Eco-philosophy promotes unity of all life
By Vir Singh
May 4, 2018
Former professor of philosophy at Michigan University, and father of eco-philosophy Henryk Skolimowski, would have turned 88 today had he not passed away in Poland on April 6. But he has left behind a rich legacy of practical wisdom. He challenged analytical philosophy, and gave philosophy a practical and creative dimension so it could be practised on the ground.
Skolimowski’s philosophy emerged two years after the historical 1972 Stockholm Conference on Environment and Development and a decade after Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ that roused our consciousness to become aware of the deadly consequences of using toxic pesticides. Presenting his concept of eco-philosophy in 1974, Skolimowski sent to people a constructive message of alternative living. His eco-philosophy reinvents our relationship with nature and self. The proposed solutions are not utopian, but truly practical.
Eco-philosophy added a new, metaphysical dimension to philosophy and life. Skolimowski gives new meaning and deeper insight into ecological consciousness, ecological mind, eco-ethics, eco-justice; in short, eco-philosophy. For him, ecological phenomena are of cosmic nature and all life has evolved from one, basic, cosmic phenomenon. Existence of any one species cannot be isolated from all other species. Therefore, Homo sapien, as a species, is not isolated from other forms of life. All forms are enveloped in oneness. Skolimowski had faith in the absolute unity of all life and the universe.
Destruction of habitats, extinction of species, violence against certain forms of life, the numerous divisions and conflicts amongst people, our discriminatory attitude and the tendency to isolate life from non-life and living from non-living – all of these are due to disregarding the principle of oneness. Skolimowski connects diversity with unity and emphasises the oneness of all life.
Eco-philosophy is not just another kind of philosophy. It is to refine and adopt an art of living in sync with the environment, promoting ethical living.
Skolimowskian philosophy teaches us to comply with the laws of evolution. Defiance of evolution reduces us, and diffuses our creative potential. If socio-cultural and political institutions like families, religions and governments are not conscious enough and are not evolutionary in nature, those being nurtured in the shadows of these systems remain intellectual dwarfs. If the educational system is flawed with its commoditisation and is directed at training individuals and communities to become producers and consumers rather than becoming enlightened citizens, then, the ‘educated’ are left with reduced intellect.
Functioning with a deliberately reduced, compromised intellect is a gross defiance of evolution. But, if socio-cultural, political and educational systems are vibrant with positive, life-enhancing ideas and are philosophical and evolutionary, all of us will be genuine philosophers, for then, compliance with cosmic evolution will be fulfilled.
Skolimowskian philosophy brings evolution and its most evolved being, the human being, face-to-face. Skolimowski has also gifted the world with vital concepts like lumenarchy, the ruling of light; lumenology, the study of light; lumenosophy, philosophy of light and cosmocracy, democracy at the cosmic level.
Skolimowski’s eco-philosophy regards the world as a sanctuary and calls for ushering in an Ecological Age. In Hindu mythology, an age spans over millions of years. The ecological age in Skolimowski’s vision is the same as Satyuga, the Age of Truth – which, apart from promoting living in, living for and living with truth and divine justice, also promoted Aranya (Forest) Culture. (Henryk Skolimowski’s birthday, May 4, is being observed as Eco-philosophy Day).