Deep Ecology

Arne Naess & The Deep Ecology Movement
Pictures, Quotes, Ecosophy

Deep Ecology: Interconnection of Life: All is One!Deep Ecology: Planet EarthDeep Ecology: Humans are a part of NatureArne Naess - Deep Ecology

What is wrong with our culture is that it offers us an inaccurate conception of the self. It depicts the personal self as existing in competition with and in opposition to nature. [We fail to realise that] if we destroy our environment, we are destroying what is in fact our larger self. (Freya Matthew)

Deep ecologists claim that before knowing what we ought to do, we must understand who we really are. (Michael Zimmerman)


Deep Ecology Introduction

Deep Ecology is a movement which promotes an awareness of the oneness and interconnection of all life and its cycles of change and transformation.

Life is fundamentally one. (Arne Naess, Deep Ecology) Life is fundamentally one. ... The deep ecology movement is the ecology movement which questions deeper. ..The adjective 'deep' stresses that we ask why and how, where others do not.
(Arne Naess, who coined the phrase 'deep ecology' in 1972)

A new paradigm of science, the Metaphysics of Space and the Wave Structure of Matter (Wolff, Haselhurst) offers great insight into explaining the dynamic unity of reality. Thus the Deep Ecologists realisation that All is One and Interconnected is correct (it is Space which connects all things) and the error has been the conception of matter as discrete particles (which obviously does not explain matter's activity / flux nor its interconnection). The dynamic unity of reality is not a new idea, its foundation lies with the ancient philosophers. For thousands of years, philosophers have gazed at the stars and known that One thing must exist that is common to and connects the Many things within the Universe. As Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz profoundly says;

Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. (Leibniz, 1670)

Albert Einstein also had a good understanding of humans as an inseparable part of the One, as he writes;

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe ... We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein)

Unfortunately (and tragically), this knowledge of our interconnection to the Universe (Nature, God) has been lost (or is naively considered as not important) to modern day humanity. We are 'bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the Earth' as D. H. Lawrence writes.

This webpage on Deep Ecology (a subject I find fascinating - from reading their ideas I realised I was a deep ecologist without realising it!) is an evolving work in progress. I look forward to having more time to spend working on this page in the future! For now, hope you enjoy the following quotes from Deep Ecologists and philosophers that I have enjoyed and collected. I hope to write up these quotes from the foundation of the Metaphysics of Space and Wave Structure of Matter.

Cheers,
Karene Howie, Email


Deep Ecology Quotes

We are gradually discovering that we are our world. (Joanna Macy, On Deep Ecology)Deep Ecology: Intimately connected to the Planet EarthDeep Ecology:

I consider that this shift [to an emphasis on our “capacity to identify with the larger collective of all beings” ] is essential to our survival at this point in history precisely because it can serve in lieu of morality and because moralising is ineffective. Sermons seldom hinder us from pursuing our self-interest, so we need to be a little more enlightened about what our self-interest is. It would not occur to me, for example, to exhort you to refrain from cutting off your leg. That wouldn’t occur to me or to you, because your leg is part of you. Well, so are the trees in the Amazon Basin; they are our external lungs. We are just beginning to wake up to that. We are gradually discovering that we are our world. (Joanna Macy)

We are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching
of the reality that surrounds us. We can never have enough of nature. (Henry David Thoreau)

When we speak of Nature it is wrong to forget that we are ourselves a part of Nature. We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.
(Henri Matisse)

.. the word ecology, coined by the German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel (initially as oecology) in 1866. derives from the Greek oikos, “referring originally to the family household and its daily operations and maintenance.” The term ecology is therefore intended to refer to the study of the conditions of existence that pertain to, and the interactions between, all the entities that make up our larger, cosmic household here upon earth. (Warwick Fox, 1995)

.. the term environment refers to the external conditions or surroundings of organisms, whereas ecology refers to the relationships between organisms and their external conditions or surroundings, that is, their environment. The prefix eco (for "ecology") is therefore more appropriate for my purposes than the adjective environmental because the kind of approach that I will be developing herein is one that attempts to break down the rigid distinctions that we tend to draw between ourselves and our environment. Instead of seeking to maintain these distinctions, this approach attempts to foster a greater awareness of the intimate and manifold relationships that exist between what we conventionally designate as self and what we conventionally designate as environment. (Warwick Fox, 1995)

