The nub

ego-ecoGregory Bateson said that the cause of most of the problems in the world was because there is a difference between the way nature works and the way people think.

Today it seems to me that the nub of it all is about hierarchy and interconnectedness.

There are some people who think in terms of hierarchy: ie God, followed by Pope or King or President, then Prime Minister or CEO, then the rest of the people, and then ‘nature’ (mammals, other animals, then plants, fungi, bacteria, …), and then inert minerals etc…

And there are some people who see the world as made up of different, equal, interconnecting parts of a greater whole. The “we are all God” viewpoint.

It seems to me that the hierarchical way of looking at things is what is bringing the planet to its knees.
And so the Amazon jungle gets cut down, mountains of coal get removed, fracking is allowed to poison other people’s water supplies, and more than 90% of the world’s large fish have been eaten in the past 50 years and the oceans are now approaching a mass-extinction. And none of this matters to people who believe in hierarchy. Or it ‘matters’ but not enough to change their behaviour. To them, something else matters more.

Hierarchy sets the direction. But connectedness keeps it going.

And it seems to me that what we have at the moment is an excess of hierarchy. And what we need to restore the balance is an increase in connectedness.

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