There is a growing concern about the environment in which you live, the natural environment. This, of course, is important because this is the context in which you live. But the environment is far more important than most people realize. It is important not only for your well-being and your future, it is important in terms of understanding the Greater Community.
You see, in the Greater Community, environment is considered the most important thing. It is not something that you use, and then after it has been misused, you worry about it a little bit. Environment is the most important thing. It is seen as the absolute, fundamental context for survival and creation and a model for education itself.
In the Greater Community, there are few environments that are as lush and abundant as this world. This world is truly a gem in the universe. This place and places like it are highly valued and considered remarkable and unique. But humanity has been bound to this world for a long, long time and has taken for granted the great wealth and abundance of this garden world, this Garden of Eden, if you will. For this world is most surely a Garden of Eden in contrast to other environments where intelligent life has had to adapt and advance.
Environment is not simply the plants and animals that you see around you. It is the context in which you live. It is life. There are two kinds of environments we shall speak of—the physical environment and the mental environment. The physical environment you are acquainted with, and perhaps you have a certain amount of knowledge and understanding about it. Yet, the mental environment is something very new to human understanding. The mental and physical environments are not the same. They operate on different levels of existence and follow different laws. They overlap tremendously, but you cannot take the principles of one and apply them to the other.
Your concern for the physical environment is important, but it must grow. It must become the most important thing, not something that is simply present or taken for granted or considered as an afterthought. It is the most important thing. You do not want to find out the hard way that this is true, for then your prospects for survival would be much fewer than they are today. Do not wait for calamity to teach you what you needed to know in the first place.
How you preserve and manage your environment in many ways represents your level of development. This refers both to your understanding and perception as well as your behavior. A very advanced society will value the natural environment tremendously and will utilize it in such a way that its productivity can be continued far into the future. It is a sustainable relationship, a relationship that humanity at this point does not have with the natural world.