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Thread: [Ecodharma] ACTIVE HOPE Chapter One (part one)

  1. #1

    [Ecodharma] ACTIVE HOPE Chapter One (part one)

    In the first part of the opening chapter (p15-24), Joanna dives deeper into the three stories of Business as Usual, the Great Unravelling and the Great Turning. She asks us to look at which of the stories most accurately reflects our own lives, and where we would place the dial in terms of there being problems in human society, from 0 (no problems) to 10 (catastrophic problems).

    Joanna goes on to explain how the Great Unravelling is gathering momentum through positive feedback such as ice melting and other processes contributing to further warming. She points out how the disparity between the problems we face and the level of response demonstrates the power of Business as Usual and names the core assumptions that most of our societies live by that maintain this status quo.


    Questions

    Where do you find yourself in relation to the three stories? How has that changed over time?

    Where would you put the dial in terms of the human problems of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss and overconsumption of resources? What else concerns you?

    Where would you put the same dial in terms of the response of governments and people to the problems? Is this proportionate to the level of danger?

    How close do you think we are from overstepping the point of no return for the earth’s resilience in terms of it causing a catastrophic breakdown in human society?



    Given the importance of these questions and this work, I was thinking of posting in the Facebook Soto Zen group to invite anyone who wishes to join in this group here on Treeleaf. Does anyone have an objection to that? Would you prefer to keep it as a closed Treeleaf group at the moment?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 01-23-2023 at 10:06 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  2. #2
    hi Kokuu,

    i am very pessimistic.. i think on scale one of Joanna's problemometer i score 9 or 10; on her responseometer i score 2 or 3..

    Her in Belgium one minister of the Environment (the small country of Belgium has 4 (four!!) of them..) said: we must work on the climate, but only as far as we can effort it .

    And i think we are very close to the point of no return, sometimes i am afraid we already passed it..

    i found it difficult to answer the first five questions, but not to answer the last one: no i have no objection to share this on the Fb Soto Zen group..



    aprapti


    sat
    Last edited by aprapti; 01-23-2023 at 03:20 PM.

    hobo kore dojo / 歩々これ道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice

    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  3. #3
    Kokuu,

    Call me shy (which I am not bTW, but private) but I prefer not to be part of FB. I quit FB for several years because of great disappointment in others and then came back but keep my friends to family and those I met in person. In the past I had hundreds of FB “friends” but now just a fraction of that number. However if the group thinks it’s a good thing to do so so as to educate others so be it.

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Doshin; 01-23-2023 at 09:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Hi Kokuu

    Regarding Facebook. I donít use it and I will not sign up for it so if the conversation moves to that platform I wonít be joining you.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  5. #5
    It may be that people are misunderstanding the Facebook question. It is not about moving this forum to Facebook, but rather inviting interested Zen people to come here and join this discussion!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -satoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  6. #6
    Hi Kokuu

    Yes I did misunderstand the original question but Iíd rather keep this discussion within my TreeLeaf Sangha. If people want to join TreeLeaf to practice Zen with us thatís fine but I am not keen on seeing TreeLeaf simply become a discussion forum detached from our practice as a Sangha. There are plenty of non-TreeLeaf discussion forums


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  7. #7
    I believe I understand your point but my concern is that when they come “here” they are not familiar with our ways or guidelines. We see new people join the forum and then resist our way, often I wonder “ why are you here” for a few of them but don’t challenge their motive since this is a Sangha but in life outside of here I would. If folks are already members of Treeleaf they have time to sort out if they want to be part of the Sangha and walk the path the way the rest of us have adjusted to. Most of us in this book club have been here awhile and adjust our behavior to accommodate our community. I am hesitant about folks joining our group without experiencing and participating in the Sangha first. Maybe my concerns are exaggerated in my mind but some come from past actions.

    Doshin
    St

  8. #8
    No worries, I don't want to foist new people on the group if it is unwanted.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  9. #9
    Thank you, Kokuu.

    My problemometer needle wavers between 8 and 10. In addition to the problems you mentioned I fret about pollution and waste, human overpopulation, expansion of “factory farming” of animals, and increasing violence and disruption as people act out their anxieties. I see the responsometer at an anemic 2 to 3. It’s too slow and not enough. I live in a state considered to be very liberal. Yet it’s taken years to get a wind farm approved and built, there is little infrastructure for electric vehicles, 10 towns are trying to pilot a program to restrict fossil fuel in new construction (for which there has been much resistance and derision). Meanwhile the state of Wyoming discussed banning the sale of electric vehicles in that state.

