Draft Sept 2014
Summary reminder about this guide.
Our world view is simultaneously shaped by and reflected in our use of symbols. The human ego can easily generate very subtle and sophisticated rationales for any use of a symbol. This guide employs deep psychoanalysis founded in the profound wisdom of the principles of physics. It enables us to use that wisdom to transcend the ingenious deceits and trickery of the ego so that our use of symbols sustains us.
True hope resides in symbol use that embraces change/stewardship.
Delusive hope resides in symbol use that denies change/stewardship.
Introduction to “climate” and “change” symbols
The physics of the universe is characterized by continuous vast transformation i.e. change. Any form exists only for the moments that unique balances in the flows of energy are sustained.
The psychology of human beings is characterized by continual denial of the universal change. This is because the ego, born of the division created by the arising of self-awareness, abhors reminders of our mortality i.e. the finite nature of all forms.
climate (n.) late 14c., “horizontal zone of the earth,” Scottish, from Old French climat “region, part of the earth,” from Latin clima (genitive climatis) “region; slope of the Earth,” from Greek klima “region, zone,” literally “an inclination, slope,” thus “slope of the Earth from equator to pole,” from root of klinein “to slope, to lean” (see lean (v.)).
The angle of sun on the slope of the Earth’s surface defined the zones assigned by early geographers. Early references in English, however, are in astrology works, as each of the seven (then) climates was held to be under the influence of one of the planets. Shift from “region” to “weather associated with a region” perhaps began in Middle English, certainly by c.1600.
The etymology of the “climate” symbol is fascinating because of the ancient associations of climate with our solar system, both with its star and with its planets.
The ancient physics of the planetary system may have been less true. However even the astrological use of “climate” symbol generates and reflects considerable awareness of the cosmos.
By contrast our modern English language evidences almost completely denial of the universal change. Observe, for instance, how energy has been redefined as a few, very finite minerals – fossilized biomass in particular. And observe how fossilized biomass is also symbolized as “fossil fuels” i.e. these minerals exist to be burned without regard for their polluting effect. Symbolizing fossilized biomass as energy conveniently excludes the atmosphere from the combustion equation: fuel + air = useful forms of energy.
Observe how the “climate” symbol was redefined about c.1600. The greater associations with the cosmos vanish. “Climate” becomes limited to “weather associated with a region”. This reform is consistent with a much wider shift in the English language. It reflects and facilitates the disconnection in cosmic consciousness required to enable the current vast despoliation of Earth’s atmosphere by burning fossilized biomass. on scale.
Thus the evolution of the English language enabled vastly wasteful and polluting activities despite the insights afforded by planetary travel. For example, observe this modern confusion:
climate change (n.) 1983, in the modern “global warming” sense.
Human- induced changes to Earth’s global climate became symbolized as “climate change”, which in turn became symbolized as “global warming”. This is profound psychology.
The universal change is denied in fundamental ways:
Observe how the life-enabling processes are demonized and blamed for our unsustainable behaviour. The truth is that without continuous change and warming there is no life.
Observe how the confusion of warming and warming-up is an implicit rejection of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The truth is warming enables any form to exist. By contrast the warming-up (or cooling-down) of any form results in its transformation so it ceases to exist. A change of state occurs. We experience this in our arising and passing i.e. our mortality.
Observe how many of our leading “energy experts” and “climate scientists” equate climate change with global warming. They then express frustration that people do not understand them. The truth is their message is very clear and it is one of confusion, dissonance and denial.
Symbol Climate Change
True Hope: Climate change is the natural process of the universe(s) in which climate patterns arise and pass – and that is OK.
Comment: All regions, whether microscopic, terrestrial or galactic, are combinations of unique flows and balances of energy. The prevailing pattern of a region enables a unique range of forms.
Changes in the region we know as Earth enabled life to occur and then human beings to evolve. We continue to exist as a species while our actions are in general harmony with this human-life enabling pattern.
Delusive Hope: Global climate change is bad, malevolent, unnatural.
Comment: The universal process is seen as a problem. This conveniently obscures the possibility that problems can arise from our flawed decisions. People with knowledge of how human activity can impact in negative ways on the balances of Earth’s climate are particularly vulnerable to this trick of the ego.
Symbol Anthropogenic Climate Change
True Hope: Human beings can significantly alter the balance of the Warmer Trace Gases (water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone etc) in the atmosphere.
Comment: We have had this potential ever since we discovered how to start and propagate fires. Our increasing ability to engage in chemistry, deforestation, agriculture etc on scale compounds this potential so we can now destroy our species. We deny this truth at our peril.
Delusive Hope: Anthropogenic or human-induced climate change is climate change.
Comment. Climate change occurs in myriad forms and each has its unique characteristics. It is a paradox of change: all forms are of climate change; no form is climate change. We deny the essential universal change when we confuse a form of climate change with climate change. We deny our roles as stewards of our climate by dissociating our individual action from the universal action.
Symbol Global Warming
True Hope: As with all things, Earth exists because of a balance in the warming-cooling process.
Comment: The current balance is such that it enables life to exist and evolve on the planet. The survival of the human species depends on its ability to embrace and conserve this vital balance.
Delusive Hope Global warming is global climate change and this is a malevolent process.
Comment: This is a hilarious and tragic exemplar of the capacity of the ego to construct incredibly sophisticated rationales and world views that deny change/stewardship. The delusion involves obscuring the reality of change and self-hatred – the truth is we are all enabled by the global warming process. The maladaptive behaviour that is associated with this potent delusion tends to generate misery and ultimately self-destruction.
Symbol Embracing Climate Change
True Hope: True hope resides in living lives that are in harmony with the climate balances that sustain humankind.
Comment: This involves honest inquiry into both our climate and spiritual processes so they may be compatible and sustaining.
Delusive Hope: We must combat or fight climate change
Comment: The ego abhors any notion of change that reminds us of our mortality. Thus it tends to perceive change as a mortal enemy, including some global climate change. The militaristic language reflects the dissonance and conflict within the psyche when our actions are incompatible with the flows and balances that sustain us.
Delusive Hope: We must stop or kill climate change.
Comment: The ego is born of division. It arises in the first moment of self-awareness and thus it tends to abhor both sensations of cosmic connection and notions of mortality. These are manifest as our capacity for arrogance and greed. It is well capable of generating delusions that human beings can stop change and thus need not be responsible for their actions.
Symbol Climate Use Crisis
True Hope: We experience crisis and misery when we abuse the flows and balances that sustain humankind.
Comment: “Use” is an extremely potent symbol despite being a very small word. Our use of it reminds us of the fundamental connection between our decisions and actions with their impacts on the universal flows and balances that sustain us. It acts to keep us mindful of our roles as stewards amidst the universal flux,
Delusive Hope: We have a climate crisis.
Comment: We experience problems caused by our failure to act sustainably, which we attribute to flaws and failings of the climate we live in.
Page under construction 21 Sept 2014 . Please return.