The relationship between the spiritual awakening of the individual and the spiritual awakening of the Earth. I could not agree more with this profound talk. It is completely in harmony with what I am seeing myself. The audio file to which you can link below is about 24:11 in length.
Since hearing the talk I bought the book and can thoroughly recommend it. I recently watched a British documentary investigating the rising prices in food and the reasons often unseen behind the obvious. I was horrified to see that in America, the Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a relentless rate in order to produce corn, wheat, alfalfa and other crops grown across these states to feed people and animals. And each year, the Ogallala Aquifer drops another few inches as it is literally being sucked dry by the tens of thousands of agricultural wells that tap into it across the heartland of America.
These aquifers across the globe have taken millions of years to build up and the estimates are that within 25 years they could be emptied completely. America, India, China, the Middle East…all are now having problems. And what then people? Vast swathes of dust bowls that will not produce anything and support little if any life. What are we leaving for the people who follow us and also need food? Our children and grandchildren. This thoughtless exploitation of precious resources has to stop. We must learn to see that we cannot carry on with our demands so out of harmony with what our beautiful planet can provide. Saudi Arabia having realised it is draining its aquifers to dangerously low levels says that the last crop of grain it will produce will be the 2015 harvest. And that means more pressure on the overall markets to import their needs. Those who can pay the most for the diminishing grain will get it. And those who are poorer will not. But we are all connected. We cannot rob Peter to pay Paul without it affecting us all. We are as Nasa has said facing extinction within a very short time frame if we do not change our ways and get to grips with our careless husbandry of the planet we were charged with being the guardians of. And it has need of us awakening…as this talk points out. Do not believe that for one minute I feel my home country is innocent in all this. This is an issue that goes well beyond borders. If it had not have been for a British Empire to exploit….we in Great Britain would never have been able to have the lifestyle of glut, greed and waste that we have ‘enjoyed’ for the past 150 years or so. And where pray…does our oil come from now? And at what cost exactly to the people living in those countries? War, strife, death, bombs, bullets and death. What a high price for our heating and cars and fertilisers and lifestyle. How can we do it? How can we continue to do it knowing what we now know? Turn away? What will we do when millions and millions of people have to leave their homes because there is no more water…when they come knocking on our doors asking for safety? For a simple drink? Because they will. What else can they do after they have fed us all for years and used their resources to fill our stomachs? When I eat your Florida fruit or South African grapefruit or Costa Rica pineapples …I am drinking your water reserves…when I eat my rice …I am drinking your water…when I make that cup of tea …I am drinking your water…all that you used in producing those very things that I am now consuming. And I am party to oil usage in fertilisers and in transporting those goods to me…and the wars fought over access to that oil, the nationalities displaced, the profitable world of the war makers and warmongers. In part, my choices also collide with the women driven off their land, husbands killed by war who are forced into prostitution. All these things inter connect and link us. The world cannot stop…but we can become more aware, choose more thoughtfully and be watchful of our consumption and our wastage. We can make the choices between genuine need and greed within ourselves. We can buy carefully rather than carelessly. We can look to the 7th generation. We can listen to the Earth.
Also in the UK we have recently been treated to a week of communication and TV programmes with the International Space Station and her astronauts on board at the moment. Each and every one of those astronauts talks of realising that the Earth is precious and fragile and beautiful. Each one says how the impact of seeing Earth from space really hits of how we are all interconnected and how we all share the responsibility of being careful and frugal with our resources, realising how our choices impact others thousands of miles away from us. Our carelessness is dark and ignorant. We can put men on the moon and take photographs of the beginning of time. We can operate on the brain and make the deaf hear again. We can save mothers in childbirth and eradicate smallpox. Yet we still cannot see and operate restrain in our plunder of the planet and share sensibly with others whilst always having an eye to the 7th generation to follow us and what impact our actions will have on them as Native elders tell us to do. We smash and grab, we plunder, rape and mutilate our planet, only thinking of todays desire and never tomorrows need. In 2004 I wrote a book entitled Earthrise, which detailed the damage we are doing to our beautiful planet, highlighting how our ways of life are ultimately destroying life as we know it. The publishers all turned it down. How could such a thing be popular when people wanted the instant fix, the instant gratification, the next burger or new car or that foreign holiday…the publishers felt people would not want to be worried/concerned/reminded by such things. This is just a couple of sentences from that book.
“Since 1900 we have gone from riding horses to landing on the moon, and from sending letters by horseback to email, videophone and satellites. We have also gone from warring with primitive weapons to atomic bombs and bioterroism. In 1900 the earth had 30 million species, species that may have taken billions of years to create. Now, we have less than half that number, fewer than 15 million species. This all happened in 100 years-the mere blink of an eye. If someone from another planet were watching the Earth; they might say it was dying.”
Am I being harsh on humanity? Yes, probably. Do I believe that the Earth will rectify our destruction? Yes. Will it be an environment that humanity will be able to exist in after the rebalancing? I doubt it. And I weep. Because, yes…God will and can make all well. But we have been given responsibility for this world, this planet, this creation. How will we answer for our crimes of carelessness and thoughtlessness to Life itself?
Here is the picture I chose for the front of that book. I still feel the same. God weeps. Metaphorically. And so should we.
Darkening: (Jan. 2014) Extract from a talk given in London January, 2014 exploring central themes of the book which do not easily fit into our contemporary western spiritual genre.