- At the Desert Retreat House -
I am often disheartened by stories I read in the morning newspaper, but there was one particular story today that really got to me. Apparently there will be a new agenda item on the floor of the U.S. congress. Now that Republicans have control of both Houses, they have vowed to do all they can to fight against the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Although every reputable scientist in the world has made dire predictions about the environmental threats to the sustenance and sustainability of life on this planet, the new congress will now be engaging in a concerted effort to stop the already existing safeguards that limit pollution and control global warming.
I can't imagine why the elected representatives of the people of this land wouldn't want to do everything in their power to keep planet earth alive for the generations to come, but there are obviously more pressing issues vying for their attention.
Mega corporations and powerful oil companies have much to lose when restraints are placed upon how we treat the environment - "making a profit" seems to be more important than sustaining life and preserving a clean earth that our children and our children's children might inherit
There are many people who might think that issues like global warming and environmental protection are political issues on the agenda of "tree-hugging" liberals. However, I actually believe that the protection of the natural world is essentially a spiritual issue that should be "front and center" in the mind of anyone on any sort of spiritual path.
The American Buddhist teacher and author, Susan Murphy, puts it this way:
The earth sustains our life with its magical weave of infinite relationships - mutual dependency between all life forms and the elements that sustain them - water, air, soil, minerals, sunlight….
Some call this peerless magic 'ecology,' or 'nature.' I think of it as the grace that animates creation.
Failing to trust and protect this perpetually self-renewing gift, attempting instead to exploit it as a bounty earmarked for our exclusive use, we tear the web of life apart.
There are those who think of "God" as a distant deity who, from heavenly heights, looks down upon the created world. As I see it, "God" is that intimate energy the flows in and through everything that has being, "God" is the ONE in the many, "God" is the grace that animates creation. And so when we pollute the air or destroy the oceans, we are polluting the body of "God" - we are tearing apart the body of "God."
Many churches in this country and many public government buildings proudly display the list of the "Ten Commandments" written on plaques hung on walls. Interestingly enough, the first commandment demands the worship of the ONE God, and prohibits the worship of idols - strange gods, false gods. I can't image a more blatant disregard for this first commandment than worshiping the idol of the Almighty Dollar while destroying the body of "God."
After reading the news this morning, I immediately called to mind this line from one of the prayers of the church:
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
If my own "elected" government actively engages in actions that tear apart the web of life, it is perpetrating an evil done on my behalf.
I repent of it.