LOHAS Philosophy of the Future
A holistic philosophy on products, services, businesses, organizations, and humanity as a whole that advocates growth and change through systems thinking. I recently found an amazing write up at the LOHAS website about how this philosophy will help the business culture of the future.
Here’s my favorite excerpt:
“For the last 250 years, we have been living in what Peter Senge calls the ‘industrial age bubble’, based on a ‘take, make, waste’ worldview. Behind this way of life has been a set of attitudes and beliefs about economics, wealth, and business. We tend to think of these beliefs as “common sense”, or even as objective natural law. But in fact, they are received knowledge, the inheritance of centuries of cultural, political, and philosophical tradition. Our way of business is based on learned behavior, not natural law.
With this worldview, we’ve created unprecedented wealth, knowledge and communication. And, we’ve created environmental toxicity, cheap throw away products, denatured industrially-produced food, and a culture of low self-esteem and spiritual poverty.”
So how do we change? How do we grow?
Bio-inspiration is very interesting to us. Recognizing that many of the solutions to our worlds’ most urgent problems are right in front of our face, in nature. Anything from how plants use water and sunlight to produce energy to natural supplements being the preventative medicine to perceiving businesses as living systems much like forests, and even to feeling a oneness with nature that fills that spiritual void many of us feel inside. The answers are right there, we just have to see it and feel it, and take action. If we can incorporate this way of feeling and thinking into our own lives as well as our products, services, and business operations, we can work toward helping the planet become what it was meant to be and pretty much already was until humans arrived… a living, breathing, renewable system in itself.
There is no doubt a groundswell forming behind this message and when it reaches critical mass, it will sweep the world and help bring about the unity we need to start healing. So who’s gonna do it? Who is going to help bring about this change? Well, for starters, we’ve just elected a great man to the presidency of the United States. He is a symbol of unity and as he surrounds himself with more and more incredible advisers, his message will be honed, and he will be able to deliver it to the American people and the world in a way that touches their hearts and inspires them to find their own answers inside.
On our end, we see ourselves as bio-inspired marketers and technologists. The grapethinkers incorporate this understanding and awareness into our own personal lives, and now feel ready to build an organization that incorporates it as well. I talked about similar philosophies in a previous post on biodynamic agriculture and anthroposophy. The idea of a living system where people are simply parts of the whole. This is why I love wineries so much because I think that they’re physical locations that people can touch and be a part of, that gives tangible meaning to the words behind the message. It’s the essence of Zen… you can’ t just contemplate these things as intellectual ideas, you have to experience the world and feel it for yourself. I had to go all the way to Alaska this year and then ride a motorcyle to LA to start understanding what it is and start feeling it… everybody obviously can’t do that, so wouldn’t it be cool if you could go to a biodynamic estate and get the holisitic experience?
I’ve come to believe that another big part of this understanding sweeping the world is an acceptance of evolution and what evolution really is. That the planet has grown over time and that people and other life are simply extensions of the one life force that is our planet, our galaxy, and ultimately our universe. Just as our life force as human beings is comprised of all the individual living cells that make up our bodies. Seeing the recurring pattern in nature. However, many devout religious sects have trouble believing in evolution, for many reasons… it takes away the crave for afterlife, it’s below them to think we evolved from apes, or most significantly it implies a lack of belief in God. But what if evolution is simply the force of God? Human beings didn’t just appear one day, did they? It’s a humility that I think the world needs to find, a beautiful insignificance if you will. When we see a mountain or a tree or another person, we feel one with that ‘other’ object. We overcome the dualism and delusional developed sense of self that has evolved, and find unity within ourselves and with the world around us. Yet, it’s only when we find and feel this individually that we can form organizations that feel it as well.
What lies ahead is unknown, and it may take great hardship and struggle over the coming decades to reach this point of enlightenment in our world. We’re currently in the middle of one of the greatest economic crises ever, and are fighting multiple wars in the middle east. The world is reaching a boiling point, and I don’t know if it’s going to spill over, or if the movement can gain enough momentum fast enough to calm things down and begin the healing. It’s important to keep spreading the message and working together, but yet sometimes creative destruction is necessary.