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… or really ANYone who “thinks about those things” 🙂

This post is a response to a comment about Ecosonance’s motto “Ecological thinking is about harmonizing all Existence.”

Is “harmonizing” the same as “normalizing,” in the sense of bending someone (more or less forcefully) to the dominant standard (of values, behavior, etc.) This is precisely what it is not.  On the contrary, it is about conscious, purposeful attunement, listening if you will, to Self, other Humans, other Biotics and Abiotics. It is about a consciousness shift that would be reflected in Castoriadian-Codian social (epistemic) imaginaries, and would ultimately influence conscious action.

Ecosonance, to the extent that it is a discursive enterprise, not only the object thereof, is about searching for ways to help effect (NOT effect directly, which history shows us does not happen on the required scale) the consciousness shift in question. In other words, activate (through conscious effort) conscious and ultimately non-conscious, likely much more influential, processes.

If I may, a medical metaphor would illustrate the point more or less accurately: rather than performing emergency surgeries (as best one can, and oftentimes worse), the ecosonic thinker is looking for and applying preventive treatments.

My belief is they can do good as well as taste and feel good. Try and let me know 🙂

Granted, at this point in history, social ills may be advanced enough to require ER action, at times hurtful for both (all) sides/parties involved, with no guarantee whatsoever for a felicitous outcome. However, awareness is nowadays moving away from e.g. “Western” medicine, where a dentist is trained to wait for caries to develop in order to start “treating” a tooth, (see recent CBC Radio feature on the subject—preventive caries treatment underway). It is turning to preventive negotiations with our bodies and their environment, where healthy eating,  a.o.t. (that we all know about but tend to neglect), takes care of strengthening the immune system. Analogous processes may be underway, per Jeremy Rifkin’s The Empathic Civilization (2009), at the interface of human and economy/industry, human and environment, hopefully (strike that, “spheres” are ecologically connected, so: certainly) human and human as well.

After all, prosecuting-only may not be more effective, or faster, in rectifynig social ills (moreover without scars or long-term wounds!) than understanding/healing.

So: the philosopher/thinking human (and even more importantly the acting human) as “Understander”–Is there a language where that noun is less awkward? Or shall we co-opt “Ecosonar”?

Gary Olson’s article Jeremy Rifkin’s The Empathic Civilization and P.W. Singer’s Wired for War, Znet, February 9, 2010. For the past few years Dr Olson, chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, has been writing on the political implications of recent neuroscience research findings on empathy. His articles have recently appeared in Identity Theory, Neuropolitics, Dissident Voice, Baltimore Chronicle, Common Dreams, Znet, ZMag, and Black Commentator.  [edited bio blurb from the Teach Empathy blog]

NOTE to self: look into neuroscience research on empathy


September 2011


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