What is a Culture of Sustainability?
"To achieve sustainability world-wide, a critical theme is Sustainable Culture. It is increasingly clear that with Culture of Sustainability, with an omnipresent paradigm of values cohered by principles of sustainability, and only with that, will human civilization thrive on this Earth. Moving to this new requisite cultural form will require a shift, an evolution of human culture."1
Sustainability is a state of organization, at any particular level, that ensures, without discontinuity, an opportunity for evolution, not just now, but well into the future.
This definition gets around very legitimate concerns about how "sustainability" may be mistakenly considered to be the equivalent of "stasis." Evolution is essential for sustainability to be possible well into the future. Sustainability can be considered at a number of different levels, including the individual, a community, an organization, or a planet.
SUSTAINABILITY IN OUR TIME
As at any other time in Human history each of us face spiritual challenges. Collectively, perhaps the stakes are greater, as we see ocean fisheries plummet, arctic ice melt and all the other indicators of profound environmental change. Some fret about the 'axis of evil' while others lament political corruption at the highest level. Yet our ability to worry about greater scale phenomena, with high degrees of precision and detailed information is an indicator of another aspect of our world, of this time. For those of us doing the worrying about 'big stuff', individual survival is for the most part much less of an issue than ever before. Humanity is actually in a special time, a time when more attention can be directed to more fundamental topics. Perhaps never before has such a large part of the population been able to turn to basic spiritual questions. As the oldest cultural understandings of spiritual truth are now coming to the new world, and yoga workshops proliferate to the mainstream of the new world, we thus turn to the basic spiritual question:
FEAR OR LOVE
Fear and attachment are a mind-based contraction response to challenging situations, to challenging times. Love, acceptance and surrender are the path to personal and societal evolution. It is with Love and compassion that the myth of the "End-time" can be met directly, with a firm resolve to meet our highest potential. This is the core of the subject of sustainability. It is nothing more, or less, than a fundamental spiritual question. Each of us must face it squarely - there is no other way.
For each of us to heal we must face those personal habits that sap our well-being. Addictions to substance, poor life schedule, negative thought patterns - each of us must learn to breathe into relaxation and surrender, to witness the madness of our minds, and let it all go - and then embrace the divine potentiality we all hold. Each life is priceless beyond measure; each blade of grass is precious.
To surrender incarnation while possibly under a misunderstanding about the true nature of spiritual reality is nothing short of personal tragedy.
To surrender the quality of our world because of some misunderstanding based on religious dogma and belief in some end time, or some other idea is nothing short of planetary tragedy.
If you're not sure, then why would you take a foolish risk? If you're not sure, then why would you buy into some mass delusion that depletes the quality of existence here?
Why would you dump poisons on your lawn, accept contaminated food or nuclear technology, or bandying about the term 'war' as a pretext for action?
War is a horrible thing and is no reason for any action. Wars on drugs or terrorism or any other concept or object we don't like are doomed to fail. The fear based reaction of 'going to war' is manifesting the shadow of our fear directly into our actions, and the failure is built in from the very beginning. Going to war on weeds with pernicious poisons, trying to kill off plants which are in fact medicine is thus seen as an approach based in a primitive pattern of thinking. Hence the world and our noosphere are allowed to be contaminated.
We don't have to accept this way. Not in our personal lives, not in our families, not in our communities, our forests, our oceans. It is a personal choice, a spiritual decision, a spiritual practice, another way of using the mind. And there is a call to engagement, not from the reactionary activist place of the green vMeme, but from a more considered position, one that selects battles carefully, and also accepts the world as it is, from a place of engaged compassion. Conscious choice will take us there; to a Sustainable Culture mindset, and thus ultimately to a saner world. This is a battle that will be won one consciousness at a time. Individually we win our spiritual freedom. Collectively we will birth the new enlightened society.
- Love and Light - VARADAAN