To say that one is ‘Green’ is open to many interpretations. As someone who has made their living by the use of words I am very aware that language can be inadequate and unreliable. One doesn’t just lose things in translation, one can lose the meaning of anything simply by the way it appears or is emphasised. This is why the Tao is such a great text; it begins with the words “The Tao that can be talked about is not the eternal Tao… the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” … as one looks at words on a page the meaning is always open to interpretation, likewise when words are spoken aloud. Words can be spoken sarcastically, obtusely or sincerely, and the true meaning can ‘sound’ different. Since the beginning of time people have deliberately chosen to interpret texts in the way they want… to good, bad and sometimes horrible effect. Life is full of paradoxes and fuzziness.
Being “Green” has a great many meanings. Right now one might interpret ‘being Green’ as belonging to a political party that is environmentally committed, but the party is broad enough to provide a political home for all sorts, including disillusioned Socialists escaping from the deeply compromising Labour Party. At the other end of the spectrum the Green Party is a political home for passionate environmentalists, committed to looking after the the planet. My problem is I have problems joining clubs and connecting with certain views, particularly when those views are just material and physical. My commitment to the environment is both material and spiritual. I reckon that the force that created my ability to be inspired by sunsets, the beauty of the antelope and the lion and the sea and the desert is far more rational than the idea that we occupy a purely physical world cooked up by the mechanics of evolution. I believe that the matter in our world is exquisitely complemented by spirit, in the way that the Tao describes – “Difficult and easy, long and short, high and low define each other, just as before and after follow each other.” Everything has its opposite. The material is the flip side of the spiritual.
I cannot connect with slavish followers of the theory of Natural Selection, and the concept of the Selfish Gene any more than I can connect with those that believe in Biblical Creationism. Both schools of thought take me down paths of utter pointlessness that at times seem incomprehensible, but no doubt there are people out there that believe my fuzzy truth is equally silly. I see my commitment to the politics of the Green as a spiritual adventure, as frivolous and challenging as a journey through the school playground, where the test is to avoid school bullies, weeds and yoghurt weavers.
I’m a committed environmentalist. I believe we occupy a world made up of spirit and matter in equal parts and the beauty of nature is proof of this. I believe that being Green is a spiritual adventure, and being in love with this astonishing world is one dimension of an ongoing adventure. I reckon the adventure probably doesn’t have an end, it just has moments of transition.