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Painting by Catrin Welz Stein

Although it is almost too late, many of us are awakening to this accelerating catastrophe — the greatest challenge of the present time, affecting both future generations and the Earth herself. Species depletion, toxic air, oceans filling with plastic, rising temperature, storms and floods — the Earth is crying out for help…

All indigenous peoples and most civilizations before ours understood and lived this essential reality, when everyday life nourished the soul as well as the body. If we are to have real care for our home we need to remember the “Original Instructions” given to the First Peoples — how to get along with all of creation…

This dimension of our ecological crisis, our forgetfulness of the sacred, is hardly recognized, is a hidden tragedy, and yet I believe it is our primary spiritual responsibility at this time: to reconnect with what is sacred all around us, and thus make life both whole and holy. We can no longer afford to live in separation, in isolation, but need to become once again part of the great conversation with the rivers and the winds, the seas and the stars. …

Together we will find a way to live in harmony with all of life’s multihued unity.

And there is an urgency to this….It is our shared future that is uncertain: whether we will keep to our ancient promise to witness Her wonder and beauty, honor Her sacred ways; or whether we will continue our present path, stumbling through an increasingly soulless wasteland, caught in consumerism, until the sea levels rise, the air becomes too toxic, the oceans too acidic, our souls too desolate. Again, in the words of the young activist Greta Thunberg, “We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time.”

— LLewellyn Vaughn-Lee

A civilization that has forgotten its original instructions is doomed. It will destroy itself in childish diversions and pointless amusements. It will use the sacred like toilet paper, wreaking havoc in the natural world. That’s us. That’s our culture, a culture that is blind to the World Soul. Everything is material to us. We see matter but we somehow can’t see how everything is alive and interconnected.

We inhabit a mindset that is very good at killing. We consider it normal to amass the most monstrous military machine the world has ever known, spread across the globe, making sure we’re “safe.”. We grow our food with poisons. We measure everything on a metric of money. We vie for position and renown even though we’re empty inside. We live in a society that is rushing sheep-like toward the cliffs. The habits, belief systems and insight possessed by the great aggregate of humanity is a danger to nature.

Spiritual insight is sorely needed at this juncture if we’re going to turn away from a mass extinction that includes us and our own children.

Most of the conversations about the human role in climate change focus on the logic of survival, but let’s not forget beauty. Let’s not forget that the energies of love and delight have made this world we live in. Can we find and nourish those energies in ourselves? If so, we can help the world from our own little corner.

It’s important to create beauty wherever we are. Whether our natural focus is physical or abstract we can put beauty into the world. We recreate the world with kindness, with ideas, with the beauty of words and gestures, with imagination.

Human beings suffer from having forgotten their original instructions. The world is on the cusp of a mass dying of species. A saving grace of humans is the ability to rethink things. Now is a good time to take another look and change course.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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