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The Scale of Survival
The most basic thing to know about Life is that it has a basic intent to survive. In language related to humans we call it will to live—the drive for self-preservation along with expectations for future improvement in one's state in life. But this basic intent to survive is inherent
in every species and even every cell in our bodies.
When I learned this many years ago, I decided if I am part and parcel of nature, then I have within me an inherent intent to survive too. Not just as myself, but to have all of Life that supports my existence survive at the same time.
Even though we have this drive to survive as part of our nature, industrial humans have been demonstrating a tendency to destroy life when we live an industrial consumer lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is more to survive that simply continuing to continue. There is a whole scale of surviving from barely to abundantly.
Here’s a scale of survival that Larry and I put together.
By knowing this scale and understanding it, you can use it to determine how well anything is surviving, from a person to a tree to a piece of furniture to a country. And then you can determine what you can do to help whatever it is survive better, if you want to.
This is the inherent force that animates life. To be this cause point is to survive to infinity as a spiritual being.
PROSPER or THRIVE
The root of the word prosper is “to make happy.” And indeed, when one is propering, one tends to be very happy.
In human terms, to prosper or thrive is to achieve economic success, but it also can mean to succeed at whatever one does.
It would be a state of resilience so high that the organism would be able to recover from any challenge and continue with its purpose.
Opposition is seen as an opportunity to grow in an even better direction.
There is a security of production and knowledge that allows the organism to function at a continuously at a very high level and continue to grow in a way that is the greatest good for all Life.
The root of the word flourish is to blossom. And characteristic of blossoming is to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. One has or can obtain anything and everything one needs in order to develop rapidly and successfully, to be in a state of activity and production and expanding in influence. Visibly doing well.
"wild plants flourish on the banks of the lake”
Flourish is the activity that results in the state of prosper.
Survive is the word that describes the basic continuance of life.
The organism that is surviving continues to live or exists.
It continues to function and be productive or usable despite danger, hardship or trauma.
It continues to persevere, regardless of how difficult that may be.
To subsist is to have or acquire the necessities of life (such as food and clothing), especially to feed one’s body.
The root of this word comes from the Latin sistere, which mean to exist, but the prefix sub tells us that the state of the organism is somewhat less than existing.
Subsistence is considered to be supporting oneself only at a minimum level ro sustain life.
Viability is a measure of the ability of an organism to grow and develop, or capable of working functioning or developing adequately to have a life.
A seed that is viable would sprout given the proper conditions of sunlight, soil, and water. A seed that is not viable would not sprout given those same conditions.
The word viable generally refers to the viability of an independent unit that can perform the functions of life on it’s own. A viable business would have all the departments set up and running to produce a product that could be sold and produce income, which then could be reinvested in the business to make more products and expand operations.
At the point of death, the organism or activity ceases to exist. It no longer survives.
We are constantly asking ourselves if what we are considering doing would lead to continued and greater survival of all concerned or if it would lead toward the death of the activity. It’s a good measure.
If one looks at the whole of Life, one can see that an action might benefit one area of Life but harm another. In the industrial model, businesses benefit, but workers and the environment may suffer.
Life is continuously seeking ways to operate in which ALL life flourishes and prospers.
That’s our goal. All Life flourishing and prospering. You come too.