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Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, v11 n1 p43-56 2006

Deep ecology arises from the personal intuition that one's self is part of the world's environmental wholeness. This awareness may be constructed upon scientific foundations but it is more commonly thought a spiritual concept. Deep ecology pedagogy emerges from its three-step process of ecological Self-realization. This paper traces the roots of the ecological Self through the work of deep ecology's founder, Arne Naess, and his studies of Gandhian philosophy to its foundations in Gandhi's Vaisnava religion. These foundations include the Vaisnava goal of Self-realization, and the scriptural three steps of Lord Vishnu and His Vamana avatar. Vaisnava ethics such as humility, non-harming, non-possession, simple living, and devotional service helped inspire the Gandhian political economy of permanence called sarvodaya, which still influences thinking in the environment and peace movements.

Descriptors: Ecology, Ethics, World Views, Religious Factors, Role of Religion, Asian Culture, Environmental Education, Role of Education, Educational Philosophy, Values, Physical Environment

Lakehead University and Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. Lakehead University Faculty of Education, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada. Fax: 807-346-7771; e-mail: cjee[at]; Web site:

Autor: Haigh, Martin


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