Deep Ecology





FritjofCapra’s statement is correct in arguing that there is a connectionamid ecology and spirituality. Ecology refers to the research of theassociations of organisms to their outward surrounding and eachother. The surrounding does not just refer to physical, but ourbodies and minds. An association of the body and mind defines ourspirituality hence, the connection between ecology and spirituality.Our spirituality results in the awareness of the link to thesurrounding we inhabit. It also enhances awareness of the creatures,which share spaces with us. In the poem, Birdfoot’sGrampa,Bruchac states that the toads have places to go as well. Thisdemonstrates an understanding of the space shared between the frogsand human being, which is the roadside. Spirituality enhancesperception of the natural rules, which oversee the interdependence ofall life. It is through comprehension of our interdependence, whichtakes us past selfishness and permits us to view the earth and beappreciative of all creatures and things that share earth with humanbeings.

Deepecology is a procedure intended at widening awareness of, andassociation with personal ecological self. To understand how thingshappen in the world, we must question our individual ecological self,which refers to the mind. Thus, spiritual awareness comes in play,enhancing understanding of the link between nature and things. Hanhstates, “Your mind is in here and mine is also. Everythingco-exists with this sheet of paper” (1991). The author demonstrateswhy understanding of how the paper is made, results in theunderstanding of organism and their surrounding, which is ecology.The paper is derived from a natural process and manmade process.Rainfall and sunshine, which are natural facilitates the growth oftrees. The birth of the logger is also significant, because withouthim there will be no one to cut down the trees and manufacture theminto paper. It is the mind, or rather our spirituality that questionsall these processes, leading to an understanding of the associations,which is ecology.

Theconnection between ecology and spirituality is apparent through thelevel of questioning of our objectives and values, when debating inenvironmental disagreements. “The deep movement involves deepquestioning, right down to fundamentals” (Drengson, 1999). Theargument is that to understand the environmental impacts of humanactions, different policy makers question the inherent value for allliving things and diversity, which results in deep ecology movement.The policy makers differ in their thinking and religious beliefs.However, their different spiritual viewpoints combine to form a basisfor explaining ecological issues.


TheRiverof Love in an Age of Pollutiondemonstrates how profound ecological consciousness is a freedommovement for nature, in specific the Yamuna River. The book presentsthe river as a goddess moving with liquid affection. Its path tracesfrom icy origins in the spectacular northern mountain landscape,following to Allahabad with emergence of the Ganges. River legends,geography and current physical traits of flora and fauna areentangled in such a dynamic, as well as attractive manner, whichmakes it easy to be derailed with the dashing river. However, it isalso possible to sense the emerging doom on the river. It has beenexhausted and polluted through industrial and human actions, in sucha manner that the river is discolored and contaminated (Haberman,2006). The author employs Hindu tradition in demonstrating howselfish human acts result in depletion of nature. People realize thatthey need the water from the river and are less concerned of theaftermaths of their exploitative actions.

Thebook endeavors to link spiritual and environmental actualities.Scattered all over the text, Haberman (2006), provides revelationsinto complicated Bhagavata theology and verses from devotional songsto the Yamuna. Both communicate the poetic mood, which forms thebasis of the deep ecological alertness as a freedom movement fornature. Current river activism is depicted as service to a Motherof Life,gradually altering to a River of Death. It is via river traditionsand poetry that people are made perceptive of their role in savingthe river from more pollution. Readers are alarmed of the differenceamid conventional river poetry and the current contaminated state ofthe river.

Thetexts act as ecological awareness for readers. They alarm on mannersthrough which human being exploit natural resources like the river.Contributions from Sunderlal Bahuguna and Lina Gupta question humanview of society. People view nature as theirs to dominate withoutcontemplating how they would survive without the very same naturethey exploit (Haberman, 2006). In the video HowWolves Change Rivers,it is clear that wolves are an important species that results in apositive eco-community. However, the selfish nature of humansresulted in earlier elimination of wolves for lack of economicsignificance, resulting in dry lands (Monbiot). The video and bookdemonstrate how human thoughts are a form of inner pollution. Thethoughts to use and exploit natural resources result in externalpollution.


Bruchac,J. Birdfoot’s Grampa. Poem.

Drengson,A. (1999). Ecophilosophy, Ecosophy and the Movement: An Overview. EcocentrismHomepage,1-1. Retrieved from

Haberman,D. L. (2006). Riverof Love in an Age of Pollution: The Yamuna River of Northern India.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hanh,T. N. (1991). Interbeing in his book, Peace is Every Step. CroftonAir.Retrieved from

Monbiot,G. How Wolves Change Rivers. SustainableMan.Retrieved from