Discuss: The Inner Climate
I love the last phrase: “Take care of the roots and the flowers will take care of themselves.”
And the trees will keep giving us their priceless shade if we give them a chance to continue to grow beautifully…
I feel the same way too. I feel that what we are experiencing in our outworld is a reflection of the unrest and “heated” inner world.
We are just seeing ourselves reflected. I believe as we begin to make piece with ourselves we will create,support, a more harmonious and balanced way of being with this planet.
Inner work is not incompatable with outer work. If we wait until we are enlightened or completely at peace (which is another myth that denies our human nature), before we act in the outer world, things will continue on the same trajectory and the balance will continue to tilt toward more suffering of sentient beings.
Isolating oneself from the world of ipods and media can be helpful for a time, but acting with the compassion and wisdom we are cultivating in the outer world can be concurrent with our inner efforts.
Japan, the Himalayas, Jerusalem—just some of the places to which the author has or will recently travel. I assume that he does this by flying, whixh is extremely damaging to the climate system.
The height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit mean that conventional air travel detrimentally impacts global warming approximately 2.7 times more per passenger mile than that of typical motorized ground transportation sources—according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
How about staying home, keeping local, or taking sustainable, slow forms of transportation if you need to go far away? That would be a great way for Pico Iyer to get serious about doing something. But that would also mean challenging his privilege, that which allows him to be a global jetsetter.
Thank you, Pico Iyer, for some clearly-stated common sense.
As Mr. Iyer states, it may or may not be possible for the collective to mitigate human-caused climate change, but we as individuals can certainly control, aside from our own impact, what is within.
This, however, may be the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced—for millennia, regional climates and cultures have been largely static, whereas now the two are changing so fast the headlines can barely keep stride.
The future of happiness will require no less than equanimity on a rollercoaster. Best to enjoy the ride—no matter how terrifying—because it’s too late to get off.
The inner landscape is dark, we need light there. Taking extreme steps like curbing one’s air travel will only breed antogonism and won’t take us far in our fight against climate change. On the contrary the gap between us will only widen and our inner world will become much hotter. So the challenge: can we be friends and have a dialogue in spite of our divergent views, lifestyles?
Pico Iyer is one of the world’s most famous travel writers. He flies all the time and so imposes a carbon footprint as big as a house—a BIG house, more than a two-room flat. He’s an extreme yet typical instance of us bookish, artsy greens who exonerate ourselves for recreational excesses while dramatizing the recesses of our laudable inner lives. But what the heck: once fuel prices trash air travel for all but the privileged likes of Iyer, the point will be moot. Make my tickets paperless, please….