Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Truth is ONE

I read an article about Dr. David Suzuki in the NYT today. Being a novice to a lot of things related to the environmental movement ("a tender green" if you will...), I had never come across his name or work. It's amazingly inspiring! Another accompanying article, [may require free registration to NYT] about 10 steps recommended by Dr. Suzuki for reducing our ecological footprint is also good. My curiosity was aroused enough to go and check out the website of ::David Suzuki Foundation. It is a nice website with a lot of information. One thing I found particularly interesting is "::The declaration of interdependence".

I read a lot of Zen philosophy in the last couple of months. I noticed that the declaration of interdependence has a lot of similarities with zen teachings, especially those of ::Thich Nhat Hanh. The ::5 mindfulness trainings of Thich Nhat Hanh summarize the zen ethics derived from the principle of interdependence or 'inter-being' as Nhat Hanh puts it.

The declaration is also very similar to the ethics of ::deep ecology. I am not sure if Dr. Suzuki based it on the ::principles of deep ecology, but deep ecology has very strong connections with the environmental movement. So there may be some relation there.

It also reminded me of the following quote attributed to Chief Seattle:
This we know: All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.
I came across this quote while reading the book "The Web of Life" by Fritjof Capra. This quote also talks about the same basic idea: the deep interdependence of all things living and non-living.

Isn't it wonderful how different people: a biologist, a Buddhist monk and a native American leader, all basically talking about the same idea, basically discovering the same "platonic truth". A Sanskrit hymn goes:
एकम् सत्।
विप्रा बहुदा वदन्ती॥
which translates roughly as, "The truth is one. The wise address it with different names". These different statements about "interdependence" are a glaring proof.

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