As I sit on my terrace in the sun in the beautiful place where I live in the south of France it is the easiest thing in the world to feel reverence for life. I do not profess to be religious but do consider myself a spiritual being. I was brought up in a Christian paradigm but have lived in many places where Christianity does not predominate. Now, I feel the most important aspect is the respect of the other and not whose God is the right God. I do have a belief in the divine nature of all beings but don’t believe in a particular divinity. My spirituality involves my reverence for life. It is easy to feel in tune with nature in the place where I live. It is a quiet village in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Mount Canigou quietly imposes itself over the surroundings. It is such a beautiful mountain, at the moment it is snow-topped and inspires beautiful photographs with the peach and nectarine trees in blossom in the foreground and the snow-capped mountain standing majestically behind. It is easy to see why the Catalans who live in this area see the mountain as sacred, it has such an impact on their lives as it effects the weather systems and the water too. How can you not fail to be inspired and feel such joy and reverence in its nearness?
It is during the current time that we are living in and the way we care for our environment. As man loses his reverence for life and focuses instead on controlling and subduing the earth for his own ends, there will be ever greater possibilities of calamitous events.
It’s 3:23 in the morning and I’m awake because my great great grandchildren won’t let me sleep my great great grandchildren ask me in my dreams what did you do while the planet was plundered? what did you do while the earth was unravelling?
As Joanna Macy says:
We are living in a time of the convergence of multiple cataclysmic forces: runaway anthropogenic climate disruption, chronic wars and the most economic inequality ever witnessed on Earth. And all are worsening day by day.
The news on all fronts is horrendous. Yet as malevolent forces gather, equal and opposite reactions of resistance, and a love of humanity and the planet are awakening. The signs of resistance to the Trump administration are growing and there is a dissidence to some of the UK policies too, global demonstrations are taking place. There is clearly an awakening taking place that is well underway.
So we have much to be thankful for, for the Trump ascendancy as it has led to people being jolted into action. The dangers we are facing as a planet are so enormous that we can do nothing as individuals. We need to sit together, hug each other and be together as we even take in what is happening, let alone respond.
We as a planet are being called to wake up together. To find our reverence for life again. When I was living and working in Sri Lanka I worked with an organisation or perhaps more correctly a movement called, “Sarvodaya”, which literally means, “We all wake up together”. In this way we can have compassion for each other and there is no need to be scared of each other. Our religions become meaningless in that they no longer need to lead to division and seeing anyone else as ‘other’ or ‘inferior’. Instead we look for the common humanity and realise the need to support each other. We have to help each other wake before we destroy everything we love. In this way we will be able to see the beauty that surrounds us. To give ourselves a taste of what passion is, to really fall in love with our planet and its beauty, to see the divine in ourselves as well as in each other.