"Today we live in a time of great crisis, confronted by the gravest challenge that humanity has ever faced: the ecological consequences of our own collective karma. The scientific consensus is overwhelming: human activity is triggering environmental breakdown on a planetary scale. Global warming, in particular, is happening much faster than previously predicted...Eminent biologists and U.N. reports concur that 'business-as-usual' will drive half of all species on Earth to extinction within this century. Many scientists have concluded that the survival of human civilization is at stake. We have reached a critical juncture in our biological and social evolution."
To read this is breathtaking. We are hurtling toward the collapse of sustainable environments and into a world of increased scarcity, floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, droughts and famines. Bill McKibben, a leading US environmentalist, has changed the name of our planet to Eaarth in order to drive home that we have irrevocably changed the planet we inhabit.
Underlying the critical juncture in our biological and social evolution is a crisis of conscience and consciousness. Having travelled the great oceans, conquered all the lands, extracted wealth from the earth and dominated her species, we now have one journey left to make. This is the most important journey we could ever make because everything depends on it. The evolutionary imperative of our times invites us to journey from seeing the world "out there", separate and alien from us, to directly knowing our intimacy with all things. This is the shift from a dualistic consciousness to an awakened awareness that recognizes nothing is apart from anything else and ultimately nothing is apart from our deeper nature. If we harm someone, we harm ourselves. If we destroy and pollute we do likewise to ourselves. If we drop bombs on other countries, we rip out a piece of our own soul. And unlike any other time in human history, if we only look out for ourselves or our tribe at the expense of everyone else, we will further precipitate the catastrophe of our collective demise. To understand this is to enter the ethics of interconnectedness.
At Dharmagiri we seek to support organizations that challenge Ecocide while offering new pathways, such as Bill McKibben's 350.org. We also encourage and host courses, activities, fund raisers, eco-activism and educational programs that support the new paradigm of conscious caring of the Planet and her species.