Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Teaser- Introduction to Honoring the Sacred Earth


“In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth” –Genesis 1:1 (King James Version)

The Earth, created by God, is sacred. Depending on which tradition you follow, you may have a different name for the universal creative force which this line from the Bible names God. Biblically speaking, the Earth is sacred because it was created by God, and then left in the charge of all mankind. This book is meant to show the reader, regardless of his or her individual path, the sacredness of the Earth, and the need for us to preserve it and care for it as it has cared for us for the last few million years. If God is the father, as the Biblical quote says, then the Earth is surely our mother, because:

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” –Genesis 2:7 (King James Version)

Over the millennia that have passed since “Biblical times” we have slowly become more and more separated from nature in our daily lives, and in our religious and spiritual life. Nature has been part of our lives since the beginning, but today we have become such home bodies and city dwellers that we have lost that primal connection to nature. This loss of connection has contributed to many things, from global warming to blockages in spiritual development and even a draw to return to a past tribal society.

Many traditions seek spiritual awakening or enlightenment: from the Western Judeo-Christian faiths, to the Islamic traditions, and even the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism. Indeed most if not all faiths seek it. These traditions started hundreds if not thousands of years ago, and all seek the same thing in different ways and all started small and grew from there. One may ask, what do they have in common? The answer would be, that they all seek to find spiritual awakening and to be close to the divine force that they believe in.

People in many if not all faiths are beginning to notice that there is something missing in their lives. There seems to be a hole, something missing, something many cannot quite put their fingers on. I believe that this is nature and the natural world around us. We have become out of sync with the world around us and the natural order of things. We have forgotten that the natural order was set into motion by the creative force long before we existed and that it is part of us and we are part of it.

People are beginning to awaken and see that what we have done as a race to the natural world around us has had many profoundly and seriously destructive effects on the world around us. Due to this we’ve started to reduce our waste and energy uses, reuse things we would have thrown away and recycle what we can in order to create a more sustainable environment for future generations. We’ve also learned that we can’t just go around deforesting areas and destroying the natural environment without preserving some of it and replanting and reforesting areas. We are finally learning to take our global responsibility for the world around us.

It is time to learn to listen to the world around us. We need to follow its cycles and the turning of the year. No matter which religious or spiritual views you follow it is essential for us to become one with the Earth again and support and nurture it as it has nurtured us. By growing closer to the earth and its cycles and by supporting it, replanting its forests, gardening, recycling, and helping to sustain our planets resources we can not only grow spiritually but help to repair the damage we have caused to the planet. This will not only help our spiritual development but will help us to sustain the human race.

This book is set up in seven parts, each made up of two or more topics. Each topic will include a quote to start the reader thinking. These quotes will relate to the topic over which it appears, and will help get the flow going. It would be best to read the quote and think it over for a short time before continuing with the topic. There may also be subsequent relating quotes to help bring home the topic.

At the end of the topics there will be a prayer to go along with what the topic has covered. For these the universal creative force will be called God, but please feel free to adapt these prayers to your own belief system, or just use them as a guide and make up your own. There will also be a practical exercise to help you along your path. Some topics will contain a guided meditation to help bring the topic home. Take what you will from these pages and leave the rest. You can read through these all at once or decide to go back to them at a time more fitting to the exercise. You could also complete these exercises in your imagination if you are so driven. Don’t feel you have to agree or follow everything word for word. Do what feels right to you and what fits best with your personal belief system.

I wholeheartedly recommend keeping a journal while working with this book if you do not already. Journaling has many benefits including the ability to go back and see how things presented themselves to you at the time of the writing, and to see if your views have changed since. If you do not choose to keep an actual journal either on a computer or in a book or notebook, you may want a few slips of paper handy to write down important things you want to remember or a highlighter to highlight passages that are significant to you.

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