Response to Rocky Fjord’s “Ecological Challenge and Changing Consciousness” (Steven Rosen)

Thanks, Rocky, for your stimulating post. I like the dialogical touch of questioning your own thoughts and feelings.

I agree with you that consciousness needs to change by being more in-sightful. I think we need to shift gears so we see inwardly, becoming proprioceptively aware of our own subjective process as we interact with others, and with the rest of nature. I was aware, for example, of feeling a bit uncomfortable about what you said regarding Mexicans. “Why is he singling out Mexicans?” I thought. “Why is he treating them en bloc, rather than taking them as individuals? On the other hand, maybe I’m being too ‘politically correct.’ The ecological issue Rocky raises is important to me, and I like the self-questioning way he expresses himself.” These thoughts were accompanied by a small feeling of conflict that registered somatically as a slight pulling sensation in my chest.

Instead of looking within this way as we interact with each other, the default setting is to look exclusively outward, ignoring our own bodily process of looking. I believe this creates a split between inner and outer in which everything we see gets turned into an object that appears detached from us. In so proceeding, we lose our sensitivity to each other and to nature — from which the abuses you mentioned follow. I don’t think we can just look inward, since that would only amount to hermetic navel-gazing. So it seems we need to look inward as we’re looking outward. Such a process of interactive self-awareness corresponds to the proprioceptive dialogue I’ve tried to describe on this website.