street art by Banksy
I Don’t Believe in Global Warming
My previous blog stated my angry sentiments regarding human greed and how it has affected our earth and all of its creatures. This blog introduces the paradigm shift in consciousness and understanding needed by all of us. Wayne Dyer mentions in his talk, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. We need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.
In this blog, I’m bringing together three mediums that compliment the same subject, our relationship to the earth. A film, a book and an interview, each revealing that we are inextricably linked to not only all humans, but all other species and to the earth itself. Just as all of the cells in our bodies are working together to create the whole, the earth itself is also an organism. The parts can’t be separated from the whole, nor can the whole exist without the parts.
• “The Three Stages of Truth” is a short video excerpted from the earth-shattering 95 minute documentary film “Earthlings”, about the fact that ‘We Share this Earth’ with all other creatures who are also, of this Earth.
The Three Stages of Truth
Make the Connection
It was narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, and co-produced by Maggie Q. We need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.
• Buddha Nature – Our Relationship to Mother Earth is an article reprinted from the book “Love Letter to the Earth“, written by the Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Buddhist Monk
Love Letter to the Earth
• Saving the Earth from Ourselves, an interview of the Greenpeace International Director Kumi Kaidoo by Bill Moyers in Moyers & company.
Moyers & company interview September 2013 with Greenpeace International Director Kum Naidoo on Saving the Earth from Ourselves
Humans, along with every living thing, are inseparable from the earth and the cosmos. From the perspective of both Native American Indians and Buddhists, when we recognize that the Earth is our Mother and the Sun our Father, we see that just as our biological mother and father and ancestors are within us, inside us, so are the earth and the sun. We need not pray to some abstract god or deity, but realize that the gift and miracle of life and all that we require, is available here and now. All living creatures, regardless of gender, race or species, are children of this planet. Each have the right to life, freedom of movement and lack of suffering. We need not merely recognize that our planet is in peril, but realize that we CAN do something about it. It is possible. It is a choice. Yes We Can. We need to reorient how we see ourselves and our relationship to the earth – as if our lives depended on it – because they do. Money is an abstract concept which appears to be scarce, yet it IS available to invest in the renewable energies and technologies that will help to reduce global warming.
Trillions of dollars became available to ‘bail out’ the large bankers who gambled with the investments of millions of people. Money is there to phase out fossil fuel dependence and reinvest in a global economic campaign that would create jobs in renewable energies worldwide. This economic and spiritual revolution CAN happen. As I mentioned in a former blog, https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/ just as Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 orchestrated the “New Deal”, implementing the (WPA) Works Progress Administration in response to the depression following the 1929 stock market crash in the USA, Obama could create an ‘ObamaWorks’ plan. He could join with world leaders to implement a massive global renewable energy investment plan; to introduce jobs utilizing clean, renewable technologies that would grow economies AND ensure a cleaner and sustainable environment. This can be accomplished by making the choice to step outside of the status quo of fossil fuel dependency; which corporate leaders in the industries culpable for environmental destruction, manipulate legislation through their lobbyists to impede. We have this choice. Our lives and those of future generations depend on it.
Each of us are centered in our own worlds, in which we hold certain things and people precious. Sometimes we forget their value, until after an event threatens to take them away; our health, freedom, rights, a child, parent, partner, project, home…When we cultivate mindfulness and recognize the miracle of life, it is clear that we actively create each moment of our lives by how we interpret, think, speak and act. Through gratitude and the recognition of our responsibility, we can harness the power that we have. To do this, it is vital that we are aware. We always have the choice to smile, to accept and to love.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In the film Earthlings,
Earth from a satellite image
Spiraling weather system on Earth viewed by satellite
The point is that all creatures which inhabit the earth are ‘earthlings’. There’s no sexism, racism or speciesism in the term. Humans share this world with hundreds of millions of creatures. This encompasses each and every one of us; warm-blooded, cold-blooded, vertebrate and invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mammal and human. Humans share this planet with millions of other creatures, as we all evolve here together.
We all share the desire for food and water, shelter, companionship, freedom of movement and avoidance of pain.
Humans earthlings crowding the street
fish earthlings crowding their waterway, working in unison
Chimpanzee caring for child
Cheetah with cub
However, it is the human earthling that tends to dominate the Earth, often times treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects, which is what is meant by ‘speciesism’. Speciesism, by analogy to sexism and racism
Sexism Suffragettes in Boston, USA in 1920 demanding right as women
Racism Hitler at Rally in Nuremberg, Germany 1929
reveals the domination of one over another who is different, violating the principles of equality and overriding the greater interest of others. In each case the pattern is identical.
Speciesism as demonstrated by the sport of conquest
No matter what the nature of the ‘being’, the principle of equality implies that the suffering of one is counted equally with the suffering of any other being. The moral imperative is respect. Humans who have power, tend to exploit those who lack it, including other beings with whom we share this planet.
Like us, animals embody the mystery and wonder of consciousness. Like us, they are not only in the world, they are aware of it. Like us, they are the psychological center of a world which is their own. We have a psychological kinship with them. Nobel prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer 1904-1991, expresses this through the character in his novel “Enemies a Love Story”. Herman states “In their behavior towards creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.” In comparison to the Holocaust, one group of living beings anguishes beneath the hands of another.
