A handful of experts have now begun to embrace the concept of Eco-Faith that I pioneered in its current design with scientific grounding and a practical guidelines of adopting a sustainable lifestyle, through launching the Eco-Faith named Rediluvism guided by the Biblical legend of salvation of the world by Noah from the great diluvium in 2010 spring, and after blending with ecopsychology a deeper “spiritual grade eco-morality” about which a post was released under the title A moral case for crowd funding WASP by donation.
Eco-Spirituality with eco-peganistic slant Buddhism and IPCC was first posted online by me in February 2010. While being I completely unaware of the article of Janet Ritz who appears to have coined the work Eco-Spirituality in 2007, for the first time and remained focussed on traditional faiths, I had been mulling over and pondering over this phrase at exactly that time. Even if there exists no basis for me to take credit of the use of this term, I ought to be viewed as the person who assimilated this concept with the climate science, the health related and other impacts of climate change and formulated an atheistic version of Eco-Spirituality in February 2010 which has a heavy eco-peganistic slant.
“Eco-Spirituality must be permitted to operate as a lighthouse for humanity to be guided by in its navigation towards safety – if that is the intended direction, although I do get extremely doubtful about of what, (given that humanity seems bent upon a mass suicide), is really intending to attain.”
There exists a summary on Wikipedia, on Ecospirituality which is stated to be a discipline that connects the science of ecology or climate science with that of spirituality. It brings together religion and environmental activism. Proponents of eco-spirituality tend to come from a range of traditional popular faiths like Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhs, Islam; Judaism; Christianity (Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox); and the most ancient ones being from the indigenous traditions.Buddhism has significant guidelines for conduct that are highly sustainable even if not devised with that goal in mind. Eco-Spirituality claims that there is “a spiritual dimension to our present ecological crisis”
A peace producing, intoxicating or awe-inspiring element forms a common theme. Eco-Spirituality is advocated by some to be about helping people experience “the holy” in the natural world and to recognize their relationship as human beings to all creation. A non-holy (definitely not unholy) version of eco-spirituality that does not require faith in a god recognized by a congregation must also be viewed as existing. The common element of holy and non-holy spirituality is the experience of the sensation of “awe” full of serenity with the experience which may be linked with an Endorphin or Prolactin kick in the brain while that is purely speculative and taken from deductive logic without any actual scientific study. This awe-inspiring element of Eco-spirituality has serious practical implication in developing salvation and stewardship strategies. This neuro-endocrine connection connects the clinical sciences with Eco-psychology.
One scientific or eco-paganist view of Eco-Spirituality which has been influenced by the ideas of deep ecology, is analogous to ecopsychology, that studies the behavioural and psychological perspective of ecology and the hurdles in the ending of denial and inertia about this crisis. ‘Earth-based’ spirituality is another term related to ecospirituality which happens to be associated with pagan religious traditions and the work of Miriam Simos Starhawk. an American writer, eco-pagan, eco-feminist, and activist “Celebrate The Winter Solstice With Los Angeles’ Own Eco-Pagans” posted on 11 December 2013 in The Huffington Post. There clearly are significant parallels between eco-paganism and Rediluvism.
Additional information on Eco-Spirituality is obtainable from the 8 September 2007 article by Janet Ritz, Manager, martins books entitled “Thoughts on Eco-Spirituality” and of Olga Bonfiglio, in her 21 April 2012 article entitled “Celebrating Earth Day Through Eco-Spirituality” and of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD is a Sufi teacher
and author “Eco-spirituality: towards a values-based economic structure” posted on 17 May 2013 in The Guardian. Vaughan-Lee is the editor of the anthology Spiritual Ecology: the Cry of the Earth. Released by the group called Spiritual Ecology,
The need to save both soul the soil is spoken of very eloquently and quasi-poetically by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee who distinguishes that Corporate visions of sustainability focus on material prosperity which is an oxymoron because corporate profits driven course is the ultimate threat to worlds sustainability. He stresses that policy designers or leaders must respect the soul as well as the soil. A common theme by the wiser authors is that sustainability should focus on the whole inter-connected web of life, not just on human prosperity which collides seriously with the electoral platforms and the corporate agenda.
Need of an eco-faith is direly called for by the observation that tackling our unsustainability has become a vital issue. Carrying capacity of the planet was exceeded as far back as 1961-69 and definitely by 1982. We are now existing on credit with our credit cards maxed out. Additional details are available on the article “Population, Sustainability, and Earth’s Carrying Capacity: A framework for estimating population sizes and lifestyles that could be sustained without undermining future generations by Gretchen C. Daily and Paul R. Ehrlich. And residents of this planet are on course to lose everything by 2050 if we don’t change our ways. While suggesting courses of action it is critical to answer these questions: who or what is being sustained? And what kind of world do we want to sustain?
