Spiritual Ecology is the idea that nature is holy.
To teach this subject, I feel completely unprepared, although it’s my life path and I’ve dwelled in it for as long as I’m alive. There is always more to learn, and the knowledge I now have is more than enough.
Spiritual Ecology is a term coined by Rudolph Steiner, the creator of Waldorf Education, also who coined the term Biodynamic Agriculture. I’m a fan of both, although not a fan of the colonial aspect of all these things in the past when they were created.
I’m baffled all the time, with books and movies and documentaries which touch this topic of an immortal divine aspect of nature — always marveled, always in awe and wonder.
Gordon Smith said recently that “the children of tomorrow should not be afraid that their great mother will die, they should rejoice that she keeps on revolving and giving us life.” and that hit me like few things do, right in the center of my being.
The importance of ecological awareness these days is huge, and the importance of how we connect to this awareness is even bigger.
Fritjof Capra said, “Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness.”
And notice I say ecological, not environmental. Ecological because it makes sense that all of us understand that the web of life is intrinsic to our well being, that all the environments we’re in, and all ecosystems we pass through and live in, is ultimately the main source of the roles we play in life and the behaviors we have, the actions we do, and the connection we have to loving presence and a loving life.
A deeper understanding of ecology as a way to be spiritual leads us to understand the significance of our own selves, our belonging, and the way we feel present in life. The more loving we are, the more understanding and the more we try to learn how to love others in our communities, the more ingrained in the ecosystem we are — the more we understand the dynamics at play in the ecosystem and how those dynamics play in our lives.
The dynamics of interbeing, of interdependence, give us belonging. Water cycles and rain, sun and moon cycles, the web flows and systems, the habitat and its biodiversity, the adaptation to the environments, and the development as personal, spiritual, or even childhood development, are intrinsically connected to who we are as people, our true nature. The dynamic balances we need to attain to grow as people, to learn and evolve. That’s the holiest thing I’ve ever heard of.
Spiritual Ecology is the toughest subject I’ve ever taught, but also the most beautiful and caring to my heart. I’m extremely grateful to be able to teach this subject.
The more I study it, the more I understand that the human disconnection to nature is not more than a self-invalidation continuously in conflict with its place in life — if the media keeps telling you you’re insufficient, inaccurate, not-movie-worthy, then, by all means, that’s what you’ll feel. But if you draw a line between you and what’s there as an exaggeration of what could be, then you start to see life as it is: full of beauty, abundance, love, and community.
Humanity is a beautiful love story more than anything, we arose out of kindness and community, we arose out of the admiration for life as it is, nature, and god as nature, we thrived in adoration of nature and in respect for nature. The reality we see and hear in the media is a lot closer to an idea than actual reality.
When we talk about how awful it all is, we’re just giving ourselves the momentum of working against it. Like I usually say, those in war need enemies and a cause to fight for. Those at peace, see the beauty of life.
The goal of spiritual ecology is to see ecological principles as spiritual principles and to end the separation between the human world and the natural world. To conserve, respect, and adore nature as it is. There’s nothing else more satisfying than seeing beauty everywhere we look, and understanding that the study of consequences in ecology can be a turn for the better — in Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken speaks of the millions of people who everyday see this beauty and claim to support it and cherish its growth. There are much more of us who love this notion than those who don’t.
Sacredness is how you plant a garden and wait for it to flourish with your love and attention, sacredness is being able to cherish a family moment despite the difficulties, sacredness is being able to love without conditions. The sacrifices we do for what we love and how we wish our lives to be, is holy, it’s sacred. Because we assume sacred is a terrible word made by monastics who wanted to rule the world, we forget the sacredness of nature itself and how wonderful life can be if we truly cherish it as it is — beauty, love, communion.
I took a walk by the river near me yesterday and was again reminded life could be Heaven on Earth, if we work towards it. If we love what we do enough to support this idea. Heaven on Earth seems like a fables dream, a story we could tell our children. But if the Earth is a living being and that is the plan, I’m on it — I will strive to bring more people into this idea and teach the holiness of nature and the Earth.
I hope one day the seeds of love we plant, bring the fruits of the sacredness we cherish so much in our lives — respect, affection, devotion, nature.