From Internal Psychology to Shared Ecology: A Profound Sustainability

Profound Sustainability is a lens through which to view the world through different levels of sustainability.  At the core is the individual, whose internal psychology and sense of self must be addressed in order to create an internal sense of sustainability and balance.  Next, individuals in pairs (romantic, spousal, parental, collegial, etc.) must struggle to find ways to live, work and love together despite the fact that we are all so different from each other, and that we can only know so much about the “other,” no matter how long we have known them or how hard we try.  As we move into groups (families, workplaces, schools, hospitals, etc), sustainability becomes a new kind of challenge, where group dynamics can determine whether or not the group can “work” effectively together to achieve shared goals, or if it will be condemned to devolve into ineffective chaos.  Next, groups combine to create larger systems in which they live (towns, cities, countries, or continents), which try to find ways to live together within a shared place, often called “The Commons,” and must find a way to protect its inhabitants and its resources in order to ensure its capacity to thrive environmentally, socially and economically over a long period of time.   Finally, there is global sustainability, where all of these other entities come together to form our collective planetary home.  It is no small feat to coordinate all of these these different configurations of humanity;  that of the self, the pair, small groups, big groups, and the planetary whole group.  But we must try, for our collective survival depends on it.

Much of the psychological despair around us is a response to the worsening condition of our world, especially the natural environment and our disconnection from it.  Perhaps by seeing these challenges through the lens of profound sustainability, we can begin to address this despair by “composting” our own inner struggles, rebuilding our world sustainably, teaching our children how to make it happen, and, in the process, providing high impact healing solutions for much of the anxiety, depression, inattention and trauma that exists in the world today.
Sustainability goes farther than just speaking “green” or “clean tech”.  True sustainability dedicates itself to sustaining health, energy, and relationships in all aspects of life, from the sole individual, to local and regional social interactions, and the collective world.

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