    I probably flip around between the Great Unraveling and Business as Usual multiple times a day. I better understand why after listening to Domyo Burk’s podcast about the difficulty of sustaining an emergency mindset. I am finding it difficult to keep my everyday actions in alignment with the task at hand.

    We are very close to a point of no return, if not already there. Certainly there is no return for some species and ecosystems. What we do now could slow or mitigate what’s happening.

    Gassho,
    Naiko
    st lah

    PS- The Soto FB group seems mostly respectful and orderly. I have no issue with people who are genuinely interested participating. I would not like to see people coming to debate whether there is a climate crisis or not.

  10. #10
    I have lived the majority in my life aware of the Great Unraveling. It was apparent to me from the mid 1960s until this moment. My pessimism has grown over the decades because I see the world around me going along with Business as Usual. Yes more are aware of the growing environmental challenges but there are many who give it little thought. And there are those who say it is all a hoax. Over the last 50 years I have seen the dial get closer to 10.

    The response of governments has moved forward but the Unraveling is winning the race.

    I don’t know how close we are to a break down in human society. However as we look around the world I believe we see many examples of this happening. The poorer countries have suffered long but now climate change brings more despair.

    A perspective. I often see the phrase the “destruction of the earth”. I don’t agree the earth will be destroyed short of a SuperNova but our actions are greatly degrading it and depleting the biodiversity. Degradation of the earths ability to sustain biodiversity has happened 5 times before (the last about 66 millions years ago) but life has rebounded. However it takes 10s of millions of years. As I have implied elsewhere in the forum I think our species will be one of those who not fare well.

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Doshin; 01-24-2023 at 04:26 AM.

  11. #11
    Well if I am honest with myself I think I straddle all three stories. I live a reasonably comfortable life in Canada. I am fortunate enough to be nearing the end of a successful career and am looking forward to retirement. It’s likely not too surprising that I’d really like life to continue Business as Usual. I also read quite a bit and over the past 10 plus years have been reading more and more about the mess we’ve created. That part of me is definitely focused on the Great Unraveling. Lastly as I’ve said more than a few times during our Ecodharma discussions, I am motivated to make changes in order to preserve something for my son and for all young people, so I have been looking and making changes to my own life (The Great Turning)

    In terms of the Problemometer, it sort of depends on what I’ve read recently. I probably am in around the 7 to 9 range. On top of the problems you listed; climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss and overconsumption of resources, I am also concerned about the pollutants we’ve created; harmful chemicals, micro plastics, nuclear waste etc

    For the Responseometer, sadly I think we are at a 2 or 3. I do see signs that this is changing but too slowly and unfortunately hindered by corporate greed to stay BAU

    I really don’t know how close we are to stepping into the abyss. Too close but really any number of years is too close.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 01-25-2023 at 03:11 AM.
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  12. #12
    I'm also above 7 on the problemometer and under 3 on the responseometer.

    I think personally, I'm probably across all three stories. I recognise and get quite upset about the great unraveling but despite that there are times when I'd just like somebody else to sort it all out so I can carry on business as usual. But then I realise that probably isn't going to happen, or they aren't going to do it without pressure, and that I also need to change my behaviours so find myself part of the great turning.

    One of the issues I see is that while we are much better as being aware of the impending disaster and maybe even recognise the likely impact, we're still applying business as usual thinking and not doing much to change the underlying behaviours. We're thinking about electric cars but not that we wouldn't need to drive everywhere with better public transport or better planned living environments; we're buying organic cotton t-shirts now, but not questioning if we need another t-shirt at all; the same with food; and etc etc.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  13. #13
    Many governments and corporations have the resources to take significant action on these issues, but they have not fully committed to doing so because it may be perceived as detrimental to their short-term economic interests. Additionally, the general public may not prioritize these issues as much as other concerns, such as economic stability, and may not be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to address them.

    Furthermore, there is a lack of global cooperation and coordination on these issues which exacerbate the problem. Some countries and companies may be willing to take action, but without a unified global effort, their actions may not be enough to address the problem.

    My opinions and actions have minimal influence on people, places and things. The fact that I opine that we will self destruct regardless of my actions can be discouraging if I let it be.

    The discussion is interesting in that it foretells of bad things to come. But I am powerless to change the outcome. So I chose not to worry about it too much.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST, LAH

  14. #14
    Are you reading the book with us, Jishin? This section is specifically for book study participants.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Are you reading the book with us, Jishin? This section is specifically for book study participants.

    Gassho
    Kokuu

    Gassho, Jishin, ST, LAH

  16. #16

    [Ecodharma] ACTIVE HOPE Chapter One (part one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    In the first part of the opening chapter (p15-24), Joanna dives deeper into the three stories of Business as Usual, the Great Unravelling and the Great Turning. She asks us to look at which of the stories most accurately reflects our own lives, and where we would place the dial in terms of there being problems in human society, from 0 (no problems) to 10 (catastrophic problems).


