The Sustainability Principle
 of Energy


Home   First draft Aug  2010

About this Work and Updates  

  Online Etymology Dictionary


The Power of Symbols

What is a Prime Symbol?

Variations on the Wisdom Of Confucius

How to Conserve
the Potential

The Human Condition

General Theory

Practical Application

Index of Denial/Acceptance

The Joys in 
Are you vulnerable to denial?
Review Call
Evaluate your
teachers /media
The Compassionate Curriculum
Defining some Prime Symbols


Energy Efficiency









Climate Change





Peak Oil
Principle of Energy





















Definition: the sustain symbol 


A Google search of the web on ‘sustain definition’ links to 4,420,000 pages. It seems that the sustain symbol means all things to all people now as we argue that our lifestyles are defensible. The truth of this depends on the criteria we use to measure our actions – the norms of our friends or society or all humanity; survival of oneself or our own children or generations for millennia; our use of symbols such as social, economic and environment; or the principles of physics, chemistry and biology. 

It is generally agreed that if an action is sustainable it supports, maintains or holds up the flows and balances that sustain human life on Earth. These enabling flows and balances continue to endure. Things remain whole. Our actions are wholesome. 

The various, often contradictory, definitions stem from the fact that human beings have an incredible capacity for self-deceit. Thus it is possible that many of the criteria by which we evaluate our sustainability are determined by our tendency to deny stewardship/change. In order to conserve the potential of the sustain symbol we need to be able to transcend our ego and embrace stewardship/change as fully as possible. 

We have great guides in the principles of chemistry, biology and physics where these have been born of compassion and its consequent state of being – science. In particular there is wisdom in the Conservation Principle of Energy. This principle has been subject to unparalleled, enduring, critical scrutiny for millennia and has never been faulted. It suggests, for instance, that the universe(s) is continual transformation – all is change – and we are mortal beings amidst the flux. Thus the meaning of the sustain symbol continually alters.. What we consider sustainable in one moment may well be considered unsustainable in the next moment. A requisite of a sustainable life is a spirit of continual honest inquiry and humility. 


Conserve the sustain symbol by employing it with compassion. In this state of being science flourishes and we are better embrace our roles as stewards amidst change. Thus our children will inherit all the possibilities we inherited. 

Perhaps the most insightful and wise graphic symbol 
ever generated in recorded history


Etymology sustainable, sustain

Sustainable; 1610s, "bearable," from sustain = able. Attested from 1845 in the sense "defensible;" from 1965 with the meaning "capable of being continued at a certain level." Sustainable growth is recorded from 1965. Related: Sustainability (1972).

Sustain: late 13c., from O.Fr. sustenir "hold up, endure," from L. sustinere "hold up, support, endure," from sub "up from below" + tenere "to hold" (see tenet).


Enjoy the rewards of being a conservator of the potential of our greatest symbols.


Page last  updated: Aug 2010