How psychology impacts environment

Deep Ecology and Evolution of Consciousness: Part 3 of 5

Can humanity's consciousness evolve?

Enphasis on the industrial-growth society is a result of glorification of fifth chakra technological mastery combined with lust for third chakra power, in the absence of honoring the fourth chakra heart opening.

Coal Mine in Mongolia

Coal Mine in Mongolia

Perhaps one reason for this is the pain one feels when the heart is open: One feels the pain of the mothers whose children are starving, of the children sold into slavery, of the young people being wounded in war, of the inner city poor in America, of the animals in laboratories, of the polar bears who drown as they can’t swim any farther because of the melting ice, and of the thoughtless destruction of plants, animals, rivers, mountains, and the Earth’s atmosphere. It seems really overwhelming. It is easier to believe in a technological fix than to believe that the answer may be in loving and caring for one another and for the planet.

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This may be where sixth chakra wisdom and intuition come in. Although our educational system has trained workers to make great strides in science and technology, somehow the wisdom to create life-enhancing systems has largely escaped us. In the reductionist, materialistic worldview that dominates the industrial-growth society, only what can be measured or logically demonstrated is given validity. Wisdom and intuition

Sixth Chakra Image

Sixth Chakra Image

based on spiritual values have been viewed as somehow primitive and irrelevant. In addition to the mind-body split and the human-nature split, there has been a matter-spirit split. Because the soul and spirit cannot be measured, the reductionist, materialistic worldview and the industrial-growth society do not value them. Because intuition cannot be replicated in a laboratory experiment, the scientific establishment does not grant it validity.

Expressed at the level of society, third chakra civilization was perhaps at its zenith in the days of empires and colonization, from the Roman Empire to the British Empire, and the European colonization of America and other parts of the “uncivilized” world. Although fourth chakra ideals have been infused into all societies by enlightened beings such as Christ and Buddha, whose seventh chakras are activated, a civilization based on these ideals of universal love and caring has not flourished. In the recent past, wise caring leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King who espoused love and nonviolence did bring about meaningful change. However, they were both assassinated.

Rather than passing through a stage based on the fourth chakra, first world civilization seems to have embraced the fifth chakra qualities of abstract thought and technological innovation, while many of those in power have remained primarily motivated by the lust for more power and wealth. This brings us to the current manifestation of the industrial-growth society. Although some scientists have been sounding the alarm for more than 30 years about the limits of growth due to finite resources and the toxic effects of pollution, as well as the potential for disastrous effects on global climate due to increases of carbon dioxide from human activity, the power elite of the industrial-growth society has managed to largely silence these voices.


Sandy Olliges, M.A., teaches academic writing at San Jose State University. She is a former Environmental Manager for NASA Ames Research Center.


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