Eco-Spirituality

Eco-Spirituality Definition: What is Eco-Spirituality and
Why is it Important to All Spiritual Individuals?

*originally appearing at http://www.universespirit.org

Eco-spirituality is based in a fundamental belief in the sacredness of nature, Earth and the universe. Traditional eco-spirituality is as old as humanity and has been practiced by indigenous peoples since the begriming. Today’s nondenominational ecospirituality as practiced on this website includes yet transcends traditional ecospirituality.

From the ecospiritual perspective, Ultimate Reality (God, Spirit, Buddha and/or the Divine,) is not just the source of creation it is very much also a part of creation; a part with which we can interact on a daily basis through our senses and from such experiences gain greater insight into the wonder of reality.

On a personal level, this inherent sacredness of nature generally leads to a spiritually motivated engagement in the current environmental crises of our planet (catastrophic climate destabilization/Job One for Humanity,) and a dedication to the justice and long view of a sustainable prosperity for all.

Native American and other indigenous peoples’ theologies hold much wisdom in this regard. (For an example of traditional indigenous ecospirituality see, Chief Seattle’s message to US President Pierce to further elucidate the traditional eco-spiritual worldview.)

Furthermore, eco-spirituality understands the position of human beings to be inextricably related to all other life forms within an interrelated, interconnected web that is part of the Divine’s dance of life. Eco-spiritual perspectives can be found in all the world’s religious traditions. No matter how they are articulated, however, these perspectives all provide for recognition of the importance and relevance of the immanent Divine, the power of understanding our human relationship to the planet, and our direct experiences of the natural world.

In the religious traditions that are either panentheistic (believe that Ultimate Reality is both transcendent and immanent), or believe that Ultimate Reality pervades creation, there is a directly stated or theologically implied imperative to care for and protect Earth’s natural systems. Depending on the religion or tradition, this may be because our natural systems are understood to be either the gift of Ultimate Reality or the source from which Ultimate Reality acts and dances in the world.

Such spiritual truths create a real and critical religious imperative that also asks believers to demonstrate congruity through acts of spiritual love and care for all beings and creatures now, as well as for future generations. For example, some Christians have reinterpreted the biblical Genesis story to mean that rather than God giving absolute dominion over nature to humanity, God instead means that humanity has a spiritual duty of care and sustainable stewardship for nature and the planet.

Globally, more religions and spiritual traditions are becoming active in the environmental movement by going green and educating members about their spiritual duties and obligations to protect our natural systems. People are increasingly yearning to live a life congruent with the tenants of their faith and the will of Ultimate Reality as they understand it regarding the sacred values of nature and stewardship for nature.

The new eco-spirituality movement growing within religions all over the world is exciting because it provides both a critical re-vitalization of our relationship to nature’s unique sacredness and a powerful Ultimate Reality-leveraged spiritual imperative and support for the current secular sustainability movement’s programs and goals.

At Universe Spirit our first spiritual promandment is to be a responsible sustainability steward of the bio-systems of the planet and universe. We view it as Job One for All Humanity.

Today’s New Science Grounded Ecospirituality

The new and post-traditional eco-spirituality movement is also one of the foremost forwarders of the new Universe Principles of Life, which are based on the science of universe progressive evolution found within the Universe Evolutionary Worldview. This is because the traditional ecospirituality of the past has now been augmented with the principles of progressive evolutionary science and systems theory as applied to complex natural systems.

These universe evolution principles have been condensed and are expressed within the Universe Principles of Life. It is through the application of the science-grounded Universe Principles of Life that a true and meaningful sustainable prosperity for all can be achieved. We highly recommend that you review these last five links to learn more about the advances of today’s eco-spirituality movement as well as its programs and principles.

For the complete article: Eco-Spirituality Definition: What is Eco-Spirituality and Why is it Important to All Spiritual Individuals? | Universe Spirit.

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Eco-Spirituality

Van Gogh Speaks to Me

The Starry Night, Vincent VanGogh, June 1889
The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

In college, I took two Humanities courses that turned me on to classical music and fine art. I was not raised to appreciate art nor did I understand it. Both courses opened a new world to me as I began to see, hear and feel the transformative power of human creativity. I, myself, am not so artistic… but I have evolved to honor our shared, cross-cultural and trans-historical heritage of art, architecture, music and ritual.

I respect that the creative arts are shared common elements across all of the 5 major world religions. I also believe that they can help provide expression for interfaith meaning, understanding and communication. In fact, the appreciation of religious art is a hallmark of interfaith celebration worldwide.

Art has a revered place in my sacred garden.

Visually, I’m attracted to Impressionism and the visions of Monet and Van Gogh. (I’m also attracted to what Georgia O’Keeffe saw… another post for another day). Their color and texture choices speak to me. I am in awe at how thousands of individual and seemingly unrelated brush strokes can melt together into symphony of color that portrays a scene. From chaos to order… is the beauty on the canvas or in my eyes? Impressionism keeps me asking… is what I am observing subjective or objective? I keep coming up with “its both!”

I must also admit that I kind of like that these Impressionists were rebellious souls… the “bad boys” of art in their day. Breaking with tradition, they created a whole new dimension within the heart of the 19th century that thrives and inspires today. These guys also excite my Pantheism.

I invite you to listen to some of my favorite Vincent Van Gogh paintings. Can you feel the Sacred? Does he invite you to pray too?

Irises, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Irises, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
The Red Vineyard, Vincent VanGogh, 1888
The Red Vineyard, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent VanGogh, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent VanGogh, 1890
Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Field of Poppies, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Field of Poppies, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Van Gogh Speaks to Me