Havel, Vaclav.  The Art of the Impossible
New York: 1994
ISBN 0676970494


I am increasingly inclined to believe that even the term “environment,” which is inscribed on the banners of many commendable civic movements, is in its own way misguided, because it is unwittingly the product of the very anthropocentrism that has caused extensive devastation of our earth.

The word “environment” tacitly implies that whatever is not human merely envelops us and is therefore inferior to us, something we need care for only if it is in our interest to do so. I do not believe this to be the case. The world is not divided into two types of being, one superior and the other merely surrounding it. Being, nature, the universe—they are all one infinitely complex and mysterious metaorganism of which we are but a part, though a unique one.

I believe that the devastation of the environment brought about by the communist regimes is a warning to all of contemporary civilization. I believe that you should read the message coming to you from our part of the world as an appeal to protect the world against all those who despise the mystery of Being, whether they be cynical businessmen with only the interests of their corporations at heart, or left-wing saviors high on cheap ideological utopias.

Both lack what I would call a metaphysical anchor, that is, a humble respect for the whole of creation, and a consciousness of our obligation to it. If parents believe in God, their children will not have to go to school wearing gas masks, and their eyes will be free of pus.