January 7


Our Earth’s Salvation

"I can't make you love me if you don't," said the stream to the developer.
(Also, the title of a song sung by Bonnie Raitt written by Michael Reid and Allen Shamblin).

How do you make someone fall in love with you if you're the earth?

The environmental problems of the world: pollution, climate change, and the general rape of nature, is a spiritual problem that emerged when we began delaminating the physical from the Divine. I imagine it started happening sometime between the hoe and the horse-drawn plow.

Modernity ushered in this differentiation as we studied nature objectively, refined the scientific process, and developed technology to help us reduce our suffering. But the suffering didn't go away. It just changed owners. Now the earth and all it's beautiful wild creatures carry an unfair burden.

I have become less and less convinced that we will solve this ecological crisis by reducing carbon emissions, adopting the right technology, or implementing progressive legislation—all good and helpful things—but the deeper issue is one of affection.

Modern humans don't see nature as sacred anymore. No amount of technology or legislation can change that. I am not suggesting we go back to worshiping the rain gods and tree gods, but we need  an anti-histamine to modernity's allergy to spirituality so that we can re-enchantment the world.

This need for re-enchantment brings me to the book I am reading called "Creation as Sacrament."

Here is a passage on the usage of icons (sacred art) in Orthodox Christian church services that may contain the DNA to our earth's salvation:

"...the icon presupposes another way of seeing things; a "different way of life," as the Orthodox chant on Easter Sunday. The language of the icon is the language of silence and mystery, although it has so much to offer to a world inundated with information and idols. The icon reverses "perspective" as we know or imagine it, doing away with any "objective" distance between this world and the next. There is no double order in creation, no sharp line of demarcation between material and spiritual. For Philip Sherrard:

'The art of the icon is ultimately so to transform the person who moves towards it that he no longer opposes the worlds of eternity and time, of spirit and matter, of the Divine and the human, but sees them united in one Reality, in that ageless image-bearing light in which all things live, move, and have their being.'

The icon thus constitutes the epiphany of God in the wood and communicates the existence of the wood in the presence of God. It is neither idealism nor idolatry." – Chryssavgis, John. Creation as Sacrament . Bloomsbury Publishing.  

I think the solution has to do with being transformed into a person who sees the divine in the material world. It can't be legislated or forced. It can only be wooed.

Photo by Marco Midmore on Unsplash


environment, Theology

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