The basic pattern of life is a network. Whenever you see life, you see networks. The whole planet, what we can term 'Gaia' is a network of processes involving feedback tubes. And the world of bacteria is critical to the details of these feedback processes, because bacteria play a crucial role in the regulation of the whole Gaian system. (Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life, New York: Anchor Books, 1996)

Organisms, ways of life, and interactions in the biosphere in general, exhibit complexity of such an astoundingly high level as to color the general outlook of ecologists. Such complexity makes thinking in terms of vast systems inevitable. It also makes for a keen, steady perception of the profound human ignorance of biospherical relationships and therefore of the effect of disturbances. (Arne Naess, Deep Ecology) http://www.mogensgallardo.com/deepeco/english/deep_ecology_arne.htm

For Rachel Carson, our ecological thoughtlessness was matched only by our lack of philosophical maturity. In the last paragraph of her book (Silent Spring), Rachel Carson concluded that,
"the 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man."
The effect of Carson's critique was to suggest to many people that what was needed first and foremost in regard to ecological problems was not bigger and better technical solutions but rather a thorough rethinking of our most fundamental attitudes concerning our place in the larger scheme of things. (Fox, Towards a Transpersonal Ecology, 1995)

Individuals do not exist in isolation, but in relationship and that individual existents are unique (and irreplaceable in the future) by virtue of the special set of relationships in which only they are (and can remain) embedded. The world is therefore seen in organismic terms rather than mechanical ones, in terms of interacting processes and fields rather than isolated things, and socially, in terms of an extended ecological community rather than in terms of essentially separate, competing individuals. (Alan Drengson, Fox, 1995)

Deep Ecology is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, the interdependence of its multiple manifestations and its cycles of change and transformation. When the concept of the human spirit is understood in this sense, its mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is truly spiritual. Indeed the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly), as well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union. (Fritjof Capra) (Fox, 1995)

Deep Ecology is concerned with the Metaphysics of Nature, and of the relation of the Self to Nature. It sets up ecology as a model for the basic metaphysical structure of the world, seeing the identities of all things- whether at the level of elementary particles, organisms, or galaxies- as logically interconnected: all things are constituted by their relations with other things ..
Applying this principle of interconnectedness to the human case, it becomes apparent that the individual denoted by “I” is not constituted merely by a body or a personal ego or consciousness. I am, of course, partially constituted by these immediate physical and mental structures, but I am also constituted by my ecological relations with the elements of my environment- relations in the image of which the structures of my body and consciousness are built. I am a holistic element of my native ecosystem, and of any wider wholes under which that ecosystem is subsumed ..
From the point of view of deep ecology, what is wrong with our culture is that it offers us an inaccurate conception of the self. It depicts the personal self as existing in competition with and in opposition to nature [We fail to realise that] if we destroy our environment, we are destroying what is in fact our larger self. (Freya Matthew) (Fox, 1995)

The main hope for changing humanity’s present course may lie … in the development of a world view drawn partly from ecological principles - in the so-called deep ecology movement. The term ‘deep ecology’ was coined in 1972 by Arne Naess to contrast with the fight against pollution and resource depletion in developed countries, which he called ‘shallow ecology’. The deep ecology movement thinks today’s human thought patterns and social organisation are inadequate to deal with the population-resource-environmental crisis – a view with which I tend to agree. I am convinced that such a quasi-religious movement, one concerned with the need to change the values that now govern much of human activity, is essential to the persistence of our civilisation. (Paul Ehrlich, p41)

... when I say that the fate of the sea turtle or the tiger or the gibbon is mine, I mean it. All that is my universe is not merely mine; it is me. And I shall defend myself. I shall defend myself not only against overt aggression but also against gratuitous insult ... (John Livingston)

Every living being is connected intimately, and from this intimacy follows the capacity of identification and as its natural consequences, practice of non-violence .. Now is the time to share with all life on our maltreated earth through the deepening identification with life forms and the greater units, the ecosystems, and Gaia, the fabulous, old planet of ours. (Arne Naess)