    I rate it as a 0. If it were within my power to do something about it, then I rate it a 10.




    Gassho, Jishin, ST, LAH
    Last edited by Jishin; 01-25-2023 at 08:31 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I rate it as a 0. If it were within my power to do something about it, then I rate it a 10.




    Gassho, Jishin, ST, LAH
    Dang! I wish I knew that 50 years ago so I wouldn’t have wasted all those years I have tried making a difference.

    Doshin
    St

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    Dang! I wish I knew that 50 years ago so I wouldnít have wasted all those years I have tried making a difference.

    Doshin
    St
    Have you made a difference?

    Gassho, Jishin, ST, LAH

  19. #19
    Yes…for biodiversity. You know I was being sarcastic my friend.

    Doshin
    St

  20. #20

  21. #21
    Hello Kokuu,

    Thanks again for your effort you put into this project!


    Where do you find yourself in relation to the three stories? How has that changed over time?


    I spend most of the time in a kind of limbo between Great Unraveling and Great Turning, but also occasionally switch back to Business as Usual, I must admit.



    Where would you put the dial in terms of the human problems of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss and overconsumption of resources? What else concerns you?


    I put the dial to 7-8. What also concerns me is the way we treat animals and fellow human beings, wars and other current crises.


    Where would you put the same dial in terms of the response of governments and people to the problems? Is this proportionate to the level of danger?

    I put the dial to 3 here. Of course this is not proportionate to the level of danger we are facing.



    How close do you think we are from overstepping the point of no return for the earthís resilience in terms of it causing a catastrophic breakdown in human society?


    While nobody can answer this question for sure, I fear we might be closer to the point of no return than we want to have true. There are still too many unknown factors we are not aware of due to the complexity of various systems on this planet, but when I see things like permafrost melting, this is troubling news.
    Usually I'd consider myself to be a realistic optimist, but in this field it gets more and more difficult to stay optimistic.

    About FB:
    If the FB Soto zen group is not public (i.e. assuming they manage to keep out the usual internet trolls) I would have nothing against inviting anyone to join these discussions. We might need to establish a few "rules" though like keeping out political discussions.

    Thanks and gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  22. #22
    Thank you, Kokuu!
    Sorry to answer only now, but I wanted to read the entire Chapter before answering both Threads (and it took me a while).


    Where do you find yourself in relation to the three stories? How has that changed over time?

    Like others, I keep changing between Business as Usual and the Great Unravelling. I used to be much more optimistic, speacially in the early 2000s, when I was in Law School and saw a great advance in our legislation and in the importance International Law had to determine internal politics. With time, my optimism was crushed, and now I spend much of my time in the despair of the Great Unravelling story, with small bites of Business as Usual in between. I have areas, like meat consumption, where I found great difficulty in changing my Business as Usual mindset, and soon it returns to pessimism. As I said in another thread, if I myself cannot change, how can I have hope that others will...?


    Where would you put the dial in terms of the human problems of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss and overconsumption of resources? What else concerns you?
    I put the dial on 9-10 (Cathastrophic Problems). I made a huge list of problems I see (will share only a small part), besides the ones smentioned, like deforestation, desertification (is happening in the very humid south of Brazil, where an artificial desert has emerged), ocean and plastic pollution, loss of fresh water supplies, industrial animal farming, industrial plantations owned by a small elite (that, on top of being environmentally damaging, are also destroying the small farms of local people), indiscriminated use of pesticides (here there is a trend in allowing more and more destructive pesticides, many of which banned in other countries), consumerism in large scale, growth based economy, collapse of quality education, political use of mass media and internet for the Business as Usual, fake news and conspiracy theories dissemination, large scale corruption in the government and private companies, support of authoritarian regimes, widespread egoistic and "no change is needed" comfort mindset, etc.


    Where would you put the same dial in terms of the response of governments and people to the problems? Is this proportionate to the level of danger?
    I put it on 2-3; it is completely disproportionated. Many times, the government not only doesn't respond to the crises, but actively promoting the Unravelling of our world. People response can sometimes be better, especially in the environmental movements; but many times, it is just to keep Business as Usual.


    How close do you think we are from overstepping the point of no return for the earthís resilience in terms of it causing a catastrophic breakdown in human society?
    I'm afraid we already passed the point of no return and are witnessing the inevitable 6th Extinction together with the breakdown of our civilization. Sometimes I have a little hope, but it is usually crushed by the reality of the Unravelling.


    Gassho,
    Tai Do (Mateus)
    Satlah
    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

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