Home » Economy and Ecology in the perspective of aparigraha

Economy and Ecology in the perspective of aparigraha

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


<Economy – Table of Contents>

(This article is also posted under  Science > Biology > Ecology)


It has been said that we have this world only on loan of our progeny. I wish our descendents to live in a war free, pollution free, harmonious society in which wisdom rules in stead of greed and fear. We also have to fill our stomach today, but not at the cost of tomorrow.

Both the words economy and ecology words are derived from the Greek “oikos,” i.e. “house” – referring to one “house.” Our common house is our complete earth (or universe), including humanity. Therefore economy, the management of our oikos, can only function in the long term when it is in harmony and at one with “Gaia,” the Earth (within the universe) as ecosystem. In other words,  economy – which is naturally based on human thought and understanding – can only be sustainable if we bring it in line with a deep understanding of living ecology, and when we allow the divine ecology to supersede our passions, greed, survival instincts, and drive to competition.

Many heard about the Gaia hypothesis, developed by a British chemical scientist, James Lovelock. On basis of his measurements of the atmosphere over our planet and biological knowledge he came to the conclusion that even the smallest micro-organism unknowingly maintain the prolonged existence of life on earth. It is their yajña, their gift, their sacrifice to a larger system of which they individually are not aware. It is a great and indispensible gift. They ‘grasp’ very little – no more than needed to sustain their bodies. As humans, having a self-conscious mind, knowledge and responsibility we must knowingly helps to maintain the prolonged existence of life on earth, as well as play our positive role in mental and cultural evolution. We should give much, and ask little – no more than we need to sustain our bodies.

The experts in the philosophy and knowledge in economy and ecology should work together, not as opposing parties, but as partners for global well-being. Laws should be based on their combined insights. It is outrageous that we cut our forest which produce the very air we breath, or that we can not even drink from the rivers which, according to Indian and other mythologies, are sacred and divine in origin.


Nature provides us, for example, unending solar energy: warmth, light, electromagnetism; near infinite sources of healthy air, water, and land to live on; examples of near infinite generosity in the form of (vegetarian and mineral) foods – which do no effort to avoid our use of their bodies but make themselves freely available; materials for shelter, entertainment, for training of our skills, our mind, our intelligence (by investigation), expansion of our knowledge by showing us its superhuman technological, chemical and psychological accomplishments and processes, its inexhaustible playfulness and diversity in evolution, and in providing us a body to live in; and last but not least the possibility to recognize the divine, in the form of beauty, its mystical moods, and the pure soul essence in each living being.

So our economy should only use natural energy, provided by the sun, the earth (gravity: streaming water; and warmth), the moon (tides, and its influence on plant growth, etc), we should use the land, but not exploit it (Jainism and Aboriginal Australians, for example, forbid digging in the ground out of respect for mineral lives and for the earth, or for the Mind who “dreamt” her, as the Aboriginals say. From this point of view, mining and oil distraction should be rejected as a means for acquiring energy.

Trusting Nature’s wisdom also in the field of our physical health we should use natural food only (without killing insects or disturbing the soil’s clay-complexes with fertilizers, and without gene manipulation which hampers the natural way of the plant souls), and in much smaller quantities – just what our bodies need. In other words, food in which no violence is involved. We should also try to avoid artificial factory-made food mixtures, as well as food in excessive packing materials. Also unclean foods caused by hygienic indifference should be avoided. A natural way of living improves our physical, psychological and mental condition, prevents very much suffering in the animal kingdom, and almost all diseases. [It may well mean the downfall of the pharmaceutical industry which thrives on our unhealthiness, on animal experiments, big financial interest, and which is very polluting to the environment and detrimental to the natural restore capacities of our bodies. Pharmacy is violent because it suppresses the natural process of what we label “disease” and kills the germs fulfilling their task.] Our body has of its own more wisdom than our doctor.


Does it destroy the economic balance?

Yes, sure. We are aware that many of the good things of the world, such as wireless communication, education, healthcare and the near absence of famines have been accomplished thanks to the development of our economic systems and the great thinkers who designed the groundwork for it. We do not want to go back to a world of isolation and ignorance, we don’t have the diseases without cure of former centuries, nor feudalism, dictatorships, power structures and wars as in the past. We do not want to return to a society based on a caste system or racial inequality and slavery. We have accomplished much.

However, if we would turn over to a nonviolent and ecologically sound economy according to our highest ideal immediately and today, the whole present system would collapse. The facts is that we are greedy, that we do believe deeply in our ego, and many other things. An economy can not be sound without taking human psychology into account. Merely preaching ethics does not erase the presence of our animal impulses and desires which are so deeply engraved. If we change overnight, economic balance will be disturbed to such an extent that our present system collapses. Ultimately that would be the best thing. But first we would see wars and all the worst properties of human nature surface. And, as always, the already deprived will suffer most – they probably will not survive. Transition should take place step by step – once the inner mentality has changed, and people have become aware of some wisdom, the transition can take place naturally – if it is not already too late for the smooth path. If not, we’ll learn the hard way, and either survive or not.

We can however replace polluting industries by nature and human friendly industries. We can replace weapons industries by industries making wonderful instruments for scientific research. We can gradually turn away from emphasis on allopathic medicine towards a nature-based health care system, and prevent diseases rather that operate them. Healthy foods are at least as economic as unhealthy foods. And how much loss suffers the global economy due to unnecessary illnesses of people who could normally work?

We could do away with our mentality of grasping and collecting material goods, with ‘wanting more’, as soon as we see that these things are psychological addictions which, taking them in total consequence,  lead to unhappiness in stead of happiness. We should fight for these ideas. But how to convince the addicts – which includes almost everyone – of the existence of greater freedom and happiness? Would they still care as far down as they have gone now? Time will unveil the truth.

– Rajasthani

<Economy – Table of Contents>