(Naess advocated decreasing the material standards of living in wealthy countries.) There was quite a mystique around him.
On top of all this, he was part of a privileged Norwegian shipping family and thus born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
We knew through many stories, that Arne, as well as a philosopher, was also an environmental activist, a boxer, and climbed mountains in Norway and around the world.
He did much of his thinking and writing in isolation, at a self-built work hut high on a Norwegian mountain, where lifes necessities: water, food, shelter, warmth, clean air and perhaps solitude — what he called in his philosophy human vital needs — came into much sharper focus.
He told us that the front is long, meaning, as I interpreted this, that there are many paths to a deep ecological consciousness; many battles for participants to engage in; and that we should be tolerant and supportive of all those on the path to a new Earth consciousness — no matter the particular field of engagement.
He also stressed, that for environmental activists, the views of opponents should be presented honestly and not distorted.He concluded one letter to me in December 1996, about an apparent dispute I had with him on what I saw as his inconsistent views on so-called sustainable development.He wrote: Industrial societies cannot be reformed, green societies will not be industrial, but they may of course have industries.He also saw that self-respect for an individual was important, before a principled non violent stand could be taken and the consequences accepted.I had received a few personal letters and communications from him, about some essays which I had written and on various theoretical points/disputes which I had raised. Arne had an ability to bring out the positive in any clash of what could seem to be contending views.— Arne Naess "The movement is not mainly one of professional philosophers and other academic specialists, but of a large public in many countries and cultures." — Arne Naess The earth does not belong to humans.— Arne Naess I never met personally Arne Naess, the Norwegian eco-philosopher, who, according to an Associated Press story, died on Monday January 12th. I knew from a fairly recent contact from his wife, that he was in a nursing home and not very well.If you throw light on an area, the boundary of darkness increases.Deep ecology, as conceived by Naess, made room theoretically for others to participate.His Earth-centered ideas and overall philosophy also influenced so many others.His lifes work and his death, will be thought about by those who have been inspired by him and now learn that he has returned to the Earth. not taking a stand, was unacceptable to Naess in this age of post modernism and ecological destruction.