.. as Bertrand Russell argues in relation to Spinoza’s conception of conatus, “self-preservation alters its character when we realise that what is real and positive in us is what unites us to the whole, and not what preserves the appearance of separateness”- and, of course, in Spinoza’s metaphysics, we are united to the whole since there is ultimately only one substance; reality is a unity, which we may refer to as God or Nature.
When we realise we that we are united to the whole alienation drops away and we identify more widely with the world of which we are apart. Another way of expressing this is to say that we realise a larger sense of self; our own unfolding becomes more and more bound up with the unfolding of other entities (or, in Spinoza’s terminology, with the unfolding of the other modes of the single substance of which we are ourselves a mode.) (Fox, 1995)

For Spinoza, the highest end to which humans could aspire consists in “knowledge of the union existing between the mind and the whole of nature.” Thus, humans (one particular kind of mode) realise the truth of existence, or attain self-realisation, when they realise that they arise out of and so are united with “the whole of nature,” the single substance (or energy) that constitutes all modes of existence. (Fox, 1995)

As we discover our ecological self we will joyfully defend and interact with that with which we identify; and instead of imposing environmental ethics on people, we will naturally respect, love, honor and protect that which is our self ..
Extending awareness and receptivity with other animals and mountains and rivers encourages identification and engenders respect for and solidarity with the field of identification. This does not mean there will never be conflicts between the vital material needs of different people or between some humans and some other animals in specific situations, but it does mean that a basis for “good actions” or “right livelihood” is not based alone on abstract moralism, self-denial, or sacrifice…
We need to be reminded of our moral duties occasionally, but we change our behavior more simply with richer ends through encouragement. (Bill Devall)(Fox, 1995)

What identifies us in terms of certain cultural patterns does not exhaust the richer possibilities that each of us contains. The conception we have of ourselves as social and human beings comes to constitute an ego self, a self image, which is narrowly boundaried and defined, and which is ultimately based on a rigid array of dualisms that have their basis in a subject/object dichotomy and a human/nature antagonism..
What deep ecology directs us toward, then, is neither an environmental axiology or theory of environmental ethics nor a minor reform of existing practices. It directs us to develop our own sense of self until it becomes Self, that is, until we realise through deepening ecological sensibilities that each of us forms a union with the natural world, and that protection of the natural world is protection of ourselves. (Alan Drengson)(Fox, 1995)

In the light of the foregoing analysis, we can say that to determine what kinds of behavior are morally appropriate, we must know what we ourselves are and other beings are. In other words, ontology precedes ethics .. Deep ecologists claim that before knowing what we ought to do, we must understand who we really are. (Michael Zimmerman)(Fox, 1995)

Indeed, I consider that this shift [to an emphasis on our “capacity to identify with the larger collective of all beings” ] is essential to our survival at this point in history precisely because it can serve in lieu of morality and because moralising is ineffective. Sermons seldom hinder us from pursuing our self-interest, so we need to be a little more enlightened about what our self-interest is. It would not occur to me, for example, to exhort you to refrain from cutting off your leg. That wouldn’t occur to me or to you, because your leg is part of you. Well, so are the trees in the Amazon Basin; they are our external lungs. We are just beginning to wake up to that. We are gradually discovering that we are our world. (Joanna Macy)(Fox, 1995)

The ecosophical outlook is developed through an identification so deep that one’s own self is no longer adequately delimited by the personal ego or the organism. One experiences oneself to be a genuine part of all life .. We are not outside the rest of nature and therefore cannot do with is as we please without changing ourselves ...
Paleontology reveals .. that the development of life on earth is an integrated process, despite the steadily increasing diversity and complexity. The nature and limitation of this unity can be debated. Still, this is something basic. “Life is fundamentally one.” (Arne Naess)(Fox, 1995)

