Fluminism as an Environmental Ethic (Symbioethic)

Photo by me

I recently presented Fluminism as understanding of the interconnected universal narrative ~ there is flow to and from all dimensions, including ones we are yet to understand. The complexity is endless, the minutiae beautiful.

To be a Fluminist involves not only understanding and acceptance, but the promotion of it as a consequentialist and environmental ethic of care, whereby actions contribute to the continuation of dynamic flows of interconnectedness, to nurture them and to protect them towards a mutual end, whereby all life has the opportunity to flourish, rather than to harm or prevent.

Consequentialism ~ that morality of action be judged by consequences.

Ethic of Care ~  contextual, relational, specific, interdependence. A normative stance, holds that moral action centres on interpersonal relationships and care or benevolence as a virtue.

The consequences of Fluminism are good, in that the universal narrative is one of parity with a biosphere conducive to the flourishing of intrinsically valuable, existential life. In this way, the moral community extends deep beyond the human, and yet the value of empiricism is maintained (despite what we do not yet understand and what may always remain a mystery).

For example, the allowance of primary and secondary succession, plus the planting of indigenous vegetation, equates to Fluministic action, in that woodland ecological interconnectedness is nurtured through time and space, and for constitutive individuals to flourish within the spectrum of their usual, self-willed life patterns (food chains et al). To actively prevent all succession and planting by soil-sealing (e.g. concreting), is the opposite.

Long-term or permanent breaks in the flow are destructive, and the accumulation of many breaks, or stops, becomes detrimental to the existence of life in the form of tipping points. Examples are many, generated largely within the sphere of unsustainable human development, anthropogenic climate change, pesticide use, socio-political and economic doctrines promoting unlimited growth, inequality, and so forth. The moral alternative is active Fluminism.

However, there may be pauses that are Fluministic, in that they may appear to prevent flow, such as ‘natural disasters,’ but which are temporary or cyclical (e.g. volcanism), in time and space. Another example is the cultivation of land for food, but only where there is an integrated effort to nurture the dynamic flows of non-human life alongside (e.g. permaculture), the success of which may be assessed empirically.

Fluminism is a powerful form of love.

2 thoughts on “Fluminism as an Environmental Ethic (Symbioethic)

  1. Katie

    Thank you for naming this ethic and giving it shape, Ginny. I appreciate that it provides me space for knowing and not knowing. For continual unfolding and re-cycling. For mystery. It offers me purpose and direct action: following the path of renewal and integration. If you’d allow me to be ‘that’ person, I’d like to share a short reflection I wrote after reading your chapter in Planet, Vol. 1 (a chapter that I have read, and re-read, and read again):

    “Feeling homesick for a place I’ve never been or called my own. That place of eternal belonging. Where each season is exactly the one I’m looking forward to. Memories in the crook of each tree. A place of rest, where I walk, knowing I am fully welcome, fully known. It’s people yes, and a building yes, but not one of any humanmaking: it’s held by the structures of my most cherished moments. It’s a space of stories and togetherness. A place to call home. One that has been passed down through the generations and began long before.

    Where is this place? It is deep in the cycle of my inhale and exhale, of the roaring in my ears, the sun on my skin. It is water running between my fingers and toes. Smooth and rough stone. It is the dawn redwood. It is much older and wiser than my consciousness. Reaching deep into relational time. It is the end and the beginning. The core of the question why? And the answers: because and why not.”

    Looking forward to reading more of your work! Here’s to slowing into place, and sinking into belonging.