Caged animals in horrific conditions, going to slaughter
Baboon within cage
In his book “The Outermost House” Henry Beston writes http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/308220-the-outermost-house-a-year-of-life-on-the-great-beach-of-cape-cod that “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In “Love Letter to the Earth“, Thich Nhat Hanh has a passionate appeal for ecological mindfulness and the strengthening of our relationship to the Earth. He reveals that it is vital that we recognize and respond to the stress we are putting on the Earth if civilization is to survive. UTNE Reader features a reprint of the message of his book in the article “Buddha Nature and Our Relationship With Mother Earth“. Summarizing his points, Hanh writes “At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything … outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.
Realizing this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well. In fact, the earth will survive with or without us.
He identifies one key issue as having the potential to create a tipping point. He believes that we need to move beyond the concept of the “environment,” which leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet only in terms of what it can do for them. Rejecting the conventional economic approach, Thich Nhat Hanh shows that mindfulness and a spiritual revolution are needed to protect nature and limit climate change.
The Earth Contains the Whole Cosmos
When we look deeply into the Earth, we can see the presence of the whole cosmos. A lot of our fear, hatred, anger, and feelings of separation and alienation come from the idea that we are separate from the planet. We see ourselves as the center of the universe and are concerned primarily with our own personal survival…But we need to do more than use recycled products or donate money to environmental groups. We have to change our whole relationship with the Earth.
When we look deeply at a blade of grass or at a tree, we can see that it’s not mere matter. It has its own kind of intelligence. For example, a seed knows how to grow into a plant with roots, leaves, flowers, and fruit…A dust particle is not just matter; each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.
In the Buddhist tradition, we say there is mind and there are objects of mind, and that they manifest at the same time. We can’t separate them. Objects of mind are created by the mind itself. The way we perceive the world around us depends entirely on our way of looking at it. If we understand the Earth as a living, breathing organism, we can heal ourselves and heal the Earth as well. When our physical body is sick, we need to stop, rest, and pay attention to it. We have to stop our thinking, return to our in-breath and out-breath, and come home to our bodOur mind is the consciousness of the cosmos.
In his book, “The Lives of a Cell”, biologist Lewis Thomas describes our planet as a living organism. His essay focuses on how connected humanity is to nature and how we must make strides to understand our role. He arrives at the insight that the whole planet is like a giant living cell whose parts are all linked in symbiosis. He likens the Earth to an organized, self-contained being, a “live creature, full of information and marvelously skilled in handling the sun.”
We can think of the sun and the earth as our true parents. The Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus Christ and all our wonderful teachers are children of this planet. Just as we carry the DNA of our biological mother and father within us, we carry the sun and the Earth in each of our cells. It’s easy to think that this highly creative force could have a human form. Yet rather than God being an old man with a white beard sitting in the sky, God is not outside of creation. God is inside every living being. What we call “the divine,” is none other than the energy of awakening, of peace, of understanding, and of love, which is to be found not only in every human being, but in every species on Earth.
In Buddhism, we say every sentient being has the ability to be awakened and to understand deeply. We call this Buddha nature. The deer, the dog, the cat, the squirrel, and the bird all have Buddha nature. And what about inanimate species? The Earth herself has Buddha nature, therefore all her children must have Buddha nature, too. Every blade of grass, every tree, every plant, every creature large or small are children of the planet Earth, and therefore have Buddha nature. Everyone has the capacity to live happily and with a sense of responsibility toward our mother, the Earth. Once we have this insight of interbeing, we can have real communication with the Earth. This is the highest possible form of prayer. We don’t need blind faith to see this. We don’t need to address our prayers or express our gratitude to a remote or abstract deity with whom it may be difficult or impossible to be in touch. We can address our prayers and express our gratitude directly to the Earth.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In Saving the Earth from Ourselves, Bill Moyers interviews the Kumi Naidoo, the South African human rights activist and International Director of Greenpeace.
Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo
Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo homepage We Share Our Planet
Help us remind those who forget
They discuss the politics of climate change and the urgency of environmental activism. The recent actions of Greenpeace International environmental activists are mentioned as they attempted to climb an oil platform in the Arctic to protest the drilling for fossil fuels in this fragile ecology. They were confronted by gun carrying soldiers of the Russian Coast guard. The following day, a Russian helicopter landed on the Greenpeace ship ‘the Arctic Sunrise’ and seized it. Some of the Arctic 30 Activists have been released. Greenpeace is posting continual updates on their website. Greenpeace has often confronted governments and corporations head-on with civil disobedience.
In fact, as of December 26, 2013, news headlines claim that 14 of the 30 activists have been given approval to leave Russia.
Born and raised in South Africa, by his teenage years, Kumi Naidoo was such a vocal and prominent opponent of the racist policies in South Africa of apartheid, that he was beaten and jailed many times by the white regime. He finally escaped to Great Britain, where he was awarded a attended a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. With the end of apartheid,
KumiNaidoo together with Nelson Mandela at the end of Aparthed
he headed back to South Africa where he became head of Greenpeace International, bringing his negotiation and advocacy skills to lead an organization with 3 million members.
