This post is the second in the little series about my research on solving the ecological crisis. In the previous post I wrote about the first conclusion of my research. That conclusion was that people would have to live in local ecological communities in order to solve the ecological crisis. That would be the way of sustainable living. This post is about the second conclusion: the importance of a common worldview and value system in eco-communities.
So, it is also important that members of these communities share a common value system and worldview. However it is not only important to have a shared value system and worldview. It is also necessary that it contain a conception about the transcendence. That element of the worldview can be the basis of an essential idea in the value system. That idea is that happiness does not lie in the accumulation of material goods and pleasures. Instead it lies in the attainment of a higher, transcendental goal.
The general elements in an ecological worldview and value system
The higher purpose basically stems from the view that individual human beings and communities are inseparable from nature, or if we take a further step, from the transcendent. They are organic parts of it, just as cells are parts of the body. Cells play their role in the body. They are subsystems in a larger system. Similarly individuals and human communities must keep in mind the state of their environment. Since the environment is the larger system in which they live. They need to work together with each other and their environment in order for them and the future generations to live a balanced life and for their environment to survive in the long run.
This systemic approach is essential for communities so that they can have a sustainable attitude towards their environment. That attitude means that they produce only the necessary quality and quantity of goods from natural resources and not more. And just as they take into account the capabilities and limits of the natural resources available to them, the capabilities and needs of members of the community need to be kept in mind. This means that everyone in the community should do the work they are naturally attracted to.
The universal presence of the principles
These principles of the ecological worldview and value system can be found in the scientific literature about sustainability and resilience. One overarching example is the Gaia-theory. But they occur not only there, but they are there also in the anthropological descriptions about traditional societies. In most of the cases indigenous people had some kind of a natural ecological knowledge. Moreover we can discover them in the scriptures of different religions, for example in the ancient Vedic scripture, Bhāgavata Purāṇa. According to the scriptures, these principles originate from God. Actually they are the laws of nature, like gravity and other physical laws and cannot be ignored. Otherwise we get unexpected results, like an ecological crisis.