Brokenness, Climate Change, Climate Chaos, Compassion, Great Sages on Compassion, Jem Bendell’s C-O-S-M-O-S Remedy, Nature & Environment
This is the first in my series of reflections on the “c-o-s-m-o-s remedy” proposed in opposition to the “ideology of e-s-c-a-p-e” by Jem Bendell in Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos (UK/USA 2021).
In contrast to the habit of Entitlement in e-s-c-a-p-e ideology, which involves thinking ‘I expect more of what I like and to be helped to feel fine,’ Bendell proposes that Compassion, in this context, involves sensing that ‘I feel an active responsibility for any of my contribution to your suffering, without expecting to feel right, better or worse’ (p.146).
What is compassion?
In her book Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience (USA 2021), American research professor Brené Brown defines compassion as “the daily practice of recognizing and accepting our shared humanity so that we treat ourselves and others with loving-kindness, and we take action in the face of suffering” (p. 118). Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022) describes it simply in Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet (USA 2021, p. 109): “Compassion is a powerful energy that allows us to do anything we can to help reduce the suffering around us.”Continue reading