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Entries in multi Earth (12)


A Table Contrasting Multi Earth and One Earth Worldviews (Part 1)

While teaching a group of bright, second-career students at the Chaplaincy Institute for the Arts and Interfaith Ministries in Berkeley, CA, this past June, one asked, “Can you tell us more what you mean by Multi Earth and One Earth?” I wished, then, that I could hand them a table contrasting the two. But I didn’t have one. Now I do. Below is the first of half a dozen installments that will come along on this blog, not necessarily in succession. It’s a work in progress that your comments can surely improve. 

The table shows that worldviews impact all of our structures and behaviors throughout society. It is not comprehensive, but illustrative. The six contrasting points in the first section give a general “Overview.” Subsections that will follow will elaborate on how the two worldviews contrast with one another.

Multi Earth Worldview

One Earth Worldview

Human species strives for lifestyles that use more resources than available on one planet

Human species aims for lifestyles within the abundant resources of one planet

All systems from food production to finance, commerce, and government designed to extract more and more despite creational order and limits

All systems from food production to finance, commerce, and government designed with a sense of abundance within creational order and limits

Ecological footprint exceeds one planet

Ecological footprint fits within one planet

Emphasis on individualism socially and economically reflects the effort to understand all of reality by finding, separating, and examining every particle of matter in search of the basic building block for the whole; energy, community and spirit/Spirit are in a sidebar to essential reality

Emphasis on the entire community of life socially and ecologically reflects the effort to understand all of reality by observing the interdependence of all things, and the energy and spirit/Spirit that holds all systems in vibrant, evolving interconnection

Timeframes shaped by rewarding those who act most quickly to gain advantages in economics and power

Timeframes shaped by rewarding those whose actions consider other species, future generations, nature’s seasons, and Earth’s eco-region cycles

Technology brings convenience, speed, improvement, health, wealth, and scores of advantages in overcoming obstacles to human life and progress; optimism abounds because of wealth created by new products and how they fix and save human enterprises

Technology brings benefits when it is to scale within the parameters of planetary and species wellbeing; skepticism comes from destruction of the planet and people that result from manufacture and use of many technologies


"But Look at All the Good Multi Earth Ways Achieve"

“But what about the good that Multi Earth ways achieve?” people ask. The urgent necessity of separating ourselves from Multi Earther ways gets blunted for us because we can see Multi Earthers achieving good ends. Multi Earthers continually sell and defend the good they do. We dissenters focus on the bad, often from painful personal experiences. Analyzing the benefits and the costs is made more difficult because many of the benefits can happen quickly while many of the costs can take decades to appear. 

In subsequent blogs, I will acknowledge some of the benefits. But the Cain and Abel story minces no words. Those storytellers saw clearly that the Multi Earth world generates envy and murder. No sooner do Multi Earthers create hierarchies of power and wealth but that envy appears for more of Earth’s natural wealth. Acting upon that envy, Multi Earth ways murder the One Earth ways from which they were born and from which they seceded.

As I see it, today the blood of Earth’s ecosystems cry out like Abel’s blood cried out from the earth. Multi Earth living continues to murder Abel, a One Earther, and the worldview that shapes such. Yet, I am tempted to understate this antagonism of Multi Earth economics, religion, and politics toward their One Earth counterparts; or conversely, to rant against it. 

How do you see it?


The Need for This Blog, and 3 Ways It Addresses that Need

A few weeks ago I completed a “Submission Proposal” to Berrett-Koehler Publishing that followed their guidelines. They have a wonderfully helpful AND challenging set of questions that need to be answered for them to look at a manuscript. Right off they ask, “What is the need for this book and how does it meet that need?” Since this blog has a lot of modified excerpts from the manuscript, my answer tells you what need I feel I’m addressing with this blog. Quoting from the proposal:

When it is obvious that we have only one Earth to live on, but continue to use the resources of more than one, we need to figure out what is going on. Why are our leaders and culture gridlocked, unable to solve this complex problem even when we know it can lead to our extinction? What is the nature of the grip that Multi Earth living has on us? And how can we be released from that grip in order to practice One Earth living more fully? Changing our Earth-destroying habits to life-enhancing ones will persist as the most demanding challenge for our species during upcoming decades. Therefore, interest in the themes of my book [this blog] will increase, not decline, for the foreseeable future.

My book [this blog] addresses the above need by

  1. showing how Multi Earth living mesmerizes us despite the inevitable consequences of failure and death that come with  this worldview, 
  2. emphasizing how we humans have the capacity to choose the One Earth worldview over the Multi Earth worldview, and 
  3. disclosing my own struggle to reshape my life to One Earth living after having come under the spell of Multi Earth ways. I believe that as readers ponder the contrasting worldviews, consider the information I give, and follow my personal story, they will engage in self-reflection on their own Multi Earth vs. One Earth tensions. 

Today (8-7-12) I received a most pleasant phone call from Berrett-Koehler explaining that they would NOT be publishing my manuscript because they were preparing another with similar content for release in the spring. She encouraged me to submit it to other publishers because “you’ve done a lot of good work and it’s a very hot topic.”


Earth, the Whistleblower on Cain and Multi-Earthers

(This blog entry continues the Cain and Abel story from the previous entry.)

