As it stands, we have over 7 billion “little things that can make a big difference” walking around on this planet, each with the power to become a tiny tipping point of their own. Indeed, with the power to change the world. But, like Confucius said, “Those who move mountains begin by carrying away small stones.”
The move from EGO to ECO is not so simple. We have to lose a huge number of preconceptions about reality. We have to lose the thing that is often most precious to us, and this is something many of us are not aware is operating within us. This thing is our EGO. It is our EGO that sees the world as separate to us. This means that other people are separate from us, and when they are separate, this can often lead to feelings of fear. The fear comes when we are not confident about ourselves, and we fear of others having what we do not have, because they are superior in some way. EGO is fueled by our insecurities, and when we act from a position of EGO, sometimes all we know how to do is to attack others, bring them down, destroy their reputations and show how we are better.
EGO CENTRIC / “Ego-Logical”
The ego-centric system (from the Greek “ego” – me) has the self for its center, the individual. The ego-centric system is linked to the “personality,” to all the forces in those who use exclusively egotistical means to safeguard their interests and their most material goods.
The ego-centric perspective is immature and adolescent, suffering from a plethora of insecurities, anxieties, and neurosis. Unfortunately, our society is grossly egocentric. It is built upon military aggression, the control and exploitation of nature’s resources, and an entitled sense of national security that ignores the needs of other species, other nations, and even our own future generations.
Make the EGO test:
How many pictures of yourself have you published on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and co? More than 50%? If yes then you should think about it…
Now enter the ecocentric perspective. It is more difficult to recognize because of the 2000 year enculturation of the egocentric perspective, but it is based upon healthiness on the micro level, empathy and tolerance on the cultural level, and holistic cultivation and interconnectedness on the macro level.
This is the type of perspective that focuses on wellbeing, moderation, and balance. Its method is simple and healthy: discover, open, free, create, and rebirth. It does this over and over, on both micro and macro levels, leaving a cultivated garden of balanced forces and healthy, sustainable reproduction in its wake. It gives slowly, but it’s a meaningful gift.
The eco-centric perspective is about thinking holistically; what deep ecologist Arne Naess calls the “ecological self” or what James Hillman calls “a psyche the size of the earth.” The general principle of the psyche is that the deeper we understand ourselves the more of the world we will be able to identify with.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” expresses the essence of holism, a term coined by the great South African general and statesman Jan Smuts in 1926. Holism generally opposes the Western tendency toward analysis, the breaking down of wholes into parts sometimes to the point that “you can’t see the forest for the trees”. Holism is an important concept in the sciences and social sciences, and especially in medicine. Holistic medicine tries to treat the “whole person” rather than focusing too narrowly on single symptoms. It emphasizes the connections between the mind and the body, avoids the overuse of drugs, and has borrowed such practices from Eastern traditions as acupuncture and yoga.