Transform requires re-connection
It is becoming more obvious that we need to transform our ways of living and operating.
‘Today’s dominant worldview is simply too biased towards anthropocentrism, materialism, egocentrism, contempocentrism, reductionism, rationalism, and nationalism to sustain the changes needed.’ Joseph Gustav Speth
The biggest inhibitor to our transformation is our dis-connection with life/nature.
In nature everything transforms through circulations, everything is continually transforming as one stage comes to an end another begins; spirals of death and rebirth, of withdrawing and bursting forth – this is the way of life. The only certainty is uncertainty. Everything naturally transforms through the cycles of life – so too with human nature. We only prevent our natural, emergent transformation by dis-connecting ourselves from nature – her ways, rhythms and wisdom. This artificial sense of separation is deeply sown within the Western scientific-philosophy of abstract rationalist reductionism.
So often we strategise, envision, innovate and explore new ways of operating in the hope that they help us transform towards a more sustainable future for society, the economy and the environment. These good intentions, alas, often originate from a dis-connected perception of life, where humanity is seen as separate from nature, where object is seen as separate from subject and where self is viewed as separate and in competition with other. Hence, we innovate our way to incomplete solutions based on incomplete understandings of life and its inherently dynamic and inclusive way.
Rather than tuning into our soul and the soul of nature around us, we react logically to the challenges around us. In-so-doing we abstract objectivity from reality. We literally dissect real life into isolated compartmentalisations, in turn mis-representing and so creating unsustainable outcomes, leading to more knock-on problems. In seeking to fix the effects we ignore dealing with the underlying cause: our flawed worldview.
‘We have been, and still are, in the grips of a flawed view of reality – a flawed paradigm, a flawed world view – and it pervades our culture putting us on biological collision course with collapse. It is the paradigm that is reflected in our culture’s infatuation with stuff and our wilful ignorance of nature.’ Ray Anderson
Transformation requires a re-connection; a re-connection with our true human nature and nature. It is that simple and yet we often grasp at ‘activity’ before undertaking this re-connection (at ‘doing’ before ‘being’). Perhaps this is because the re-connection flies in the face of what we have been taught, what has become so ingrained in us. Re-connecting challenges our sense of self-importance, our individuality (our ego).
For many traditional cultures the essential purpose of humanity is to serve nature, to ensure the harmony of life is maintained. This is in stark contrast to
modern Western culture which views nature as a resource for its pursuit of
‘Instead of learning to cultivate an identity through our inner potentiality, through the natural expression of our humanity, we are conditioned to manufacture an identity in outer appearances, most commonly through achieving material ‘success’ – the capitalist touchstone of the ‘good life’. Lacking a solid individual sense of our own existence, our identity comes to be rooted in our self-worth, validated externally in terms of what we own and what people think of us.’ Robert Hamilton
The more we see through the illusion of the world as a collection of things and see it as the inter-play of relationships and interconnecting networks it is, the easier it becomes for us to loosen the grip of our reductionist sense of scarcity and separated-ness and re-connect with the beautiful enchantment of the natural world around us and our true nature within us.
The paradigm shift now upon us has to be radical – philosophically, scientifically and culturally. It needs to go to the root of our corrupt engagement with reality: space-matter, content-context, human-nature, self-Self.
The transformation itself is driven by: Re-designing new ways shifting from hurting to helping (take-make-waste to regenerative); Re-establishing our relation with self-other-nature (eco-psychology, phenomenology, individuation); Re-kindling wisdom (indigenous, elders, nature-inspired).
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View a short video clip on business inspired by nature here