Captivating sounds and colors are the easily used psycho-stimulants to produce awe-inspiring experiences that mimic the sensation of Eco-Psychology. Neurophysiologic basis for this being that dazzle of the high input audiovisual stimuli overwhelm the fronto-temporal brain to impair the normal restraints on striatum to not act on impulse. Cult leaders have relied upon hallucinogens like mescaline and cannabis to produce this sensation to exploit their followers. Eco-paganism might have an element of such a drug effect in their Eco-Psychology. The first image of sustainability that meets the physical or physiological needs like food and water is sometimes referred to as “surface ecology“. The element that satisfy the non-physical super-psychological or spiritual needs is referred to as “deep ecology“, and it does not need materials for its satisfaction but does rely heavily on multicolored natural phenomenon of which Aurora Borealisand Aurora Australias are the outstanding examples. We must begin by embracing the ecosystems as a living whole of which humanity is only one part, or end the immorality of failing to view Earth as a living object. No one part can be considered as separate from the whole, and the idea that the environment is just here to support us and our prosperity is a travesty of real environmental consciousness or eco-consciousness (ECX) which is a concept that intrudes deeply into spiritual dimension and a serious deficiency in it can be referred to as Ecopathic Personality Disorder (EPD). The concept of ECX (not to be confused with European Stock Exchange) is central to Rediluvism and a meaningful march of humanity towards sustainability. Rest all measures are flawed and will fail.
Vaughan-Lee has quoted Thomas Berry, a priest of the Passionist order and one of the leading voices in “eco-spirituality“, has said: “There is now a single issue before us: survival. Not merely physical survival, but survival in a world of fulfilment, survival in a living world, where the violets bloom in the springtime, where the stars shine down in all their mystery, survival in a world of meaning.” And adds that Berry suggested that there is a spiritual dimension to our present ecological crisis. It has long been understood by indigenous peoples that our relationship to the Earth is spiritually as well as physically sustaining. For indigenous peoples this is often included in their way of life, and expressed through their rituals and prayers. Caucasians of the Western culture senses spiritual nourishment in the beauty, peace, or sense of wonder that the natural world gives us. This belongs to the quality of life rarely valued by our solely economic images of progress.
Our needs for awe seeking have exceeded our hungers. With a plenty of food around we seek pleasures to an elevated extent for example by taking a Disney vacation or through hallucinogenic and other street drugs. What needs to be presumed is that we humans are sustained in ways we cannot measure using science where art comes into play and falls in the arena of aesthetics and recreation, which enrich the mind and promote sense of contentment. This pursuit of spiritual-like pleasures has played a heavy role in wrecking the climate by enlarging the carbon foot prints massively through astronomic level of consumption, curbing which is critical for our return towards the carrying capacity of the planet, where pursuit of Eco-psychology becomes critical through providing that serenity and contentment by inexpensive and low carbon measures to reduce the carbon foot print. Eco-paganism has been effective there and so would be its cousin Rediluvism. In the words of Satish Kumar: “The contemporary environmental movement, in the main, follows the path of empirical science, rational thinking, data collection and external action. This is good as far as it goes but it doesn’t go far enough. We need to include care of the soul as a part of care of the planet.” It is not critical to have faith in a Deity or soul the food for which is the sense of awe or the endocrinal Endorphin-Prolactin kick in the brain. If the brain gets that neuro-endocrine rush even though jogging or a good quality orgasm the sense of satiety is the same.
Dealing with this destructive disconnection is a dire need. At the root of the present ecological crisis driven largely by our insatiably need for pleasures, we will find a state of disconnection. We appear frighteningly disconnected from real awareness of the effects of our materialistic culture upon the very ecosystem that supports us. This void is caused by insufficient awe-producing experiences which can be best and most inexpensively done through spending time outdoors on the beaches or forests so we get multicolored multi-sonic stimuli as opposed to the monotone of indoors. The weekend rave parties fail to match that sense. Sensations like taste, odors etc., can be added to the blend as explained under the discussion of Rgoia, which is the perfect balm to heal the pain referred to as Reno Painwhich must be undergone as our penitence.
