I had the chance to ask Bron Taylor about institutions: do we need there to be places – buildings and memberships – where people gather for ceremonies to express and affirm the sacredness of nature?
|Does dark green religion need a dark green headquarters?|
That’s rather encouraging, really – this trend all around us toward dark green religion. But we will need institutions if we are going to make it through the hard times that are coming. We will need people organizing, committing to each other to be members together of a place that will be there for them week after week to support them in remembering what is divine, and in practicing it, and in worshipping that honors this blue-green home on which we live and breath and have our being. We will need:
- a place that will call us, over and over, to practice what we preach, because Gaia knows we are prone to forget and to lapse;
- a place that doesn’t just give us an experience like a book or a movie or a speech or a theme park but that provides community support for a way of life;
- an institution (which is to say: an ongoing pattern of being together) through which there is awakening of the spirit and encouragement to action in line with our spiritual values.
It is a new year – and like the trees outside, we are in bud with possibilities of transformation. In this time of resolution making, what bud of change – for the sake of healing, wholeness, and our planet home – will you bring forth to burst into new life? What commitment will you make as an act of love and an act of worship that will reduce your footprint in 2014?
Take some action, rise to whatever for you is the next challenge in living more wholesomely, not because you actually expect it to do any good. Do it because it might. Do it because it’s sure to do this good: you will be more whole, more spiritually alive, the more you replace mindless consumption with mindful consumption.
And begin, as Joanna Macy says, with gratitude.
“We have received an inestimable gift. To be alive in this beautiful self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it – is a wonder beyond words. And it is, moreover, an extraordinary privilege to be accorded a human life, to possess this self-reflexive consciousness, which brings awareness of our own actions and the ability to make choices. It lets us choose to take part in the healing of our world.”That’s a soteriology for our time.
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This is part 5 of 5 of "The Ecospiritual Imperative"
Previous: Part 4: "Dark Green Religion: Everywhere and Nowhere"
Beginning: Part 1: "Soteriology and Ecology"