What does this mean? I’m not a scholar, but I can say what it means to me: it means that if you make nature your witness, and if you act as a witness for nature too, there is a truth to be found. It even means, perhaps, that the ultimate witness to who we are comes from the earth itself. When you sit with the earth, when you make it your witness and when you act as a witness for it—what do you see? What are you compelled to do? These are questions that take us beyond political stances, beyond principles, beyond arguments about engagement or detachment. They are questions, it seems to me, that can never be answered in any way other than the strictly personal. Sitting or acting; engagement or retreat; perhaps there need be no contradiction.
. . . → Read More: Opening Our Eyes To The Nature Of This Earth, By Paul Kingsnorth
What Michael and I set out to do in this paper is try to understand why, despite all the efforts of animal protection groups, things are getting worse — not better — in most areas of abuse. What we found is that there may be a psychological process that undermines our ability to really connect with the other animals as equals.
. . . → Read More: Could Our Own Fear Of Death Be Affecting The Way We Treat Animals? By Arin Greenwood
When hope is used to reject reality, this is called denial, and denial usually has a darker side than the (fertile and therefore rejuvenating) darkness it initially resisted. When we accept the dark and difficult side of side of life, the experiences that are not rosy and peaceful, we give ourselves an opportunity to undergo transformation, a transformation that can deliver us in earnest to a new level of fulfillment, integration, and therefore healing.
. . . → Read More: Earth Changes: Eruptions, Adjustments, And Love, By Jack Adam Weber
Our time is one of apocalypse, an archetype found in the lore and myth of many times and peoples. As we face crises of ecology, economy, religion, politics, finance, education, agriculture, housing, water, air, and soil, as Earth overheats, species go extinct, and the air-giving oceans die on every side, we wonder how to make sense of it all, or indeed whether it’s even possible to. “It’s all a question of story,” wrote “geologian” Thomas Berry, priest and environmentalist, as things began to slide downhill. “We are in trouble just because we do not have a good story. We are between stories. The old story, the account of how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned the new story.”
. . . → Read More: Practical Dreaming In The Hopeful Light Of Earthrise, By Craig Chalquist
Yet, despite all the horrors we have created, we are still doing precisely what we know will be ultimately destructive. Denial! Denial! We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don’t change, we are going to our own extinction. This is precisely what addicts do. Addicts—in other words most of our society—pretend there’s nothing wrong. As they laugh and talk and plan, they deny their dying souls. That’s what we’re doing to the planet. We fight about things that won’t matter if we are extinct.
. . . → Read More: Ensouled On The Planet, By Marion Woodman, An Interview By Nancy Ryley
Again and again we see in the spiritual traditions the demand to “put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 3:11) and act like responsible adults. By contrast, to plunder without thought, to take without giving back, to make messes without cleaning them up, to demand that others pay for one’s own mistakes, to foster dependency instead of independence, to lie about the harmful impact of one’s business practices, and to attack the poor while remaining on permanent public welfare: these are the acts of exploitive narcissists who never escaped childhood.
. . . → Read More: Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking Of Temple Earth, By Craig Chalquist
Thomas Berry’s acknowledgement of the “Others” may seem archaic or romantically idealized to contemporary Western people, or perhaps even superfluous. His words may seem innocent of, and irrelevant to, the urgency of our times, much as the Dalai Lama’s hopes for teaching children about compassion may seem hopelessly naïve to Western minds. But the Dalai Lama is not looking through the same lens of consciousness as most of us, and neither was Thomas Berry. He inhabited a magnificent, animated world, an ensouled universe. His offerings to the other-than-human beings were not naïve, but rather, deeply informed by the body of Earth and by the cosmic mystery – and intentionally reciprocal. He expressed a consciousness of participation – as if gestures such as acknowledging the more-than-human community actually matter.
. . . → Read More: Thomas Berry And The Evocation Of Participatory Consciousness, By Geneen Marie Haugen
If we do manage to pull back from the abyss, or if enough of us survive the plunge, it will surely be because small groups of us have formed mutualistic communities for the express purpose of helping one another eke out a largely local living from a depleted planet Earth. We will be painfully aware, by then, that a sustainable lifestyle must involve subordinating our reproductive inclinations to the long-term well-being, not just of our own community, but of the larger ecological community on which our well-being depends. We will certainly understand that a global ecosystem is a sacred trust that demands our respect and, yes, our reverence. Finally, we will need the humility to understand that we need a healthy global ecosystem far more than it needs us, and that we need to invest at least as much of our treasure in husbanding that priceless natural legacy as in pursuing our own material well-being.
. . . → Read More: The Sky Is Falling: Chicken Little Was Right All Along, By Don Wilkin
We know it in our bones, as well as our brains – the enormity of the times we live in, the cultural and environmental challenges, the opportunity to re-vision a human culture living in harmony with our planet.
. . . → Read More: Wild Mind Can Keep Us From Losing Our Minds, By Dianne Monroe
Animals can be superb teachers for humans preparing for the future. Carefully observing their capacity for being present in their bodies and therefore living in the moment is critical. Studying an animal’s instinct for survival and self-protection can enhance our own resilience. What is more, I have experienced that animals are extraordinary teachers, not only in life, but in death as well. Every animal with whom I have had to part has profoundly opened my heart and impacted me in ways I could not have imagined. Allow yourself to give your heart to an animal companion, and when you must part with it, allow yourself to grieve your loss thoroughly. You may be surprised at the parts of yourself that will be revealed. . . . → Read More: What An Animal You Are! By Carolyn Baker