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Philosophy on Responsibility
This contribution on Philosophy on Responsibility comes from discussions with Charter committee members.
**Relevance to Charter principles**
Every person’s dignity demands that he or she contribute to the freedom and dignity of others.
In the flowering of the human personality, its non-material aspirations as well as its material needs must be addressed.
The Charter principles may need to address the link between personal responsibility and public responsibility. People trained in social analysis are often cautious of over-emphasis on the individual!
The following quote from Krishnamurthi, the Indian philosopher, reminds us of the inseparability of responsibility for personal integration with our work to integrate social organization with environmental responsibility.
Krishnamurthi - in his book ’On Nature and the Environment’, takes the challenging position of directing us to heal separation within us - we cannot restore separation in the world, resolve conflict and so on without attending to our self. ’What is your relationship with nature (nature being rivers, trees, the swift flying birds, the minerals under the earth, the swift-flying birds, the waterfalls and shallow pools) ....we never look at a tree, or if we do it is with a view to using the tree, either to sit in the shade or cut it for lumber. ...We treat the earth and its products in the same way. There is no love of earth. There is only usage of earth. ...Earth is there to be loved, to be cared for, not to be divided as yours and mine.
There is extraordinary scientific achievements and at the same time human misery, empty hearts and empty minds. The modern world is yourself. The world is not different from you. You will see that you are the product of modern civilization. Your world is a world of the cultivated intellect and the empty heart. We do not know what it means to love. We have no song in our hearts.
Organized religion and the modern world are the self-projected expressions of ourselves. So there can be no transformation in the world unless there is a transformation within the skin of each one of us. And transformation is the problem of each one of us. If we leave it to others (the expert, leader, priest) we become irresponsible, and therefore our hearts become empty. An empty heart with a technical mind is not a creative human being, and because we have lost that creative state, we have produced a world that is utterly miserable, confused, broken by wars. ....It is our responsibility to bring about a radical transformation within ourselves.
A piece from a philosopher from the Pacific might be more appropriate - but Krishnamurthi has brought this challenge to me over recent months!