Sure as the most certain sure....plumb in the uprights, well entretied,
braced in the beams,
"The complex interchange we call 'language' is rooted in the non-verbal exchange already going on between our flesh and the flesh of the world."
Personal, ecological and cultural transformation
Start living that way now!
Ecology is the study of the interdependence of the animals, plants, weather and geology of the Earth--how they all affect each other and form integrated systems. Ecology is a science that combines biology, botany, meteorology, geology and other disciplines to develop a complete and interrelated understanding of the Earth.
But ecology is understood only within the preconceptions that people bring to it. Even when scientists bring an integrated understanding, others who use ecology, even environmental organizations whose focus is on protecting the Earth, often view ecology through a human-centered paradigm, appying it in ways that center around human needs and human health, relating all other beings and parts of ecosystems only to people.
Naess was of the opinion that the environmental movement was also approaching its efforts to protect the Earth from a shallow standpoint, focusing mostly on human health and well-being rather than seeing the environment as a seamless whole with inherent value throughout.
Naess also coined the term "deep ecology" to describe an ecology that goes deeper by placing humans within ecosystems, different but not better or more valuable than other species or other "beings" such as rivers and rocks and clouds. This may seem self-evident, and to an ecologist it may seem fundamental to the entire science of ecology; but this removing of humans from the center actually challenges ways of thinking that have been taught so long they seem like "the way things are."
With deep ecology, all beings have inherent value, apart from their usefulness or interest to humans, and people do not have a right to kill other creatures wantonly, destroy their habitats or cause pollution of the air, land or water on the basis that human need and human want is more important and powerful than any other creature's right to exist.
This view is called "ecocentric," because it is centered on the entire Earth and sees human beings as being within the Earth, an integral part, rather than at the center or on top.
Deep ecology is more than science, however. It also involves a spiritual approach to life, since respect for all beings entails, at a minimum, recognition of their intrinsic value. A deep approach to ecology also involves an understanding of the connection of all beings with each other and with the Earth, the matrix of all life. The deeper one goes into awareness of this connection, the more it takes on a spiritual dimension.
Naess calls this awareness of connection the "ecological self," a concept of self that extends beyond the boundaries of one's own body to encompass the Earth as a whole. This consciousness makes possible an awareness of the unity of all life and a profound appreciation of the integrity of the whole. This ecological self is natural to the human being, but most of us learn not to have this awareness as very young children.
But ecological consciousness, awareness of our connection with all life, is within the genetic heritage of human beings. It can be developed through an inner transformation of the mind and heart that leads the person to care about all beings and to live within that consciousness. I believe this one of the changes that is most critically needed now, as we enter the 21st century and face the very real possibility of foreclosing our own future on Earth. For some suggested reading on the topic of deep ecology, see the book list.
Taken from:Great River Earth Institute