Taking Spiritual Responsibility
for the Planet
Spiritual Ecology is an exploration of the spiritual dimension of our present ecological crisis. At its core is an understanding that our present outer ecological crisis is a reflection of an inner spiritual crisis. Recently many people have been made aware that we are at the "eleventh hour," or even a few minutes before midnight, of a global ecological situation that could result in catastrophic climate change and irreversible loss of biodiversity. However we are less aware of the inner spiritual crisis that underlies this outer crisis -- that a lack of awareness of the sacred within ourselves and within all of life has created an inner wasteland as real as any outer landscape. The interconnection between the outer and inner is foundational to life, both our individual life and the life of all of creation, as has been understood by indigenous peoples since the very beginning; therefore we cannot address our outer ecological crisis without a real consciousness of the inner situation. We cannot redeem our physical environment without restoring our relationship to the sacred.
The first step is always to become aware of what is happening. The outer signs of our ecological crisis are only too visible in the pollution of our waters, the dying of species, the change in our climate. The inner changes are less understood, particularly as our Western culture has for centuries dismissed the inner worlds, claiming that only the physical world is real. But it is here within our hearts that the sacred is born. It is in the inner world of the soul that meaning comes into our lives. And here in the inner worlds there is a crisis as dangerous as what is happening in the physical world.
Our collective pursuit of materialism and our disregard for the sacred within all of life has had a devastating effect. We have dismissed our ancient role as guardians of the planet. We can see this in a culture that is increasingly soulless and fractured. We have even forgotten that the world also has a soul. The anima mundi, the world soul, is no longer part of our collective consciousness, even though for centuries it was understood as the root of everything sacred in creation. Therefore we first need to bring the light of our spiritual awareness into the present predicament. Only then can we begin to redeem the sacred and open the door to any real change or transformation. Only then can we begin to heal the world and bring it back into balance.
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