Satish Kumar has been the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures around the world. He is editor-in-chief of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine and co-founder of Schumacher College, UK Satish is also on the panel of advisors of Bhoomi College.
This article, featured in the March/April 2007
Resurgence & Ecologist (Resurgence at the time) is reprinted courtesy of the Resurgence Trust.
Visit http://www.resurgence.org for more
A new, updated edition of Satish Kumar’s book No Destination: Autobiography of a Pilgrim has recently been published by Green Books. It is available in the Resurgence online shop.
For Satish Kumar, friendship is the organising principle of life.
Eco Spiritual leader Satish Kumar spells out a much needed philosophy of joy and caring for nature and humans in times when gloom and doom stories are rife in the world today.
...life is sacred. And through gratitude to life we are enchanted and inspired and happy. Caring for the Earth community, which includes the human community, is a matter of joy, and not a matter of compulsion. Ecology or environmentalism is a way of life, not a way of crisis management.
We are not in the Anthropocene Epoch, but entering into the Ecozoic Era.
Optimism empowers, whilst pessimism disempowers says eco-spiritual leader, Satish Kumar.
History speaks of this fact very clearly. Behind every great transformation a band of committed and active optimists worked day and night to realise their vision of a new social order. And in the end their once radical and marginal movements became mainstream realities.
Chemicals have played a major role in building the modern world. They have also played a major role in trashing the Earth and humans, especially the youngest and the poorest. So this quarter, Eternal Bhoomi focuses on a complex issue: balancing the use of chemicals with personal and planetary well-being.
Wellbeing means rejecting the illusory, consumerist notions of limitless growth.
Much conventional economics is focused on market based competition, money and profit – all predicated on the illusory notion of limitless economic growth. The results, in too many cases, are inequality and social conflicts, environmental degradation, and even wars.
We all know right from wrong and so what we must do now is as simple as doing the right thing. Caring for our environment is a moral imperative. At the moment everybody’s mind seems to be more exercised by the imperative of economic growth. Policy makers, politicians of every colour and journalists of almost all newspapers appear to be obsessed with economic growth.
Recently I was talking with Kay Dunbar, the founder of Ways with Words, a literary festival which takes place every year at Dartington, UK. Kay said, “In urban and industrial civilisations people are increasingly losing Eco-intelligence.” The moment I heard the word ‘Eco-intelligence’ it rang a bell. I realised that the article by Paul Stamets, ‘Mushroom Magic’, is exactly about that: mushrooms are intelligent. So are trees, rivers, oceans, animals and all the creatures of the Earth. We belong to a living Earth in an intelligent universe. Intelligence is not a human monopoly.
Big problems are consequences of small actions. Global warming and food insecurity are big problems but they are a result of the small activities we perform every day. Conversely, the big solutions are also rooted in small actions; if we shop, move, eat, drink, work and live our everyday life with disregard to the integrity of the Earth community, we are bound to destabilise the finely balanced harmony of our home planet. On the other hand, if we perform everyday actions carefully and mindfully, we contribute to the wellbeing of our entire ecosystem.