Like many a murderer, when Cain was confronted about the one he’d killed, he denied knowing where the dead person was. Ironically, the very ground which Cain tilled became the whistleblower on his actions. YHWH appealed to Cain, “Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on Earth.” 

These were heavy words for Cain to hear, a greater punishment, he said, than he could bear. The soil, foundational to the life choices he’d made, would not yield at full strength for him.

But the consequences of his murder went much further.

  • His relationship with YHWH would be less immediate and personal.
  • He would be less settled on the land than he desired to be.
  • He felt threatened by others — especially herders, hunters, and gatherers — fearful that they would want revenge. 

YHWH, not wanting to see reprisal for Abel’s murder, put a mark on Cain to send a clear signal that violence by herders and hunters against agriculturalists could not make things right – not for Abel, not for anyone. In this way, YHWH rejected the notion that one act of violence could be made right by committing another.

Despite this clear rejection of redemptive violence by YHWH, Multi Earthers continue to espouse it to this day. Military reprisals and war continue to be chosen as a primary way to end conflicts and bring peace. Cain, having received his divine mark, went away from the presence of YHWH and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

I’d like to see your comments on two questions:

  1. What is your experience of how Multi Earth ways repeatedly kill One Earthers and their practices?
  2. In your experience how is Earth now whistleblowing Multi Earth’s denial of responsibility for murder of One practices?



A Multi Earth Paradigm? Might as well Believe the Sun Revolves around the Earth

None of us uses the paradigm of the sun revolving around our planet anymore. We know that such a paradigm has been used in the past, but we’ve discarded it. It’s way too inaccurate. And that’s where I am with the Multi Earth paradigm.

Along with many communities of people, I am discarding the Multi Earth worldview as too inaccurate. Many people, of course, are not there and continue their commitment to Multi Earth living.

By learning about how worldviews and paradigms function, I am better able to understand the tight grip and great influence the Multi Earth arrangements have on our species. After all the hard work of arriving at a paradigm, shifting to a different one feels uncertain. Risky. We can even fear that doing so is life threatening. Furthermore, when I recognize that meaningful paradigm shift isn’t just individual but community-wide or even global, I wilt in the hot sun of that seeming impossibility.

Yet, as I’ve been told more than once, “The future is too uncertain to predict that enormous change cannot happen.” Oddly, hope thrives in such uncertainty. With a better understanding of paradigms, I recognize that shifting out of the Multi Earth paradigm comes only through the tense death struggles of the previously held paradigm and the labor pains of the new. I believe the One Earth paradigm more accurately includes the big picture information Earth is giving us about how to live. But the death and birth of getting there as a living community of our species, not just as an individual, dramatizes why Multi Earthers hold onto their paradigm as long as possible — and that’s without even mentioning that most Multi Earthers get their livelihoods inside their paradigm. It’s hard to turn from the source of our income.

If you have examples of how you’re discarding the Multi Earth paradigm, please leave them in a comment below.


Bigger than Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative

Despite my ecological footprint, I am not a Multi Earther in my worldview. I believe that the map of reality taught and followed by Multi Earthers does not sustain life on the planet, but threatens it. For me, the Multi Earth worldview produces a recipe for conquest and domination. Filled with egocentric thinking, Multi Earth ways live outside of nature, rather than within nature’s rich democracy of life. Despite my Multi Earth footprint, when it comes to worldview, I am a One Earther.

An important discovery for me happened when I came to see that a worldview is much larger than whether I am a Republican or a Democrat, an American or Mexican, a Jew or a Hindu, a socialist or a capitalist, a liberal or a conservative, a developer or an environmentalist, a friend or an enemy. These groupings of people, while sometimes useful in daily life, do not distinguish Multi Earthers from One Earthers. Most such groupings can have both Multi Earthers and One Earthers within them. My quest involves getting to a worldview that includes these groupings in a greater whole, even if they think of themselves as polar opposites. Just as our one planet includes the southern and northern hemispheres, and the South and North Poles, so a One Earth worldview holds within its bigger, deeper view all the smaller views of groups. To this end, the word “paradigm” has become an important word for me. I’ll go further into paradigm-land in the next blog.


Worldviews, Not Just Godzilla Footprints, Determine Multi Earth Ways

Being a Multi Earther, I’ve come to see, is about much more than having an ecological footprint the size of Godzilla. More than just over-sized living, a Multi Earther lives an entire worldview that is bigger than our planet. Like all worldviews do, this one connects many parts into a big picture — the kind of picture an aerial view gives of a forest dotted with meadows. But if we limit ourselves to clicking our camera only at ground level, then we see only snapshots of beautiful trees and wildflowers. Great pictures! But not the same as aerial views. Similarly, a worldview also gives us the “big picture” in the microscopic world, making visible what our eyes cannot see. Whether telescopic or microscopic, a worldview shows countless interconnections between distinct parts. This is precisely where the Multi Earth worldview increasingly fails us. Earth, as it were, is showing us aerial view of what is happening. Scientists continually take the worldview-size pictures of all the changes underway on our planet. But others, those whose power and wealth depend on Multi Earth ways, shoot pictures with their cameras at ground level. Then they arrange those snapshots into the worldview they want us to believe because it best rewards their interests. Their result is predictable: a worldview that does not fit what is truly underway in Earth’s oceans, land masses, and atmosphere.