Plants are beings, not “its” or objects, and deserve our attention, reciprocity, and care. Kimmerer speaks about animacy, how the language of sentience changes how we experience plants, and, ergo, that when we see and experience plants as beings, it changes our relationship to plants, to nature. Thus we value our neighbours.

Kimmerer is clearly in sync with Deep Ecology (which also has antecedents in Process Philosophy and Theology) and the desire to change how we see and work with nature. For Kimmerer, the journey to valuing plants more than scientifically has come through reconnecting with her indigenous roots, and in particular her people’s language, and their relational understanding of nature.

It is a book of biography, science, and life, but predominantly it is a book of indigenous wisdom we most urgently need for all peoples, and it is a book that encourages us to take our own paths to positive relationships with nature. Kimmerer left me with a heartfelt understanding that indigenous cultures had a reverence for nature that would have prevented the destruction caused by the objective consumption model.

Another access point to get to Kimmerer is a podcast at ‘On Being’ with Krista Tippett at https://onbeing.org (also found at iTunes podcast subscription). It will enlighten and refresh.

Paul,

pvcann.com

2 Comments

Filed under Country, life, nature

Planet

via Daily Prompt: Planet

Photo (mine): Blackwood River, swollen after late winter downpour. The Blackwood sustains several eco communities along its approx. 300 kms from the junction of Arthur River and Balgarup River (near Quelarup) via Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Nannup, and down to Augusta and into the Southern Ocean. The river has been vital to the forests and natural communities for thousands of years, but chemical runoff, salinity, erosion, and pollution have affected the river over time.

20130929_102718.jpg

I’ve just finished reading a most wonderful book: ‘Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I would never have had the privilege had it not been for Carol Hand at carolahand.wordpress.com  (check out her blog Voices From the Margins).

Kimmerer (a native American) draws together the wisdom in developing a relationship with nature, and she draws out how this has already been done by the indigenous peoples of America, but sadly marginalised since European settlement (repeated on every continent). The book is refreshing, moving, and challenging. It is also deeply distressing where Kimmerer tells how America’s waterways and lakes have been filled with industrial waste and all but destroyed. Kimmerer’s point – that when we despise and treat nature with utter contempt and use it greedily without thought, we kill off our best and much needed friend. As a fan of deep ecology the book resonated strongly, and from a spiritual point of view the ecology, economy and relationships also resonated strongly. An amazing reading journey.

The book is also a reminder that other indigenous peoples have also been ignored, and their wisdom scorned, yet such wisdom would contribute to protecting and rescuing the planet.

Our planet is the only one we’ve got, we need to treat it like someone we really, deeply care for. If we do we can live and breathe together.

Paul

pvcann.com

4 Comments

Filed under life, nature