Healing and Reconciliation as the Basis for the Sustainability of Life: An Ecological Plea for a "Deep" Healing and Reconciliation (1)

Article excerpt

Abstract

The global free market has become the complex venue where all living beings in the web of life have been turned into commodities. Globalization is the accelerated global integration of capital, production and markets, and has become a code name for the transnational "corporatization" of the world. Globalization is incompatible with justice, peace and security, diverse cultural identities, socio-psychological sustainability, and ecological environmental sustainability. Globalization is a process that brings about disintegration between economy and ecology, history and nature, lifestyle and spirituality, and the local and global The impact of globalization has brought the web of life to near-total chaos, and to the point of a critical breakdown of sustainability. Put another way, globalization has led both to the impoverishment of many peoples' total life experience, and to the detrimental effects that are taking place upon the ecosystems of the "earth household" The equity and balance of the web of life based on the principle of interdependency are being totally disordered and destroyed. Therefore, the fundamental sustainability of the whole living system that makes up life on earth is now at a critical stage.

Behind the path of globalization is an anthropocentric worldview. This holds a dualistic view of humanity and nature; it believes that unlimited material progress is to be achieved through economic and technological growth at the expense of nature. An alternative to anthropocentric thinking is life-centric systemic thinking, which shifts our view of the world from the mechanistic worldview of Descartes and Newton to a holistic, ecological view. This requires us to integrate history with nature, and economy with ecology, and to do so from the perspectives of inseparable relationships, interconnectedness and contexts. Life-centric systemic thinking can only provide the in-depth foundational perception, strategy and praxis for a "deep" healing and reconciliation of the wounded and broken web of the 'earth household'.

Today, what sustainability really means should be extended to the entire web of life, on which our long-term survival depends. We need to understand the principles of organization that ecosystems have developed to sustain the web of life. We need particularly to reflect on the interdependency between humans and the earth, because the paradigms of human relationships have been intrinsically and intuitively shaped by the relationship between humans and the earth. To realize and socialize principles of sustainability, principles of ecology, principles of community, or even the basic facts of life will be the most important parts of being an ecologically conscientious human society. Healing and reconciliation is a process of restoring and empowering the ecological nature of human relationships, and, by doing so, of strengthening the sustainability of the whole living web of relationships. Only through an ecologically conscientious human society can the proper relationship be re-established between economy and ecology, between history and nature, between life style and spirituality, and between the global and local in which all truly participate in the manifestation of God's life-creating love that desires the fullness of life for all.

A life-centric systemic perception of history with nature

As the new century moves with apocalyptic uncertainty down the path of globalization, the concerns for the sustainability of the 'earth household' itself have become of paramount importance. We are heed with a whole series of global-local problems that are harming both the biosphere and human life in alarming ways. This process may soon become irreversible. We may be the last generation of humanity to have the opportunity to avert ecological collapse and irreparable damage to the systems that sustain complex life on earth. "We are sawing off the branch that we are sitting on" (Paul Ehrlich), and, "It is as if the brain were to decide that it is the most important organ in the body and started mining the liver. …