David Barash published an article in 1973 entitled âThe Ecologist as Zen Masterâ in which he discussed what he considered the remarkable parallels between Zen Buddhism and the then emerging public concept of ecology. He felt that the interdependence and unity of all things was fundamental to both the practice of Zen and the science of ecology. In addition, both share a common nondualistic view of the fundamental identity of subject and surroundings. A bison cannot be understood in isolation from the prairie; understanding requires study of the bison-prairie unit. He concluded that âthe very study of ecology is the elaboration of Zenâs nondualistic thinking.â Barash also discussed how the environmental problems the public was then just becoming aware of resulted from the Western view of the dichotomy between humans and nature. The exploitation of nature as something external and separate from humans has had disastrous consequences in both ancient and modern times. A primary problem is that we behave in a way that we believe benefits ourselves at the expense of nature. This is true both at a collective level (jobs versus the environment) and an individual level (driving a car versus riding a bike). This perception
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 16, 1997
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