Deep Ecology & Steve Jobs: Other Reflections from Macy & the Book Deep Ecology (610 words)

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Question

How do the concepts of self and the idea of the universe as one dynamic living whole fit together in the views of the various writers?
Is it possible for humans to be non-anthropocentric?
How might having a larger view of self lead to a compassionate stance to the world around us?
What do the various world religious teach us in this area?
How would they help us take a compassionate stance to what Macy calls the sound of the earth crying?

Solution Preview

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The theory of Gaia is that the earth is a living entity. Cashford links the theory of Gaia to Jung’s theory of archetypes (175). The idea of Gaia is also brought out further within the idea of systems theory, which takes the notion that all things are connected with a system. When something hurts the system, the system itself seeks out to rid itself of the problem. Plotkin talks about “care of the soul,” which is a type of caring for the earth. The analogy seems to be the same. If we don’t care for the earth, Gaia will move on without us, and if we don’t care for the soul, the soul will become diseased and die. Both Plotkin and Cashford push forward this idea of “deep ecology,” that seeks to look at the relationship of the soul to the rest of the universe, and to keep everything in balance. Once the balance tips, “everything suffers and dies” (191). Vaughan-Lee also continues the notions of deep ecology, and the principles of a Gaia theory, but his text is more of a call to action. He claims we have forgotten to take care of the world, and we need to right our steps in order to rectify the situation (248). In this way, all the texts speaks of how the self, which can be termed the soul, is relationship with the “idea of the universe as one dynamic living whole” fit together....

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