Ecology Is Every Step
A New Approach based on Love
Some time ago, I rewrote a part of the Metta Sutra to reflect the new reality of our times:
This came out of a feeling that we now need to extend loving kindness to the Earth itself as well as to its creatures, that what may have been unimaginable a long time ago is now a reality: our lack of loving kindness endangers the life and security of not only other earthlings, but of the planet herself, and of her beautiful body.
I am struck with how current ecological initiatives are so often based on fear and anxiety: fear of the future, and anxiety about an impending disaster. I keep wondering what would happen to a relationship or a marriage that was also based on fear and anxiety. . . I know that I don’t want to be in that kind of a relationship! My feelings about the environment are based on love and kindness; love for the Earth our mother, and kindness for her creatures. I cannot help thinking that something based on positive feelings is more likely to bear positive results.
We sometimes reproach people for their self-centeredness, and sometimes with good reason. I would like to propose as its opposite Earth-centeredness, instead of the more common selflessness. There is a plan of action about Earth-centeredness, and it is more likely to bring good results.
We are Earthlings like all our brother and sister creatures. We give our mother a haircut when we mow the lawn, and it is her beauty we admire when we look at a flower. We are made of the same four elements as the Earth. And we are children no longer: we are now as powerful, at least in a destructive sense, as she is.
That changes our relationship with our planet, and leaves old moralities in need of a revision.