James refers to the concept of “Deep Ecology” – the theory which says all living beings have an equal right to live and flourish.
This view is called biocentric and is opposed to anthropocentric , which means viewing nature and other living beings as being valuable
only in their use to humans.
There’s another term: anthropocosmic which means a balance between humans and the cosmic, or natural, order.
Joseph Adler made a presentation to a conference on ecological sustainability in Beijing, where he discusses these concepts in relation to
the ancient Chinese text the Yi Jing ( I Ching) or Book of Changes.
The Yijing is based on being in harmony with nature – the person consulting the oracle does so in order to
understand cosmic harmony and make one’s actions in accordance with this.
King Wen, who is considered to have developed the hexagrams of the Yi Ching – or at least constructed it’s sequence
and his son, the Duke of Zhou ( Zhou Gong) who wrote the commentary on the moving lines, were thus
believed to see the patterns underlying nature and things – that is to say, showed the understandings of the
principles we now call Deep Ecology.
For those interested in more, Adler’s article can be found here
The concept that nature, or other living beings have as much right to the planet as humans do, can be found in
the ancient texts of the Yi Jing.
The ancient Chinese believed that what distinguished a sage from ordinary people was the ability of that
person to be in harmony with the cosmos, and that consulting, reverently, the Yi Jing, or the Zhou Yi was a
way to achieve that.
for the inspiration to think deeper about Deep Ecology.