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Ego, Economy, Ecology, and Ethic

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Message Rosan Yoshida

The Economy Is Neither Economical Nor Ethical



1.    Economy in the origin

The world's economy and ecology derived from eco (Greek oikos), house. Thus originally eco-nomy (oikos nomos, house norm) meant "(small, individual) home account," and eco-logy (oikos logos, house logic) meant "(large, common) environment logic." Home accounts must be, and are, enough to balance income and expenses in a balanced society and ecology.

In their early and long history, humans were just like other animals, without houses, much less the house's belongings and their inventories, but fitting into the natural ecological systems. Their lives were concerned only with ecology, to sustain and survive. There was no place, plan, or practice to store or accumulate extras beyond the daily consumption by gathering and hunting.

2.    Economy in the present

However, our economy tries to increase income and decrease expenses in order to cope with the competitive social and contrary ecological situations. Thus, an imbalance appears in the home economy, social economy, and ecological material and energy flow. The money system increases this imbalance for more accumulation, easier exchange, higher preservation, and stronger manipulation.

Capitalism, stressing money, creates more capital to discriminate between self and other, economy and ecology, and to exploit -- even to exterminate -- others and the ecology. Money advertises, asserts, arranges, and aggregates meism, materialism, and militarism, accumulating selfish matter and power. This creates an artificial, private, pyramidal power system against the natural, cyclical, public life system.

In such a system one seeks money, matter, and power by any means and to a limitless extent, sacrificing others and the ecology. This is exactly our situation with the global problematique -- with a global depletion of resources, pollution of life systems, climate change, more man-made and natural disasters, social disintegration, decrease in biodiversity, mass extinction, etc.

Privatization by money-monopoly advances to the extreme of controlling the five major fictitious bodies of nations, corporations, media, education, and religions and minor institutions. Money buys politicians, lawyers, bureaucrats, broadcasters, scholars, scientists, merchants, mercenaries, private and public properties, votes, voices, networks, nukes, wars, worship, and so forth.

People deprived of their original quality of life seek more matter and power, comfort and convenience and wanting their jobs and money to buy these things, they wish for economic growth, disregarding and dismissing ecological laws and limits. Thus, they suffer from ecological disasters and devastations such as more and stronger flooding, droughts, tornados, hurricanes, storms, and wild fires.

3.    Economy in the future

People have now become disillusioned with the pyramidal social system as seen in the Occupy Movement. The movement points out that 1% or 0.001% of the people are amassing wealth, sacrificing the rest of the 99% or 99.999%. Actually, only a miniscule number controls the whole of the global life system, ecologically. We must be awakened to the original wholly wholesome natural system and natural way of life.

The home economy (bubble) should and cannot conquer holy ecology (ocean). The triple malady of meism, materialism, and militarism, epitomized in money-ism, must be scrutinized and straightened. This malady is based on the triple poison of delusion of self (separated from ecology), craving, and anger. Self (bubble) cannot conquer the global life system (ocean).

The global life system has been the wholly wholesome, limitlessly interdependent system for four billion years, like the ocean, and the self is an inseparable and integral part of it. If we are awakened to this truth, we can appreciate limitless beauty, goodness, and holiness there, like the limitless ocean, not as a bubble. We must shift our paradigm from economy to ecology.

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Abbot/director, Missouri Zen Center Taught at Toyo Univ., Nebraska Univ., Washington Univ., Webster Univ., etc.
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