Environment of the Self

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: Philosophy, Science, Spirituality |

I and thousands of others took up the challenge to write about the environment on Blog Action Day. I read lots of uplifting, inspiring, and a few complaining posts, and during the day I began to notice that most of us see “The Environment” as something outside ourselves. Now that the official day has come and gone, I find myself reexamining the word, the concept, and the deeper meaning of Environment from a holographic perspective.

I’ll start first with the definition I used for the original action day (Oct.15): “the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded“.

There are lots of other definitions, but the word “surrounded” would seem to indicate separation. I don’t think it does, though. We are surrounded by air, but is the air separate from that in our lungs? We are surrounded by earth (minerals) but we are in fact made of them. It is accepted that our bodies are mostly water. So, where do “I” end and the “environment” begin?

This may sound at first like “merely” a metaphysical question, but, from the examples above, it is clearly physical, too.

So, the environment starts with ourselves. If we are “right” with ourselves, I believe, we will naturally gravitate towards wanting a beautiful, fertile place to live. We will want abundant resources for everyone. We will want to live lightly and peacefully upon our lovely planet.

I, like many, look around me and don’t always see these things in manifest reality. The only, basic, reason I can see pollution, for instance, or limited resources, or overpopulation, is that these things exist in some form in my own mind. When I speak of “cleaning up the environment”, for me, anyway, I must start with the environment I hold in mind. That’s where there is a “mental equivalent” for pollution, or limited resources, or overpopulation.

While I sincerely believe that it would be helpful if we would all look to our belief systems for the answers to outer events, it’s not my work to decide what is right for others. It IS my work, (and and I am thankful I have some tools I’m using to whittle away the old, out-of-fashion, used-up beliefs), to “clean up” my own mind. It’s only then, from a cleaner perspective, that I can go ahead and attempt to aid the world around me.

Or perhaps, if there is another environmental blogging day, next time I’ll have nothing “bad” to report. Peace, shalom, salaam.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

13 Responses to “Environment of the Self”

RSS Feed for MusEditions Comments RSS Feed

I considered something like this for my B-A-D post, but a metaphysical post would have been too out of character. I then considered the graphically physical approach – pointing out that we come from the environment, live through it and return to it. I had some disturbing visual imagery in mind, but again that would have been too out of character for my blog persona (but not my real self).

In the end, I took the easy option and indulged in my usual “rage against the machine”.

So, it was quite pleasant to come here and find you’ve put the person into the environment and vice versa. Nice one.

Interesting you also make this connection (or rather continuation) between self and environment. It’s what I blogged on too…

The idea of being ‘surrounded’ by environment is interesting terminology. Could be a perspective still within us from early monotheism, where Creation holds we, and God, are separate to nature?
Indeed, I’d hold this form of thinking could have a lot to do with our environmental problems. To be ‘separate’ is not to be fully involvded.

What a wonderful way of thinking about it. Much better then what I wrote. lol. THat’s so true though. When we all view ourselves as part of everything else, the way we use our planet and each other will change. That connection is what we’ve lost….and YOU are helping us find it. Thanks.

Stonehead, how very kind of you to say this. It interests me greatly that you say a particular approach is out of character for your blog, but not your real self. Another insight into a blogging buddy…and gives me an idea for a post! Many thanks.

Robin, thank you for finding me. I took a look at your post, and would recommend that others do so. I will comment more there, but I must say your photos are stunning and I admire your commitment to sustainable Batik.

Anthony, I hadn’t thought it through to that extent: “separation” as a holdover from monotheistic religion. I think you’re spot on there, as we’ve learned that many indigenous cultures don’t see the “self” ending where their skin meets the air, so to speak. As always, your insight contributes greatly to my well-being. Thank you.

Felipe, I don’t know about it being “much better” than what you wrote! It took me two days to get to how I really feel about this 🙂 . One of the great delights for me in blogging is the exploration of ideas we engage in here, and I very much benefit from yours. Cheers!

I suspect that a short film documenting your mental “clean-up” process, and the awareness it bears, could be very inspiring to others. You could even share it on Pangea Day?

Very nice post.


Welcome back Steven, and thanks. Golly, I don’t know anything about filmmaking, I just write, or sing and play, what comes up for me. The Pangea project you wrote about looks amazing! I am flattered, and you have set my mind in motion in a new direction.

I think that environments are generally surrounding, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still and environment ourselves – we’re an environment to the microbes that help us digest food, for example.
I think it would be helpful if there was a more common perception of what we mean by the environment, otherwise we won’t properly understand what each other is talking about. It’s also true that we will always perceive things slightly differently, someone who is used to throwing their stuff on the ground probably has a more liberal view of pollution than others… or perhaps they just don’t care.

Oops – didn’t realise there were other comments because the comment form was above them… what AnthonyNorth said reminded me – just because we’re surrounded whether we’re separate or not doesn’t mean we don’t interact or directly impact our surroundings.

kristarella, good to see you! Yes, the comments are under the box in this particular layout. The theme “Fadtastic” generally works well for me, but there are a few quirks as compared to other themes.
You’ve got me thinking when you mention that “we” are environments surrounding microbes, etc. So, where does one environment end and another begin? I agree with you that we all perceive these things a bit differently. That was reinforced for me on Blog Action Day. I was pleased to read many different “takes” on the topic. Will we reach consensus? Remains to be seen.

very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

[…] Philosophy, Spirituality | There are a lot of posts about Blog Action Day today. I participated last year, when the topic was “The Environment“, but I almost didn’t want to this year. I […]

[…] on October 15th each year. My 2007 post, on “Environment” is here, with a follow-up here; and the 2008 post, which was supposed to be on “Poverty”, but I changed to […]

Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...