sharing visions of the ecosphere


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Temple Trees of Thailand

Where there is no vision, the people perish.
-- Proverbs 29:18


For most life forms there is no need for “vision” in the philosophical sense. The credo need only be “just live!” That is, the drive to life (wherever that gene may be located) is strong indeed and has no need for conscious visioning. However for people, we strange and deeply self-conscious beings faced with the prospect of decay and mortality, there often comes a vexing question, “why live?” Because this is not answerable through pure reason there lurks the dangerous prospect of answering “there is no reason to live”.

This can be fatal, for one and all. Hence the perennial reminder and question about meaning: we need meaning if we are to choose life during its difficult passages.
Hence, the proverb about vision: we need vision to weave meaning with conscious efforts and actions that we may persist as a people. But is any old blueprint we ascribe as meaningful enough?

A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.
-- World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity. 1992

At this stage the visions holding sway in dominant societies are not sufficient. Humanity is a huge organic culture made up of billions of hot-blooded animals streaming around the planet, converting untold tons of materials and other life into its web. We are fabulously successful. But now we are bumping into biophysical limits and the Warning to Humanity asks us to face our collective biology in a way never done before. It is an open question whether our aggregate demands and urges can be sufficiently shifted away from this current path of self-destruction. It will take more than reason! It will take some vision with some metal:

It is better to ignore life altogether than to place too great an importance on it.
-- Lao Tzu

Nevertheless, and even without the apparent global crisis besetting humanity (and much of life’s spectrum), we at Ecovisions believe there will always be the need to share stories about the human condition within the environment that sustains us. Stories are how visions are shared. With accounts of joy and pain, harmony and discord, mystery and myriad other dimensions of our being, they assist the living on their organic path, with the result -- one might hope-- that