Gepubliceerd in China Daily, European Weekly, 2015
Auteur: Martin Palmer
How one man embraced Taoism in his journey from commerce to conservation
Martin Palmer’s translations of I Ching (I Jing), Chuang Tiu (Zhuang Zi) and Guan Yin were published recently, as was his translation of Shangshu for Penguin Classics.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Allerd Stikker, head of a Dutch ship building company, was busy exporting armaments abroad. By 2013, he turned into a man selling arms of a different kind for a more pressing war: ecological conservation. His journey, from businessman to advocate of ancient Taoism as green weaponry, forms the heart of this extraordinary book. It was in Taiwan in the early 1980s that Stikker saw the damage inflicted on the natural environment and, at his suggestion, a group of scholars and scientists produced the first critical review of die islands environment as an attempt to raise awareness in its authorities and among its people. While working on this he encountered Taoism and was deeply moved by its vision as illustrated in chapter 29 of the Dao De Jing: “The earth is a – sacred vessel and it cannot be owned or improved. If you try to possess it, you will destroy it. If you try to hold on to it you will lose it” However, in 1981 nobody in Taiwan, nor I suspect in the Chinese mainland, was interested in what Taoism had to say about our relationship with nature.
It took a major personal crisis for Stikker to leave the world of business and start his own odyssey exploring the relationship between belief, nature, philosophy and ecology. Greatly influenced both by Taoist philosophy and the radical Christianity of Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit who had worked in China in the early 1920s, Stikker entered the world of ideas, writing books and articles and then founding the Ecological Management Foundation.
Read this book review of ‘Sacred Mountains by Allerd Stikker, Bene Factum Press, London 2014, ISBN 978-1-909657-56-4′ here from Op zoek in pdf.Leap of faith