The concept of property is fundamental to an understanding of the relationship between humans and nature. Moreover, land use, or land management and governance, is a significant factor determining the human impact on natural systems, including agriculture, biodiversity and habitat loss, deforestation, and overall climate change.
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I. to raise a ghost: to cause it to appear (Oxford English Dictionary).
To get this perspective, you must have wealth or wings.
II. The soul or spirit, as the principle of life; also ghost of life. Obs. exc. in phrase to give up (†earlier to give, give away, yield up) the (†one’s) ghost: to breathe one’s last, expire, die.
Where do mind and morality meet? My quick reply is, they meet in suffering. Every person on the planet knows the difference between pleasure and pain, joy and suffering, from direct experience. Causing pain and suffering in another is bad; aiding or caring for another mitigates suffering and is good. It seems simple, but my assertions rest on the two notions of experience and relationship.
Since the days of the poet Horace, adults have always fretted about the moral decay of the younger generation. Ninety years ago, for example, the New York City Board of Education issued a report in which they decried the decline of character among New York City’s school-aged children.
Throughout his life and writings Thomas Berry was involved in a great work of teaching, one aspect of which was his well-known book, Great Work: Our Way into the Future. In an effort to situate himself in terms both of contemporary cultural life, and in the lineage of cultural historians, he came to speak of himself as a “geologian.”
Naomi Klein contends that “climate change has become an existential crisis for the human species.” She is not alone in this view. A growing literature from many disciplines now views our ecological crisis not just as an “environmental issue,” but as a symptom of deep failures in our ways of thinking and being.
Condors went extinct here in the Sierra San Pedro Martir in the 1930s when a rancher’s bullet dropped the final bird. Locally extinct. The towering sugar pines in these northern Baja mountains remember those vultures, as do white firs and the gnarled lodgepoles that roosted relict ghosts for eight lonely decades.
The real tragedy is that we have become people who can’t cry. As Francis Weller says in Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World, “we live in a flat line culture, one that avoids the depths of feeling” (p. 87). We avoid feelings because we are afraid to cry. This also keeps us from caring, because caring is a feeling that sometimes moves us to tears.
Humans constantly generate new words, and those words continually shape us. We are haunted by language. We are the stories we tell each other and ourselves. And when we fall into despair, we dip into the wellspring of literature, music, and art to be reinvigorated.