3 Material and spiritual values


Broadly speaking, human values can be categorized as either material values or spiritual values.

Material values refer to needs of people's daily environmental necessities, such as commodities. This capacity to respond to the environment with mechanical material activity evolved to process sensory inputs for the practical purposes of organisation, security and power through projects and schemes. It permits us to speculate, to consider the lessons of the past and project possibilities into the future. A materialistic view of the world considers it sufficient for the senses to perceive things and determined what they are, from mountains to molecules.


Spiritual values refer to values of trueness, goodness and beauty arising from intellect, emotion, and will. They do not necessarily come from religion. A spiritual view of the world is one which continues to interpret poetically what the senses have perceived and never assigns a limit to their total understanding. Spiritual values make our communities places to love. When we have communities we are passionate about and which nurture our inner being, we will want them to endure. Only, with that love, we will seek and assure the changes in infrastructure, land use, building practices and patterns of living necessary for community survival.