Thursday, September 17, 2015

Going from the Industrial Age to the Ecological Age

We, who are living in the industrial age of the 21st century, can look back on the infant, child and adolescent stages and in this last stage, we see an  interest in our natural environment, and its attraction, but it was minimized or ignored by many. This is the way the columnist in the Peace Weekly begins his column on  ecological spirituality. 

Balance was lost and we had various pathological aspects of growth: materialism, greed, hostility, extreme competition, spotted with violence: followed with racial, gender and elderly prejudice giving birth to many aberrations.
The development of this industrialism throughout the world gave growth to morbid symptoms of self- aggrandizement.  Even though we have many millions living in dire poverty, we still elect those with these aspirations to run our government. Any alternative proposals are shot down. Programs for growth in maturity are difficult to implement. Many promoting interest on the environment  have discontinued their efforts. Industrialization restrains the ecological dimension and extends consumerism and puts controls over the spirit, which gives rise to more immature citizens.

When our social attitude is such that we disregard a person's true nature this is an obstacle to our human growth. We have to realize what living with nature will do  for us in comparison to what industrialization has given us.  

Two authors and authorities in this field have given us three steps to follow to  achieve this change within our society. Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown have listed three steps as follows: first, actions that will slow down the damage that is being done to the earth and humans. Participating in blockades, boycotts, civil legal suits, and refusal to go along with proposals that are harmful to nature and work to change laws, work politically, and work in campaigns.

Secondly, analyze the structural causes and create alternatives. We have to make a change and free ourselves from the damage being inflicted on us by the industrial society in which we live. We have to see what the industrial society is doing to us and the way it tempts us and prevents us to grow spiritually. We have to prepare alternatives to the way things are being done.

Thirdly, we need a shift in the way we see society and their values. We have to understand what we want and how to get it. It is not demanding we become supermen, but people with a vision.

We have to  become citizens of the world. Our identity and values have to gradually correspond to this new reality. This will require, the columnist concludes, preparing for the future now.

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