Deep Ecology And Religion



Through this portion of class readings and discussions, we have sought deeper meaning and understanding of philosophies of individuals and organizations that revolve around the fundamental aspects and notions of deep ecology and eco-activism. These associations offer more views and attitudes on how an individual and society can create and maintain a kinship and positive influence with the natural environment.
Like deep ecologist’s view on the metaphysical relationship of man and nature. Eco-activist’s contend to a belief of “ecology as religion”(Kinsley 193). They take their duty with the environment as a deeply spiritual, physical, and emotional connection. Specifically, an environmental-action group called Green Peace, brings forth a new term called “planetary consciousness”(Kinsley 199). This consciousness parallels the views of deep ecologists by means that they believe and affirm the inter-dependence and significance of all living things.
This planetary consciousness outlines and proclaims that individuals and society must learn to respect the entire earth as an integral and animated system, this respect must equal the respect each individual shows themselves. This view is reasonable and valid and allows mankind a more intimate, religious, and personal vantage of the living world. However, the application of this lifestyle and relationship to the majority of society seems inconceivable. Since humanity cannot even maintain an intimate relationship with another individual, for instance the ever-increasing rate of divorce and separations in marriages. This matrimony has been viewed as sacred throughout the history of humanity yet infidelity and divorce remain severely high. While society’s view of nature, as a revered and animated character is still frequently unfamiliar and unpracticed. Therefore, it seems implausible for immediate action to occur because based on the history of mankind’s slow and inflexible ability to change their behavior and conduct. Max Oelschlaeger claimed in The Sacred Earth that “the modern person has lost sight of the sacredness of creation”(539). This accurate statement can be furthered that mankind has lost touch with the sacredness in all relationships, most importantly with themselves. Therefore, in order to change an individual’s perceptions on the natural world they must first reanalyze and reconstruct their image and behavior of and towards themselves.
Through our readings and in class speaker a notion arose that I believe will aid and promote this idea of “planetary consciousness”. This objective is to start with a small or local community to implement the redefinition of nature’s role with mankind instead of losing the context

This will allow the opinions and assumptions towards the planetary consciousness to slowly penetrate the ‘roots’ of society. An example of the type of movement to start changing ideology locally is “bio-regionalism” movement which aims to rebuild our cosmology locally and putting a greater emphasis on an individual’s place in the natural world particularly the resources that immediately surround them.

This idea of finding your place is an exceptional solution for an individual to get back in touch with nature further it will allow an individual to have a deeper connection and knowledge with the people that encircle them. Chad Myer, who spoke to our class about Bioregionalism claims that economic globalization, has led us to displacement with people, environment, and ourselves. This globalization stemmed from the colonization of America. As the Europeans migrated the sense of individuality rose while the sense of belonging decreased.
In order to reverse this individualism “Bio-regionalism” and Green Peace and other deep ecology organizations believe that society should reconstruct their lifestyle’s and belief’s to image that of the Indigenous Americans. Utilizing their conception of nature as kin and taking on a lifestyle that is both nurturing and respectful to the environment. Specifically, the Native American Indian’s way of life that utilizes and upholds their immediate surroundings. Through the habitude of acquiring their food, shelter, and clothing the Indian’s appreciated and respected the environment that provided their life necessities. The Indian’s therefore protected and maintained their neighboring natural environment.
The leaders of Green Peace apply the principles from a specific indigenous culture known as the Cree. In our prior studies in class, we learned that the Cree’s fundamental principles revolve around mankind’s righteous inhabitation of the land. This intrinsic relationship allowed the Cree’s to have a greater understanding and respect with the land and natural resources that surrounded them.
To create increased awareness