Do you remember the Never Ending Story?
The possibility that the imagination is an environmental force, with power and agency is mobilised through this story. According to the ‘Never-Ending Story’, the environmental force that is destroying the world is named, The Nothing. The hero of the story (sustainability) is out to fight the environmental force that is killing the world. In the following transcription, the hero boy meets Gmork, the face of The Nothing. In this dialogue we learn that the only way to stop The Nothing is to realise that ‘we’ are the creators of the created world; the world is created by human imagination and will be destroyed by the loss of it.
Boy: I have to get to the boundaries of Fantasia.
Gmork: Fantasia is the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature, is a part of the dreams and hopes of mankind, therefore it has no boundaries.
Boy: But why is Fantasia dying then?
Gmork: Because people have begun to loose their hopes and forget their dreams…
so The Nothing grows stronger.
Boy: But what is The Nothing?
Gmork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It is like a despair, destroying this world. And I
have been trying to help it.
Boy: But Why?!
Gmork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has
the control…has the power!
Sally Jensen is a Sustainability Educator and facilitator of the ResourceSmart Schools program in Victoria.