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Spirituality = Sustainability

We are most certainly living in a period of the most significant importance for human survival in the twenty-first century. Even for non-environmental interested person words and terms such as global warming, sustainable development and sustainability have become mainstream. Sustainability, for example, is today one of the most-used words in the English vocabulary. Google listed already in 2005 19, 6 million hits for the term, Google reports the average monthly searches on the ends with global warming highest at 450, 000; climate change at 165, 000, finally the word “sustainability” was searched 135,000 times per month according to Google in 2013. Also, the Spanish term for sustainability (desarrollo sostenible). German (nachhaltige Entwicklung). Portuguese (Desenvolvimento sustentável), and French (développement durable) is used daily by millions of people.

Is economic growth sustainable?

Despite all the effort and energy used to promote, the road for survival in the next century our ability to change, rethink, renew and sustain lack behind. Is it possible to talk about sustainable development and economic growth at the same time? When we think of development, we usually think first of economic development. Measured perhaps through growth in the Gross National Product (GNP), nevertheless, seldom hear about spiritual (happiness, wisdom, truth, compassion) growth?

We live in a time where people believe that the most fundamental human values fixed with money. However, it’s always been in society a moral, ethical and or spiritual dimension; human values determine social interactions and cohesion. A restructure towards a more sustainable lifestyle has to start with fundamental values, throughout education, within the family, religion, school, various public spheres governed by values creating equity, not un-equity. How can we talk about growth as a good thing, when looking at the figures to be presented next?

The last twenty years of global growth

Increased global population with 35%


The worlds economic output up to 75%


Increased global energy up to 40%


Worldwide meat consumption up to 70%


Car production up to 45%


Paper consumption up to 90%


Worldwide advertising up to 100%


The result of this enormous growth

The richest 20% of the world’s population accounts for 86% of total private consumption expenditure


Consume 58% of the world’s total energy


Furthermore, consume 45% of all meat and fish


Consume 84% of all paper production


Owns 87% of the global car park


There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greedMahatma Gandhi

Also, the wealth of 350 billionaires equals the annual income of the poorest 45 per cent of the world’s population. I can hardly imagine those who have less share our admiration and believe that growth is of any good for the planet, people or sustainable development. The focus on growth, created a population of 2.8 billion that live on less than $2, with 1.2 billion of them barely surviving on the margins of subsistence. How to still accept, vote, support and close eyes to the reality stealing the collective resources right in front of 80 per cent of the global population? A solution based on growth creates benefit for a small group of people needs to stop. The party’s over!


Nature extremely well-balanced, dynamic and interconnected. The Living organism is never static. The survival of plants and animals is interdependence, rapidly adaptable to various seasons, heat, storm and frost. The incredible dynamic of nature and its systems, the phenomena invite us to recognize, learn, feel and take part.
Various sources describe, such as, in Sanskrit, the relationship, vibrant energy, and visual feast known as pramá. The term introduced by P. R. Sakar, it means dynamic equipoise and dynamic equilibrium. Nature is the most excellent factory. It produces no waste at all. Everything is recycled, all life forms, plants. Animals have their place, position, and function.
Nature does not need transportation of materials to build. So why do we believe economic theories telling its best and less expensive way to produce, for example, oranges in Spain, instead of growing it in my backyard? If nature decided it would build it closest to consume.

Make everything as simple as possible, just simpler” Albert Einstein

There are two fundamental obstacles we must overcome before we are closer to a real solution to global warming and develop a genuinely sustainable society. First, humans tend to overcomplicate solutions; we need simple solutions; keep it more straightforward. Second, we need to move away from a financial way of measuring human well-being and find a non-monetary new way of measuring wealth. Cannot measure nature economic; cannot talk about a monetary circular based economy. However, continues happiness, life, happiness and so on. The move away from human well-being = economic growth has started slowly. The problem is that unless we are willing to let go of old habits and speed up the road to sustainability will be a long and unpleasant journey for future generations. Our economic system today is built upon a circular consumption model, if the circle stop or slow down, the system will break. Such as, sustainable product design slow the model down and is an enemy of the system as we see it today. Nevertheless, the merry go around will eventually stop sooner or later as with time, the stock of natural resources gets lower, or runs out. We can, of course, wait and pretend that everything is ok and the try to solve as it occurs?

The energy for change

Fortunately, there are visionary people with a mixture of old and new ways of thinking that can help the speed up. At the level of self-actualization, individuals with stability, physical and psychological needs taken care of, they are close enlightened. The activity at this level is purely spiritual, only in a trans meditative condition is it possible to “reset the mind” and realization of human potential are enormous. The potential is to be shared and has always in any religious system, tribe, etc. with guidance been a part of the community. The positive energy for a global change is here right now. However, we are blinded because of ignorance and scared of letting go. A spiritual warrior can help people, a group, a society, company, or nation to move towards universal humanism, greater well-being.


Human well-being = economic growth
Wealth = money
Success = salary (money)
GDP = Inequality


Human well-being = happiness growth
Wealth = knowledge (education)
Success = grade of sharing (knowledge, goods, services)
Equality = promoting GNH (gross national happiness) diagram

Do we have a story crisis? series

Source and Useful Information
  • The Bridge at the Edge of the World, Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth. Published 2008 Caravan book
  • Figures and facts: The United Nations Environmental Programme’s GEO-2002 (UNEP, 2002)
  • Factor Four and Sustainable Development in the Age of Globalization Ernest Ulrich Von Weizsäcker
  • Sustainable Development in Practice: Case Studies for Engineers and Scientists, edited by Adisa Azapagic, Slobodan Perdan and Roland Clift 2004 John Wiley & Sons
  • Briefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research, Bjørn Grinde Division of Mental Health Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Springer 2012
  • Spiritual activism
  • The post What is Happiness?
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