The Milkweed Diaries

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Joanna Macy on ecological crisis and despair

Above: Joanna Macy

I came across this crystalline article by Joanna Macy in Yes Magazine:

How do we live with the fact that we are destroying our world? What do we make of the loss of glaciers, the melting Arctic, island nations swamped by the sea, widening deserts, and drying farmlands?

Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.

Of all the dangers we face, from climate chaos to permanent war, none is so great as this deadening of our response.

Read the full article here...

It's a very short, clear piece, and so full of insight.

Then I found this video on her website: Embracing Pain . It's a beautiful and clear meditation on despair, suffering, and a conscious response to the realities of life on the planet at this moment.

I highly recommend the article and the video. It would probably take about 10 minutes to read the article AND watch the video. There is so much wisdom in her approach, her consciousness. Much appreciation to Joanna Macy.

post script: i'm reading and listening to all of the joanna macy that i can get my hands on. here is a great summary of the concept of "the great turning" by joanna macy, including kinds of actions needed for radical transformation....

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