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The role of ethics in our shift to sustainability

the arc

“You can’t fight the energy of a culture directly; you can only use the energy that’s available and turn it in a new direction.” Betty Sue Flowers Essay: The American Dream and the Economic Myth.

Ethics will be grounded in nature as societies move towards the sustainable myth. Contrasted to self-indulgent human behavior fostered in the economic myth, our ethical values will manifest decisions and choices that are based on mutual benefits from a position of global consciousness. We will mimic symbiotic, interdependent relationships in nature because we rediscover that we are nature.

A society moving towards sustainability will experience a positive feedback loop, almost like a self-fulfilling cycle of higher modes of functioning. Ethics will evolve to allow individuals to harmonize with each other and nature, which will create favorable conditions to invest in sustainability, which will lead to more harmony.

Our society is connected at very deep spiritual and metaphysical levels. We can feel each other and empathize; we can move and think as one in times of synchronicity, just like a school of fish. We are gifted with intelligence, foresight, and self-awareness. If we’re to harness and use the collective benefits of our gifts like ants do to build colonies, we too can thrive and adapt to our global/universal niche.

As individuals, our ethics reflect our true nature of compassion and connection with others, yet, on the macro level, we have not yet graduated to group ethics and large-scale harmony. Based on the economic myth, what’s good for the economy is inherently good for people. Hence, we suffer from the tragedy of the commons, the symptoms of expecting deeper value from material goods, and the illusion that accumulation of wealth is the meaning of life. These are the perpetuations of the economic myth that our global society is built on. Meanwhile, our faithful ethics, inner voices, and gut feelings are patiently waiting for a system that favors sustainability, equality, and coexistence.

We will reach a critical mass. There will be a breaking point where an individual is saturated by the hedonistic nature of the economic myth and seeks deeper meaning, at which point one’s ethical principles will evolve to suit. As we move from the economic to the sustainability myth, our ethics will be the arc that carries the values and principals towards higher states of being, and cohesion with the wider web of life, for this is our true nature.

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