Sherab Dorje wrote:
Some people disagree with Naess. But fundamental to deep ecology is that one develops one's own ecosophy. Each person's ecosophy is personal. To understand this, you have to understand the apron diagram he and Sessions came up. He notes:
One main point in deep ecology is the deep argumentation, that is, argumentation from ultimate (philosophical, religious) premises, but there is room for very different sets of such premises.
In which case one cannot judge Earth First! and say that it was not a deep ecology movement. I believe that the whole issue between people like Naess and Earth First! was the theory vs practice divide. Talking the talk vs walking the walk. The members of Earth First! sacrificed their lives putting Deep Ecology into practice (direct action to protect an ecosystem) whereas Naess produced journals and received university tenures and state sponsored awards. BOTH had a role to play in the development of Deep Ecology both as a theory and as a practice.
As pointed out, the architects and theorists of deep ecology do not consider Earth First! to be an expression of deep ecology. As for direct action, Naess was a direct action kind of person. He blocked access to a dam site for twenty years.
There are certain criteria that render one's view as "deep ecological", and lacking those, one cannot describe oneself as a deep ecologist no matter how ecocentric one's views may be. That is, the basis of one's philosophy must lead inevitably to the platform of deep ecology. It can be generated by different value systems such Buddhist, Christian or Philosophical values. The "deep" in deep ecology is a gloss for "nondual". When other systems are described as shallow, it means that they stem from a dualistic perspective of the world that does not take into consideration the intrinsic non-duality which underlies dependent origination. While not formally a Mahāyāna Buddhist himself, he was a nondualist, and Naess draws upon the two truth theory as well as the tathāgatagarbha theory as he understood them, but he is educated enough to understand that there are Christians nondualisms, Islamic nondualisms and so on. He pretty much clearly states that if your ultimate philosophy is not nondualist, then you will have a hard time arriving at a deep ecology platform.
Ideally it works like this:
One's ultimate premise forms the basis. This is termed level one. Upon that one builds one's platform principles, one's view, i.e. level two. Upon that, one establishes one's policies, one's meditation, if you will, level three; and finally, one engages in practical actions, one's conduct, i.e. level four.
The way he frames this for himself is as follows, his ecosophy:
(N = norm; H=hypothesis, exclamation points represent a value norm)
H1: The higher the Self-realization attained by anyone, the broader and deeper the identification with others.
H2: The higher the level of Self-realization attained by anyone, the more its further increase depends upon the Self-realization of others.
H3: Complete Self-realization of anyone depends on that of all.
N2: Self-realization for all living beings!
He then offers the following for the environment:
H4: Diversity of life increases Self-realization potentials.
N3: Diversity of Life!
H5: Complexity of life increases Self-realization potentials.
H6: Life resources of the Earth are limited.
H7: Symbiosis maximizes Self-realization potentials under conditions of limited resources.
My ecosophy would, and does, run something like the following:
H1 All sentients beings are innately buddhas.
H2 The highest goal in life to help all sentient beings achieve that buddhahood.
H3 The way help all sentient beings achieve buddhahood is the bodhisattva path
And so on.
The problem with Foreman's platform is that it excludes humans and is overly biocentric, it is therefore shallow as it is not grounded in nondualist philosophy.