What can I do?
What can I do about the urgent problems in the environment like climate change, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, loss of rainforests, depletion of fish stocks... ? There must be somethine I can do to help?
"Doing" was what mankind was so good at in the Industrial Age, say from roughly the mid 18th century to the Atomic Age of the mid 20th century. During these 200 years Western European man built, colonised, exploited, appropriated, expanded around the planet ignoring indiginous people, grew wealthy while those colonised starved, drained countries like Burma of their wealth, for he was forever doing.
Now we see the consequences of all that 'doing' rising up before us in the early 3rd millennium. All that unilteral 'doing' and exploitation with no thought or awareness of how this would impact upon a great, unified, living system which is our home. There has never been such lack of balance in all spheres of environmental, social and economic life.
So the first thing to understand is that it is no longer doing which is important. Increasingly what is needed is being and awareness of being. You ask about all the serious problems in your question but for a moment take a deep breath and just become aware that you are existing. Right here, right now what is the problem?
We forgot that we are human beings and that our very existence, our life is paramount and comes before anything else. We have forgotten how to be, to be quiet and still, to be open to listening carefully and deeply. All day long we crowd being out of awareness with constant attention to thinking and doing then we come home and seek distraction in television, again denying our awareness attention to just being.
Buddha said "Everything is done, yet there is no doer thereof." A farmer said, "Spring comes and grass just grows by itself." Albert Einstein said, " I don't do anything to make the peaches grow." So just take a break from wanting to do something and start to become aware of your very being, the very life which permits you to exist. Sit quietly without distraction and just start to notice ... that you are breathing, that your heart continues to beat, your blood to circulate, your cells continue to divide and renew.
Let us try to explain. As we become aware that nothing is separate, that everything is profoundly inter-related and inter-dependant then we see that these distasters are not something accidently happening to us. We, individually and collectively create our reality. But because this is all unconscious we just don't notice and we think that things happen to us. This is not the case because actually, we create them.
Image waking up in the morning and thinking all the time "I'm going to have an accident." What do you imagine will happen? Of course you will create an accident just as the magnet will attract metal. Looked at this way it appears ridiculous but actually that's what unconsciousness is doing all the time. It is repressing pain, injury and reaction. It holds in it's shadow all the rejected experiences of our life. It is riddled with fear and insecurity at a collective level. And it is governed by greed and a desire for power. This latter desire is the strongest single motivation of mankind on the plantet today. Most people desire, whether they admit it or not, power or money which is the same thing.
Psychologically those who are arrogant and desirious of power are deeply and unconsciously insecure. A healthy person doesn't want power, it is just not interesting. Why would one want power which always means power over other?
So the world right now is governed and run by mostly men who desire and strive for power. Men who are ambitious and quite prepared to deny the whole in order to satisfy their individual cravings for power/money/sex. And this trickles down all the way to those wanting a bigger house, a higher income, more influence, status in the local club or organisation. It is all the same desire and it is full of doing.
If you really want to help yourself, mankind, the living earth (environment to which you are structurally coupled) then stop doing and begin being. Being aware a little more each day. While washing the dishes being aware of that task and not thinking of the discussion you had earlier. When taking a shower, being aware of the water and not giving attention to thoughts of what your boy/girl-friend said. When driving being aware that you are breathing and not becoming lost in thought so that you arrive and wonder "how did I get here?" When walking being attentive of the footfall, the rhythm of the body, the air on the skin and allowing all that is seen to be without commentary. Each day practice awareness of this, now moment. And from the learn page begin to set aside a period each day of quiet and stillness in which to practice allowing thoughts to come and go of themselves.
Those who strive in constant doing are contributing to the apparent global probematique; those who are becoming aware of their very being are providing the greatest help. You know the rain-maker didn't mess with the clouds, he came and resolved conflict within the tribe. Remember we are intimately connected to the whole and when we (humans) are out of sorts then we disturb other elements of the system. When the tribe's tensions and conflicts were resolved the tribe naturally became harmonious again with the whole and so the rain would come.
It is not easy to realise that it is us who are creating floods, fire-storms, droughts and all the so called natural calamaties (which will increase in the immediate future) but that is the truth. And until we collectively awaken to that relationship we and the environment will suffer. Imagine the man who never gives to his home. He simply comes back from work and uses everything, mindlesslessly. It's not hard to see that before long his family and his home will be an unhappy mess, full of tension and discord. Yet that is how we have behaved with our home, our earthly environment.
So start being, right now, stop and just notice.
When a critical mass of mankind is aware of being again and practicing acceptance then they will again begin to harmonise with all the vibrating patterns of energy which appear to us as the natural world. Just like an orchestra. When dissonance is gone and attunement returns then the whole is restored and the whole creates a beauty which moves and uplifts us.
Just notice your connectedness to rain, the the breeze, to the sun's warmth (notice what happens if the sun disappears for a week or more), to the air you breath, to the water which comprises the large part of every cell in your body, to the food you injest which has come directly from the earth. Start to notice and practive avoidance of commentary. You do not have to describe and comment on what you see, just see it. Like wise with what your hear, just hear it without comment.
This is how we will realise that we are already in Eden. And this is how the living systems of the earth will again be able to return to harmony and balance. When you stop splashing the surface of the water it becomes still and reflects clearly. That is all that is required, stillness reflecting our living, present, being.
In ancient Sanscrit there is a saying, "Sat, Chit, Ananda" which means, "Being, Consciousness, Bliss". In other words become conscious of your being and you will automatically know bliss.