John Seed on Deep Ecological Identity/98
What could our reality look like if we had not grown up in a society so deeply committed to an anthropocentric understanding of cosmos and planet? What would it mean to no longer identify as “the spider in the center, but as a single strand in the spider’s web?” These questions engage our imagination to think beyond what we know and envision a future that is both deeply connected and full of gratitude. Yet mere awareness of this possibility or awareness of the possibility of biological collapse has proven to be insufficient. We know the changes we face, we read the news, we have all the data and statistics to confirm a changing climate or the perils of resource extraction and loss of biodiversity. Yes, we are aware, yet we remain disempowered and continue to engage in the habits causing detriment to what extends beyond our very skin. This week’s guest, John Seed, reminds us that to move forward we cannot simply know, we must honor and engage with our deepest emotions in order to radically change the reality we are living in.
John Seed is the founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia, which has engaged in the protection of rainforests worldwide. Since 1979, he has been involved in direct actions, which have resulted in the protection of the Australian rainforests. He has since created numerous projects protecting rainforests throughout South America, Asia, and the Pacific. In addition, he is an accomplished songwriter, filmmaker, and author, writing and lecturing extensively on deep ecology and conducting re-Earthing workshops for the past 25 years. John co-authored “Thinking Like a Mountain – Towards a Council of All Beings” with Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, and Arne Naess. His most recent project with the Rainforest Information Centre focuses on the protection of Ecuador’s rainforests in the Los Cedros Biological Reserve.
Join us as Ayana and John explore topics of ecological identity, embodied wisdom, moving beyond the individual, the tenets of Deep Ecology, and the Rainforest Information Centre’s recent work in Ecuador with the Los Cedros Biological Reserve.
Now is the time to confront the illusions of separation we have held on to for so long. For those of us who are longing to deeply connect with Earth, we need only to begin by connecting with ourselves.
Music by Y La Bamba
In lieu of a traditional Action Point for this week, we take this moment to reflect on Thich Nhat Hanh’s guidance:
“If we want to continue to enjoy our rivers – to swim in them, walk beside them, even drink their water – we have to adopt the non-dual perspective. We have to meditate on being the river so that we can experience, within ourselves, the fears and hopes of the river. If we cannot feel the rivers, the mountains, the air, the animals, and other people from within their own perspective, the rivers will die and we will lose our chance for peace.” – from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh