Reflections from Mr Yu
Project Manager of Find Wellness Ecological Villages.
In partnership with Songlin Liu, Founder of Bene Wellness.
The following reflections were inspired by our visit to emerging ecovillages on Hainan Island after the Holistic Wellness International Forum in Beijing. After our first evening and a sharing of values and ideas, we invited Mr Yu to share his philosophy in writing. He embraced the opportunity and later said he hadn’t thought about the subject as deeply before.
Let me talk about something that has not been discussed on other occasions – the Chinese people’s thinking about why we need ecology in the world today. Environmental issues are one of the greatest concerns. Human beings face an extreme ecological crisis related to their own survival and development.
People began to wake up and reflect and the global movement for environmental protection developed. Ecology is of great significance and value to society in the 21st century, mainly manifested in the re-shaping of human values and the redefinition of the relationship between man and nature as a harmonious unification.
The growing ecological crisis has led to unprecedented attention on environmental issues, resulting in the environmental movement that has spread across the globe. Echoing the actions of the United Nations, various civil environmental organizations have formed and grown, actively working for environmental protection and becoming a powerful social force. These include the outstanding Findhorn eco-village and Breitenbush Hot Springs that Christine and Peter represent. I have just met them both and value the holistic culture of these environments.
The problems of the modern environment are caused by human beings. The whole person needs to be developed with careful navigation and cultivation, the learning environment of the whole person is also an ecological consideration. The growth of the whole person needs more attention than the environmental pollution. The eco-village is the practical implementation of the environmental protection movement and includes the theoretical and ideological level of whole-person education.
The ‘doctrine’ of ecovillages is the ideal view and proposition that many people admire. The concept of doctrine represents, on the one hand, the meaning of the dominant thing. On the other hand, the concept of doctrine expresses a certain point of view, theory and proposition. Doctrine is a strong implementation of the proposition, which is precisely the anti-ecological principle.
Ecology is not a doctrine, it is a form of beauty and enjoyment beyond simply an aesthetic. It is a respect for nature and all living things. There has never been a doctrine that can contribute significantly to the progress of human civilisation. Ecology is an intelligent system and therefore is a form of finance – ecology can offer credit, kindness, relationship, confidence and responsibility to oneself and the environment.
Ecology is not the alleviation of poverty, it is a form of wealth. Ecology is not a business model, it is a way of life. Ecology is not an operational mechanism, it is life’s demand of life. We won’t use ecology for the benefit of profit, that is pseudo-ecology. To offer ecological promotion is a kind of non-ecology. Ecology is the state of existence of all living things and the relationship between them and their environment. Ecology originated from the study of biological individuals. No one is immune from the destruction of ecology, humanity is both the perpetrator and the victim.
Ecological “doctrine” opposes the analytical and inductive methods of modern science. It opposes the linear mode of thinking of machinery and atomic theory. Ecological “doctrine” believes in the post-material era, and opposes the endless material pursuit, accumulation, production and consumption in industrial capitalist society.
What can ecology solve? It can solve all the problems arising from human development: psychological problems, physiological problems, psycho-social problems, environmental problems. Ecology is the highest form of business development – satisfying demand. Ecology is demand rather than interest, so it is not a monetary system. The demand of ecology is not wealth accumulation or possession of money. Only when people make money to buy stocks, can they invest in more, likewise, the more people profit from ecological investment, the more we can invest in ecology.
Ecology is the best balance of spirit and body, it is not politics and doctrine because politics and nationalism cannot give us joy and health. Ecology is the natural state of the living world: ecology is not almsgiving, it is repaying. It repays the excessive human cost of destruction: the impact on people, wildlife and nature and the wonderful incomparable relationship between them all. Modern commerce cannot solve this problem.
Ecological progress must be profitable for the following four reasons:
1. Ecological Profit is the Duty of Love.
We love our family and our community. Every member of our team and their family needs to live more confidently through the system of ecological villages that we create. Our family lives in abundance. This is an expression of love.
2. Ecological Profit Must Be Observed.
We’re grateful to the investors who invest in our ecological village. The best kind of gratitude is to let the investor receive enough return and profit, to let the investor receive a rich and stable reward, plus the value of ecology shaping their character at the same time.
3. Ecological Profit is for the Public Good.
We must make society see clearly that ecological investment is in the interest of the public. In order to achieve sustainable development, ecological investment must benefit society. It can then come to see investment as a virtuous cycle that can be profitable. This is the desire of society – to reduce ever increasing speculation, and to bring the values of ecology back to ecology.
4. Ecology is a Common Need of all Ecosystems on the Earth.
Ecology needs sustainable development. Giving money, relying on charitable support, severs benefits, leads to inertia, hinders the growth of the mind, generates dependency and expects more donations. Ecological investment can stimulate people to become ecological in order to develop projects, this is unconscious. If we let people do ecological projects for donations, this will make people mistakenly do ecology as a show, and this itself needs ecological restoration.
I’m focused on ecology because my heart has the ecological desire. I’ve smoked, drunk alcohol, eaten meat. I repent, and so I cease to harm myself – the work of God – and devotion to God certainly includes all work of love. I hate the fur industry because fur products are no longer necessary for human survival. It is human behaviour to take life and kill for greed and hypocrisy, the fur industry is a cruel continuation, and the consumption of fur is an accomplice to violence. I’m not opposed to the way of production for survival and life, however, I refuse to destroy ecological relations in order to satisfy desire. I eat a vegetarian diet to let my behavior demonstrate to the people around me that being vegetarian is healthy. I protect the animal because under the fur is life. I save animals not just because I like them, but because I help them by accident, because I want to lessen the aggression and encroachment of some of our species.
So our ecological village will have lots of small animals and biological diversity. We also want to show that the earth is not just human, the earth includes all living things. When there is only one human species left on the earth, the only tears accompanying human beings are from the human beings themselves. The man-made destruction of the ecology is due, first of all, to the destruction of the ecology of the spirit, to the destruction of the ecology of the mind, as opposed to that of the ecology of the environment.
Our human’s inner ecology needs to be repaired and preserved, to destroy the ecological person as an ecological victim. We’re dedicated to saving the environment. We protect the ecology because we need to redeem ourselves. Therefore, protecting the ecology is also our spiritual need. Ecology is the inspiration, ecology is the enlightenment, ecology is the activation of the internal, ecology is to enhance the inner confidence of the people. Ecology is to let people realize that participating in ecology is the growth of life’s needs!
This is the need for whole-person growth and why we invite holistic centers such as the Findhorn Foundation and Breitenbush Hot Springs to offer the ‘soft culture’ here that is your strength. This is vital to help make our Find Wellness Ecological Villages truly sustainable on all levels and attractive to many people as we co-create a thriving way of life.
The words of Gus Speth, US Advisor on climate change and Yale professor, resonate with the ecological consciousness of Mr Yu. We need a spiritual and cultural transformation. Modern commerce cannot solve this problem nor can science. It’s heartening to know this realization is shared by people of influence in both east and west. All approaches need to come together and navigate the way.