What does it mean to be a human being?

Posted March 21st, 2010 in Blog, Featured Comments Off on What does it mean to be a human being?

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

Friends, I have been pondering all sorts of things and feeling rather pensive these past few days. Having no inspiration to offer right now – not from lack of inspiration but the difficulty articulating it – I thought I would share here a quote from the ecopsychologist Chellis Glendinning that I shared a couple of days ago at the web portal, WiserEarth. It comes from the book, My Name Is Chellis, and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization:

Ultimately, authentic recovery from western civilization must include every fragment of our collective shattering — not just our self-esteem and where we dump the garbage, but how we structure our communities, how we speak and make decisions, what artifacts we create and who creates them, what we eat, how we dream, who we think we are, how we relate to the mountain of our ancestors, how we bring our children into the world, and how all these facets of our lives fit together.

The question I hope I have raised is this: what does it mean to be a human being?  …In the last analysis, the answer to our question of meaning lies in the nature of who we are. Throughout our time on Earth, there have been swallows flying across the clouds, dandelion puffs carried by the wind and dropped to the soil, furry creatures and slippery beings roaming the land, a moon that waxes and wanes in the night. Our psyches too are natural worlds, mirrors and dreams of this wildness around us; this reality is our essence…

I offer you a forward looking challenge. No one has yet conjured a coherent vision of what a deeply wounded humanity living upon a deeply ravaged planet, having long surpassed the limits of sustainability, might become.

And I think that speaks about my search, and that of so many others. What might we become, and how, amidst the wounds of this ‘deeply ravaged planet,’ do we get there?



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