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SEHN - Statements

SEHN - Statements The Blue Mountain Lake Statement Of Essential Values
November 12, 2000

Values become actions. Too many of our actions are killing our planet, our communities, and our spirit. Our actions are killing our loved ones. We are diminishing the future for everyone and everything.

Particular values form the basis of our survival. When practiced, they help us live in reciprocity with nature and with each other. We are the relationships we share, and we are permeable - physically, emotionally, spiritually - to our surroundings. Therefore, we hold these values as essential:

  • Gratitude - because our lives depend on air, water, soil, plants, humans, and other animals;
  • Empathy - because we are connected with all of creation;
  • Sympathy - because we all experience suffering and death, both necessarily in the course of life and unnecessarily when these values are not practiced;
  • Compassion - because it moves us to attend to suffering and injustice; and
  • Humility - because we cannot know all of the consequences of our actions.

We belong to the community of the Earth. It is the source of our own life, and our actions affect its well-being. Therefore, we practice:

  • Respect - because it is fundamental to good relationships;
  • Restraint - because the Earth is finite, and we must honor its limits;
  • Simplicity - because we are only one species sharing Earth with many others; and
  • Humor - because life is good, and humor disrobes tyranny and absurdity.

Human beings need sustaining social and natural environments. No one by law or habit is entitled to rob others or future generations of a diverse world vibrant with hope and possibilities. We have an obligation to restore social and ecological fabrics that have been torn by violence or exploitation.

We affirm that all being is sacred and has intrinsic value that is not monetary.

People who hold these values outnumber those who do not. We draw strength from each other. As we abandon harmful activities, we take nature as our guide. We explicitly consider the effects of actions on individuals, families, communities, species, landscapes, regions, and future generations.

It is through love for the particular - a child, a neighborhood, a family of otters, a meandering river - that we find our way to a sustaining relationship with the Earth and our communities.

Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY, November 12, 2000

Blue Mountain Participants
Andy Jameton Omaha, Nebraska
Bill Vitek Potsdam, New York
Bruce McKay Montreal, Quebec
Carolyn Raffensperger Windsor, North Dakota
Craig Holdrege Ghent, New York
David Abram Victor, Idaho
Derrick Jensen Crescent City, California
Fred Kirschenmann Ames, Iowa
Harriet Barlow Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jennifer Sahn Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Katherine Barrett Victoria, British Columbia
Maria Pellerano Annapolis, Maryland
Marianne Spitzform Missoula, Montana
Mary O'Brien Eugene, Oregon
Mark Ritchie Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nancy J. Myers Oak Park, Illinois
Peter deFur Richmond, Virginia
Peter Montague Annapolis, Maryland
Peter Sauer Salem, New York
Steve Light Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ted Schettler Boston, Massachusetts
Tracey Easthope Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wes Jackson Salina, Kansas


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