The third, mental ecology, is also called profound ecology, maintaining
that the causes for the deficit of the Earth are not found only
in the type of society that we actually have, but also the type
of mentality that invigorates us. Its roots reach from former epics
into our modern history, including the depth of our personal and
archetypal conscious and sub-conscious human psyche.
Within us there are instincts of violence, desires
to dominate, and shadowy archetypes that distance us from benevolence
in relation to life and nature. There within the human mind are
initiated the mechanisms that lead us to war against the Earth.
They express themselves categorically as our anthropocentric culture.
Anthropocentrism considers the human to be ruler of the universe.
It holds that all other beings only have value when ordered by human
beings; they are there for their good pleasure. This structure breaks
with the most universal law of the universe: cosmic solidarity.
All beings are interdependent and live within a very intricate web
of relationships. All are important.
There is no need for anyone to be the ruler
and to consider oneself independent, without needing others. Modern
cosmology teaches us that everything is related to everything else
at all times, in all circumstances. Humans forget this reality.
They distance themselves and place themselves above things rather
than feeling one with them in an immense planetary and cosmic community.
It is important that we recuperate attitudes of respect and adoration
for the Earth.
This is only possible if the feminine dimension
of men and women is recaptured. Through the feminine humans open
themselves to caring, becoming sensitive to the profound mystery
of life and recuperating the capacity for awe. The feminine helps
to recapture the sacred dimension. The sacred places limits on the
manipulation of the world because it gives origin to adoration and
respect, fundamentals for the protection of the Earth. It creates
a capacity to reconnect all things with their creative source, which
is the Creator and Originator of the universe. From this reconnecting
capacity spring all the religions. Today we need to revitalize the
religions so that they can fulfill their religious functions.
- Berry, T., Dream of the Earth,
Sierra Club Books, San Francisco 1988.
- Boff, L., A nova era: a civilização planetária,
Atica, S.Paulo 1995.
- Boff, L., “Eco-Spirituality: Feeling, Loving, and Thinking
as Earth” in Ecology: cry of the Earth, cry of the poor,
Orbis Books, New York 1997.
- Lutzenberger, J., Gaia, o planeta vivo (por um caminho suave),
L&PM 1990, Porto Alegre 1990.
- Prigogine, I. & Stengers, I., La Nouvelle Alliance. Les
metamorphoses de la Science, Gallimard, Paris 1971.
- Sagan, C., Pale blue dot, a vision of the human future in
space, Random House, New York 1994.
- Unger, N.M., Encantamento do humano: ecologia e espiritualidade,
Loyola, S.Paulo 1997.
- Zohar, D. & Dr. Ian Marshall, SQ, Spiritual Intelligence,
Bloomsbury, London 2000.