New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Jan Lundberg’

The Nature Connection

November 28, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg

Understanding Energy and Dropping the Ego

by Jan Lundberg

Two major aspects of our lives are habitually kept separated, to our detriment and confusion. First, let’s agree we are often socially concerned, sensitively aware and observant beings, but coping with ubiquitous, mechanized, artificial environments driven by “the market.”

Whenever our deep understandings of nature and of our animal presence on the planet are in the forefront, we improve our chances of survival — or at least we find relaxation in such meditations. Meditation or submission to a greater reality, it is said, requires somehow letting go of the ego.

Realizations can then form, even though this can short-circuit having a quiet mind. Mindfulness means being aware, and not being perpetually caught in an internal dialog or seething mental disturbance. Or, not being a slave voluntarily to excessive, exosomatic (non-human) and ultimately inefficient energy. (more…)

Beauty of Nature

November 15, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Moving Beyond the Human Fixation

by Jan Lundberg

We have just witnessed the power and fury of nature, with devastating hurricane force. But it is through neglecting the beauty of nature, and perpetrating narrow human interests, that we reap nature’s wrath, e.g., Sandy.

We all like to think we appreciate the beauty of nature. But to really know it and appreciate it, we need to keep in perspective a critical understanding of what may be termed the human fixation. This is the modern mindset of constantly putting our human-oriented concerns, desires and schemes first.

We want to acquire or grab material things and experiences to maximize short-term comfort and gratification. Nature becomes invisible or abstract. Why? We are besieged by man-made vibrations, toxic drugs, impure food and water, and poor air. So we’re being deviated subtly from even wanting nature, and are programmed for just more corporate advertised products. (more…)

Beyond Argumentative Activism

October 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Are Progressives Barking Up the Wrong Tree for Social Justice?

by Jan Lundberg

The Occupy movement refreshingly broke through the corporate media’s suppression of the gaping gap between the wealth of the super rich and the rest of us. But many of the movement’s adherents seem wedded to misguided expectations, or their route is questionable. For when we mainly demand “a piece of the pie,” and it’s the same old toxic pie, does this really advance the fundamental changes needed for a just, sustainable society?

Probably not, even if we stand for totally turning around today’s warped federal spending priorities.

Moreover, meeting social justice aims would not necessarily result in an ecologically conscious culture, as argued by many social justice activists who rarely address resource limits, climate change, or the system of wage slavery. (more…)

Charting the Course

September 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Social Awakening Depends on a Balance of Activism

by Jan Lundberg

Our tall ship inches toward Copenhagen where it will dock near Christiania, the semi-autonomous village in the Christianshavn quarter. Apart from the job of getting the engineless ship into port where we deliver 8,000 bottles of French wine, there is much for an ecological and social activist to reflect upon.

Sometimes when Nature’s energy is high on the sea, with a fury, or when we are in the tender embrace of the water, air and sun that calms and becalms us, we get a slightly new perspective on our place on the planet. I should not have to add: that place is not about money or other narrow goals.

That this crew is a tight community is food for thought. Besides the imperative of cooperation for survival, it is simply easier and more natural to operate within a collective. Yet, in that situation one still finds oneself in serious personal contemplation on one’s intentions, dreams, and grappling with vexing questions about modern living. (more…)

Affluence Out on a Limb

August 10, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

An American’s Letter from Europe

by Jan Jundberg

The time for a revolution of a deeper sort comes when the imbalance of unequal sharing of the land and its resources reaches the ultimate crisis point. People don’t want to contemplate this, but at least the unprecedented socioeconomic disintegration ahead will be the portal to achieving real sustainability.

This will occur despite any redistribution of present wealth through compassionate reforms or wrenching de-classism. For the hour is too late ecologically. This applies to the entire modern industrialized world.

A great measure of middle and working class affluence has brought European nations together. Rather than serving lofty goals of advancing civilization and peace, it was more to convenience the region’s powerful corporations and increase Europe’s bargaining muscle for importing energy. Digging deeper into the seamy side, the elevated material life was accomplished largely by borrowing money and wasting material resources (albeit only half as recklessly as the U.S., per capita). The come-down will be far more painful and chaotic than what has been glimpsed, such as the Spanish miners’ objections to their getting squeezed. The bright side is that the failure of affluence — of the post-war European Dream — will give way to strong local economics and bioregional power. (more…)

Too Much to Ask?

July 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg

Bodily and Planetary Health in a World Out of Control

by Jan Lundberg

When we boil down what we need to survive and be happy, the sine qua non is to be healthy. And most truly educated people have by now learned that personal health has a limited future if our ecological health is plummeting — which it is.

As a long-time observer of environmentalism, peak-oil based survivalism, and yearnings for peace, I find that two reasonable wishes have become the common denominator: (1) to be healthy, as one attempts to navigate the toxic present, and (2) to hope that the climate can be stabilized. A third wish, often at the top of the list, is to see one’s personal material security be elevated as times get rougher. This urge is common for isolated consumers, and understandable in our crises-wounded world. (more…)

Guided by Gaia

April 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg

Sharing with All Life on a Finite Planet

by Jan Lundberg

When I first heard of the Gaia Hypothesis in the 1990s, as formulated by chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, I was skeptical but respectful of the idea.  I didn’t rule it out.  But neither did I feel confident that the Earth is a living single organism.  Perhaps I was too caught up in scientific reductionism, and needed to have proof — such as to sit down with Gaia herself.  So I took note of the notion and kept on trying to save and heal Earth.

About this time, one small deliberate act regardless of the Gaia Hypothesis was that I stopped putting the article “the” in front of Earth, so as to use Earth as a name, or her name.  Is it unscientific or childish for our home planet to have a personal-type name?  If so, we probably need to be less “scientific” and more childish.  Do you remember your child-wonder when you were very young and noticed the trees’ sound in the wind?  I thought they were talking to me. Many years later I remembered this after forgetting it.

As an environmental activist most of my adult life, I have loved nature as I always had. But I could relate to being sufficiently unaware of threats to nature’s health so as to find it easy to keep consuming products, burning fuel, wasting packaging, etc. (more…)