Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 4, 2007

The Individual’s Role

From our investigation into the roots of sustainability, we have dived deep into the very personal arenas of spirituality and philosophy. I’m not sure if this is necessarily a personal arena, or if we’ve only been taught that. The concept of faith has been promoted by organized religions as a necessary ingredient of a spiritual path. It may be so, but the objective of nurturing faith in these instances has often been to further the interests of an institution, rather than enhance a personal experience. It should be said that spiritual experience is important for humans to know their place in the Universe. This, though, is not so much personal, as individual. We each have our own experience that is perhaps as diverse as there are expressions of life on the planet. Maybe, more clearly, as there are expressions of manifested universe, matter and non-matter alike. This seems to be the deepest we can go, what some have called the Zero-Point Field, a quantum level of expression smaller than the constituents of atoms, a seething, pulsing distortion of a great, all encompassing field of energetic potential.

We can use this relationship of the individual to the simplest expression of the Universe at the quantum level to inform our relationship as individuals with something larger – our communities, cultures, species and planet. If we can see the expression of the whole in the parts as well as the parts in the whole, we can begin to comprehend our role as individuals in expanding sustainability. The word organic here is another way to describe this idea of sustainability. Organic has a variety of uses. A simple definition holds that organic means something that contains carbon. Carbon, being the basic building block of life on Earth, represents a common element among all living things. Thus organic reflects this connection. Organic, more generically, means a constituent part of a whole; an element that has a unique place and role inside of a larger whole.

We have agreed that sustainability means, on the one hand, a relationship with the living Earth that allows for the continuation of the diversity of life forms so that human existence can continue. There is an important distinction here that must be drawn out. Our survival as a species depends on the survival of a diverse mix of other life forms. But more importantly, the survival of all other life forms relies on the continued diversity and interdependence of life forms. Thomas Berry, in The Great Work, writes “The universe exists in highly differenctiated forms of expression. So too the planet Earth exists as a highly differentiated complex of life systems. The only security of any life expression on Earth is in the diversity of the comprehensive community of life…[T]hese various froms of expression are so intimately related that nothing is itself without everything else.” [Page 147]

We begin our exploration into the journey of abundant sustainability by looking at our role as individuals. This look encompasses psychological aspects, as well as energetic influences. Intuitively, we have recognized the role of, for example, energetic practices as useful in the pursuit of an experience, and thus wisdom, leading to an organic relationship with all-that-is.

Deepening our understanding of our organic role in the universe in crucial. Energetically speaking, we will expand this understanding by participating in activities that offer an experience of an energetic way of being. Two examples that come to mind are eastern Practices of Tai Chi/Chi Gong, and Zen meditation.

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