Manusya, Journal of Humanities


David Jones

Publication Date



It has become increasingly vital to secure some purchase on effecting the requisite changes in the Western Worldview to reintegrate humanity with the natural world. Only two possibilities exist for this reintegration: an affirmation of the evolutionary process and the development of human predispositions that intimately relate individuals to other lives. Such reintegration becomes possible only when humanity re-realizes its animality. This paper argues that these changes are vital to defining peaceful coexistence with not only animals and their environs, but within the human realm as well. By casting the idea of peace in the light of ecological thinking and the hope for creating sustainable environments, a more positive approach to defining peace can be made. Such a definition can lead to designing human habitats, food production systems, and the utilization of natural resources in more ecologically sustainable ways. Such designs and utilizations are known as "permaculture", a position advocated in this paper because it focuses more on the active roles which humans take in their environments. Such a way of thinking moves away from the ethical environmentalism of Stewardship, which focuses on two emotions: cast in the negative as pity and in the positive as respect. In either emotion, peace is seen as transcendently given in absolute terms. The alternative of Buddhism is presented as a philosophical way out of the conundrum of stewardship. This alternative in itself is not new?€"these ideas have been in circulation for almost three decades?€"but what is distinctive in what is advocated is the synthesis of philosophical and scientific ideas such as intimacy, immanence, animality, evolution, empathy, and compassion seen dialectically vis-à-vis integrity, transcendence, stewardship, and pity and respect.

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