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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:34 PM

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh: only love can save us from climate change

Leading spiritual teacher warns that if people cannot save themselves from their own suffering, how can they be expected to worry about the plight of Mother Earth

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world's leading spiritual teachers, is a man at great peace even as he predicts the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change.

The 86-year-old Vietnamese monk, who has hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, believes the reason most people are not responding to the threat of global warming, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, is that they are unable to save themselves from their own personal suffering, never mind worry about the plight of Mother Earth.

Thay, as he is known, says it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed.

By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth.


MORE...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/zen-master-thich-nhat-hanh-love-climate-change

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Reply Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh: only love can save us from climate change (Original post)
ProfessionalLeftist Jan 2013 OP
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #1
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #2
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #4
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #6
Glimmer of Hope Jan 2013 #3
leftstreet Jan 2013 #5
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #7
leftstreet Jan 2013 #8
Ron Green Jan 2013 #9
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #10
n2doc Jan 2013 #11
Orrex Jan 2013 #12
davidthegnome Jan 2013 #13
Orrex Jan 2013 #15
ananda Jan 2013 #14
nachosgrande Jan 2013 #16
ProfessionalLeftist Jan 2013 #17

Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:01 PM

1. Thanks!

 

I think that we are all missing the "spiritual" element that may be required to address/handle (or persevere through) this crisis. While Im not religious, I recognize much of what is being said by him.

Organized religion spent thousands of years cultivating mankind's euphoric reaction to the universe's natural beauty and wonder as a tool employed in the service of civilization; science has spent a good deal of time berating these childish fantasies and invalidating all such feelings while further stretching the boundaries of civilization in its own way. In essence, a human culture has now evolved completely alienated from their natural feelings and perceptions of reality; we fill the void with techno-toys to keep us busy and lengthy hours of toil at our pointless careers (which simply contribute to environmental degradation). We have a 10 thousand year track record of either believing we own nature--being separate from it--or that exploiting it in the name of "progress" is an a priori good on the road towards utopia. But these are all false narratives we can only cling to in an isolated system divorced from the life and energy in the universe.

But where do we go from here? We have a near perfectly evolved system that distracts its hollowed slaves with "spiritual" replacements to reinforce its ever growing structure. How can we wake people up to what is around them and to what they are missing and to the truth of their lifestyles? How can people be open to ideas that their false narrative completely invalidates? And how can we do it immediately?

We probably cannot, but that is simply how things go

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:29 PM

2. Probably cannot

What we can do is try to limit the suffering.

Martin Luther King once said something like this: Even knew I that the world ends tomorrow, today, I'd still plant a tree.

Man that guy was something.... Thanks MLK, for your sacrifice.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:34 PM

4. Yes, and we can also contribute to the "next"

 

As this man stated in the article, its like pouring your tea into another cup over and over. Life will carry on, and maybe something "better" will come. Our impact will carry on past us, tangibly, onto something else (that may be a human society or otherwise). Even as we march toward famine and collapse, its not the end, but only the end of our individual incarnation of energy & matter.

Unfortunately, governments cannot yet be moved to think about what they must do to minimize such suffering along the transition. Most action seems like it will be local in this regard, as the world economy plunges ahead.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:47 PM

6. Nothing but local can last

Forests, made up from trees planted once upon a time, became oasis for this civilization. Then was invented the chainsaw.

People get ready, for the change is coming.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:33 PM

3. I love Thay!

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:38 PM

5. What a bunch of crap

People ARE loving. They're kind, generous, and caring

But rich oligarchs are still polluting the planet in search of ever more PROFIT

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:53 PM

7. Yes, its the evil bad guys

 

Its not your car, your house, your farmed foods, your electricity, your iPad, your internet, your Twitter, your job, your ~25 tons of CO2 a year

Its the evil bad guys

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:07 PM

8. Yeah, blame the working classes. Nice n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:11 PM

9. It's not the fault of the working classes,

it's the fault of the non-thinking classes.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:18 PM

10. I blame industrial civilization

 

It creates the drive for surplus (and was created from it), the disparity, the poisoned & helpless citizens that cling to it and the powerful operators that drive its growth. But all of its products (including those alienated, emasculated workers as well) reinforce its nature, contributing further to its growth and the degradation of our ecosystem. If we cannot recognize the system, we cannot hope to reconstruct a replacement.

But to blame the operators and benefactors of surplus neglects to understand the system and the impacts of growth & consumption. As long as the system continues to grow on energy (even if it can do so benevolently, without profit), it will continue to eat the earth. Our Story prevents us from seeing this, absolves us of guilt, and assures us we can continue our ostentatious lifestyles until social or technological changes magically (after 10K years) make the exploitation numbers work in our favor. This is myth. Its simply a story, and it is one that needs to end if we are to create a new story.

The fact of the matter is that as long as you play the game (which grows the game), it doesn't matter what your role is; the rules dictate your contribution with perpetuate the game and reinforce it. You must step outside of the game to eliminate your contribution to it.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:25 PM

11. Love is what got us in this problem in the first place

7+ billion humans, that is. And their love of convenience, of modern appliances, of cars, big houses, A/C, war, religion, and on and on. Maybe if everyone lived like a monk...but love ain't nothing but sex misspelled (Harlan Ellison)

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:47 PM

12. There's nothing you can know that isn't known

Nothing you can see that isn't shown.

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.

It's easy.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:07 PM

13. That would make life rather pointless.

Searching for the showing and the knowing is half the fun of life. I find your philosophy incredibly boring.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:20 PM

15. LOL

Whoosh.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:09 PM

14. Beautiful thinking!

Thank you!

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:33 PM

16. Thich Nhat Hanh is a treasure

I encourage everyone to take a trip out to Deer Park in Escondido if they ever get the chance. A weekend at Deer Park is a paradigm altering experience.

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Response to nachosgrande (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:52 PM

17. I agree. You can follow him on twitter:


@thichnhathanh

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