Natural Being and Coherent Society
– Mae Wan Ho,in Gaia in Action, ed. Peter Bunyard, Floris Books, 1996
Science, [Ian Suttie] argued, should be concerned with the whole range of our experience. In its failure to deal with sentiment and human attachments, mechanistic materialism is but a form of sublimated intellectual play. Suttie himself demonstrated that it is possible to have a science of feeling, but only with feeling. I suggest that the re-integration of intellect with feeling is essential to a full experience and understanding of nature, in other words, to an authentic knowledge of nature from within.35
What I propose is a knowledge system based explicitly and firmly on natural human values, a knowledge system which is already implicit in many aspects of contemporary western science, as I shall make clear in the next section. In claiming to be value-free and objective, western science has systematically obliterated human values and divorced us from our feelings and experiences, which however remain to haunt our dreams in hidden, subterranean forms, making us strangers to ourselves. We are constantly being fragmented into a rational thinking domain, opposed to an irrational domain of feeling: of head versus heart, with a strong emphasis of head over heart. Science and technology without value or purpose, that is, without heart, fall easy prey to the artificial value system of vested interests whose only criteria for validation are monetary cost and benefit; while cost to human life, plant and animal life, takes second place at best. The present global environmental crisis is a crisis of a materialistic lifestyle based on the ruthless exploitation of nature and of our fellow human beings. An exploitation which has been mediated, aided and abetted by the prevailing western science and technology. In that respect, it is also a crisis for western science and technology and a challenge to scientists to respond to the needs and sufferings of peoples all over the world.