“Never give children a chance of imagining
that anything exists in isolation.
Make it plain from the very first
that all living is relationship.
Show them relationships in the woods,
in the fields, in the ponds and streams,
in the village and the country around it.
Always teach the science of relationship
in conjunction with the ethics of relationship.
Elementary ecology leads
straight to elementary Buddhism.”
– Aldous Huxley
The word ecoliteracy refers to a practical understanding of systemic relationships both in nature and culture. For Fritjof Capra, co-founder of the Center for Ecoliteracy, being ecologically literate means understanding the principles of the organization of ecological communities and then manifesting those principles in the daily life of one’s community.
“The great challenge of our time” writes Capra, “is to build and nurture sustainable communities that are designed in such a way that their ways of life, businesses, economies, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain itself. The first step in this endeavor is to understand the principles of organization that ecosystems have developed in order to sustain the web of life.”
Capra is also the author of “The Tao of Physics”, a paradigm-shifting book published back in the 1970’s that introduced an entire generation to insights gleaned from sub-atomic particle physics that revealed a far more dynamic and interconnected universe than was currently being imagined by the mechanistic and materialistic paradigms of the time.
More recently, Capra‘s Ecology of Law, a book he co-authored with fellow professor Ugo Mattei, asserts that today the similarly outmoded worldview of western science and jurisprudence lis at the root of our current ecological and social crisis. The book urges for the intellectual design and implementation of a entirely new eco-legal framework that is capable of supporting our ever-expanding vision of the Commons.