Thursday, April 23, 2009

The burden of proof

"The burden of proof is placed on those who take the "ecological viewpoint": unless they can produce evidence of marked injury to man, the change will proceed. Common sense, on the contrary, would suggest that the burden of proof should lie on the man who wants to introduce a change; he has to demonstrate that there cannot be any damaging consequences. [...]
All changes in a complex mechanism involve some risk and should be undertaken only after careful study of all the facts available. Changes should be made on a small scale first so as to provide a test before they are widely applied. When information is incomplete, changes should stay close to the natural processes which have in their favour the indisputable evidence of having supported life for a very long time."

Ralph and Mildred Buchsbaum, commentary in E.F. Schumacher Small is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The main threat in nonsustainable development

"From a resource point of view, the main threat in nonsustainable development is not so much that we are running out of non-renewables (for instance fossil fuels or heavy metals). The main threat is that the productivity of our renewable resource base (vital ecosystems) is declining. The main problem is that waste molecules from the use of nonrenewables have negative effects on our renewable resource base through climate change, acid rain, eutrophy, toxic metals, etc."

Karl-Henrik Robèrt (founder of The Natural Step), commentary in E.F. Schumacher Small is beautiful.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Small is great

"The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. Everybody's life really consists of small things. Greatness is a mental abstraction and a favorite fantasy of the ego. The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness. The present moment is always small in the sense that it is always simple, but concealed within it lies the greatest power."

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth - Awakening to your life's purpose, chapter "Your inner purpose".

This reminds me of this quotation from Gandhi (in french).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. However, start by acknowledging and recognizing abundance without. See the fullness of fife all around you. The warmth of the sun on your skin, the display of magnificent flowers outside a florist's shop, biting into a succulent fruit, or getting soaked in an abundance of water falling from the sky. The fullness of life is there at every step. The acknowledgment of that abundance that is all around you awakens the dormant abundance within. Then let it flow out. When you smile at a stranger, there is already a minute outflow of energy. You become a giver. Ask yourself often: "What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation?" You don't need to own anything to feel abundant, although if you feel abundant consistently things will almost certainly come to you. Abundance comes only to those who already have it. It sounds almost unfair, but of course it isn't. It is a universal law. Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality. Jesus puts it like this: "For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."*

* Mark 4:25 (New Revised Standard Version).

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth - Awakening to your life's purpose, chapter "Finding who you truly are".

I remember reading this passage of the Bible some time ago when I started to read the New Testament, and thinking this was a very unfair statement from Jesus. Now, thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I understand the meaning.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ode to women

"Although women have egos, of course, the ego can take root and grow more easily in the male form than in the female. This is because women are less mind-identified than men. They are more in touch with the inner body and the intelligence of the organism where the intuitive faculties originate. The female form is less rigidly encapsulated than the male, has greater openness and sensitivity toward other life-forms, and is more attuned to the natural world."

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth - Awakening to your life's purpose, chapter "The pain-body".