LOTUS

At the heart of symbolism

The way

an ecological world view

Progress is anti-evolutionary and is the anti-way

With progress, the culture of all these ethnic groups is disrupted and their members transformed into a homogeneous mass of alienated people, most of whom today are condemned, within a decade or two, to living in the growing slums that will soon accommodate most of humanity. In the meantime, climax forest ecosystems are destroyed and replaced by a series of ever less complex and diverse systems: secondary forests, then plantations of fast growing exotics, and then pasture - and they are eventually paved over to accommodate urban development.

Increasing complexity and diversity that accompany evolution are closely associated with increasing co-operation between the constituents of the ecosphere. Indeed, with evolution competition gives way to co-operation, or what ecologists call 'mutualism'. However, as the anti-evolutionary process gets under way and complexity is dramatically reduced, so mutualism gives way to competition. In a human society, the same is true. The co-operation that obtains among the members of an extended family and the vernacular community of which they are part is so great, and contributes so much to the quality of their lives and indeed to their survival, that it is best regarded as “social wealth”.

With progress, social wealth is rapidly dissipated as social cooperation is replaced by interpersonal competition and aggression. The social wealth lost in this way cannot be compensated for by state services or economic wealth, which can only satisfy superficial human needs precariously at that.

Edward Goldsmith: “The way, an ecological world view”, chapter 64. Rider Publisher, 1992.

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