Naidoo mentions that what happens in the arctic affects the globe. Drilling there has not yet started and they are doing everything they can to prevent this. History teaches us, that all of the struggles and injustices, whether slavery, a woman’s right to choose, apartheid move forward, until decent men and women say ‘enough is enough’ and are willing to put their lives on the line. Moyers points out that Greenpeace owes some of its heritage and DNA to the Quakers; a religious society of friends started in 1660. They are witnesses for peace. Quakers share a refusal to participate in war, oppose slavery, encourage prison reform and social justice. Naidoo mentions that the most important thing that we can take from the Quakers is their commitment to peace, justice and a notion their notion called ‘bearing witness’. If there is an injustice in the world, those of us who have the capacity to witness it, document and record it in order to inform the world about it, have the moral responsibility to do so.
There is Incidentally an also a human’s rights watch group called “Witness”, an international nonprofit organization that has been using the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. They empower people to transform their personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.
Kumi explains that the Arctic serves as the refrigerator and air conditioner of the planet. It helps regulate the temperatures globally by deflecting the harsh rays of the sunlight. Massive melting glaciers cause the sea levels to rise. He mentions that our leaders don’t connect the different issues and challenges that we face, with the reality of what is happening environmentally. The genocide in Darfur, in western Sudan, was reported by the media as an ethnic or quasi religious conflict, when in fact it was the first major resource war brought about by climate impact. Darfur neighbors Lake Chad.
Lake Chad in 1972 within NIger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon
Lake Chad used to be one of the largest inland seas of the world.
Lake Chad in 2007 shrunk to the size of a pond
It has now shrunk to the size of a pond. Therefore, water, land and food scarcity as the result of the absence of this lake, were the toxic mix that caused this war to occur.
Obama’s words and slogans during his first election campaign were, “Yes We Can”, “the Fierce Urgency of Now” and a “Planet in Peril”. Kumi states that we are playing political and commercial poker with the planet. The planet doesn’t need to be saved, the planet will come back. What is at stake, is humanities ability to live in coexistence with the planet for centuries to come. Any leader has the ethical imperative and responsibility to act in a way that does not imperil your children and grand children’s future.
350.org demonstrates that we must write off 80% of fossil fuel reserves completely, and reinvest in renewable energy; wind, solar, wave technology, to allow sustainable life on earth.
Naidoo mentioned the The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world through mobilizing business and political leaders and engaging academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The World Bank issued a report: Turn Down the Heat
World Bank study Turn Down the Heat Why a 4 degree waker world MUST be avoided
Kumi’s deceased mother imprinted him with some very compelling ideologies. She often mentioned that “It’s much better to try and fail, than to fail to try”. As well, that “We have the option to be part of the problem, or part of the solution”. She said to him that “when you see God in the eyes of every human being that you meet, then you will live your life seeing humanity in everyone”.
I’ve already blogged about the subject of economic might in the midst of environmental plight, it’s an illusion and paradox comparing the two. I mention in this blog the (GDP) the Gross Domestic Problem compared to Bhutan’s (GNH) Gross National Happiness. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/
Kumi mentioned in the interview a prophesy, or rather proverb of the Cree Indians, Native Americans living in various parts of North America. Their territory stretches over the geopolitical borders of the United States and Canada. The Cree Indian Prophecy,
When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
Cree Indian Proverb Only After
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
― Cree Indian Prophecy,
To sum up the message of all three, I add, that if you see the gift of creation in all of creation, in every person, every creature and in every form of life and inanimate parts of this planet as the gift of creation, and feel gratitude for every breath that you take, you will recognize that God is everywhere, and we have the responsibility to take care of it.
I write to follow my bliss. Among various spiritual guides, Deepak Chopra has teamed with Opra Winfrey to bring to you the 21 day meditation challenge. Though it is already underway, there is always time to pause and step out of one’s mind and into one’s heart and breath. Their messages are about connecting within yourself to find out who you are, to discover why you are here on this planet in order to discern your own path. I’m doing my best to follow mine.
Although my entire post is prompted by my abhorrence of materialism and greed, I nevertheless personally need money. In the process of researching and writing my blogs, to complete my first book, to continue to compose music (that will incorporate various animal sounds) to give these creatures a voice, I need to pay my rent, to have shelter, electricity, a desk and food. I make no money doing this and have a very small ecological ‘footprint’. I mostly ride bicycle. Because I’m currently not under ANY umbrella, corporate or otherwise, nor have funding or grants, I’m asking that if you read this far, either to make a donation yourself, or ask a friend with more capital (more disposable income) to make one on your behalf! I’ll take .001% of any billionaires that might happen to be reading this. ha ha! So I’m campaigning for myself and asking you to contribute, if you can !-)) This button leads will feed my PayPal. Any credit card or direct deposit transaction will be secure! thanks. Any feedback is always welcome as well. With love!
eyes wide open
eyes wide shut