The Time For Mental Ecology
On February 2, 2007, on hearing in Paris the results of the study on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC), then President Jacques Chirac said: «As never before, we have to take the word revolution literally. Otherwise, we are endangering the future of the Earth and of Humanity.» Other voices before his, such as of Gorbachev and Claude Lévy Strauss -just before he died- warned: «either we change the values of civilization, or the Earth might continue without us.»
This is the point that is concealed in the world forums, especially in Copenhagen. If it were to be openly recognized, it would imply a self-condemnation of the type of production and consumption that is the current worldwide culture. It is not enough for the IPCC to say that global warming, which is largely irreversible, is produced by human beings. This generalization hides the true guilty parties: the men and women who created, implanted and globalized the mode of production of material goods and the styles of consumption that imply degredation of nature, and a monumental lack of solidarity by the present generation with future ones.
If we continue this type of civilization, there will be little point in wasting time and words trying to find technical and political means of diminishing the level of global warming gasses. It is as if someone said: «stop smoking, or you will die» and another voice were to say the opposite: «continue smoking because it aids the production that helps create the jobs that help guarantee the salaries that help the consumption that helps increase the GNP.» And this way, as in the times of old Noah, we go joyfully to our encounter with a pre-announced flood.
We are not so obtuse as to say that we do not need politics and technology. We need them very much, but it is illusory to think that they hold the solution. They must be included in another paradigm of civilization that does not reproduce the present perversities. This is why an environmental ecology, that sees the problem with the environment and the Earth, is not enough. The Earth and the environment are not the problem. We are the problem. We are the true Satan of the Earth, when we should be her guardian angel. Consequently it is important, as Chirac said, to make a revolution. But how can we make a revolution without revolutionists?
Revolutionists need to be awakened. How we need a Paulo Freire ecologist now! He wisely said something that applies to us: «It is not education what will change the world. Education will change the persons who will change the world.» We need these revolutionary persons, otherwise, let's prepare ourselves for the worst, because the prevalent system is totally alienated. It has become stupid, arrogant and blind to its own defects. We find ourselves now in the darkness, and with no light at the end of the tunnel.
We invoke in this context one of the four ecological tendencies (environmental, social, mental and integral): mental ecology. It works with what passes through our mind and our heart. What vision of the world do we have? What values guide our lives? Do we cultivate a spiritual dimension? How should we relate with others and with nature? What do we do to conserve the vitality and integrity of our Common Home, Mother Earth?
A few words are needed to show the principal design of the mental ecology, something we have already done in several works and videos. The first step is to assume the legacy of the astronauts who saw the Earth from outer space, and realized that Earth and Humanity form a unique and inseparable entity that is part of a cosmic whole. The second is to know that we are the Earth that feels, thinks and loves, because homo (Latin for hombre and mujer, man and woman) comes from humus (fertile Earth.) The third, that it is our mission among all beings to be the guardians and those responsible for the destiny - happy or tragic - of this Earth, that is our Common Home. The fourth is that along with the natural capital that guarantees our material well being, must come the spiritual capital that secures those values, without which we cannot live humanly, such as good will, cooperation, compassion, tolerance, just measure, the limits of desire, the essential caring and love.
These are some of the pillars that sustain the essay of a new civilization; friend of life, of nature and of the Earth. Either we learn these things by persuasion, or we will have to learn them by suffering. This is what history shows us.
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, email@example.com,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.