18. Cultural Cycles and Climate Change 2 - Your Spiritual Compass
Here is an interesting perspective regarding a recommended way forward so that we can avoid the terrible consequences of Climate Change. The insights come from a book written by Satish Kumar, entitled Spiritual Compass. Satish is the Editor Emeritus of the magazine Resurgence & Ecologist and a long-term peace and environment activist. The section chosen is called The Eleven Point Program for Sattvic Action. Sattva in the Indian Vedic tradition represents the quality of energy which results in clarity, stillness, peace which in essence is a higher state of consciousness. It becomes more dominant when a person meditates, reflects on fine scripture or even just comes fully into the present moment i.e. the result of more quiet time. Here is a brief summary of the points made along with some commentary linking it to our approach.
1. Change our Attitude – out highly industrialised, urbanised culture looks upon nature for its usefulness in helping maintain our current way of life and as a result we have abused nature and are beginning to pay the price. We need to shift our attitude about the natural world to one which embraces it as an integral part of life
2. Live Simply - Do not follow the current scheme of acquiring money and material possessions, doing lots of different activities i.e. living a life based on quantity. Rather live an eco-friendly quality life.
3. Consume Less – On the physical side, eat less, especially meat, drink, drugs. On the mental realm, spend less time watching TV, on social media using your phone or computer, sometimes consuming trash like pornography. Again, greater emphasis needs to be on quality.
4. Waste Not – This includes excess food which gets thrown away, objects like phones, computers, appliances and most seriously plastic. We must address the excessive use of plastic which is non—recyclable.
5. Use No Harmful Products - When performing cleaning and maintaining objects use environmentally friendly products. In agriculture avoid pesticides; in building projects use locally sourced materials whenever available, even if they cost a bit more. Quality vs Quantity again.
6. Walk – In addition to walking, cycling is another option we need to embrace more fully. We need to lose our dependency on pollution generating motorised vehicles. Additional walking is also a good way to get more needed exercise and to counter the strong trend towards obesity.
7. Bake Bread – What is recommended here is reconnecting with older traditions, consuming less fast-food and doing something that requires careful attention. When someone makes a meal with care and attention, the quality of the food is enhanced and the people eating it benefit greatly.
8. Meditate – More quiet time, as we have recommended, which will restore a greater sense of balance, peace and self-confidence so that the right motivation will arise and quality actions result.
9. Work Less – Reduce the excess, provide for important needs like time with family and friends, practicing and performing actions that are expression of your talents. It could be such activities as writing, artistic work like painting or drawing, photography or simply reading books which you purchased, but which have rested on a shelf untouched for some time.
10. Be Informed – Take time to study subjects including those designed to feed and help develop your spiritual realm.
11. Organise – Become part of groups who share your finest ideals and work together. The power of a group will benefit you and all members.
This good guidance completes the series of 18 Blogs which summarise the key elements of the book Cultural Cycles & Climate Change.