The deep ecologists analysis of the self is such that they consider that if one has a deep understanding of the way things are (i.e. if one emphatically incorporates the fact that we and all other entities are aspects of a single unfolding reality) then one will (as opposed to should) naturally be inclined to care for the unfolding of the world in all its aspects. For transpersonal ecologists, this kind of response to the fact of our interconnectedness with the world represents a natural (i.e. spontaneous) unfolding of human potentialities. Indeed, given a deep enough understanding of this fact, we can scarcely refrain from responding in this way. This is why one finds transpersonal ecologists making statements to the effect that they are more concerned with ontology or cosmology (i.e. with the general question of the way the world is) than with ethics. (Fox, 1995)

.. although the positive aspects of personally based identification are praiseworthy and fundamental to human development, the negative aspects that go with exclusive or primary reliance upon this from of identification (my self first, my family and friends next, and so on) are costing us the earth. They underlie the egoisms, attachments, and exclusivity that find personal, corporate, national and international expression in possessiveness, greed, exploitation, war and ecocide. As an antidote to these poisons, transpersonal ecologists emphasise the importance of setting personally based identification firmly within the context of ontologically and cosmically based identification - forms of identification that lead to impartial identification with all entities. In terms of politics and lifestyles, the latter, transpersonal forms of identification are expressed in actions that tend to promote symbiosis. Actions of this kind include not only actions that consist in “treading lightly” upon the earth (i.e. lifestyles of voluntary simplicity) but also actions that respectfully but resolutely attempt to alter the views and behavior of those who persist in the delusion that self-realisation lies in the direction of dominating the earth and the myriad entities with which we coexist. That the self advances and confirms the myriad things is called delusion. That the myriad things advance and confirm the self is enlightenment. (Fox, 1995)


On the Evolution of Nature & Culture
Human, Society, Ecology, Life, The Environment & Universe

'Darwinian Evolution is without metaphysical foundations. The Wave Structure of Matter explains what exists / what is evolving.' (Geoff Haselhurst on Metaphysics of Evolution, Interconnected Ecology of Matter in the Universe)
Metaphysics of Evolution: What is Matter & Life?
'Recent discoveries from Russia confirm that DNA / Genes are resonant structures which are subtly interconnected to their environment. i.e. Genetic material can be manipulated by waves with certain resonant frequencies.' (Haselhurst)
Evolutionary Biology: Wave Genetics
'I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection.' (Charles Darwin, on the Theory of Evolution)
Charles Darwin:
The Theory of Evolution
'Mans most disagreeable habits and idiosyncrasies, his deceit, his cowardice, his lack of reverence, are engendered by his incomplete adjustment to a complicated civilisation. It is the result of the conflict between our instincts and our culture.' (Sigmund Freud)
Evolution of Culture: Sociobiology & Custom
'Our brains are separate and independent enough from our genes to rebel against them ... we do so in a small way everytime we use contraception. There is no reason why we should not rebel in a large way too.' (Richard Dawkins)
Richard Dawkins: Famous Evolutionary Biologist
'History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.' (Jared Diamond, 1998)
Jared Diamond: Famous Biologist Ecologist
Hello, I am a Bilby (a cute endangered Australian animal). 'The world lives amid the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs perished 65 million years ago and most of this loss is caused by human activities.' (Worldwatch)
Endangered Animals Extinct Species List
'When we speak of Nature it is wrong to forget that we are ourselves a part of Nature. We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study trees, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.' (Henri Matisse)
Ecology: Interconnection Life, Matter & Universe
'Life is fundamentally one. ... The deep ecology movement is the ecology movement which questions deeper. ..The adjective 'deep' stresses that we ask why and how, where others do not.' (Arne Naess)
Deep Ecology: Arne Naess: Unity Life Nature
'The basic pattern of life is a network. Whenever you see life, you see networks. The whole planet, what we can term 'Gaia' is a network of processes involving feedback tubes. Humans are part of the larger whole, Gaia.' (Fritjof Capra)
Gaia: Complex Ecology of Nature, Life on Earth
'We don't know nearly enough about the complexities of Nature. If we think we can eliminate natural ecosystems and substitute prosthetic devices, i.e. clean air or water with fusion energy - we are kidding ourselves.' (E.O Wilson)
End of Nature: Climate Change Global Warming
'There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers are kings in this world ... political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.' (Plato, Republic)
Utopia Cultural Evolution Truth Reality & Society




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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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