The traditional wisdom of the Eastern civilization of which Bharat is the Mother, looks upon all living beings as spiritually united. It looks upon all existence as interrelated, interdependent. Many of the interests of the living beings are common. The life support systems such as air, water, energy, land, space and biodiversity are the common property of all. Unless we learn to preserve, conserve and save them for the future, life on earth will be greatly endangered.
In consonance with the Eastern view, the ultramodern science of the West too charting its own course has come to look upon all living systems as a WEB. The ultramodern science is holistic and spiritual. It respects diversity, deep ecology and ethical values of sharing and self-denial.
On the other hand, the Cartesian outlook,-the Western classical outlook sees the units of existence in isolation, ignoring the background, undercurrents, and commonalities. The social, political and material values of this isolationist and reductionist vision of life linger on in spite of the emerging ultramodern holistic vision of existence.
The Western classical science sees an accidental collocations of atoms in matter. It has a materialistic outlook. It is based on specialization and analytical wisdom. The ultramodern science and Indian wisdom look upon matter and life as emerging from a living bonding. It has a spiritual and religious culture. It calls for generalization and an integrating wisdom.
The industrial technology emerging out of the classical western science is utility based, capital intensive, machine oriented and it replaces man by mechanical devices. It calls for very high quantity of inputs, is energy intensive, and is polluting the environment. It seeks to create a technology-based society which would be very complex. The technology itself is of very large scale and it produces a number of throw-away products and generates enormous waste. It constructs big dams. It is a grandiose technology.
On the other hand, the holistic approach is value and utility based. It can work with less capital. It is tool-oriented. The tools extend man’s capacities. A low input technology that it is, it is labour intensive, and leaves the environment clean. It makes a society that is tradition-based. This technology is of optimum size and scale and uses the techniques of recycling and reusing.
On the farm front, the classical Cartesian Science promotes monoculture, it is violent, it accepts Genetically Modified Foods and plants. It promotes food processing, does not recognize prana. In it the farm and dairy are separated. The holistic approach encourages biodiversity, rejects Genetically Modified Foods, Promotes eating raw food with minimal processing. It seeks to integrate diary with the farm.
The economy of the Cartesian paradigm is market-oriented, aggressive, male biased. It is a River economy and is exploitative. Its forces are politically designed. The sales are advertisement driven. It thrives on multiplication of human wants. It generates unemployment and its transaction costs are terribly centrally planned, and the disputes are to be settled by courts and political laws, whereas the holistic economy is passive and positive. It is a bucket economy and sales are need-driven. It survives on reduction of human wants. It generates employment and its transaction costs are pretty low. The waste products are reintegrated into the production loop by recycling. It has decentralized planning, and the disputes can be locally settled on the basis of human goodness.
At the social level, the Cartesian paradigm allows the family to break down. It does not care much for values, ethical or social. It has led to colonization and exploitation of the poor countries and their people. The gap between the rich and the poor widens in this model. It is basically violent and has to resort to wars to keep it going. It teaches man to search for happiness outside of him. The holistic model promotes family, community and patriotic values. it promotes ethical values and in it the man does not exploit man. It seeks to close the gap between the rich and the poor. It is basically nonviolent and promotes cooperation, not competition.
The Cartesian technology uses up fossil fuels and pollutants such as coal, oil, nuclear elements, etc. the holistic model calls for the use of bullock cart, manual labour and renewable energy sources and teaches man to utilize primary raw energy sources such as sun, wind, photosynthesis, gravity and other pollution-free sources.
The health of human beings animals and plants are influenced by the type of model chosen. The Western classical model has given rise to tension, BP, heart attacks and allergy. It promotes the use of drugs and leaves man to use alcohol, narcotics, etc. He becomes an addict. The holistic model is health-oriented, leaving an individual’s health to be cared by his life style. Medical remedies are based on natural and herbal medicines, yoga, self-healing, etc.
In totality, the Cartesian, Western classical model defines man as an enemy of Nature, ultimately at war with himself and his society. It images him as a product emerging from a lifeless material. The holistic paradigm defines man as a part of Nature, as a spiritual entity, naturally, and instinctively disposed to be Nature-friendly.
Back of the Book
One day a saint dispatched his disciple to bring a few leaves from a tree. When the disciple broke a whole branch and was taking it, the saint stopped him and said: “Don’t you know, you fool that if any part of this is destroyed, you too will become less to that extent? When this tree stood before us, full and green, we too in a manner were also full and green. Today, its wound has caused a scar within us also. We are not apart from each other.
The saint said further: “If there is an attitude of friendship, of companionship amongst various parts of Existence, if there is a feeling of oneness with each other instead of overpowering each other, a wonderful music is created in life”.
This very music is Religion-Spirituality and is Rit. (Cosmic harmony).
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