zEarth Care (Stewardship)

Brand new page, 15 July 2013. Am setting page up, even though I’ve not time right now to develop it. I want the title to show as of today with “Essential Practices“.

The ‘z’ of the title forces page to sit at bottom of list of pages. Not because it’s less important, but because it’s got a different emphasis from themes shared by other page titles.

10am, 15 July – have posted essay below, am pretty desperately pressed for time so will review later re corrections, etc…

Thoughts on Earth Care – Stewardship

All other titles under “Essential Practices” focus on aspects of our human nature.  I strongly believe we need more wide-spread curiosity about ourselves. (1) We have over-developed competition  and downplayed cooperation – even though we’re  hard-wired for both.  (2) We continue to think in ‘us/them’ categories. We have over-developed us/them tribalism and not yet pursued ‘tribe humanity’.  Logic alone should tell us that if ‘tribe family’ makes sense, and ‘tribe community’ makes sense,  … then ‘tribe humanity’ should follow as a possibility.

We move from tribe-family to tribe-community and call it ‘maturity’.  An even greater maturity on the horizon is tribe-humanity.

How does any ‘tribe’ thrive? It recognizes “life” and honors it.  It develops wisdom and practices that support “life”.  We can run logic beyond the restriction of  tribe humanity. Beyond tribe-humanity lies ‘tribe-life’.

If we need tribe-family to get started, and tribe-community to fulfill hard-wired need as individuals to participate in wider society, then ‘tribe-life’ waits on the horizon as the most significant tribal affiliation possible to us. Without abundant life surrounding us, all our tribes – from humanity, back through community, back through family – don’t exist.  Period.

There’s little logic for any ‘human only tribe’, whether small or global, to address social issues,  if we destroy the earth that underlies all life.  We – and all life, and the whole of earth – are “of one piece”.

In the whole of our known human civilization – this is a new dilemma.  Unique.  All civilization of all time has arrived at our 21st Century.

Until near the end of the 20th Century, ‘by hook or by crook’, we settled over-crowding by various means. We encouraged or forced ‘the extras’ to leave. We used us/them thinking so we could tell ourselves it was OK to murder out a population (them) that stood in the way of our needs.

At the same time, we’ve matured. We recognize problems with the limitations of ‘us/them’ beliefs and practices.  Across the whole of human history we’ve carried at least a ‘hunch’ that peaceful community is a good thing.  Multiple ancient teachings promote The Golden Rule from long before Christianity began to claim it as their contribution to human wisdom.

It’s important to give pause and thought to our conflicted behaviors.  “At the same time” – the very same time – we’ve torn ourselves and one another apart by brutality, and we’ve nevertheless believed in The Golden Rule.  Hmm … a disconnect.

The Golden Rule – applied in context of tribe-family – and taken beyond limited us/them logic – logically leads us to the entrance of our greatest challenge ever as a thinking, creative, curious, problem-solving, satisfaction-seeking, courageous, high-minded, species.  Earth is crowded. If we use ‘old’ (limited) logic, we’ll simply bash one another about until there aren’t so many of us left – Golden Rule be damned.  If we use us/them attitudes to separate human life from all other life we’ll destroy biodiversity on which we depend.

We’ll do this unless we follow logic, and learn to extend The Golden Rule toward non-human life.  We can’t honor deep,  intuitive, ‘urge’ to  inclusive paradigms, and practice exclusion at the same time.

Maturing beyond ‘us/them’ thinking – thinking in terms of ‘tribe-life’  is a tremendous challenge. It’s a challenge never before faced, ever.  It may have ‘lurked in the background’ as a whispered ‘someday could be’ challenge, but now it’s here. This minute, this day, right now.

Absolutely every ‘paradigm’ used to set up institutions, traditions, and practices in all communities, across all earth, across all time, is rooted in some variation on ‘us/them’ thinking.

Every page in this “Essential Practices” section is meant to focus our attention on the reality, contradictions, and possible solutions, of where we – all humanity – stands this moment.  The 21st Century, to me, is our ‘new level of maturity’ moment.   Earth Care, Stewardship of all life and all that supports it, is our only way forward – unless, of course, we don’t take up the challenge.

If we don’t take up the challenge, it seems we rather put the lie to touting ourselves as a “thinking, creative, curious, problem-solving, satisfaction-seeking, courageous, high-minded, species.”  It’s illogical to conclude we can be both. We can’t be all those marvelous attributes at the same time that we prove ourselves the most destructive creatures on this planet.

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