COSMO-CENTRISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE III

Cosmo-centrism is the ability to care for all things as an extension of one’s natural care for oneself. “Others”, whether that be people, animals, plants, or inanimate things, do not exist for my sake (ego-centrism) or for the sake of humanity (species-centrism), or ultimately even for the sake of the Cosmos (yes, Cosmo-centrism), but for themselves—just like you and I do.

All things are to themselves as I am to myself. All things are my-selves. All things are myself. All things are loved even as we self-love.

Ziporyn’s “omnicentrism” is another way of imagining this. Everything is the center. Everything contextualizes (“explains”) everything else (just like you do). Yet nothing is the exclusive center, since all things are the center. This is a Oneness that in no way prejudices the inviolability of the Many; there is One only in and through the Many. And like most anything that seems to get at the un-gettable-ness of existence, it is paradoxical—or nonsensical, if you prefer.

The Cosmos is much more than the totality of things, however. It is much more than a thing in itself. It is that outside of which nothing can be imagined. Since we cannot imagine this, it must fail as a designation. It is ultimately empty. As such it is open-ended. Cosmo-centrism is thus also openness.

Openness here means that when we imagine the cosmos we also take it as Mystery. Our minds do not close around a concept, but remain open and unfixed. The mind remains “released to play in the harmony of all de”, all expressions of Dao.

It is this openness that enables a Cosmo-centrism, an appreciation of the oneness of things, that does not prejudice things in their individual self-so uniqueness. “Not-one is also One.”

Our projects of self-and world-improvement are thus always informed by their embedding in the context of Mystery which requires no improvement.

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