View Full Version : Is it possible for a Buddhist not to be concerned with the environment?

14 Jun 18, 03:57
If I take my concern for the well being of sentient life seriously, then especially with modern scientifically backed knowledge of the interconnectedness of life, not only with itself but with inanimate systems, I must accept that the integrity of the whole system has to be protected.

The Buddhist emphasis on compassion and selflessness can’t support personal dominance over the well being of another being or thing which might cause suffering. As the notion of personal self diminishes in its importance and intensity through Buddhist practice, the desire to take more than we need of anything from our environment which might be needed by other beings diminishes along with it. The desire to add benefit to “other” also increases. Avoiding causing suffering to sentient life would take precedence over saving an inanimate thing, but respect for things and inanimate natural systems is also important.

If the mind which holds itself to be an independent entity is reunited with the alienated “other” (the world) which it holds as apart from itself, (i.e. if the perceiver is reunited with the perceived, or perhaps, correctly realises the intrinsic lack of separateness) then any negative action against its environment will be recognised as an act of self harm.

Theoretically then, a Buddhist will naturally become concerned for the environment.

14 Jun 18, 09:42
And when mindfulness practice is taken into everyday life, this brings awareness of what is happening around you. You become more aware of the big stuff as well as the small. How can you not be aware that the environment is increasingly polluted, that half of life on earth is in danger of extinction?

18 Jun 18, 03:18
philg: "How can you not be aware .............that half of life on earth is in danger of extinction?"

I find it even more interesting that >90 percent of all life that ever lived is now extinct. How many folks are aware of that?