The “Spiritual Handshake”: Toward a Metaphysical Sustainability Metrics

Almut Beringer


TIs it feasible and appropriate to develop a sustainability metrics which cap-
tures cosmological-spiritual dimensions of un/sustainability? Departing
from the supposition that the crisis of unsustainability is a crisis of world-
view and misguided cosmology which needs redirection on a cultural and
global scale, this essay introduces the notion of a diagnostic instrument
with which metaphysical aspects of un/sustainability may be assessed.
Using the ecological footprint as a template, the essay proposes the “spiritu-
al handshake” as a complementary analysis tool to ascertain the im/balance
of personal self-interest versus goodwill and service to the common good.
The paper outlines the conceptual foundations and metaphorical content of
the spiritual handshake, suggests a set of assessment indicators, and applies
the tool to a case study: that of the Terminator Gene.

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