Cultivating our Inner Ecology
The celebration of new years—calendar, lunar or otherwise—reminds us of the passing of time.
I don’t know you but to me these days, passing time makes it ever more obvious that we, humans, need to upgrade our organisation of affairs.
We can do so in many ways on a spectrum going from collective to individual action.
At the macro end of the spectrum are states and businesses. Their task is to move from a mindset of capture and protection to one of cooperation and creation.
At the other end of the spectrum is each one of us individuals.
The micro bits.
As it happens, it isn’t much easier to transform ourselves than it is to transform the governance of nations or corporations.
But here is the trick: nations and corporations are made of individuals, not the other way around.
Hence the idea that “embodying the changes we want to see in the world”—that is, transforming ourselves first—is, at least, worth exploring.
Not long ago, I discovered that the words “eclosion” (the act of emerging from the cocoon or hatching from the egg) and “exclusion” (the state of being excluded) have the same Latin origin: ex-claudere, with ex- meaning “out” and claudere meaning “to close”.
As if eclosion, the process of letting vital forces pursue their task i.e., unfolding us to the next stage of our being, bore the danger of exclusion i.e., ejecting us from the cozy cocoon we find ourselves in.
Well, yes, it does.
But then again, how cozy really is the 2023 cocoon we’ve just entered?
Maybe it is still lukewarm enough that we can let macro agents operate on our behalf. But maybe can we also help the overall process by activating the micro agent we are.
Is it time for each of us to exit our individual discomfort zone?
We can be modest: What is the one change I most want to see in the world? And we need not be shy: I may want to see a world without wars.
How can I embody, say, a world without wars?
With how many people, including society at large, and including myself, am I at war? How can I transform my relationships, how do I manage conflictual situations, without being at war with anyone?
Maybe am I not equipped.
But if I don’t learn how to do it, chances are that governments will step in, and wage all sorts of wars on my behalf.
The bet, here, is that it will work the other way around.
Can it be that, once each of us live in peace with our immediately neighboring worlds, the need for police, for army, and for other tools of organized violence, lessens?
We could call this inner ecology.
As we cultivate our inner ecology, we steward outer ecosystems with greater ease and efficiency.
I wish all of us an era of playful ecological exploration.