I shifted to a new city recently. I am beginning to come to terms with the antagonism which revels in me versus parasitical urban denizens. How can I internalize this bitterness to redesign my lifestyle to lead an earth-friendly life rather than letting it dissipate in reactive negativity against my fellow city-dwellers? How can I lovingly embrace the little green efforts made by millions who are oblivious to the urgency of the ecological crisis, while remaining fully aware of the momentous work to change our unsustainable modes of living? How can I personalize the ecological crisis to see it clearly arising out of the perceived disconnect between myself and the environment?
As a blogger who is passionate about the World Wide Web among other things, I am also eager to share my enthusiasm about the networked world we are beginning to inhabit, and how its innate wiredness can help us appreciate, wily-nily, the web of life and the power of local communities. I am also very much eager to connect with like-minded individuals who share my passion.
I am traveling to Himalayas for the first time to find answers to these personal questions by participating in the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change retreat from Sept 6th - 11th in Rishikesh. This retreat is organized by the Global Peace Initiatives of Women. and PurnaVidya Trust.
As the concept paper puts it lucidly,
Climate change is more than a political, scientific and economic matter. It is a reflection of the spiritual and moral crisis that has gripped the global community. It is a result of the increasing commodification of earth’s resources – where water, forests, minerals and lands have become commodities to increase the wealth of a few, rather than resources to nurture life and enhance the well being of the community. A new relationship with the natural world is essential and a new way of understanding prosperity, where wealth is measured in terms of wellbeing and happiness, the degree of dignity afforded by a society, the degree to which compassion and beauty are valued, as well as material development and growth.
One wise soul recently pointed to me that the word 'corruption' has the same root as the word ‘rupture’. Its opposite, 'integrity' comes from integer, unbroken, whole. If we are inwardly broken up, aren’t we corrupt? Is the environmental crisis then an outer manifestation of the inner corruption which existed ever since ‘I’ and environment were fragmented? Does ‘environment’ really exist apart from us?
Lost in the din of the clarion calls to protect the environment, we shy away from introspecting the relationship we have with ourselves and the environment. What’s even worse is we are exacerbating the crisis by creating further conflict between the environmentalists and everyone else. How do we bring an all-inclusive, gradual, paradigm shift from the human centric view we are conditioned to operate in our daily affairs?
I shall share my discussions and interactions in this blog. Among several agendas lined up at the event, I am eagerly looking forward to meet renowned scientist & environmental leader, Dr. Vandana Shiva. I am quite enthusiastic to connect with Nithya Shanti, who was also kind enough to recommend my name to the organizers. I am also eager to connect with several young environmentalists across Asia who would be taking part in this retreat.
I look forward to having meaningful conversations there and sharing it with everyone in my blog.