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Paul Hawken - Humanity's Immune Response

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global oneness project Humanity's Immune Response In my work I've tried to understand what the response is to the harm that is happening, Paul Hawken - Northern California - Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, Author that's been done, that continues to happen. And you do see people everywhere in the world organizing themselves to respond to the damage that is happening to place, that is, to their environment and the insults or assaults that are being waged upon their communities, their villages, their culture, their tribes. It's easy to look at that as sort of separate, distinct group of people organizing themselves primarily as nonprofits to act, usually in lieu of a government or in lieu of an institution: the church or something that should really be there taking on these issues on their behalf, and those institutions being so corrupt that people then organize themselves in new and novel but rather loose ways in order to address these salient issues about water and poverty and justice and climate change and deforestation and all these problems that we face. And so the metaphor that seemed to be most helpful to me was the immune system, that this was humanity's immune response to political corruption, economic disease, and ecological degradation because if you look back in history at the kind of social movements that people have created, and there's been many, and the United States, oddly, has been the birth of most of them in the world--most social movements have started here, but you wouldn't know that from going to school now. So at one point the United States really was the most progressive nation in the world and led the whole idea of being progressive with respect to economic and social justice and later the environment. But today what we're seeing is a worldwide arising of movements-- a movement of movements is what Naomi Klein calls it-- but if we try to say, "Well, where is the historical antecedent for this?" "Where have we seen this before?" We haven't. There's nothing quite like it. In fact, there's nothing even remotely like it in history, and the metaphor I use is the immune system because it's the only one that begins to model or describe what we're seeing. The immune system is a network. Where is it? You can't find it. There's no organ that is the center of the immune system in the body. There's 500 little peanuts around your body called lymph nodes, and those are certainly part of it, and it's in your blood, it's everywhere. And yet, no one's in control; there's nothing in charge of it. It works in very mysterious ways that we don't fully understand. And yet, it does something which is very similar to what this movement does, which is that as you breathe and eat and drink and touch, you come into contact with things that are not you, essentially. And some of those things are very nourishing and nutritious, and some of those things are neutral, and some of those things are toxic. And so what the immune system does is identify things as they come in as human. In other words, "Me, me, me, not me, that's a not me." Then it checks out the not me and says, "Oh, we've seen this before." "It's okay. It's cool. But it's not you." And then there's not me's it has never seen before, which are viruses or bacteria or heavy metals and things that are very dangerous to the body and damaging, and then the immune system gathers and tries to do something about it by isolating it and killing it and basically preserving the integrity of the human body. Well, what this movement of movements does, what this unnamed movement does, is identify activities in society and it says, "This is humane, humane, not humane." "This is not humane." So this goes back to this question of social or justice or the environment. Is it humane to harm a child? No, it's inhumane. Is it humane to destroy a forest? No, it's inhumane. So when we really use that word as a kind of measure of what we do, then we look at this movement, and what it is doing is identifying and parsing the activity of the world, whether it be by business or whether it be by governments or by other institutions, religion, or what have you, and it's saying, "Humane, humane, not humane." And then what happens is when it identifies something that's inhumane, then people are gathering around that issue, that organization, that policy, or that pollutant and then trying to contain it, first of all, to arrest the rate of damage and the damage itself and then at the same time to create means to prevent it from happening again in the future so that such an inhumane activity is stopped forever. And, of course, the largest and the greatest inhumane thing we do is war itself, so one of the key parts of this movement is the peace movement. But the peace movement itself is being redefined because we understand now that it's not just about the prevention of or the absence of war, but it's about the cultivation of peace within oneself, within one's heart, within everything that one does, how one thinks, how one addresses another person, how one relates to nature, how one relates to the soil, how one relates to other animals and so forth. And we now understand that peace is actually, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, in every step. In other words, it's in every single activity that we do, and all of us fail every day--there's no question about it-- but in that mindfulness of understanding that our path and that our future lies within making peace with ourselves and everything we touch is really at the very heart of this movement. - Footage courtesy of the Pachamama Alliance

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 30 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 150
Posted by: global on Sep 25, 2009

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