Sustainable World

by Mayuri on January 9, 2010

The Great Turning

Laast Sunday, January 3rd, in Mill Valley, CA I spent the afternoon at  Awakening The Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium which was created by  The Pachamam Alliance. Apparently this symposium has 2000 trainers that share it around the world in more than 40 countries on six continents.

This alliance was created out of a call for partnership from one of the world’s remote  indigenous dream cultures, The Achuar of the Amazon rainforest that was anwered by a small group if people, that included Lynn Twist. Lynn wrote the book, The Soul of Money, which I love and supports the movement as I do from the chase from “more is better” to sufficiency. This is how she says the Achuar put it:

“We need to change the dream of the North, the dream of the modern world, a dream rooted in consumption and acquisition, without any regard to the consequences of the natural world or even our own future.”

The mission of the Pachamama Alliance is to bring forth as environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on earth. The symposium was organized around four questions:

  • Where are we?
  • How did we get here?
  • What is possible for the future?
  • Where do we go from here?

They have a book called the Sustainable World Sourcebook which we should all have which gives detailed answers to all of these questions, which  I can’t go into in detail here, but I would like to address.

If we really look at “where are we? ” it is very sobering.

  • 2% of people own 50% of the world’s wealth
  • 50% of people share in 1% of the world’s wealth
  • in North America we use more than FIVE TIMES what the earth can renew (our ecological footprint). In other words, we use five earths, Europe uses three, China and India so far only one.
  • we are approaching the climate change tipping point
  • we are approaching a mass extinction of species . One half of all species will be gone in 50 years

If you have difficulty relating to that personally, then let me give you something you can relate to. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head  (if you live in Mill Valley, California for example) then you are better off than 83% of the people in the world!

The Pachamama Alliance gives 7 foundations of a just sustainable world:

  1. Economic Fairness
  2. Comprehensive Peace
  3. Deep Democracy
  4. Social Justice
  5. Simple Living
  6. Revitalized Community

Bur we can’t change the world if we don’t change ourselves. Like I have been talking about all along here is taking personal responsibility for our choices.  We need to bring consciousness to the choices we have made and the underlying beliefs and assumptions that have been living our lives under. Check out some of these below and see if they fit for you. There are many more you can think of for yourself.

  • The world is here to satisfy our needs
  • Competition alone (without cooperation and compassion) is the fundamental law of nature
  • My value is dependent upon my success
  • We can throw things away eg; I recycle (Where do they go?)
  • Growth is based on consumption (the GDP)
  • We are separate people
  • Money (income, financial success will bring me happiness)

When we challenge our beliefs and assumptions, and inquire into ourselves about whether they are really true, we can get freedom from them, and start to live and act as a more conscious human being. Without consciousness we will continue to act out of our belief systems.

I want to address the last two here today. As I have spoken about before, we have been trying to fill our holes, our sense of deficiency with money. That having enough money or things will make us feel whole. Wholeness comes from beingness not more stuff. What we really want is connection, with the earth, with others, with our own deeper underlying nature.  Our mass consumption haas been based on the loneliness and hurt at the bottom of all of our ego structures. When we quit consuming, trying to fill this sense of deficiency with more stuff,  we will feel the underlying pain and hurt, and the hunger of the human heart. And when we stay with that pain and hurt, it will open into love. And we will recognize it is that we have been longing for. I call that Angelic lust, rather than the animal lust of more is better (more money, more pleasure, more stuff).

The indigenous view of the world is that we are it’s caretakers. That we need to be in balance with it. That what we do that assaults the earth, we are doing to ourselves. We haven’t recognized we are in a global village, there is only one boat and a hole will sink us all. Part of the reason is that we believe we are all separate human beings. Our whole ego structures are built around this assumption.

Physicist Brian Swimme, talks about the universe story, how we all and everything came from a point of singularity. So how can we be separate? That is at the macro level and the micro level. All of manifestation comes from one point of singularity. And yet we all act as separate, that our happiness is won at the expense of others, even our very survival. It is this belief that we are separate from everyone and everything else that underlies the imbalance in the world.  It is this separateness of the human heart  that hurts us, others, the world. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist spiritual teacher,  talks bout the belief  that we are separate is primary to the world’s and our own imbalance puts it like this:  that “to be” means to “interbe”

So we need to inquire into this belief of our separateness, to feel directly whether it is true or not. To turn the gaze inward and find out what is the truth of our human heart. And with this new consciousness we are discovering within ourselves, we will bring more conscious actions to the world, because it will be who we are as much as what we do.

As the Pachamama Alliance says, we need to merge the genious of the human mind to the wisdom of the human heart. They say there needs to be a great turning, to bring a new possibility into the world. They are focussing on the world, the macro level.  That “great turning” also has to happen within each of us, within each of our own souls. Where we begin to look deeply within take responsibility for our own consciousness and what we each bring personally into the  world.




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