Man and his environment are interdependent. We all need the Earth and what Mother Nature gives us in order to survive. As such, the acts of all sentient beings affect the environment in which they live.
Until fairly recently the evolutionary process ensured a natural balance between what was taken out of the environment and what was put back. This is what is called the cycle of nature, and encompasses the natural interdependence of sentient beings and their environment.
However, the situation today is becoming unbalanced, with one species – MAN – increasingly taking more than he is giving back. The visible signs of this greed are all around us.
With Man’s unbridled demand and need to improve the quality of his life, his increasing greed for material things has led to abuse of the earth - and of Man’s spiritual connection to the Earth.
Man mistakenly believes that the more he owns, the happier he will be. This shows an amazing lack of insight into the fact that material “wealth” does not ensure happiness. .
Man has become egoistic – he does not restrain himself in his ever increasing quest for more, often far exceeding what he really needs, and becomes more and more motivated by greed.
All this in the pursuit of happiness – when happiness is, in fact, a natural state that originates from within, and which only becomes active when we begin to consider something and someone other than ourselves
Man needs to train his mind to understand how his psychology is working, instead of focusing on the ever increasing and seemingly never-ending need to satisfy his ego and to justify the need to do so. This constant state of pursuit causes stress, depression frustration and anger.
The Buddhist practice of Mindfulness can assist with all of this angst. By learning to address the imbalance in his “internal” environment, i.e. his heart and mind, Man starts the journey which will ultimately enable him to become more content.
Mindfulness has two aspects – technical (meditation) and attitudinal (compassion). Meditation brings us into the present moment, the only real time that can reveal what is going on within ourselves. Through Mindfulness we can become more familiar with our individual internal ecology and become a conservationist of that environment.
Compassion helps us, amongst other things, to come to terms with our emotions. It helps us to care for others – including the environment.
Buddhism is pragmatic, and views all beings as part of an integrated whole. Man, his environment and the Earth are one entity. Ergo man and his environment are interdependent.
Man, by addressing the imbalance within himself, becomes the creator of his own contentment. He thus addresses his relationship with his internal environment. By the implication of “interdependence” he takes on responsibility for the sustainability of his external environment as well.
The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying : “The destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and lack of respect for the Earth’s living things. Future human generations will inherit a vastly degraded planet if destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate”.
Once man becomes content with who he is, what he is and what he has, the world will be a better place for all.
To find out more about Man’s inextricable link to the earth, see www.groundology.com. And no, this is not my website or my company, and I don’t receive kick-backs or commission. All I get is a lot less pain and a good night’s sleep from using the products J
I just thought I would share all of this with you – I am much more content because of it.
My thanks and acknowledgments go to WJH and LBdeR for their invaluable contribution to the above and to all aspects of my life.