The Application of Traditional Disciplines to Solve the Ecological Crisis

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It was a misfortune for the world that an omnivorous primate and not some more compassionate form of animal made the sentient breakthrough. Our species retains hereditary traits that add immensely to our destructive impact. Instinctively, we are tribal and aggressively territorial, intent on the acquisition of resources with complete disregard for other organisms, and oriented by selfish sexual and reproductive drives. Individuals place themselves first, family second, community third and the rest of the world a distant fourth. Today, we stand at the forefront of human civilization having made tremendous leaps in modern advances that our ancestors not even a century ago could fathom. As a by-product, we are now faced with major …show more content…

Humans have been conditioned to having a materialistic mindset engrained into us through the modern day religion called the global market economy. In this case, the religion of the market economy is problematic with respect to population growth because it constantly seeks to create larger markets to be developed, meaning that there is an ever-expanding market.
By implementing Buddhist perspectives on this issue, individuals may detach themselves and their respective mindsets from materialism and consumerism and, ultimately, from the religion of the market economy. It’s important to understand that through these attachmentments lies suffering. This concept is best illustrated in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. The first noble truth is that everything is suffering, the second is that the origin of suffering is desire, the third is that there exists an end to suffering, and the fourth is that there is a path that leads to that end to suffering. Fortunately for the crisis we now face, within Buddhism there is also a way to end suffering, represented by the third and fourth truths. Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s perspectives can help provide a traditional understanding of Buddhist teachings and practices in solving a modern day predicament. Nhat Hanh argued that, “We classify other animals and living beings as nature, acting as if we ourselves are not part of it. Then we

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