Posted by Stuart Hertzog on Mar 14, 2008 in culture
A new personal, social, cultural, and spiritual ethos — a second Renaissance — is urgently needed at this crucial time. Through rampant industrialisation and increasing human population, we are in process of destroying the very basis of life on this planet. Valiant attempts have been made by many well-intentioned people to halt and reverse the increasing destruction of species and ecosystems, but so far these efforts have not succeeded.
Although it has have some success in changing people’s awareness, the environmental movement has not yet reached its goal of genuine ecological sustainability. Enormous amounts of toxic pollution are being released into the world each day, and neither personal activity nor our collective politics have been able to reduce this. Like many others, I am now convinced that no technological “magic bullet” can perform this modern miracle.
The peace and social justice movements also have not yet fulfilled their ultimate goals. Despite the millions who marched world-wide in opposition to the needless and illegitimate invasion of Iraq, the operation went ahead. Trillions of dollars are wasted each year on armaments while millions go hungry or without potable water. Wars rage throughout Africa and the Middle East. Homeless people live on the streets of affluent cities. Endless hate attacks human beings and species at the very root of their existence.
Personal and cultural change
I believe that nothing less than a profound personal and cultural change is required. To become a Lover of Life is to value life for its own sake, and to accept with love the inherent dignity and right to exist of all beings. This fundamentally eco-centric philosophy puts the entire web of life and not the selfish human ego, at the centre of the moral universe.
This is essentially a personal struggle, but it also has a collective aspect. Somehow — impossible though it may seem — we must in large numbers achieve a massive personal and cultural breakthrough in consciousness and ethics. We must all become Lovers of Life to safeguard life on Earth. Otherwise, despite the illusion of material “progress,” we have no future.
The task at hand is vital and urgent. Climate scientists are telling us that the window of opportunity during which we can make positive change is rapidly closing. The human species must evolve to a new level of being and understanding if the rich variety of life is to survive on this fragile planet.
Synthesis of spiritual wisdom
This ongoing collection of articles is my personal attempt to explore and integrate our collective spiritual heritage and cultural wisdom, to create a new cultural and spiritual synthesis that will enable us to coexist peacefully with Nature. It is a “work-in-progress” that perhaps one day will form the basis of a book, perhaps even give birth to a movement of the same name.
I hope you find the thoughts and offerings on this site useful in your own efforts to secure personal and planetary salvation. I wish us all well in this, and hope we may join together in a collective cultural renaissance that will protect and augment life and living creatures everywhere; for our own sake, for the sake of all that lives, and for future generations yet unborn.