Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotized by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities. Our bodies have formed themselves in delicate reciprocity with the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth – our eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other eyes, as our ears are attuned by their very structure to the howling of wolves and the honking of geese. To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.
Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 22
Humanity is looking for a new story. The one it has embraced since the Renaissance is no longer viable. Despite all of its positive contributions to modern life, three hundred years of scientific-technological development has left our civilization in an untenable position--at odds with its natural environment and ultimately its own deeper, collective, soul. Only a global shift in fundamental perceptions, values, and corresponding actions will allow human-kind to resume an evolutionary pat in alignment with nature and the larger cosmos.
Source: Global Shift: How A New Worldview Is Transforming Humanity (New Harbinger/Noetic Books), Pages: 1
Where are you making for? This is the question of our time. What is our vision? What kind of world do we want, for ourselves, for our children, for our children's children? What kind of world do we want for the fish and the birds, the beasts and the insects, the forests and the meadows, the crops that feed us and the flowers that bring us beauty? I believe we want to create a world large enough to be a soul home for us and for all beings, loving and large enough to give expression to the soul of the world itself, spacious and whole enough to express the lengths of God. And I believe we can. The capacity to do so is innate in us. If affairs are soul size, we can meet them because we are soul size, too.
The earth community, the Life Community, is not the property of any one religion or group or part of the world; it is the Commons that embraces us all, our planetary home. And it needs us as never before. It calls to us to become, not heroes but community builders, builders of home, gatherers and embracers, bearers of hospitality, keepers of the shared space that nurtures us all. It calls us not to go forth and come back laden with honors but to honor where we are, who we are, and from that place to reach out to connect to and honor each other in the community of life.
Shared karmic situations fall into two subcategories: national and individual karma. An example of national karma is that you may be born in a particular country where you always have to relate with 7-Elevens, take-out pizza, and badly made cars. You end up in certain environments or worlds, but you cannot totally blame that on yourself. The whole country is made up that way.
The second subcategory is individual karma within national karma. For example, if the sewage system in your neighborhood is not good, that karma is particularly and personally yours, in a sense, because the pipes keep breaking and costing you a lot of money and effort. Another example is winding up with a bad teacher who gets grumpy because he is poorly paid by the school system. On one hand, that situation is not your fault; but on the other hand, you did end up in that particular school. You have a television network, but you have your own personal TV with which to tune in, and you also choose your own particular station. It’s very simple. Environmental and individual karma complement each other; they feed each other.
The Earth with its layers of land and water and air provides the space within which all living things are nurtured and the context within which humans attain their identity. If in the excitement of a secular technology reverence for the Earth has diminished in the past, especially in the western world, humans now experience a sudden shock at the devastation they have wrought on their own habitation. The ancient human-Earth relationship must be recovered in a new context, in its mystical as well as in its physical functioning. There is need for awareness that the mountains and rivers and all living things, the sky and its sun and moon and clouds all constitute a healing, sustaining sacred presence for humans which they need as much for their psychic integrity as for their physical nourishment. This presence whether experienced as Allah, as Atman, as Sunyata, or as the Buddha-nature or as Bodhisattva; whether as Tao or as the One or as the Divine Feminine, is the atmosphere in which humans breathe deepest and without which they eventually suffocate.
Source: Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community
The basic mood of the future might well be one of confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth. If the dynamics of the Universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the Sun, and formed the Earth, if this same dynamism brought forth the continents and seas and atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present understanding of ourselves and our relation to this stupendous process. Sensitized to such guidance from the very structure and functioning of the Universe, we can have confidence in the future that awaits the human venture.
Our difficulty is that we have become autistic. We no longer listen to what the Earth, its landscape, its atmospheric phenomena and all its living forms, its mountains and valleys, the rain, the wind, and all the flora and fauna of the planet are telling us.
"Savannas are magnificent wildflower gardens. Something is always blooming grass pink orchids, rose pogonia, rosebud orchids, ladies' tresses. In the heat of the summer the fringed orchids are torches through the meadows. Blue-eyed and yellow eyed grass, white eyed sedge. Meadow beauties. Fall brings on the composites, purple spires of liatris, also called blazing star, brown rayless sunflowers, goldenrod, bigelowia and coreopsis. The aster balduina pools like orange juice in the wettest places and clumps of pearl-tipped hatpins stick the carpet of forbs to the flat earth. White violets hover low."