Last month, I referenced an article about 6 moral precepts from the field of bio-ethics. The article suggested that we hold on to some ways of being together as we enter these times of environmental collapse.

The 6 suggested guidelines are:

  1. Work hard to grasp the immensity of the change
  2. Cultivate radical hope
  3. Have a line in the sand
  4. Appreciate the astonishing opportunity of life at this time
  5. Train your body and mind
  6. Act for the future generations of all species

I’d like to draw our attention to one of these every month. This month, it’s the first precept: Work hard to grasp the immensity of the change.

I admit I enjoy taking breaks from thinking about the immensity of the change. I have worked hard to grasp it and it can utterly exhaust me. Yet, I am grateful that I do think of it and I find my capacity to understand woefully inadequate.

Yet, the pursuit of this understanding is important to me and it is often in the back of my mind.

One benefit of keeping the immensity of it all in mind is it helps me understand the state of the world. We seem to be living in an increasingly polarized world, with increasing fear and rigidity.  

Contemplating the enormity of it all gives me more compassion. For myself. For you
For the thirsty dying trees all around us. For the hungry crows.

And, it isn’t about fault or blame. It’s about straight seeing. Buddhists have a word that captures it – “Prajna.” Prajna often translated as “wisdom”, “intelligence”, or “understanding”. Sitting with the enormity of it all, like sitting with a dying loved one, can give us prajna.