First I have to say, “I am not a scientist.” I am not an ecologist. I am a minister, a Spiritual Activist, and I believe what we are having here is a Spiritual problem that is out-picturing as a climate/pollution/habitat problem, amongst other things.
For too many people nothing is sacred.
Their loveless “self-will-run-riot” beliefs and behavior is endangering us all.
A spiritual problem begs for a spiritual solution…and only then will the out-picturing change.
I’m also a great-grandmother – and things have changed a lot in just the years that I have been here.
What things? I don’t have to be a scientist to notice
- the many rapidly disappearing species on earth in just the recent past, and wherever they are in the food chain their loss is felt,
- the disappearing rain forests and old growth forests and wildernesses,
- the deteriorating coral reefs and glaciers,
- the pollution in our air and waters,
- the plastic trash islands in the oceans killing birds and fish hundreds of miles away,
- the despoiling of even “protected” lands to extract mineral resources.
When I was a young girl (I was born in 1941), there were lots fewer of us, we had much better manners. We had much less fake”stuff,” much more community and MUCH more biodiversity. Did you know that milk-men delivered milk to your front door? In glass bottles you turned back to them the next day. You ate what was in season. Strawberries in May. Corn in July.
No TV’s yet, so we played outside – much closer to nature of course. The air and waters were by and large naturally clean. On the other hand, polio was a problem, and TB and other disease…there were famines when there was drought or flooding and scant rations and these things, tragic as they were, helped to keep our population down at manageable numbers.
On the other hand, we are our own ONLY predator species and with new treatments for diseases we have multiplied much too prolifically as we solved problem after problem – and just like any predator species that becomes too populous, we have had a destructive effect on the land that supports us. Let us just say we are overgrazing our pasture and something should be done.
But it’s worse than that. If that were the only problem, the solutions would certainly not be beyond us – population control, conservation, regulation of pollution, that kind of thing. We are smart enough to figure out how we could live in peace with the land.
But we seem to be acting like out-of-control children. And it seems to me to be a large spiritual deficiency. A lack of Love. An arrogance. A selfishness. Any attempt to find a solution is met with disdain, name-calling and outright hostility Toddler tanturms. “Gimme, gimme, now, now NOW” and if there’s nothing left for the grandchildren, well, that’s THEIR problem.
We are late-comers to a 4.54 Billion-years-long party. For the past 200,000 years of that humans have lived on earth, we have taken our chances along with all other life forms and the weather, the soil, the oceans. We evolved slowly. We learned to use fire and developed the wheel, various tools, and the ship, etc., but in the past just 200 years (out of 200,000, out of 4,540,000,000) we have moved off the land into the city, industrialized, invented more and better and more and better “stuff’ for which we decided to strip the earth, and we became destructive not just to our natural prey, but to the very earth we call home. Our spiritual side just didn’t have time to catch up with us perhaps. We never wondered what the end result of our plunder would be until recently. I don’t think it started as sacrilege, though at this point it is so that some people regard nothing as sacred but their own desires.
We are a part of an inter-dependent something bigger. Everything is connected to everything else. You can’t just get rid of…insects let us say…because they are a nuisance, because they have a job to do in the ecosystem, as we are learning with the loss of so many bees.
I don’t know what the solution will be, though I am optimistic we will get there, but I know we won’t find a lasting answer until we learn to love and honor all of life and all of the land/water/air as sacred and to accept our place as one lucky part of life on earth, not its slave-master.
Namaste I love you,
*Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence Tucson are currently celebrating Season for the Earth.