The hubris upon which we launched the disastrous experiment of imagining ourselves above Nature is collapsing under the weight of the truth.
Business leaders across all sectors are feeling the tug, the dip and the pull of something deep beneath their feet. A future so uncertain they can no longer ignore it. It is the quaking of our earth on the brink of exhaustion.
Sustainability has become a cornerstone of the way we think about the challenges we face in the world today. Often this begins and ends with environmental sustainability, though increasingly there is an acknowledgement of the social aspect of sustainability in our radically divided and unequal society. But there is a third pillar to true sustainability.
Buried beneath the assumptions that have provided the foundations of our industrial era and the post-industrial era we now occupy, is a way of seeing and experiencing the world which became lost to us a long time ago.
This third pillar turns inward towards an aspect of human experience perhaps more traumatised than any other. This represents a profound shift in consciousness and could yet illuminate the pathway home.
Many native peoples possessed a sense of relationship with everything existing, seen and unseen. Some still do. This sense of the sacred was once known to us – we too were once people who lived in close relationship with nature. True sustainability means getting over the self-important belief that nature only exists to serve our species’ ambitions and needs.
We cannot build or invent our way out of this worldview. Technology alone will not guide us home to the peaceful, fulfilled, just and equitable society that so many of us long for.
True sustainability will lead us to acknowledge our relationship to the delicate, interconnected web of life that has allowed the extraordinary phenomenon of our existence. We will recapture a sense of wonderment and of spirit. We will look at the world afresh, awaking to that which we have taken for granted and joyfully beholding what we have under our feet.
Businesses are not the enemy. Banks are not the enemy. There is no enemy. We are connected. We are family. In this openness and softness we will find our way through to our more beautiful world.