This is the third in the series of my reflections on the “shifts of being” proposed by Jem Bendell in Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos (UK/USA 2021).
Jem Bendell uses the word “surety” to describe the threefold human assumption that we can be certain of reality, that it is good to be certain, and that there is a universal standard through which we can all agree what reality is and how to know it (Bendell, p. 127). For centuries now, humankind have used the rational scientific method, free from individual subjective bias, to determine and expand our knowledge of the nature of reality. We have made enormous strides in such fields as medicine and engineering.
Those who hold fast only to reality derived from the rational scientific method disagree with the subjective bias of faith-based religious belief systems. The gods, prophets, and saints who respond to our pleas for help are not real, they argue. They are only a figment of our imagination to alleviate our pain and bring certainty to our lives. They also reject individual spiritual experiences as an integral part of our reality as human beings.
Human nature itself has also come under the microscope. Are humankind essentially good or bad? The human capacity for both heroism and barbarism is evident across time and space. No people, no society, no country is exempt. We are complex beings with limited senses and cognitive abilities.Continue reading