Charles Eisenstein has noted in Sacred Economics: “When we must pay the true price for the depletion of nature’s gifts, materials will become more precious to us, and economic logic will reinforce, and not contradict, our heart’s desire to treat the world with reverence and, when we receive nature’s gifts, to use them well.” We need to explore ways that businesses can serve humanity in its deepest sense, rather than creating a poverty of spirit as well as an ecological wasteland. We are in a crucial need of making a bonding style relationship with our environment. That bonding is best and most quickly established through introduction of a faith or faith-like sensation between the source and the seeker. We need to find or innovate new ways that business can support these very human needs, and create an economic model that is not solely concerned with “surface ecology” but is sustainable for our deeper selves and for the whole ecosystem. This is one of the greatest challenges. If hungry souls we cannot keep peace.
Joan Michelson – CEO and Host of Green Connections Media on being enthralled by the striking and serendipitous confluence of Earth Day, Good Friday, Easter & Passover of 18-21 April 2014 on the heels of the dire report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) felt compelled to re-insuffle this, vital for humanity concept, by posting online a blog-post entitled “Eco-Spirituality” = Earth Day + Easter + Passover + IPCC Report. She was diligent enough to point the truism therein “regardless of your religious and political beliefs”, and emphasized that in some mystical way “it’s a call for ambitious action within a moral framework, before the seas rise up against us (literally)” which aligns with the diluvium used as the launch pad for Rediluvism, and that “It is time for aspirational leadership”. Reference to the sea level rise bears heavily on the IPCC than the flood myth of the legend of Noah. (not to be confused with NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration although NOAA has a clear connection to this crisis.)
Michelson went on to add : IPCC “Working Group I Report has clearly established the role of human action as the dominant factor in warming that has taken place since the middle of the last century,” and that “the impacts of climate change will leave no part of the world untouched and unaffected.” It states the “essential” need for urgent, concerted “adaption and mitigation” measures – both – to at least dramatically reduce, if not prevent, destruction of homes, global food insecurity, water shortages, economic instability, and potential increases in violent conflict, due to more extreme weather and climate change.
Michelson also pointed out that holidays are a time to reflect, take stock, and re-evaluate our choices and actions. The convergence of these particular holidays — representing “escape from bondage” and “resurrection” and protecting the earth and its inhabitants — especially timed with the urgency in the IPCC report, sends us a clear signal that we must act big and act now.
The National Religious Partnership for the Environment — an alliance of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches of Christ, and the Evangelical Environmental Network — has also been calling for action to reduce climate change. Together, these consortia represent hundreds of religious institutions and at least thousands probably millions of people in their congregations.
“Every major religion has a mandate to care for Creation. We were given natural resources to sustain us, but we were also given the responsibility to act as good stewards and preserve life for future generations,” the IPL’s website states. “The very existence of life — life that religious people are called to protect – is jeopardized by our continued dependency on fossil fuels for energy.” One can frame it as freeing us from the “bondage” of dependency on fossil fuels, as Passover marks the freeing of the Jews from bondage in Egypt.
Pope Francis, named after the patron saint of animals and the ecology, is preparing a document on ecology which of necessity would be an expression of eco-spirituality and installed solar panels on the Vatican. Will he leverage his political capital and reputation for bold action on climate change? She adds a long list of practical and impactful steps members of the religious community have taken that Pope Francis might cite as examples of steps we can all take like IPL honors houses of worship that take significant actions to reduce their carbon footprint with its “Cool Congregation Challenge” awards. It is currently focused on stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline too. And that the First Unitarian Church installed solar panels (community-funded), is transitioning to renewable energy sources, and is teaching congregation community how to reduce their carbon footprint – dubbed “eco-spirituality” by their local Utah newspaper, the Deseret News.
There is a lesson in the practices of Green Muslims of New Jersey, with a slogan “When Less is More,” are encouraging their members to take a “Green Ramadan pledge” to be “environmentally conscious, socially responsible and compassionate,” suggesting specific steps, such as eliminating plastic water bottles and styrofoam, and eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat. That type of pledge is central to Rediluvism.
Michelson later on points out that religious community has been quietly mobilizing to protect the environment and people for years, as a moral obligation to be good stewards. Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), for example, was founded in 1998 “to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy… to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.” But if weight is to be assigned to the wisdom contained in the quote by Richard Buckminster Fuller noting “You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” failure is in-built into that procedure of making minor amendments into existing traditional faiths. A new eco-faith akin to Rediluvism is needed.
Michelson concludes her post by stressing: No one is immune or exempt. Everyone is responsible. Now is the time to come to the aid of your brothers and sisters. This Easter-Passover-Earth Day we need to heed the calls of “Eco-Spirituality” and the IPCC and take bold, immediate action to reduce CO2 emissions. This level of commitment cannot be attained without the adhesive glue of an Eco-Spiritual bond or an eco-faith which is best advocated in the nature of Rediluvism than trying to slightly amend the existing faiths or in the alternative have dual faiths.