Systemically

An exploration of how to find our way back to nature, to each other, and to ourselves so that we may find our right place in the Universe.

Finding Right Balance

Systemically

Can we learn anything from finding right balance within ourselves, and interpersonally that can help us think systemically?

How do we understand how our human systems and societies have gotten SO out of right balance? And how do we create systems and societies that can bring us back into harmony with nature itself?

DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE

This we know...

We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish us.

We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.

We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of the sea.

We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell.

We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.

We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
And we share a common future, as yet untold.

We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin layer of life enveloping the world.

The stability of communities of living things depends upon this diversity.

Linked in that web, we are interconnected — using, cleansing, sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.

Our home, planet Earth, is finite; all life shares its resources and the energy from the sun, and therefore has limits to growth.

For the first time, we have touched those limits.

When we compromise the air, the water, the soil and the variety of life, we steal from the endless future to serve the fleeting present.

David Suzuki Foundation

Out of Balance “Systemically”

When we look at society today, unfortunately we see HOW out of balance we have become.

Why is authoritarianism, misogyny, violence so predominant?

Why are greed and exploitation so out of control?

In this representation, I seek to express how stunted certain areas are societally (fairness, caring, compassion, connection, generosity, collaboration, wellbeing of the community).

And how overly “extended” the forces have become of power and greed, sadism and cruelty, Narcissism and psychopathy, moral disengagement and dehumanization of others.

You’ll notice that there is no longer a connection with nature, nor with spirit.

What Went Wrong?

My premise is that we as humans were originally in an intimate “I-Thou” relationship with Mother Earth. It is my belief that we work best in this orientation. Our nervous system seems calmest and most centered and grounded when we are in “sync” with Nature. There is a humility when we are in touch with the awe we feel watching the sky at dawn or sunset. There is a humility we have access to when we watch the power of the ocean. There is a part of our intuition that was most alive when we aligned with the seasons, and with the natural “order” of things, before we began to impose our will.

It is my belief that when we ruptured out of “right balance” with Mother Earth, that we further deteriorated from there, becoming out of “right balance” with everything else (e.g. other humans, and other species).

What has inspired me to create this website has been the drive to understand what went wrong and why, and then to move to exploring what we need to do to solve the problem.

I am certainly not the first to “parse” the question in this way. Thich Nhat Hahn, in his book Love Letter to the Earth, 2013, addresses this exact issue.

Page 27, 

“We can all see that Mother Earth is a great bodhisattva. When we see her in this way, with all her many virtues, we will walk more gently on her and treat all her children more gently. We will want to protect her and not harm her or any of the myriad forms of life she has given birth to. We will stop wreaking destruction and violence on Mother Earth. We will resolve the question of what we mistakenly call ‘the environmental problem.’ The Earth is not just the environment. The Earth is us.”

Thich Nhat Hahn has also identified this rupture (between humans and Mother Earth) as being the source of all other ills:

Page 28,
“We can’t wait any longer to restore our relationship with the Earth because right now the Earth and everyone on Earth is in real danger. When a society is overcome by greed and pride, there is violence and unnecessary devastation. When we perpetrate violence toward our own and other species, we are being violent toward ourselves at the same time. When we know how to protect all beings, we will be protecting ourselves. A spiritual revolution is needed if we’re going to confront the environmental challenges that face us.”

Pages 28-29,

“We’re no longer in touch with ourselves, our family, our ancestors, the Earth, or the wonders of life around us. We have become alienated and feel lonely. This alienation is a kind of illness that has become an epidemic. So many of us feel empty inside and are searching for something to fill the vacuum. We try to fill the void by taking pills or intoxicants or by consuming things. Yet our addiction to consumerism, to buying and consuming things we don’t need, is causing so much stress, so much suffering, both to ourselves and to the Earth. Our craving for fame, wealth, and power is insatiable, and this puts a heavy strain on our own bodies and on the planet.”

FRAMEWORK

Outcomes & Consequences

There have been many negative outcomes that followed once we became so very far out of right balance. This website seeks to mention, outline, explore, investigate, and share the writings and thoughts of others on some of the following topics:

Separation From Mother Earth

Separation From One Another

Separation From Other Species

Problems & Solutions

For a deeper understanding of how we’ve come to think about these concepts, we’ve organized a simple outline which provides a “roadmap” of some of the “Problems” and “Solutions” to restoring right balance.

These topics will each be discussed and explored under their separate categories, reached by clicking on the appropriate link. References under each will be given, and forums for further discussion created. I hope to have other articles and books, videos and films, Ted talks and podcasts included under each topic, and discussions and reviews of those articles and books added by others wrestling with these issues.

DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE

This we resolve...

All this that we know and believe must now become the foundation of the way we live.

At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection; from insecurity, to interdependence.

David Suzuki Foundation

ResEARCH & Resources

Explore our Library

We have been immersed in a deep inquiry for almost two decades. We have lovingly curated a living library of books, articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, websites, white papers, and more. Our hope and intention is that any one visiting this site is able to deepen their inquiry into these important questions, and easily connect to the landscape of thought leaders, research, and conversations happening around the world…

By Topic Areas

Patriarchy, White Supremacy, etc…

By Content Type

Blog Posts, Podcasts, Videos, etc…

“It seems (to me) that we have done a lot of harm thus far, to the planet, to the resources that were held in Mother Earth, to other species, and if we do not MAJORLY turn our beliefs and our behaviors around, life as we have known it will be over.”

DEBORAH BRENNER-LISS

FROM THE BLOG

Relevant Posts

Explore more resources and information about Finding Right Balance interpersonally…

The Story of Ishmael

(suggestion from Bridget Birdsall) If you haven’t read a book called ISHMAEL—the protagonist is a gorilla who may have some answers to your question. It’s been around for a while but is so darn timely, and a well-written good read to reflect upon…because in awareness of the problem, just like

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I believe we have lost our way

I believe we have lost our way. We are in trouble. How do we right our ship? How can we all become motivated to right our ship? What on earth are we doing threatening the extinction of our planetary home? What on earth are we doing threatening (and causing) the

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The Declaration of Interdependence

I have included this powerful text, sadly from fully 30 years ago – sadly because we seem (as humans) not to have learned or heeded a thing since then about our interconnectedness. I have included the document itself (at the end) and some information about David Suzuki himself drawn from

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Humanity & Nature Are Not Separate

Though a varied and complex story, the widespread separation of humans from nature in Western culture can be traced to a few key historical developments, starting with the rise of Judeo-Christian values 2000 years ago. Prior to this point, belief systems with multiple gods and earth spirits, such as paganism,

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“Right Balance” Systemically: When Checks & Balances Break Down

This image is meant to represent different energies within ourselves (also see Necessary Elements to Finding “Right Balance” Interpersonally). For instance, is our time spent working balanced out sufficiently by our time spent relaxing or playing? Is the amount of energy we expend to give to others sufficiently counterbalanced by

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What do I mean by “right balance”?

I do not use the term “right” to convey “right or wrong,” as in moral judgment, but my belief is that there is – within oneself, within a dyad interpersonally, and within all the elements, all the “players” and all the considerations within the whole world – a balance that

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