What are the root causes of the environmental problems facing mankind today?
For decades, thoughtful men and women have been pondering this question. Since the late ‘60s, a generation of individuals have had an awareness that something may not be completely right with a society that introduces poisons into our air, water, and food chain – poisons that threaten virtually every species of life on earth, including our own. Most people know when and how it started. The industrialization of the last hundred years or so, combined with an insatiable corporate profit motive seem to be the most likely culprits. But what exactly has caused this propensity to plunge headlong into a toxic world? Why are the governments of the world seemingly powerless to stop it?
One answer that has not received enough attention is that the environmental problem is essentially a human problem.
What drives people to want to consume more and more – to drive bigger and bigger SUVs, and to accumulate more material goods than they will ever need? The less obvious answer is that there is a fundamental sense of lack amongst a great many people in the world. While millions of people in less developed countries are indeed struggling without the basic necessities of life, why are so many of the more privileged amongst us feeling dissatisfied? It may be that they are experiencing a spiritual lack. The fact of the matter is that only humans hoard more than they need to provide the basics of food and shelter to their families and loved ones. If you can get to the root cause of this need to hoard, you can get to the root cause of the environmental problem.
SPIRIT OF THE ENVIRONMENT is an organization that has been founded on the principles of spiritual ecology. It is our contention that if people are feeling satisfied in a fundamentally spiritual way, they will not feel the need to over consume.
So how is this achieved?
Factually, the environmental crisis results when there is an imbalance in the consumption of the earth’s resources. It has been estimated that the earth can easily sustain a population of ten billion or more if her resources are being distributed responsibly. So how is this achieved? When mankind accepts that we, along with this earth, and all the creatures on it, are divine emanations, and that the source of all creation and abundance exists within and without ourselves, then there can be no question of lack. One who is aware of his or her divine connection with all life, and with the spiritual self, does not continually strive to find satisfaction by accumulating more and more material things, the manufacture of which creates an unnecessary burden upon the earth. The real answer to the environmental problem lies within each one of us.