Ecocivilisation within us
We may have an idea of how ecocivilisation would look like, a detailed concept, or even a constructed roadmap. Societies may embed its concepts, but how can we internalize them? Will we find ourselves in ecocivilisation, which would be like a new system of norms and rules, or will we BE ecocivilisation? I do not believe ecocivilisation is a utopia. But I do think it requires us to raise our consciousness, so that its concepts become part of us, become our nature.
I am an environmentalist, by profession and by heart. I feel a very deep connection with nature and I want to protect it. I am working on projects placed in the most polluted countries in the World. There, people unwrap their meal and throw the wrap on the ground, without having any second thoughts. In me, this triggers a mix of indignation and sadness. How can this gap in awareness happen? The answer, I believe, is in a feeling of connectedness.
Some of the cleanest countries in the world introduced extremely high penalties in case of littering, even if it is just a small paper, to maintained their cleanliness. Does that mean that, if there would not be such a law, some people would trash?
In some other countries, early education plays a main role. Schools make regular cleaning events, where all kids have to participate and clean the surrounding. The kids then learn that polluting the environment is not good, because cleaning is no fun. If there would not be such events in their childhood, would people there litter?
The two methods described above definitely work. However, what is the driver of our behavior? Do we keep the environment clean because of the law? Do we keep it clean because of social norms and rules? Or is it because of our compassion, intrinsic righteousness, feelings of connectedness and oneness with nature?
When it comes to overconsumption for example, there are currently no laws, and no strong social norms and rules in our societies. Yet we know that overconsumption means overexploitation of our environment and can be as damaging to the environment, as it is polluting the environment with trash. If we know that, why do we do it? If we don’t know that, but we would just find out about it, would we change? I don’t believe many of us would. Is it because there are no laws regarding overconsumption, no early education lessons, and lack of social norms regarding that matter? Or is it because we do not possess any specific feelings related to this problem, which would trigger our ego to eco transition.
I believe that with guidelines, education, and by internalizing the ecocivilisation concepts we would not need strict rules to direct our behaviors. Our consciousness and feelings which internalized ecocivilisation concepts would evoke in us (connectedness, oneness, cooperation, harmony, care) would guide our righteous behaviors towards other people, other living beings, and nature.
To make this transformation, it would not be enough just to change the system. We will need to turn within, find there our core ecocivilisation values – which we already possess and are natural to us – and courageously bring them to the surface. At least in a short term, these values cannot be taught, but they need to be felt. A way to do that, is through increased connectedness, and one of the best tools to achieve connectedness, is meditation.