Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Alan Drengson: The Practice of Technology

Drengson, Alan. The Practice of Technology: Exploring Technology, Ecophilosophy, and Spiritual Disciplines for Vital Links. Albany: SUNY, 1995.

... the environment is one whole—it is not cut up into specialties, disciplines and departments—and part of our difficulty in dealing with environmental problems is that we do not approach them as a unified whole. (Drengson, 1)

In industrial society, life becomes abstract, cut off from firsthand experience with nature, lacking in genuine human relationships; community is destroyed by the organizational processes; meaningful work is lost to the mechanization of production; and life and nature are desacralized and treated as nothing more than raw material. These losses and divisions give rise to a deep longing and a frustrating quest for self-completion, which often result in a pursuit of thrills and other compensatory activities and addictions. The whole system is characterized by violence resulting from exerting “power-over” control. To understand the deep needs of the human person is to see how we find our completion through a process of maturation that enables us to extend our sense of compassionate identification to a wider and wider sphere of relationships, not only with other humans but with other beings as well, and eventually with all of nature. This is the practice of ecosophy.
But, in addition, we must recognize that the philosophy of industrial culture is rooted in an approach to the world that necessarily divides the human person into parts and the world into fragments. The organization of industrial society for productive activity and profit reorders the whole range of values of earlier societies. It intensifies the urbanization of human life, destroys rural culture, and turns the whole planet into a giant manufacturing and marketing system, in which the major media become primarily marketing tools and time-filling entertainment. The depopulated wilderness and farmland become only raw materials. Forests are just logs for timber and fiber. The models and paradigms under which industrial philosophy operates must be replaced by new ones. Drawing from ancient wisdom and contemporary understanding of both ecological processes and transpersonal human development, we can provide a new vision of human possibilities and of nature, based on ecocentric values. (Drengson, 3)


Mad Mike said...

Excellent, a great read thank you. One day the masses will open there eye's, if it is not too late by then.

Michael said...


Thanks for the comment... see mine on your post on the same subject at your site.

Great weblog title and the hawk--is it your friend or someone else's (sorry, can a hawk be a pet? I hate that term)

Mad Mike said...

I wish the bird was mine, but alas it belongs to a falconry centre a couple of miles from where I live. Here is there web site http://www.thefalconrycentre.co.uk/index.php , it is only a small place but they have some wonderful birds of prey.