Green Building as Scientific Religion

The main tenet of a green building is that we are all connected. If I build a house, on the consumption side my actions are connected to the forests for wood, the ground for metals and so on. On the waste side my actions are connected to my neighbors in terms of noise and dust, to the land fills in terms of the garbage I produce and to the rivers in terms of runoff from the land….

Any scientist knows that we are connected. If your study is chemical then it is through an understanding of carbon atoms. If it is biological then it is through the understanding of connected bio systems.

Any good religious scholar also knows this. Buddhism clearly believes we are all one. Christianity has one god who created us all. The same goes for all other religions, from Islams Tree of Life to Hindus Brahma who created the world.

This is why green building is such a beautifully holistic process, one part science one part religion. Who needs to go to church when you can bang out a few nails and be close to god!

In this awareness we can build with absolute humility and power. We understand that we are exactly where we should be: in an intricately connected web of perfection where our actions are inexplicably causing AND the cause of the universe. We are both inventing and the invention of an infinitely connected web of cause and effect.

Deep….:) And no I don’t smoke pot.

But true. Believe me, it puts a whole new twist to painting a wall or framing a doorway when you have the perspective of universal connectivity.

Like Zen Buddhists say:

Before Enlightenment: Fetch water, chop wood.

After Enlightenment: Fetch water, chop wood.

Read it again. It is that simple.

If you understand the depth of this then the only difference between heaven and hell is our perspective. Since we are inescapably connected to the rest of the universe in a constant dance of creating and created, our change of perspective from hell to heaven is both created by our seemingly little mind and by the entire universe at the same time…..you can’t seperate the two. We are the universe, the universe is us.

What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.  ~Eleanor Powell

So as green builders we are not simply renovating Brooklyn Brownstones so they have better energy efficiency and a lower impact on the world. We are not simply scientific mechanics analyzing boiler BTU’s.

We are all that. We have no religious crosses around our necks or bibles in our hands. We’re not actually the religious types.

But our daily actions are underlined by a spiritual fervor: We are connected to the universe! Our actions are both driven by and driving creation!

We just happen to be doing it with a plumbers wrench and drill.

And hey, at the very least it makes life more interesting.

The following videos show this perspective really well. I pulled a couple together for the fun of it.

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