– Heartwood Path Waypoint 1.28 –
Shift Or Get Off The Path
By using the Natural Systems Thinking Process along the specific route of the Heartwood Path one comes to the realization that for a “better earth” to be possible a “better you” is necessary. To make the person/planetary connection beneficial for all concerned (human and non-human alike) this “better you,” cannot just be a person who is educated in ecology, she cannot just be a person who is passively concerned about environmental destruction, she cannot even just be a person who knows how to make ecologically sound purchases or knows the candidates endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters.
Although all of these attributes are important, they are merely some of the precursors to what is really needed because, being solely inner world shifts, they do not serve as a fulcrum for real, outer world movement towards bringing the civilization into balance with the environment. They will not help us realize that what Einstein knew: “all our lauded technological progress—our very Civilization—is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal” (Jensen, 2006) p. 663).
The above-mentioned inner world shifts will not, therefore, by themselves stem the tide of environmental destruction. In addition to all of these scattered inner world betterments, a concerned individual has to also have both an expanded psychological perspective (one that includes saint-like compassion—which means “feeling together with” (Zonar, 2000, p. 214) -- for all sentient beings--and a workable, less random approach to activism that is personally doable, effective, inspires sustained involvement, and gets to the core of the problem: making the world’s economy subordinate to the environment and helping people both psychologically and behaviorally regain their rightful, ecologically sound place in the scheme of things. Here’s how to do it:
The Heartwood Path is a step-by-step program that involves learning universal principles, anchoring one’s unique gifts to the world, integrating oneself into the whole, developing valued traits, going into action as an individual, persevering by connecting with the enchantment of daily life at home, reconciling self and other through sexual intimacy, going into action with a group, and learning to be a nature-centered life coach. Before going on further it may be useful for you to consider if the premise of the Heartwood Path––improving the environment by positively changing the happiness and giving character of the participant––is plausible to you. If so, stay with this course. If not, other courses of action may be more beneficial to you. I trust that your responses in the following activity will keep you heading down the Heartwood Path.